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Libraries change lives in Greater Hamilton

5 December 2018

The Greater Hamilton Library is getting behind the Victorian Government’s Libraries Change Lives campaign by encouraging everyone to give the gift of a library membership this Christmas.

Libraries Change Lives is a state-wide campaign that aims to highlight the economic and social benefits public libraries bring to Victoria. New economic modelling demonstrates that every dollar invested in public libraries generates $4.30 of benefits.

Public Libraries Victoria Network (PLVN) are calling for both levels of Government to provide:

  •  a commitment to extra operational funding for libraries to help meet the demands of a growing population;
  •  investment in modern library infrastructure and facilities; and
  •  support to broaden the reach of library-run early years’ literacy and STEM programs.

PLVN President Joseph Cullen said more people are using public libraries than ever before and libraries were grappling with booming visitation and increased community demands for services.

“Libraries are facing escalating demand for space, longer opening hours, expanded programs and access to online services. We want to meet those community expectations, but we need more government funding to do it,” Mr Cullen said.

“Libraries provided four million free Wi-Fi sessions last year – double the previous year. When one in eight Victorian households does not have internet access, we need libraries to bridge the digital divide.

“We can also do more to support early years’ literacy. More than 15,000 preschool children and their families attend Story Time at a library each week. That’s a great start but we know we can do more by reaching out to disadvantaged communities,” Mr Cullen said.

Chris Jenkins, Greater Hamilton Library Services officer said public libraries have evolved beyond their traditional role of simply housing collections, to offering vital community services, including digital connectivity, support for all kinds of literacy and universal access to information and services.

“Today’s libraries are about services and programs as much as physical collections. No other place in our community offers the same personal help, equal and free access to information, social engagement, and sense of safety and belonging,” she said.

“Public libraries really do offer an incredible breadth of services to support Victorians at every stage of life.

“We are supporting the Libraries Change Lives campaign to demonstrate public libraries are a must-have community service that can play an even greater role in growing the Victorian economy and delivering social benefits,” Mrs Jenkins said.

“This year, the Greater Hamilton Library is giving away Christmas gift membership cards to encourage new members to join our library service. We’re encouraging everyone to give the gift of a life-changing library membership to a loved one this year!”.

Christmas membership cards are available now from the Greater Hamilton Library. Recipients will need to bring in their gift card, along with identification, to activate before use.

For more information on the campaign, visit or contact the Greater Hamilton library on 5573 0470.

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