Last week Bellingen Shire Council’s General Manager, Liz Jeremy was joined by Council and library staff as well as community members for an afternoon tea to recognise the outstanding contribution made by retiring Dorrigo Librarian, Louise Bravery.
During her 30 years as Librarian, Louise has played a major role in growing the library from the now Tourist Information Centre to become a major community hub in a dedicated stand alone building. Louise took the service from card catalogues and wheelbarrowing books to computers, wifi, internet, eresources and community meeting spaces.
Louise has overseen a large number of activities at the library including School holiday programs such as readings and craft, Book Week, school visits, a Health and Fitness Program run by Community Nurse Jenny Preece, author visits and the Baby Bounce program for young/new mothers and their children.
The library is also a ‘shop front’ for Council services on the plateau including Dog Registration, Concession Cards and a weekly consultation service by a Health and Building Surveyor. Students regularly use the library not only for further studies and homework, but also for recreation and Internet access.
The library is also the venue for Book Club, the ABC Open program, Training Workshops and the collection of local written and photographic materials (current and historical); and articles on the Gumbaynggirr people. In recent years a Meeting Room has been added and public wi-fi has been a very popular addition.
Many additional services and opportunities opened up for the Dorrigo community including the Dorrigo Seed Savers and the Dorrigo Men’s Shed setting up a beautiful seed display in the Library. In the early 1990s Louise developed the Local Studies and Aboriginal Studies collections in response to local enquiries.
In appreciation of her contribution to the community a small group of ABC Open contributors made a film about her for the ‘Unsung’ project. The film paid tribute to Louise’s dedication to a range of community arts events, her ability to link people together and her compassion and caring for the community.
General Manager, Liz Jeremy presented Louise with a bouquet of flowers and gifts and thanked her for outstanding contribution to the library over the 30 years. Being a Librarian in a small town centre means taking on many roles including that of a friend, confidant and sometimes mediator and on behalf of the Dorrigo community I thank you for your service”.