Gaining popularity: Maroondah libraries more than just a place to borrow books

With more than 71,000 members, Maroondah’s libraries are proving to be more popular than ever before.

Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Rob Steane said local public libraries had grown into much more than just repositories of books.

“In the 10 months to March 2019, almost 790,000 books, CDs, Audiobooks and eMagazines have been borrowed from Eastern Regional Libraries – with more than 641,600 visits in the past year alone,” he said.

Maroondah has two major libraries, Realm in Ringwood and the Croydon library. Both libraries are managed by Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation (ERLC), which also provides library services to Knox and Yarra Ranges.

“Despite the expansive digitisation of information, public library usage remains popular. In fact, Maroondah library services are experiencing considerable growth, with memberships having increased by 8.7 per cent in the past 12 months,” Cr Steane said.

“Maroondah residents love their community libraries – they are consistently rated as one of the most popular services provided by Council,” he said.

ERLC regional year-to-date figures shows Realm library is ranked No.1 when it comes to visitor numbers (445,022) and memberships (44,215), while Croydon outperforms all others when it comes library loans (451,945).

“It is wonderful to see both library facilities experiencing an increase in membership over the past 12 months – making them the busiest branches in the eastern region,” Cr Steane said.

Maroondah’s public libraries provide free access to vast collections of books and e-resources, including more than 50,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks, 300+ eMagazine titles, DVDs, audio books, console video games, music and more.

“Libraries are no longer a place just for borrowing books. Both Realm and Croydon libraries also provide social programs, story time for children, author talks, historical information and research tools, free computer and WiFi access,” Cr Steane added.

An annual survey of Victorian Public Libraries 2017/18 showed that Eastern Regional Libraries (Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges) outperformed 47 other libraries when it came to library visits (2.08 million), physical loan items (3.5 million) and e-Loan of items (404,815).

“With 71,738 residents being members of Realm and Croydon libraries and a combined 641,642 visits in 2018/19, our libraries continue to prove to be a vital asset that not only offer residents universal access to information but a safe space for social interaction, digital connection, lifelong learning and rich cultural experiences,” Cr Steane said.

To discover more about Realm and Croydon libraries, visit the Eastern Regional Libraries website

Visit level 1 of Realm, located at Ringwood Town Square, 179 Maroondah Highway (opposite Ringwood Station). Phone 9800 6430.

Croydon Library is located at Civic Square, Mount Dandenong Road, Croydon. Phone 9800 6448.

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