Rockhampton Libraries year of success is one for the books

Published on 19 February 2024

Courtney Abell & David Sloan.JPG

Rockhampton Regional Libraries are embarking on another exciting year following a record-breaking 2023, where participation in library events and loans soared to new heights!

Libraries not only saw an increase in overall loans and visits, but a remarkable increase in community engagement with library programs and events.

In 2023, our four library branches welcomed nearly 240,000 physical and online visits, with over 436,900 items loaned to members and nearly 68,000 reference and readers’ advisory queries answered by staff.

The surge in attendance reflects the libraries' success in fostering a safe, welcoming environment for community learning and engagement.

Courtney Abell, a loyal library member since 2016, expressed her satisfaction with the ongoing improvements in library programs, facilities, and resources, which continuously adapt to meet the needs of the community.

“I have been visiting the library frequently since the birth of my first son, participating in activities under the First Five Forever program, enjoying music sessions, taking part in computer courses, and activities during school holidays,” Ms Abell said.

“The library has provided a fun and interactive space to hang out with other parents and their children. I’ve particularly enjoyed getting to know other mums and their kids at sing-a-long story time sessions which has created many positive memories and friendships.”

In 2023, the diverse array of programs and events offered by the libraries attracted over 57,000 participants, across almost 1000 activities, marking an impressive 226.42% increase from the previous year in 2022.

Long term library member, David Sloan said his wife and family have been utilising Council’s libraries since their arrival to Rockhampton in 1996.

“When my grandchildren were young, my daughter and I would take them to baby time classes. Grandparents like myself had a wonderful time getting to know others in the group, making friends, and sharing experiences,” Mr Sloan said.

“There is so much to do at the libraries, from a foyer full of books for sale, to tables set up with chess, draughts, and checkers, a variety of books, resources, and courses available, and even a huge jigsaw for anyone to add pieces, there is something for everyone at the library.”

Rockhampton Regional Libraries' commitment to early literacy through the First 5 Forever program achieved significant milestones in 2023, with 480 new member packs distributed to families with young children.  First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland Government, coordinated by State Library of Queensland and delivered in partnership with local government

Additionally, the Libraries extended their outreach efforts by distributing 175 kits of free books to local businesses and organizations, expanding the reach of literacy initiatives beyond the library's walls.

These figures underscore the vital role of libraries as dynamic community spaces, offering residents opportunities to borrow books, engage in learning, connect with others, and participate in various activities, whether in-person or virtually.

Council is eager to build upon this success, further enhancing the cultural, recreational and educational landscape of our region in the years to come.

Joining the Rockhampton Regional libraries is free! To become a member, contact our team at 4936 8043, visit your local library, or explore our website for more information.