Join in ... with the Friends of the Murray Bridge Library
Whether you're a book worm, social butterfly or just want to give back to the community, Gemma Priest and Sue Job invite you to get involved.
Since opening in 2012, the new Murray Bridge Library has been an asset to the community.
You may know, however, that behind the scenes, Friends of the Murray Bridge Library has been a valuable and unwavering support for the facility and community alike for years.
The library was lucky to have a Friends group that was so vocal and active, library team leader Tim Law said.
“We’re very grateful for all their support, and for all the events they organise and equipment they provide,” he said.
Murray Bridge News had a chat to secretary Gemma Priest and former president Sue Job to find out what Friends of the Murray Bridge Library is all about, and why they are so passionate about it.
What is your goal with Friends of the Murray Bridge Library?
Sue: We’re always supporting the council and library, like with events and activities, which are all free. If the library does something new, it’s often because the friends of the library trialed it and the council have seen its a good idea. For example, we sponsored the first author to visit the library, and several famous people like Callum Hann from MasterChef and Sophie Thompson from Sophie’s Patch. Now, most publishers will include Murray Bridge on authors’ book tours.
Gemma: We also raise money to improve the library space. Friends of the Murray Bridge Library purchased the vending machine for the cafe area and new plants for the computer area. We bought 10 comfy armchairs that are placed around the library, which are also used on the friends of the library movie nights every fortnight on a Thursday. Friends of the library pays for that Roadshow movie license. We also bought roller blinds for the staff and teen areas, then the council provided funding to install blinds along all the library’s river-facing windows.
What do you get out of your involvement?
Sue: My favourite part is getting stuff done and helping the community. I like being practical. South Australia is the trendsetter state for libraries in Australia. When the South Australia Company first came out to Australia from England, they brought with them their own library, which is now the Mortlock Library. To this day, the other states will look to SA to see what their libraries are doing.
Gemma: We’re always thinking about ways to help the community. Not only do we raise funds for the library but we donated $500 worth of books for zero-to-eight-year olds to Foodbank. So when people visit Foodbank, they can take a book as their one free item.
Why should people join Friends of the Murray Bridge Library?
Gemma: “It’s a good, social bunch. We all get along well, and it’s a good mix of unique personalities. What we have in common is that we love libraries and we love to read.”
Sue: People pay their council rates, so the library is theirs for them to use. And a library is not a quiet place anymore; we’re happy to have kids around. You can join the committee, and anyone can attend our second-hand book sales. The next mega book sale will be on Friday, July 1 from 10am-3pm and Saturday, July 2 from 9.30am-11am.
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