Cockburn residents still love their libraries

Cockburn residents continue to enjoy their local libraries, including the newly refurbished Spearwood Library.
Cockburn residents continue to enjoy their local libraries, including the newly refurbished Spearwood Library.

THE world is more technologically centred than ever before, but Cockburn residents are still turning to their local library to enjoy a good book.

City of Cockburn libraries in Spearwood, Coolbellup and Success recorded 3473 new members between January and June this year, an increase on the 3300 new members of the previous six months.

From the more than 320,000 loans made between January and June, 67.9 per cent were magazines and adult and junior books, with only six per cent of loans comprised of ebooks and emagazines.

These numbers show a growing move away from digital offerings and towards hard copies, with the last six months of 2017 recording 66 per cent of loans as books and magazines and eight per cent as e-resources.

Library Services manager Linda Seymour said the 2018 numbers were encouraging, especially given Spearwood Library’s five week closure for refurbishments, and that libraries would continue to remain relevant by adapting to the changing world around them.

“Public libraries now and into the future are about creating spaces for people to meet, study and to participate in creative activities,” she said.

“They’re about creating and enriching local communities, and the consensus of community opinion remains firmly that libraries are a valued and vital resource in the way in which community members interact.

“Libraries are one of the most valued services delivered by local government and nearly 10 million people visits were made to public libraries in Western Australia between July 2017 to June 2018.

“They create a safe and encouraging environment, provide a trusted source of digital advice through such accreditation programs as eSmart and in some cases are the only internet and digital access for members of the community.”