Monday, 12 October 2009

Doveton Library - the early years

Doveton Library began in the mid 1960s as a book exchange operating between members of the Doveton Presbyterian Church. The collection was held in the house where the Deaconess lived. The Friends of Doveton Library still have a copy of the catalogue of this Library. As you might imagine, there were many books of a religious nature for both adults and children, but there was also a collection of general books and a collection of books for Christian education. The list below is from the Religious books collection.

In 1967 a Community meeting was held to establish the Doveton Library, which would be run by a volunteer Committee, the Doveton Library Committee. The books were obtained from donations, from the Shire of Berwick, local businesses such as Heinz and General Motors Holden and community groups such as Rotary and the Presbyterian Church. The new Library was opened in part of the Methodist Church Hall by Cr Rynehart, with Mrs Patricia Adams as the Committee's first President. There was a stock of 1,427 Children’s books and 1,273 Adult books and 650 subscribers, who could borrow books a cost of five cents for adults and two cents for children. The Library was staffed by volunteers who run the service in a committed and professional manner.

Two long serving Doveton Library staff members. Joan Finlay on the left and Betty Fairbrother on the right. Mrs Fairbrother had been involved in the Doveton Library since the Book exchange days. This photograph was taken in the 1970s at the Kidd Road premises.

In 1969, the Shire of Berwick rented the Presbyterian Church Hall, in Ti Tree Drive, to accommodate the Library. In 1971 The Dandenong Valley Regional Library Service was established to provide Library Services for the Shire of Berwick, Shire of Cranbourne, City of Dandenong and City of Springvale. The Doveton Library became the second branch of the DVRLS on March 1 1973, after the Doveton Library Committee donated their book stock and other assets to them.

148 Kidd Road, Doveton

By this time the Library had moved into a house at 148 Kidd Road. The plans we have for this building (see below) are labelled “proposed layout, temporary premises” and dated January 25 1972. The Kidd Road location proved to be slightly more than temporary, as the Library was there for ten years.

The proposed layout of the temporary premises of the Library at Kidd Road, dated January 25, 1972.

The Council purchased an old service station at Autumn Place and this was converted into a Library and officially opened August 12 1983, by Cr Syd Pargeter, Mayor of Berwick. The continuous provision of Library Services to the residents of Doveton for the past forty five years is a testament to the hard work, community agitation and community support of Doveton residents. The volunteer spirit is still alive and well in Doveton as the Library has a supportive and resourceful Friends of Doveton Library group, who have been providing resources for the Doveton Library since April 1984.

The plan, above, comes from a brochure produced by the City of Berwick to commemorate the opening of the Doveton Library in Autumn Place. The cost of the land was $82,000, the building was $108,000, Furniture and Fittings $15,300 and Landscaping etc was $11,5000. The two photographs, below, were taken at the Opening on August 12, 1983.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures & story. Any chance you have any more pictures of early Doveton such as the 1980's, 1990's etc? Thanks! Id love to see more pictures of Doveton during these times... Specifically the schools & autumn place shopping centre but anything is a bonus.