Grafton's new library attracting hundreds of people a day
READERS have embraced the new Grafton library wholeheartedly, judging by the latest figures which show a staggering surge in new card holders.
Since the library opened five weeks ago 837 new members have signed up and borrowed items, compared to 85 during the same period last year.
Regional librarian Kathryn Breward said with school holidays starting a week after the official opening, the first few weeks were hectic.
"We scraped through, but it was a real whirlwind introduction to the library," she said.
"I think everyone from Grafton came to visit."
"Things have settled down a bit now, but usage is still well over what was in the old building."
At the Prince St library, librarians would see 300-400 people walk through the doors each day.
The new facility attracts an average, well above 600.
And the more people visit, the more books get borrowed.
Mrs Breward said an average library had about 20% stock borrowed out at any one time, households across the Clarence Valley have had an average 33% of Grafton library's stock at any one time.
Wi-fi usage has also increased.
"All these additional people that have come to sign up and borrowed; they've emptied the shelves," she said.
"You can tell that there's not the same stock on the shelves as when we moved in. "If those levels continue it just means we can get more stock."
Describing the new location as a breath of fresh air, Mrs Breward said the staff was enjoying the new location
"(The new library) is a showpiece for the whole region, and I'm not biased," she laughed.
"It's far more noticeable here and there are more spaces in this building for people to sit here and use their own devices.
"I'm just very proud of the space that we've achieved."