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Author Archives: Jan@CWL

Jenny King interviewed by Angela Owens

Jenny King interviewed by Angela Owens

This morning Central West Libraries joined with public libraries across the state to mark 75 since the passing of the NSW Library Act 1939. Before you yawn and say ‘so what’ let us tell you why this is such an important date.

The passing of the Act marked the birth of free public libraries in NSW. Before that time existing libraries were ‘subscription’ libraries attached to places like Mechanics Institutes and School of Arts. The Act was supported by both sides of politics, and was passed two months after the outbreak of WWII, which shows just how important the establishment of free public library services was to the people of NSW.  Subsequently all Australian states followed the lead of NSW.

To celebrate most branches of Central West Libraries hosted a morning tea (Canowindra isn’t open on Mondays so they’ll be having an afternoon tea tomorrow to coincide with the Melbourne Cup). In Orange we were also fortunate to have the ABC Central West broadcast from our information desk with presenter Angela Owens interviewing a range of people.


One of our guests was Orange resident Jenny King. As Jennifer Caro she joined Orange City Library on the day it opened in November 1956. What’s more she can still remember the first book she borrowed from the Library (The Valley of Adventure by Enid Blyton). We were delighted to be able to show Jenny an article from the Central Western Daily 24 August 1957 where she is photographed borrowing books at the beginning of the school holidays – goes to prove that the Library indeed has all the answers!



Holiday fun in Cowra

Only a few more days before school holidays will be in full swing across the Central West.

Cowra Library is running a LEGO colouring-in competition with entries to be displayed in the Library. The winners will receive free tickets to the LEGO movie being screened in the Cowra Civic Centre. All entries need to be received by Wednesday 2 July.

The Library also has a special school holiday story time session from 11 am till approximately midday on Thursday 3 July for all ages. The books being presented  will be selected from thos written and illusterated by Jeannie Bakers and the activity will be making a fabric collage wall picture plus individual ones for  children to take home.

For further information, or to book contact Cowra Library on 63402180.


Halocaust 1


Yesterday we were excited to receive a small booklet called The Library Flame. Created by Bournemouth Libraries in Dorset, UK, it was conceived as part of the Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 and reflects this year’s theme of ‘Journeys’. This little book was sent out to the world of public libraries with a request for each library to add its stamp and pass it on. Read more…

Summer reading club 2014 010

Now she's here, then she's gone!

Children attending the Cowra Library Summer Reading Club event today had a surprise visit from Freeda the Reader. Assumed missing and last seen fishing off the low level bridge in Cowra, it was a delight for the eager readers of Cowra to discover Freeda in  their Library. But as quickly as she appeared, she disappeared again and no amount of Investigative work could  detect when Freeda had left the building. It was decided she must have headed back to the river bank to seek shade and refreshment in the cool waters of the Lachlan River.

Keep looking for further sightings of Freeda and if you haven’t already taken part in the Summer Reading Club it’s not too late to visit your local Library and borrow some mystery books or go to the website at summerreadingclub.org.au and also keep track of Freeda on this blog.

Lizzie & Mirri

We Salute You Lizzie


Lizzie & Mirri

Bright, bubbly with an infectious laugh and a wicked sense of humour are the words the Library staff chose to describe Orange City Librarian Elizabeth Barry who is retiring today after 28 years with Central West Libraries. They’d also add loyal, supportive, creative and most importantly friend.

Elizabeth (or Lizzie as she’s usually referred to by staff) first came to work at our Library in 1985 after a rich career that included time in her home state of Tasmania, England and Zimbabwe. Her arrival coincided with the move of the Library from the old building in McNamara Street to our current premises so she became intimately involved with the collections at an early date as she helped to move them across Byng Street.

16 December 1985 as Orange City Library prepares to open in its new premises.

16 December 1985 as Orange City Library prepares to open in its new premises.

In her time at the Library Lizzie worked in most areas of our organisation, and this gave her a strong insight into how things worked.  She could always be relied upon to use this, together with her great organisational skills to see how we could do things in a more effective way. She was also tremendously supportive of other staff, mentoring them and ensuring they were part of the team. Lizzie always went the extra mile and would never ask anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself.

Lizzie was always open to challenges and was forever looking to improve the services we offered and develop new offerings. Among the many things she instigated she had a particularly soft spot for Baby Rhyme and Read and Music for Little Ears.

Lizzie reading on ABC Central West as part of Library Week.

Lizzie reading on ABC Central West as part of Library Week.

At work Lizzie was a bit like a duck, calm on the surface while the feet were paddling away underneath. The sense of control was particularly reassuring in times of stress when she’d remind us that we could indeed do it! And ‘do it’ we did whether it was organising book launches with 500 guests or surviving a system upgrade.

We have great memories of our time working together. Many of them involve food (not surprising as Lizzie’s reputation as a cook is legendary) but all of them involve a sense of fun and companionship.

Thank you Elizabeth Anne Barry for 28 fantastic years, you leave big shoes to fill.

Central West Libraries Staff.