SANDRA Maynes remembers almost every book that lined the shelves of the Hervey Bay Library back in 1978.

At the time, she was the first and only librarian at the building when it opened 40 years ago.

Ms Maynes was one of the returning guests who attended the library's 40th birthday on Wednesday, celebrating its growth and ongoing importance to the Hervey Bay community.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Hervey Bay Library are (L) Sandra Maynes (first librarian), Tara Webb (current librarian) and former librarians Cathie McNamara and Linda Alexander.
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Hervey Bay Library are (L) Sandra Maynes (first librarian), Tara Webb (current librarian) and former librarians Cathie McNamara and Linda Alexander. Alistair Brightman

After stints at various libraries in Townsville, including at the CSIRO and Teacher's Library, she decided to make the drive down to Hervey Bay for a change of pace.

"The community was really happy with it, as Maryborough only had the School of Arts Library at the time," Ms Maynes said.

"The books used to be stored up in the old council chambers, and we had to move a lot of them down to the new building."

 

LIBRARY'S 40TH BIRTHDAY: Tara Webb (current librarian) and Sandra Maynes (first librarian) celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Hervey Bay Library with a cake cutting.
LIBRARY'S 40TH BIRTHDAY: Tara Webb (current librarian) and Sandra Maynes (first librarian) celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Hervey Bay Library with a cake cutting. Alistair Brightman

Ms Maynes said it was amazing to see the library still played an important role in the community despite how much it had changed over the years.

Since the 1970s, it has grown from more than 4000 books to over 100,000.

Today, it boasts about 22,609 subscribers compared to the 69 that started through the doors.

"The library helps with the development of the community and the individual, and still plays a central role with the outreach and digital course program," she said.

Arts and culture councillor David Lewis said the library wasn't just for reading and borrowing books, but a space for people to meet and expand their information sources.

"It's a centre of learning about life, and it's been really important and well utilised over the years," Cr Lewis said.

"It will continue to have a role today and evolve as the staff look at new services to the community."



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