We have joined the Libraries Change Lives conversation and are sharing the impact our public libraries have on the Casey Cardinia community.
Kerrie, a regular visitor to Endeavour Hills Library shares how the library has helped create a foundation for her daughter’s education whilst also extending her social network.
She also shares how libraries have changed over time and the unexpected benefits of a public library.
Have our libraries changed your life? Share your story here.
What is something unexpected you have discovered about your library?
We have discovered so many things! I had not been to a library since I was a child myself, so when I was introduced to the library through our Mums’ group, we discovered not only Baby Time, but all the other children’s programs that the library offers!
The amazing part is all the other things that you wouldn’t expect – we came along to the Christmas Party last year – and it was the first time my daughter ever had the chance to pat an animal – now that wasn’t what we expected to be able to do at the library!
How do you think libraries have changed in the last 15 years?
When I was young, I’m pretty sure all you could do was borrow a book. But now we use the library all the time, and I’ve introduced my husband to the library too. We use things like Borrow Box for e-books, we borrow magazines and know that the internet is freely accessible.
There is such a wide range of free activities and classes at the library too. In talking to some of my friends, I have discovered they also use their local library branches for surprising activities like classes that provide an introduction to Pilates – I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have been around 15 years ago!
How do you feel when using the library?
I feel welcomed. We walk in, and I know it is a safe space for my little girl and me. We can relax and have fun. When we first came for Baby Time, I felt a bit unsure of where to go, but someone at the desk greeted me and showed me where I needed to go. Now we feel so comfortable using our library – we haven’t looked back!
What about the library is most important to you?
For me, it is that the library has provided the foundation steps of Estelle’s early education and introduced her to the idea of opening and enjoying a book. But more than that, it is a surprisingly social outing for both of us. It is a space where she can play with little ones her age, while I have extended my social networks by catching up with friends from Mums’ Group and making new ones at Baby Time.
How does the library impact the community?
Libraries bring the community together in a safe space. For example, in going to the library for an outing with Estelle, I have had the chance to meet people in my community that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Not only that, but it provides for free so many items and activities that not everyone would readily access or afford. It provides us all with a place that is safe, free, educational – and fun!
What is the last item you borrowed/used?
For Estelle, it would be a few of the Osbourne touchy-feely books, ones like ‘That’s not my Pony’. She is very tactile at the moment, and loves anything that she can touch or books with pop-ups!
For me, it would have been some cookbooks. I love that I can borrow as many of these as I like, they are all free to borrow, so it is much better than buying an expensive cookbook if you only end up using one or two recipes!
Join the conversation
If you have a story to share, get involved and share your story here.