They are used to letters of love. And this Valentine’s Day [February 14] the librarians of the Blue Mountains are offering a reward for those who send a bit of love to their popular institution.
The best love letter to the library at every library branch – even to the book express service at the train stations of Katoomba and Springwood – will win a pack of “surprise books” for adults or children. Each entry will earn a free bookmark and heart-shaped chocolate.
Theresa Lock, the reference and marketing librarian, said the libraries of the Mountains had been marking Library Lovers’ Day for more than a decade. It’s a day first set up by the Australian Library and Information Association.
“We do something a little different each year,” Ms Lock said about the occasion.
“We’ve had blind date with a book … different things.”
Ms Lock said there was plenty of appreciation for the local public libraries and the services they provide giving quality information, supporting learning and improving the information needs of the local community.
“We often get letters and notes and feedback through the council. We’ve called it a love letter to your library for Library Lovers Day,” she added.
And the stats don’t lie.
Last year an astonishing 533,143 items were borrowed from the Mountains’ local libraries and membership grew to include an additional 2866 members, taking the total to 41,384 members.
Last year those members were lucky enough to see another 14,638 items added to the collection.
Blue Mountains beats the state average for active community members – with 52 per cent of the Mountains community an active library member, compared to the state average of 41 per cent.
Leisa Radford, the Upper Mountains Library Coordinator, said no-one ever felt lonely in a library with great books and the community around.
“There is something very comfortable about books,” Ms Radford, a second generation librarian said. “You’re never alone when you walk into a library, with so many other readers.”
Katoomba had even proved a romantic spot for one couple who met along the book shelves and took their wedding photos there last year.
“They were lovely and a little kooky,” said Ms Locke. “They took photos by the stacks. There are very individual ways that people value the place and the collection.”
Katoomba Library was a romantic spot for one couple who met along the book shelves and took their wedding photos there.
The love letter to your library competition will be open for a month, with entries closing on March 14. For details go to your local branch. Best entries will be publicly displayed but writers can remain anonymous via their library card number.