For those of us who love books there is nothing to beat a well-run library, and it was my pleasure last week to be a guest of the new Grafton Library, at the invitation of Katrina Shillam and Cathy Ylias. They asked me to speak about my current book Above The Fold and what it was like being a writer from the age of seventeen, having worked in radio and television, as well as writing novels. It was a large and enthusiastic audience, and the questions that followed, always a barometer of how the evening has gone, were rewarding. They were many and varied, and I enjoyed my visit and particularly the Q & A session immensely.
Katrina and Cathy are wonderfully enthusiastic and proud of their library, as they deserve to be. It was opened just a year ago, on April the 7th, 2014, and specifically designed for convenience and comfort. Replacing the previous library of 420 square metres, this one is four times as large and has a wide range of computers, increased internet/PC access, free WIFI, Braille signage, dedicated areas for children, teens and adults, and collaborative study rooms. The day I visited was hot outside, but comfortable inside with its monitoring of space temperature, carbon dioxide and humidity levels. The Sir Earl Page Library and Education Centre, its full name in memory of the long serving leader of the Country Party and for a brief period caretaker Prime Minister, is a large and stylish glass enclosed building in the heart of a thriving town, and its design has achieved a 4 star green rating.
It is an asset to Grafton and the Clarence Valley Council.