Anonymous donor funds library upgrade

Senior librarian Jenny Stoker said the new amenities are finding favour with younger booklovers and their parents.
Senior librarian Jenny Stoker said the new amenities are finding favour with younger booklovers and their parents.

The children’s section of the Tenterfield Library has just enjoyed a spruce-up, thanks to the generosity of a local contributor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Senior librarian Jenny Stoker was in the process of planning the refurbishment when the $10,000 donation became available.

The donor wasn’t specific about where the money should be spent, just on ‘library services’, but Ms Stoker knew exactly where it was needed.

She wanted to create a more inviting area to make parents and children comfortable, where parents could sit and read to their children or even relax and take a breather while the children browsed the shelves.

In addition to improving creature comforts, the revamped zone makes it easier for staff to monitor the children’s area from their station.

Quantum Library Suppliers secured the job to supply and fit the new shelving and seating.

The result is a cosy area free of through-traffic, with comfortable semi-circular couches for reading or storytelling or even taking a quick toddler nap while older siblings are browsing.

The facility is aimed at engendering a love of books from an early age, with library staff nearby for suggestions and guidance on which titles may appeal.

Councillors formally allocated the funding to the project at their August meeting, allowing the refurbishment to proceed. While Cr Bronwyn Petrie was among those wishing to recognise the donor for their generosity, their wish to remain anonymous was respected.

Cr John Macnish said he recently attended the New England Zone Public Library Association’s regular meeting on Tenterfield Shire Council’s behalf, and the topic of the donation came up.

“Other members (of the association) were flabbergasted,” he said. The association’s area has extensive reach, and none of the members present had enjoyed a donation of this type.

“It’s a shame the donor doesn’t want to be acknowledged,” Cr Macnish said.

The new kid-friendly zone at Tenterfield library has been well-patronised since its unveiling earlier in September. Along with the printed books are ‘talking books’, great when travelling with children to help make hours on the road slip by. 

The upgrade has spurred a clean-out of children’s books to make way for fresh titles. It’s generally a monthly process but the new shelving provided an opportunity for a major reorganisation.

The older books will be recycled, either to those happy to purchase them by the case (popular with homeschoolers, Ms Stoker said) or to charity. Anyone interested in the older books should contact the library.