Ten days ago, back during near normality, I was delighted to launch the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Port Macquarie Library.
Costing $3.2 million in 2000, the new library in Grant Street was a huge investment by council and quite controversial in moving the library from a CBD location to next to Port pool.
Some trivia. Ever noticed that the library roof is shaped like an open book? And inside the ceiling is various levels for efficient sound containment inside.
And interestingly, the sculpture outside on Gordon Street is entitled Device for Locating Oneself in the Universe. Very apt for a place of story and learning.
Under management of Robyn Hardman, and now Jim McGuire, the new library went from strength-to-strength, offering so much more than just books, especially the high tech Imaginarium.
Since 2000, eight million borrowers have visited, and anyone who travelled through Grant Street could see the enormous popularity of the Port library - and Wauchope and Laurieton libraries as well.
Whoever said books would die with the birth of electronic options was quite wrong.
Until this week that is, because sadly all libraries are now temporarily closed due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
Good news though, because our local libraries have a fantastic electronic collection to help everyone stay inspired and connected through these difficult times.
The e-Library program links are available through the library newsletter for existing subscribers, but for help accessing services please email email@example.com or visit www.mnclibrary.org.au
There you will find a great 24/7 offering of e-books, magazines, music, movies, and a terrific collection of on-line children's activities. Take a look.
The effects of widespread shutdown of business and society is taking effect, but these are early days.
Be sensible folks, stay safe, shop local and above all be courteous to each other. We are all in this together.
Cr Intemann's stories from a civic heart are her opinions and not necessarily council's.