First library celebrates 75 years

Ku-ring-gai Council was the first local government area in Sydney to offer a library service to its residents back in 1945.

Council signed the Library Act of 1944 and Ku-ring-gai’s library was set up the following year in the Council Chambers at Gordon.

The 75th birthday celebrations began on Library Lovers Day on 14 February at Gordon Library, launched by Mayor Jennifer Anderson.  The day also included some fascinating glimpses of the early years of Ku-ring-gai’s libraries as well as the latest technology that allows residents free access to thousands of online newspapers and magazines worldwide.

The free digital newsstand known as the Pressreader is delivered via a ‘Smart Table’ installed with the latest issues of 7000 newspapers and magazines in more than 60 languages. 

Mayor Anderson said apart from being the first council library service in Sydney, Ku-ring-gai libraries had been early adopters of other initiatives such as a mobile home library, free wi-fi and e-books.

“Our Council has always believed that libraries are a wonderful centre for community life, not just a place to borrow books. This is reflected in the range of activities that are going on in all four of our branch libraries.”

Other Library Lovers Day activities included a birthday morning tea, displays of the Ku-ring-gai library service’s history and a special storytime for young children with author and speech pathologist Sonia Bestulic.

The storytime event is part of the 1000 Books Before School initiative which local libraries have joined. It aims to encourage pre-schoolers to read 1000 books by the time they attend their first year of primary school. 

Other 75th birthday events are planned throughout the year at Ku-ring-gai’s four libraries at Gordon, Lindfield, Turramurra and St Ives.