West Gippsland Libraries is a group of 12 libraries that have provided a safe place for the local community to come together and immerse themselves in literature since 1995, and with the help of a grant from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund they will be able to continue their valuable work.
More than 250 people turned out last Friday to celebrate the new books, enjoying a fun-filled family day with story times, a petting zoo, face painting, and balloon animals.
West Gippsland Libraries CEO Leanne Williams says libraries provide a range of services that many in the community might otherwise not be able to access, such as a quiet study space for students, computers with internet, and reading programs.
“One of our most popular programs is our weekly story time for children. Normally we have around 40 people come along, so to have over 250 members of the community turn out on the day was an incredible show of support that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Fonterra,” says Leanne.
“We are incredibly happy that we were able to put on a day like this for our local community to enjoy, and to bring together kids that may not have had the opportunity to attend the library before.
“The library is a great place to bring children, and with new books and special days like these we are able to show just how vital libraries are in creating a vibrant local neighbourhood,” says Leanne.
Fonterra Regional Operations Manager Gippsland Andrew Nooy says the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund aims to give a helping hand to the organisations that help create connected communities.
“We have a really tight-knit community here in Gippsland that gives us so much support, and the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund is our way of giving back.”
“We know how important it is to get kids reading from a young age, it really sets them up for life. At Fonterra, we’re incredibly proud to partner with West Gippsland Libraries and help them engage the next generation of avid readers,” says Andrew.
Since 2011, Fonterra has supported around 400 initiatives across Victoria and Tasmania that focus on bringing communities together, caring for the environment, promoting healthy lifestyles and dairy nutrition.
The Fund is open to a wide range of community projects with grants of between $500 and $5,000. Applications for the next round of grants will open early next year.