ALBURY library museum has revolutionised the reading and borrowing habits of the city in the past year.
More children are borrowing more books, and the adults are following them.
As the institution celebrates its first birthday tomorrow, staff are reporting “a phenomenal increase across a range of services”.
Electronic counters show about 226,000 people have passed through its doors in the year — 80,000 of them also visiting the exhibitions area.
Cultural programs team leader Carina Clement said yesterday the numbers were extraordinary considering the former museum at the Turks Head had 9000 visitors a year.
Library loans have increased 51 per cent compared to the old city library but this may be partly due to the introduction of a DVD lending service and more music CDs becoming available.
With 50,000 books, magazines and recorded items available at any one time, total loans reached 287,000 during the past 12 months.
Ms Clement said the library museum had attracted 11,000 new members since July last year and it now had about 30,000 registered users who were also part of Upper Murray Regional Library.
About 50,000 “technology users” have been recorded in the Infozone.
The library museum has 20 personal computers available for free use compared to four to six in the old library.
“They are limited to one hour’s use but there is rarely one free,” Ms Clement said.
A birthday cake will be cut tomorrow when the Write Around The Murray Festival is launched at 4.30pm.
The birthday ceremony will include presentations to the winners of several short story competitions.