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Hip, hip, hooray!

28 Apr 2015

Hip, hip, hooray! Image

Docklands’ own Library at the Dock celebrates its first birthday this month.

May 31 will mark 365 days since the library opened its doors to the Docklands community.

And in that time the library has well and truly become a key part of the neighbourhood.

According to City of Melbourne councillor Jackie Watts the library is “clearly on the mark”.

“It’s a terrific piece of architecture and a wonderful concept, but you have to think ‘is this going to work? Is it right for this particular stage in the development of Docklands?” Cr Watts said.

“But the numbers certainly speak for themselves.”

Throughout its first year of operation 123,000 people have visited the library and 15,000 people have attended library events.

“I’m an ex-librarian myself and I can tell you now that if feels really good to work in a place that’s buzzing. If you’re going to run a public-service like this what you want is users,” Cr Watts said.

Since opening, 4000 new members have signed up at the Library at the Dock, a third of who are Docklands residents, while the remainder live elsewhere.

“We are a capital city, so one would expect that our facilities would have a wider usage,” Cr Watts said. “It’s a great to see the library is fulfilling this role.”

In addition, 161,0180 books have been borrowed from the library during its first year.

According to Cr Watts, library staff reported a number of highlights from the library’s first year including the children’s program, young writers master classes and a high-level of visitation from Myer, ANZ and Ericson staff.

For Cr Watts personally, one of the highlights from the past year was an exhibition of the work of an artist from Tianjin, one of City of Melbourne’s sister cities.

She also enjoyed bringing her four grandchildren to visit the library during the school holidays.

“At first I couldn’t get them out of the playground but then I couldn’t get them out of the library,” Cr Watts said.

She said the green space Buluk Park provided was also becoming a very important part of Docklands.

Overall, Cr Watts said one year down the track, the Library at the Dock was delivering everything the council had expected it to.

“I think it feels good to have something like this in your neighbourhood,” Cr Watts said.

“It’s definitely an iconic piece of Docklands.”

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