Bland, Narrandera and Weddin Councils are to receive significant funds to revitalise existing library facilities to suit the habits and needs of the region’s diverse readers thanks to a grant announcement from Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP.

Ms Cooke announced a $445,000 windfall for the three Local Government Areas under the Public Library Infrastructure Grant program this week.

  • Bland Shire Council has scored $200,000 to rejuvenate the Bland Shire Library to create an open, flexible space through the reconfiguration of library zones including a dedicated young adult space, the introduction of mobile shelving and furniture, as well as improved display and a range of seating options.
  • Narrandera Shire Council will spend $200,000 on a youth space at Narrandera Library which will incorporate areas for collaborative study, meeting, socialising and being connected. The refurbishment will also provide a multifunctional area that can be used for class visits and group activities and will include an accessible toilet and entrance.
  • Weddin Shire Council will spend $44,727 on the refurbishment of Grenfell Library. This includes a microform reader/printer, furniture and shelving. This will allow for a more flexible floorplan with more room for library programs.

Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke said the libraries formed an important part of the community, providing much more than simply a place to borrow books.

“Libraries are at the heart of our community and are transforming rapidly to meet the challenges of the digital age,” she said.

“Not only are they places to borrow books, but they are also places to read newspapers and magazines, access the internet or study for school.

“I am thrilled that the NSW Government is continuing its strong support for libraries, especially in rural electorates such as Cootamundra.”

Grants have been awarded to 33 local councils across the state this year, providing significant public benefit and improving public library buildings, spaces and information technology for communities across NSW.