BUILDING a new library in Grafton has been a hit with the public with membership now standing at 541% of where it was in March this year.
The Sir Earle Page Library and Education Centre in Pound Street, Grafton, was completed in March and opened on April 7.
In addition to the approval is has garnered from the public, it's been popular with the bean counters as well, with construction coming in $329,565.56 under the $8 million in grant money Clarence Valley Council received from the Federal Government.
At its meeting on Tuesday, Clarence Valley Council noted a report on the construction and implementation of the library and education centre.
Library staff has advised council public response to the new facility is positive. Since opening:
Patronage has more than doubled on a daily basis.
There have been more than 27,000 visits in the past two months compared with 17,464 in the same period last year.
In May/June, there was a 44.5% increase on items borrowed from the same period last year
Since opening there has been a 541.4% increase in library memberships
Reservation of items have nearly doubled from the same period as last year
60 school class groups have visited the library on tours - more than 1000 individual students
The new facility has nearly quadrupled the actual library space with the new facility providing 1982 square metres in floor area compared to 420 square metres that was available at the old facility.
The breakdown of the expenditure is:
Construction, fit out & occupation $6,272,339.86
Information & Communications Technology (Internal fit out including furniture): $200,544.60
As part of the funding agreement, Council contributed all development application costs. These costs total $22,235.43.
In addition it is estimated that over a four-year period that Council staff contributed 2416 hours to the project.