Eight months after the launch of a brand new shared model, the Corangamite Moyne Library Service has captured hundreds of new readers to record one of the highest participation rates in the state.
The latest statistics showed 13,393 people actively using the service, nearly 40 per cent of the Moyne and Corangamite population, while the rate around the rest of the state was below 30 per cent.
The data showed participation had spiked through the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic and had grown by more than 750 people since the new service launched. Moyne Shire mayor Karen Foster said it was satisfying to see the local community getting the most from its libraries.
"We are seeing people reconnecting with the library post COVID and we only expect that number to grow as the new joint service continues to grow and expand its offering. The library is free to join and gives users access to a huge range of books, digital resources and programs," Cr Foster said.
"Libraries play an important role in the community, providing a place to connect, learn, enjoy and relax - they are so much more than just a place to borrow books and offer a wide range of services."
The two-shire service launched after the dissolution of a four-way agreement between Moyne, Corangamite, Warrnambool and Colac-Otway, but the new model has given borrowers access to a far broader selection of resources.
The previous service offered 65,000 titles, whereas the new model givers users access to the full Libraries Victoria catalogue of books, audiobooks, DVDs and magazines, totalling more than 3 million titles.
Cr Foster said the service was also developing its regular roster of activities for children.
"Branches at Koroit and Port Fairy offer a rhyme and story time each Monday morning, and on Wednesday mornings at Mortlake, which encourage early literacy development in children through music, movement and reading," she said.
"It also provides a social opportunity for parents and carers to connect which is really important."
Koroit resident Blake Allen said he loved taking his two-year-old son Theodore to the Monday rhyme time sessions.
"It's fantastic to have such a good library service here in Koroit," Mr Allan said.
"Jo and the staff are wonderful and Teddy loves coming to rhyme time. There is an amazing range of books, it's very impressive."
Cr Foster said there were also plenty of activities for older book lovers.
"Our branches are also holding book circles, book clubs, school holiday programs and Lego clubs, and have also hosted IT literacy sessions for older generations with more programs and events in the planning."
She said to keep up-to-date on each branch's social media page.
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