Libraries really do change lives

When the new library – officially named the Moe Service Centre and Frank Bartlett Memorial Library – opened in mid-2016, it created a wonderful splash in our little town and, indeed, the whole region, generating ripples of enthusiasm about its potential and pride in the services it provides. I wrote an article about this in 2016: Because we’re worth it.

Now, four years down the track, I can say with certainty that that the Moe library really has changed lives.

Our library really has changed lives

When the new library opened in Moe, many families who had never been members of a library before joined up and started borrowing books. Why? Because the Moe library is a beautiful place to come, because it is an ideal setting for books and the other things the library offers, and because it is ours – we, the people of Moe, feel that our library belongs to us.

Our library has a lot of meeting spaces – private and public – and plenty of room. Light streams in through the ceiling-to-floor windows, creating the feeling that you are both inside the library and outside in the streets of Moe.

Some kids meet up in the library after school to study; other kids meet to play X-box video games in the gaming room. Elderly people meet up with others to talk about the old times. People – very young, very old and all ages in-between – come into the library throughout the day to use the computers, listen to audio books, play, read books or newspapers, or just talk – to friends or strangers. And, of course, to attend the many meetings and events held at the Moe library by community groups, government or businesses.

The library is also a resource centre for meetings and events for community groups, government or businesses, along with its traditional role of offering a borrowing service for books, videos, audio books, games, journals and much, much more.

The facilities

There are plenty of meeting spaces and sitting areas around the library where you can speak quietly, or loudly as the case may be; as well as private rooms that can be booked for quiet study or private discussions. The interactive whiteboard rooms are hi-tech and, in my experience, really add value to the workshop or group when discussing or workshopping ideas, stories or poetry. If you’re holding an event, there are areas for relaxing between sessions, as well as tea, coffee, boiling water etc. and kitchen/catering facilities. And importantly, the new library is accessible to people of all abilities.

Come to visit!

If you live in the region or are passing through, and haven’t ever been to the Moe library, do come for a visit. Grab a coffee from the library’s Coffee Kart, and walk down past the bookshelves, little kids’ play area, gaming area and newspaper-reading room, to the glass-walled, sunny room at the eastern end of the  library, where you can relax in a bean-bag or armchair to drink your cuppa. If you feel like some action, check out the hive of activity that is our library – including an eating/drinking area on the south-side (facing the train tracks), the computer area, or the displays in the front foyer. Or you can simply use the library in the old-fashioned way: browse the shelves, check out the catalogue, or sit in an armchair and read a book.

Everyone is welcome to visit. And anyone can become a member, as long as you have some ID.

It is not only our library, after all. It is yours too.

More information

Note: the author is a passionate book-lover, writer, poet and editor, member of Latrobe City Libraries, and frequent visitor to the Moe library.

Edited and proofread by Dee Sansom, On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading

Image: Moe library, by Sally-Anne Watson Kane

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