South West Regional Library Service


The South-West Regional Library Service includes the New South Wales Shires of Boorowa, Harden and Young. It services a  population in excess of 18,000 and covers an area of some 7,140 square kilometres.
The Library Service is administered by a Regional Library Committee comprising two (2) elected representatives and the General Managers from each of the constituent Shires. Young Shire is the Executive Council for administrative purposes and the Young Library is the Central Library for the Region.

With an average annual circulation exceeding 73,447 items, the South West Library Service has in excess of 5860 registered borrowers. Stock levels comprise 32,168 books, 883 talking books, 647 periodicals, 289 videos, 118 DVDs, 85 CD-ROMs, 23 multi-media kits, 722 CDs and 396 audio cassettes.
Public access to the Internet is available at all Branches and a Housebound Reader service is in place for borrowers with special needs.
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Mission Statement

"The South West Regional Library Service aims to provide a high level of resources and services to meet the broad based informational, educational and recreational needs of the community served within member Councils' areas."

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General Services - books, magazines, pamphlets, cassettes (including language material), DVDs and videos available for loan.
Children's Services - children of all ages are catered for with picture books, junior fiction for the more advanced readers, junior non-fiction for information or school assignments , talking books, CDs, DVDs and video collection available for loan.
"PALS", Preschoolers and Literacy Sessions featuring stories and related activities are held each fortnight on Fridays at 10am
Mothers and babies sessions by arrangement, and school / TAFE class visits are encouraged.
Music Collection - an extensive range of music cassettes are available for loan including classical, country and western, jazz and blues, music and vocal and pop and rock.
Reference Services - assistance is provided with reference queries. The reference collection includes a range of material in hardcopy, microform and on CD-ROM for use in the Library only. This includes encyclopaedias, births, deaths and marriages information, local history material, Australian Bureau of Statistics core collection, legal information publications, local journals and newspapers.
Special Needs - people with special needs are catered for with a selection of titles in Large Print and talking books. Further material is available via the Disability Access Service at the State Library of N.S.W..
Reservations - items held by the Library Service that are out on loan or are away at another Branch can be reserved at no charge.
Inter-Library Loans - material not held in the collection can be obtained upon request from other Libraries. Charges levied by other institutions are passed on to the borrower. The Library Service is a member of the Australian Bibliographic Network and this enables rapid location of material if it is available.
Other Services - public access to the Internet, wordprocessing, microfilm / fiche reader/printer, laminating, fax, colour printing and photocopying facilities are available.

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Permanent residents and ratepayers of each of the constituent Shires of Boorowa, Harden and Young are eligible for Library membership at their Shire Library.

This membership card can then be used at any Library within the Regional Library Service. Membership is free. To become a member a registration card is completed and documentation confirming postal and residential address needs to be provided. A parent's signature is required if under 18 years of age. Children can become members at 5 years of age and when they turn 14 they are transferred to the adult section.

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Library Rules

  • Library card must be presented to borrow resources.
  • The loan period for all items is 3 weeks.
  • Limit of 30 items (incl. max. of 6 audio/visual items) per adult, conditions apply.
    Limit of 10 items (incl. max. of 4 audio/visual items) per junior member.
  • An item can be renewed once, provided that it is not on reserve for another borrower.
  • Library borrower's card must be presented to be able to borrow.
  • A replacement fee is applied for lost LIbrary Memebership card.
  • Overdue fees are charged for late return of material.

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Branch Locations & Hours Opening

Boorowa Library
Pudman Street
Boorowa, NSW, 2586
Phone: (02) 6385 3303 ; Fax: (02) 6385 3562
Mon., Wed., Fri. 3.00pm - 5.00pm, Saturday 10.00am - 12.00 noon Alternate Thurs, 9.00am - 1.00pm

Harden Library
Trinity Centre, East Street
Harden, NSW, 2587
Phone: (02) 6386 2733 ; Fax: (02) 6386 2083
Mon. - Thu. 1.30pm - 5.00pm; , Friday 10.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 5.00pm

Young Library
Lynch Street
Young, NSW, 2594
Phone: (02) 6382 1886 ; Fax: (02) 6382 1447
Mon. - Fri. 9.00am - 5.00pm, Saturday 9.30am - 12.00 noon

Should more information be required regarding the services offered by the South West Regional Library Service, the Regional Librarian, Mrs Janice Ottey, can be contacted by telephoning (02) 6382 1886.

