Happy 40th Birthday Rosanna Library

40thbday rosannaspeech

A copy of my speech to celebrate the 40th Birthday of Rosanna Library

Good evening everyone.

I would first like to acknowledge that today’s event is taking place on the traditional lands of the Wurrundjeri people. I wish to acknowledge them as the traditional owners and pay my respects to their Elders.

It’s great to see so many special guests and enthusiastic supporters of Rosanna Library here today to celebrate 40 great years.

Thank you too, to our hosts – Yarra Plenty Regional Library Manager of Community Engagement, Jane Grace, and Rosanna Library’s branch manager Andrea Webster.

As a member of the library board for some eight years and a former chair of the Library Board– and someone who has used libraries throughout my life – I’m committed to the future and longevity of libraries

The number of people here today is testament to the relevance and importance of libraries to individuals from all walks of life and of all ages, as well as to the community as a whole.

Congratulations to Yarra Plenty Regional Library, its staff and volunteers for providing such an outstanding service over the past 40 years.

Today, Rosanna Library is a popular and much loved part of the community and I often see people waiting eagerly outside for it to open. It has 134,000 visits a year, with 340,000 items borrowed and more than 7,300 people attending a diverse program of events.

If you haven’t been to a library for a while – although I think I’m preaching to the converted here – you’re just as likely to find people learning to play the African drum or finding out how to use eBay or Facebook, as you are to find quiet reading or a book club. And book clubs are even more popular these days!

Rosanna Library has a rich history.
It was born out of the Heidelberg Regional Library, which was formed in 1967 by the City of Heidelberg, and provided library services to the area, including Diamond Valley and Eltham Shires.
In that same year, Chief Librarian Peter Stansfield began lobbying Heidelberg Council for a new library and while it gave ‘in principle’ approval, it took six years for plans to be drawn up and the building to be constructed.
The land upon which we are standing was bought some years before 1967. Final plans for the library were approved in 1971 after changes were made including raising the height of the library to prevent flooding.
The library was officially opened in 1973 by the then Minister for Local Government, Mr Hunt.

It was the first branch library built by the Heidelberg Regional Library service and was built at a cost of $140,000, excluding the cost of the land.
I’m sure you will agree that it was money well spent and an investment, which is still providing a valuable return to the community.
Rosanna Library has stood the test of time and remains a much-loved and well used community hub, as well as becoming an icon in the local area.

Happy 40th Birthday Rosanna Library!  May you continue to enjoy good health and good friends well into the future and celebrate many more birthdays.

Like us all, throughout your life you have changed and reinvented yourself to remain as relevant today as you were in 1973 and I’m sure will continue to be to generations to come. Your constant has been your strength and resolve in helping nurture and sustain a love of reading, writing and learning.


Before the celebrations continue, I have an exciting announcement

Last year Banyule Council approved the initial phase of a new Library for Ivanhoe, $100,000 for initial feasibility design drawings.
This year Banyule Council in its recent budget have approved funding of $350,000 to undertake detail design drawings for Ivanhoe Library.