Georges River Libraries

Like us, we're sure you missed strolling amongst the shelves or cozying up in a reading nook at your local library. With libraries beginning to welcome back their local bookworms, Sydney Writers' Festival speaks to the people behind the books at libraries across NSW about what they love about libraries, their favourite reads and what surprises come their way. 

This edition, we speak to the Programs Team at Georges River Libraries

What do you love most about your library or libraries in general?  

I love how our library evolves to remain current and relevant with society's changing needs. Libraries – and the services and ethos that they were built upon – still hold value today. 

What purpose do you feel the library serves in your community?

The Georges River Libraries provide a safe space for the community to study, be creative, belong to a community and learn new experiences. Our library can open people's minds to new and exciting possibilities, without having to purchase expensive equipment because members can borrow them through our Library of Things and digital tool collections. I believe our libraries are the heart of the community. 

What is the most surprising thing about your job?

The most surprising thing about my job is the feedback I receive from our community on how much our programs inspire and delight families and especially their impact as morale boosters during lockdown.

I believe our libraries are the heart of the community.

What children’s or YA book do you think adults should borrow?

There are too many to name! However, I recently read The Boy From the Mish by Gary Lonesborough and I highly recommend it. It’s really important (for children, young people and adults) to read books about diverse experiences so we can see into and learn about other people’s worlds and life experiences.

What is your favourite book from the last year?

2020 was a year of tribulations, trials and triumphs. We laughed, we cried and we had professional meetings in our pyjamas!

Although, 2020 was a year that we had never experienced before, the year of 2019 brought its own set of challenges too. The fires and floods were ones straight out of the books and indeed many a book was written about this time… The one that really struck me as an ode to Australia, the country, the landscape and the people that make the country what it is was To My Country.

To My Country is a poetic response to the bushfires, the people and the land, written by Aussie actor (and expat) Ben Lawson (The Good Place, Billions) and illustrated by esteemed Australian illustrator Bruce Whatley (Diary of a Wombat).

This book combines Ben’s words with the stunning illustrations by Bruce in a love letter of some sorts, perhaps not to a current lover, or past love, but to an everlasting, ever-present, ever-stalwart and ever-true love, one that stays with you, whether you live in Australia or have moved overseas and love her from afar.

And now, more than ever, we need to love our country, love our neighbours and love those who make sure that we can have the best life possible for now and generations to come.    

Any advice on getting through lockdown? 

Read. Discover resources at public libraries that you never thought existed. Access online events through your public library. Read. Experience life through new eyes by watching documentaries and short films. Look after you first. Watch or read something new and out of your comfort zone. Check in on neighbours via a note in the letterbox. Cook something new. Create something exciting. Learn a language. 

This lockdown may be hard but you are stronger and your local communities are always there to lend a helping hand.

Keep safe. Keep well and we will see you back at the library very, very soon!  

And now, more than ever, we need to love our country, love our neighbours and love those who make sure that we can have the best life possible for now and generations to come.