New chapter for Qbn Library

Library assistants Zoe Hennessy and Joanne Lavers pitch in to help transport the library's catalougue from their old to new home on Rutledge Street.
Library assistants Zoe Hennessy and Joanne Lavers pitch in to help transport the library's catalougue from their old to new home on Rutledge Street.

MORE than 45,000 books, magazines, newspapers, CDs and DVDs from Queanbeyan Library are being catalogued, packed and wheeled across to the new library premises over the next week.

The library will be closed from 2pm on Saturday, August 4 until 9.30am on Monday, August 13 while the big move takes place from the Crawford Street building into the library's new home at Rutledge Street.

It's a mammoth task for staff as manager of Library and Cultural Services Peter Conlon estimates the library houses 65,000 volumes but 20,000 of these can be out on loan at any one time.

Removalists are helping to cart the books as well as items like computers, desks and chairs from the old to new library.

''We're reusing existing shelving, removing as many books as we can on trolley," Mr Conlon said.

While the move itself takes four or five days, staff will also be fine-tuning where each collection will be housed in the new $4 million facility. The three-story building includes a children's activities room, local history area as well as youth and adult section.

"I think [the staff] is looking forward to the move." "We were running out of space in the old building," Mr Conlon said. Mr Conlon estimates the library has been located on Crawford Street since the 1970s with the most significant change an extension in 1996.

The new library occupies the former NSW Parks and Wildlife service premises. "We are looking forward to having more room for the special collections, local history, child's activity and the staff area won't be as crowded. We'll have room for new stocks and that's one great thing," he said.

"The library can also be clearly seen from the main street and there's a lot of windows so you can see the outside and we'll get a lot more natural light."

Currently there are 18 full and part time staff at the library and Mr Conlon said they might hold a private morning tea to farewell their old digs.

"There is probably a bit of sadness [about leaving the old building]," he said. "We might be confused which library to go to for the first week or so but we'll have it worked out."

The empty space left by the Library in Council's Crawford St building will be used to house Council staff who are currently located in a number of buildings around the Crawford St/Lowe St area.

Loan periods on resources have been extended for the closure and customers can still return their items through the After Hours Return at the Crawford St building.

Members of the community will be able to get guided tours of the new library as part of Local Government Week on Thursday 16 August between 10am and 2pm. To reserve a time call the Library desk on 6285 6238.