Council libraries have long provided critical community hubs for families.
South Australians are lucky to have access to a generous network of more than 140 local libraries, that support connections and learning in all our diverse communities.
While libraries have always provided valuable services to children and families, the range of offerings and activities available has changed and expanded significantly over time.
Regardless of age, interest or background, these days everyone can find something new to discover at their local library.
Many people will have fond memories of visiting their local library as a child, and being captivated by a Storytime session or exhilarated by the chance to take home a borrowed toy.
These experiences, along with access to a wide range of literacy materials, are recognized as absolutely essential for children’s early growth and development.
Library programs are also treasured by many families for the free entertainment options they provide for children, including art and craft and nature play sessions, often as part of school holiday programs.
Families can combine a trip to their library for some new books and toys with a play on the playground and an ice cream from the local café – a fantastic way to get kids out of the house and embed learning as part of their every day.
Of course many people will associate a visit to the library with schooling and studying, and remember their (now very dated!) reliance on hard copy materials.
Nowadays, through the OneCard membership network, students can access resources from anywhere in the State including by borrowing a book at one library and returning it to another.
Todays’ kids will also know they can read or listen to more than 50,000 eBook and Audiobook titles, or download magazines for free through their iPad or smartphone.
Libraries also offer access to computers, printers, scanners and free WiFi, which children and young people can use for studying, job hunting or to pursue a technology-based hobby.
And while our reading habits and areas of interest change significantly as we grow older, so do our social networks.
Many young adults only realise the importance of being connected to their local community after becoming parents, and library programs provide a great opportunity for new parents to find their tribe!
Libraries offer a wide range of programs that can help people make new friends and connections, such as book clubs, art and craft sessions, community gardens and digital literacy programs.
From the very young, to the very not-so-young, libraries make sure everyone has access to resources, information and support. We think that makes libraries vital to securing a bright future for our kids, and to achieving equitable and inclusive communities.
So if you haven’t visited your local library lately, find a reason to squeeze it into your schedule!
You can find your nearest local library right here
You’ll find that whatever your age, interest or background, there’s something new to discover and share at your local library.