Story time joy as new Gracemere library opens
SINGING and story time were the order of the day as parents and children celebrated Gracemere's latest addition.
Gracemere mother of three Jacqui Pitts was one of the dozens of parents who filled the former council chambers for the first story time.
The former Fitzroy Council building in Ranger St was abuzz this morning as locals checked out the new space.
Jacqui's son Baxter, 3, joined in the family-friendly activities and explored the new children's spaces.
Jacqui said it will be convenient for her family to finally have a local library.
"We usually use the library once a week so it will be nice to have it out here,” she said.
The open-plan facility, which includes youth and children's spaces and a virtual reality room, was met with praise.
"It looks like a great facility so we'll all have fun using it,” Jacqui said.
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said the library was a long-awaited addition to Gracemere.
There have been numerous attempts to open a library in Gracemere.
There were attempts in 2003 and in 2008 before Fitzroy Shire amalgamated with Rockhampton.
At amalgamation in 2008, the Fitzroy Shire Council was the only one in Queensland without a library.
"This was a must-have and the response from the community here today is almost of desperation and their delight at this facility,” she said.
"This building may have been and served well as council chambers but it makes a perfect library,” she said.
It was a long road to obtaining a library in Gracemere.
"The library was ours; we were not able to secure grants for this; we already had the building,” she said.
"This has been funded by the ratepayers for us to provide a proper level of service to the Gracemere community,” she added.
Councillor Ellen Smith said the first lot of funding for the facility was allocated about two years ago, but the growing population in Gracemere made the investment a necessity.
"We've certainly got the population to warrant spending this amount of money on a beautiful library,” she said.
"It's lovely and spacious, plenty of room to move around.
"We've got some interactive book reading here that they don't have in Rockhampton.”
Although some staff were relocated from the former council offices, there is a customer service counter within the library.