14 February 2023
Ipswich City Council’s six public library branches welcomed nearly 600,000 visitors last year, with every branch recording an increase in visitor numbers across 2022.
In the city centre, the new Ipswich Children’s Library recorded 123,575 visitors, a massive 44 per cent uptick in popularity from 2021.
“More than 40,000 families visited the Ipswich Children’s Library during the school holidays last year - that’s an average of more than 530 visitors a day,” Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said.
“It’s wonderful to see so many more residents enjoying our libraries across the region, at Redbank, Springfield, Rosewood and Ipswich Central.
“Libraries are about so much more than just borrowing books.
“From the cutting-edge technology available in our Makerspaces to children’s reading programs and thousands of reference enquiries, Ipswich’s Libraries offer an amazing range of services to our community.”
The Ipswich City Council Library Branch Services Annual Report Card 2022 was presented to the Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee on Thursday, February 9.
By total visitor, loan and new membership numbers, Springfield Central Library was the most popular, welcoming 208,989 visitors – up 17 per cent from 2021.
In the Nicholas Street Precinct, Ipswich Central Library reported a doubling in after-school attendance numbers, and a visitor number increase of 12.5 per cent.
Extended Friday opening hours for Rosewood Library were also a big hit for locals, with the library now opening at 9am instead of 12pm and recording a 21.5 per cent rise in visitor numbers across 2022.
The 2021-2022 Ipswich Libraries Survey Report, garnering the views of 1,512 respondents, also demonstrated a 98.4 per cent satisfaction rate and 15 per cent increase in the perceived importance of library services on offer.
“Last month we reopened the beautifully refurbished Redbank Plains Library, adding more floorspace, meeting rooms, a new children’s area and a larger collection,” Cr Fechner said.
“Neighbouring Redbank Plaza Library is next to be refurbished.”
By the numbers: