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Celebrate Library Lovers Day: Embrace a Life of Books

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Today is Library Lovers Day and councils in Victoria are celebrating books, libraries and the staff who help to sustain local communities with a wide range of library services and resources that contribute to our social and economic wellbeing.

With an estimated 2.2 million Victorians being members of public libraries and approximately 30 million visits paid to libraries in 2017-18, libraries have proven to be a crucial asset to healthy and thriving communities with the significant potential to make a huge impact to countless lives.

Cr Mary Lalios, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said that public libraries are changing the way we share information and bringing new meaning to the way that communities access opportunities for lifelong learning, information and recreation.

“Victorians love public libraries - they are consistently rated as one of the most popular services provided by local government and we know that libraries really do change lives. The MAV is passionate about the role public libraries play in our community and we acknowledge the efforts of our councils in Victoria making this possible with more than 271 library branches across the state.

“Councils provide around 80 per cent of the operational funding required to cover the daily running costs of libraries – from paying staff, to opening the doors, purchasing new books and providing access to computers. They also provide mobile services to remote communities, the housebound and elderly people, as well as increase social connections with clubs, workshops and many other programs,” she said.

Public Libraries Victoria President, Chris Buckingham said more people than ever before were relying on public libraries for everything from social engagement to reliable internet access.

“Libraries promote literacy, provide free access to information, encourage lifelong learning and contribute to healthy and resilient communities. We reduce isolation simply by providing a safe and welcoming space for everyone – including the most vulnerable members of our community. We provide a sense of belonging and connection for millions of Victorians,” Mr. Buckingham said.

“Library Lovers Day is a chance to reflect on the amazing free services available to everyone in our community, and a reminder that libraries need funding support to sustain services as our population grows and changes.”

Libraries Change Lives was developed to highlight the economic and social benefits of public libraries and raise awareness of the essential role of libraries in creating literate, productive and engaged communities.

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is also hosting a 200-word flash fiction story competition for participants to pen a tale about their love story with books.

Victorians are encouraged to celebrate their love for libraries using the hashtag #librarylovestories and the stories can be about any narrative that embraces love for libraries using the story prompt 'there was love to be found in the library'. All participants will be in the running for a book voucher prize.

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For more information, visit LibrariesChangeLives.org.au and www.alia.org.au/libraryloversday.

Contact Cr Mary Lalios on 0447 189 409 or MAV Communications on 9667 5547.