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Wangaratta booked in for bigger better library

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Wangaratta residents will soon have a bigger, better library in the new $3.5 million community resource centre.

Minister for Local Government Candy Broad today inspected construction of the new resource centre which will house the library early next year.

“The Bracks Government believes all Victorian families deserve access to decent library services,” Ms Broad said.

“This is a significant project which will see a landmark building become a vibrant community hub and a centre for learning.”

The Bracks Government has contributed $250,000 towards the library and $660,000 towards the resource centre. The project is also funded by the Wangaratta Rural City Council, Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, Commonwealth Government and the local community.

“The new library will be almost four times the size of the existing library and, as part of the new Wangaratta Resource Centre, promises to be at the very heart of the community,” said Ms Broad.

“It will be one of the leading facilities of its type in north east Victoria.”

With improved access, the library will offer exhibition areas, casual reading space and a café and provide a brighter, vibrant environment for local residents.

It will bring together the information services for the Goulburn Ovens TAFE and the regional library. Other features include a children’s activity room, computing areas and a family history room. Opening hours are expected to extend to seven days a week.

The bigger floor space will allow the library expand its current collection and work with community groups to develop initiatives such as children’s programs and adult learning.

It is hoped that the improvements and greater capacity will attract up to a 30 per cent increase in library members.

The Bracks Government’s $16.5 million Living Libraries program has provided funding to 70 projects over five years. This investment is on top of ongoing funding. This year’s budget saw a record $28.94 million in recurrent funding for public libraries across the state.

“Over half of Victorians are library users, showing that local libraries are highly valued by the communities they serve. They are important community facilities to meet, learn and grow,” Ms Broad said.

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Written by Greg Naylor

6 September 2006 at 5:46 pm

Posted in media release

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