The final chapter is closed on the Warrnambool Library as staff prepare to move to the new $20 million state of-the-art facility.
As the last books were checked out on Friday afternoon the library which was officially opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser on July 17, 1976, closed its doors for the final time.
Staff will relocate its vast collection of almost 39,000 titles to the purpose-built Warrnambool Library and Learning Centre at South West TAFE, which is due to open October 10.
The new library will boast an additional 24,000 titles over the coming weeks with council budgeting $500,000 for new books.
Library user Emily Reeves said she and daughter Elliott, 8, were sad to say goodbye to the original library, where they had so many happy memories, but they're also looking forward to the "wonderful" new facility.
Long-time librarian Julie Murnane was 20-years-old when she began her career in 1982.
She has seen lots of changes over the years from when librarians stamped books with a due date to be returned, compared to the self checkout system used today.
"It's the people," Ms Murnane said. "You always get to meet different people. You get your regulars and your characters. Every day and week is different and the library changes.
"There's been mixed feelings from the regulars about leaving the current site but there's also excitement about the new library."
Boasting some of the best views of the foreshore, the new library is set to feature a cafe, a reading room, meeting rooms and public access to computers and a games and digital zone.
The future of the original library is up for discussion and could be transformed into a new council chamber under plans for a major revamp that could cost up to $3 million.
About $300,000 has been set aside in the council's 2022-23 budget to do preliminary design work on how to transform the empty space when the library relocates.
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