I'm hoping to write this post before we pop-off to the local school, to vote in our State elections today. We've often had days backing up lately because they're filled with a multitude of tasks. But it's great when you're going about your business, and then some good news is shared out of the blue!
Such was the day when we visited the local library (shopping and blood bank too). Do you visit your local library? Do you know all the public resources made available for local groups?
Dave is known at our public library, as the "Doctor Who" guy, LOL. He's the guy that comes in every two months, to dress one of the rooms for our bimonthly meetings. Meetings are held on a Saturday, but he goes in Friday afternoon, to set up a giant television we hire just for the meetings. The librarians have been great, trying to accommodate our groups needs. But we're not the only group which uses these public rooms in the library. There is also a Chess Club and many different ethnic languages clubs.
We have been paying for the hire of the television equipment since David set-up the group, with the help of member contributions. We've always been out of pocket ourselves however. So much so, that we even contemplated buying a television and donating it to the library - because at nearly $90 a pop for hiring, we were getting close to spending as much as buying a new TV.
We stopped into the library recently because Dave had to change over the new meetings flyers, for people to collect at the librarian counter. Plus we had to borrow some books. As we were checking our books through however, a nice librarian recognised Dave straight away, and had to share the good news. The public library had purchased a television and installed it in the room for public use!!
We were so incredibly chuffed!! This meant no more out of pocket expenses for us, or those members who were able to chip in. No more overheads for our group! It is now completely free public use of public equipment. The library had taken on board our needs as a local group (and the needs of others also using the library) and helped reduce our overheads. It's such a relief to know our local library can help to bridge the gap.
The other good news is that the local library (Toowoomba) will be getting a new building soon. The local Council currently rents a building from a private entrepreneur, but plans are now in the pipeline to build a public, Council owned building for our library. The librarians have asked for contributions from Dave to represent our local group, in identifying how the library can meet our needs in the new building. But Dave isn't the only person they are consulting. Those who head other groups regularly meeting at the library, are being asked for their contributions too.
Maybe in five years time (hopefully sooner) we will have a new public library, which we (and our members) have helped to shape. We also speak regularly to the not-for-profit group, called "Friends of the Library", who sell library books which have been taken off the shelves. They then use those funds to purchase new books. We purchased a few of their raffle tickets recently, for their Easter basket giveaway. Knowing how we were trying to scrape money together to meet the costs of our local group, we were happy to support Friends of the Library.
If you live in or near Toowoomba, please stop into the local library and buy a ticket. I think it was $1 per ticket or 3 for $2. It all goes towards ensuring your local library has the books you want to read. But it's so much more than exchanging money. The Friends of the Library, and all the public librarians are generally just lovely people to talk to. Whenever we've had a question, someone has always taken the time to answer it. If they cannot answer it, they make enquiries and get back to us. It's a wonderful way to find out about local resources, and group activities especially.
If you're wondering what you will do with your weekends, check into your local library to see if there are groups meeting there. We are The Doctor Who Club of Australia, Toowoomba local Group. We also know of the Toowoomba Chess Club who meets at the local library regularly too. If you're looking for ethnic contact with your own cultural background, you may find a group meeting at the local library. And if you ever dream of starting your own group, contact your local library to see if they can offer you public space to meet.
Now it's time to go and vote!