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History of Library Service

The Library service at Young has quite a long and interesting history beginning in 1870 when a meeting was held to establish a School of Arts. The School of Arts was run by a committee and operated from rented premises. There appears to be no record of the use made of the School of Arts, but it seems to have 'died' after a few years.

The foundation stone for a Mechanics Institute was laid in May, 1875 and when it was completed it became Young's most important building. The School of Arts collection of books was acquired, newspaper subscriptions were taken out and the new reading room opened on 2 July, 1875.

This new venture was never a financial success, probably lacking public support, and was later mortgaged to the Bank of N.S.W.. In 1886, when the debt was 3,515 pounds, it was decided to ask the Municipal Council to take it over as a Town Hall and Public Library. The Mechanics Institute remained closed for a year with a meeting in December, 1887 being attended by only seven townsmen. Council was in favour of taking over, but the matter was stood over to enable the installation of electric light to be financed. In the meantime Council leased the reading room and Library. In 1888 Council decided to buy the Institute, including the half acre of land on the western side of the building.

Extensive alterations were immediately carried out and the building was enlarged and made into the Town Hall, which it remains to this day. The Governor of N.S.W., His Excellency, Lord Carrington visited Young on 11 December, 1889 and officially opened the building and at 7 p.m. he switched on the town's electricity supply.

The Town Hall was a success, but the Library attracted criticism in the local press and in July, 1900 the Young School of Arts was formed under the energetic leadership of G. S. Whiteman. Mr. Whiteman placed a room over his drapery store at the disposal of the committee free of charge for a reading room, and gave 100 pounds to the funds. The School of Arts was officially opened in August, 1900 with the Library being transferred from the Town Hall. Cards, draughts and billiards were added later. A building fund was set up and a site fronting on Lynch Street, between Burrowa and Lovell Streets was secured. Interest was not strong, but due to the efforts of G. S. Whiteman the foundation stone was eventually laid on 10 August, 1904 by the then Mayor, G. S. Whiteman, for a School of Arts building.

Drought delayed the collection of donations for the building fund and finally Mr. Whiteman gave half the cost of a building to the value of 600 pounds. The building was constructed by H. R. Blackett at a cost of 650 pounds and was opened free of debt on 11 January, 1905. It continued operation as a School of Arts until 1944 when the Public Library Act was passed.

The extension of Public Libraries throughout the country as part of the decentralisation scheme was assisted by the Government when this new Act came into being. The principal Librarian of the Public Library of N.S.W., John Metcalfe, explained the system to a meeting in Young in July, 1944. The Young Municipal Council, Burrangong Shire Council and the School of Arts committee conferred and soon afterwards Young formed one of the first Public Libraries in New South Wales under the Act. It took over the Library premises of the School of Arts which were altered to provide for the new scheme.

In New South Wales at this time individual Libraries were scattered over the inland areas. Most of them served small populations and were insufficiently funded. Regionalisation was seen as a solution to this problem with several Libraries co-operating and sharing costs. The State Library Board advocated this scheme and, with its assistance and encouragement the first Regional Library Service, the Central Murray, was begun in 1946. Then followed the Upper Murray in 1950 and Namoi in 1951. The Young Municipality and Burrangong Shire joined with Boorowa Shire, Demondrille Shire and Murrumburrah Municipality to form the South-West Regional Library Service in 1952.

The South-West Regional Library Service headquarters are still located in the old School of Arts building in Lynch Street which has been renovated over the years to add a children's Library and larger workroom. This makes it one of the few Libraries in New South Wales still housed in their original building.

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Copyright Young Shire Council 2007