by Jonno Colfs
WITH the explosion of the internet and social media, libraries had to adapt to become more than rows of dusty books - they had to become complete resource hubs.
Warwick Library is no different and is constantly evolving to meet the demands of tech-savvy and information-hungry users.
Despite the myriad resources and services on offer, many Southern Downs residents really didn't know what their library was about, according to councillor Sheryl Windle.
"The traditional library has changed, most of all in the fact that it's now all available at your fingertips,” she said.
Librarian Marianne Potter said the amount of online resources the library offered had been growing steadily in the past few years.
"We're adding more and more resources all the time,” she said.
"It's great for people who don't get to town often.”
Anyone with a membership card can access a huge amount of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazine and online training courses from the comfort of their own homes.
The library offers free wi-fi and computer use for members and visitors, free tea and coffee, access to a large range of newspapers, CDs, DVDs, even jigsaws as well as meeting rooms, which can be hired for use by businesses and community groups.
Mrs Potter said they often saw an influx of people using the computer services around QTAC and tax times.
"There's always uni students and distance education students working away in here,” she said.
"Every Thursday we have a storytime at 10.30am, we read a story, sing some songs and do some craft with the kids and their mums.”
Cr Windle said the Southern Downs mobile library service was also set for an upgrade.
"In the recent budget we allocated funds to extend the reach of the service,” she said.
Our libraries by the numbers
LIBRARIES across the Southern Downs regions service 13,385 members and catered to more than 170,000 visitors in the past year.
Also in that time, 228,000 items were loaned from a collection of over 100,000 books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and more.
Each year over 2500 children from the region take part in activities run by the libraries and meeting rooms at the Warwick, Stanthorpe and Allora site are used daily by businesses and community groups.
Online, members can access books, audiobooks, magazines and graphic novels as well as 80 language courses, more than 500 educational courses, 6000 technology training tutorials, book reviews and animated talking picture books.