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Mt Barker Community Library given fresh look after being ‘loved to death’

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Irene Marshall, Christina Jones, Lovilen Edwards and Nicole Selesnew. Mt Barker Community Library reopened after it was closed two weeks as part of a refurbishment.
Camera IconIrene Marshall, Christina Jones, Lovilen Edwards and Nicole Selesnew. Mt Barker Community Library reopened after it was closed two weeks as part of a refurbishment. Credit: Shire of Plantagenet

A refreshed Mt Barker Community Library reopened its doors at the end of last week after being closed for a fortnight.

The refurbishment, which had been allocated almost $33,000 by the Shire of Plantagenet, involved new carpets being laid, walls painted and shelving rearranged.

Library and information services co-ordinator Nicole Selesnew said the library had been looking “loved to death” before the works.

“Given it’s such an active space there were scuffs on the walls, the carpet was worn and there was just general wear and tear,” she said.

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“We also took the opportunity to repurpose our existing shelving to add wheels so we’ve got more flexibility and we’ve changed things around to create more display areas because people shop for books with their eyes.”

Ms Selesnew said it took library staff two days to pack away about 12,000 library items into boxes, then tradespeople moved in for a week prior to things being unpacked again.

“What we did as we unpacked was we reclassified all of our adult fiction and large print,” she said.

“Now rather than just the whole lot being alphabetical, we’ve grouped all the murder mystery and crime into one area and all the romance into one area, and so on.

“That took us a heck of a long time, we literally had to read the back of all the books.

“We discovered we’ve got a lot of books on cats and quite a few Amish romances — we kept looking at them going ‘really?’”

Shire chief executive Cameron Woods said library services scored a 98 per cent positive rating in the latest community scorecard, from more than 500 respondents.

“On this basis, the decision for council to reinvest into this service was an obvious one,” he said.

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