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Mayoral Column – Penshurst Library Turns 50

12/09/2022

I want to acknowledge a very special milestone for Georges River Libraries and our Penshurst community. At the weekend, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Penshurst Library.

It was a delight to see book lovers of all ages celebrating at the family fun event on Saturday. It was a festive day with a sausage sizzle hosted by the Oatley Lions Club, music, face painting, a petting zoo, and other fun activities. There was even a special family story time session. Occasions like these let us reminisce and draw our community closer together.

For half a century, Penshurst Library has become an integral part of Penshurst life, seeing more than 10 million loans to the community during this time. All those years ago, the library was built for a mere $40,000 in late 1971, in the south-east corner of Olds Park. The official opening was on 11 February 1972 and was officiated by the then Mayor of Hurstville, the late, James Walsh, who unveiled a plaque.

The Library opened with a staff of two, one a qualified librarian, and a collection of 7,000 books. In its first year, Penshurst Library loaned more than 100,000 items, showing how much the facility was appreciated. Over the next few years, the number of loans doubled, and the collection continued to grow to meet community demand.

The library developed a great reputation for being family-friendly, and the activities organised for children have always been enthusiastically supported. The librarians were also a fantastic support for older residents, encouraging them into the new world of computers and the internet. Renovations in 2012 gave the library a fresh new look, including the addition of moveable shelving to allow more flexibility in how the space is used.

I congratulate past and present staff for all their hard work, creativity, ingenuity, enthusiasm, and dedication to the community. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, passion, and love of books and education. Libraries are an essential part of the community, and the staff, facilities and endless learning opportunities has enriched the lives of us all.

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