Friends of the Gympie Regional Libraries’ Beth Wilson and president Ronis Birchley conducting research on the Microfilm Reader in the Local History Room at Gympie Library.
Friends of the Gympie Regional Libraries’ Beth Wilson and president Ronis Birchley conducting research on the Microfilm Reader in the Local History Room at Gympie Library. Contributed

Library volunteers celebrated

NATIONAL Volunteers Week is the largest celebration of Volunteers in Australia and will be held this week until May 15. This year’s theme is Inspire the Volunteer in You.

The first group of its kind in Queensland, Friends of the Library was established in 1979, at that stage known as The Gympie-Widgee Friends of the Library.

Today, Gympie Regional Friends of the Library has 90 members who volunteer in a wide range of areas at Gympie Regional Libraries.

The Friends began a Housebound Service in 1980, selecting and delivering books, tapes and other items to people who would otherwise be unable to access the library.

Around 45 Friends of the Library volunteers now deliver fortnightly to people in their homes and to all retirement and aged care facilities in Gympie and Tin Can Bay.

In September 1979, the Friends began a Music Collection, providing on site access to sheet music in the library.

From 1997 the Music Collection Database was collated, allowing sheet music to be made available to the public.

Friends volunteers now visit the library each Wednesday between 10am and noon to help the public with music inquiries and in maintaining the database.

Dr Elaine Brown, who recently retired as the Library’s local historian, became the local history convenor for the Friends of the Library in 1980. There are now 18 Friends who volunteer in the Local History section, helping to preserve the Gympie region’s heritage and maintain records.

Friends of the Gympie Regional Libraries will hold open days at Gympie Library next Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 2pm.

Gympie Times


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