Cooma Library this week celebrated the 10 year anniversary of its $1.5 million refurbishment.
When it reopened to the community on 22 December 2010 there were some fantastic new inclusions. The building had been extended by 300 square metres, incorporated a dedicated Teen Central area, Kids Zone and Family History/Local Studies research room, while the meeting room in the original War Memorial Library was upgraded.
During the construction, staff operated the library service from an old SMEC building at Cooma Creek.
Library Manager Pam Veiss said, ‘The community’s response to the new building was amazing. So much more room, plenty of reading area for newspapers, great spaces for kids, big windows at the front, making the building light and airy, a classy circulation desk, RFID technology, a self-issue kiosk and plenty of new materials.’
During the last 10 years, 650,000 visitors have passed through the doors and borrowed 1,100,000 items. There have been almost 2,000 events with approx. 30,000 people attending.
As part of this celebration, a timeline display of the Library’s history, along with a video will remain on display for the remainder of the year. The history of the Snowy Monaro Library service includes:
• Library services began in the School of Arts, Vale Street in 1876 with a library service of just 500 volumes. From 1946 to 1962 Cooma Municipal Council along with the Monaro & Snowy River Shires operated the Cooma & District Public Library Service from the two-roomed library premises rented from the School of Arts Trustees.
• The Bookmobile service commenced in July 1963 and together with the book deposit stations in Berridale, Bredbo & Countegany School provided library services to isolated areas in the region.
• The War Memorial Library was made possible through funds raised by the 1963 Festival of the Snows and officially opened in October 1964.
• The rear of that building was extended in 1976 to create a Children’s area
• In 2010 Cooma-Monaro Shire Council funded the extension and refurbishment of the Library at a cost of $1.5 m. Grant funding provided $200,000 towards the fit-out.