History of Hawkesbury Library Service

During the 19th century the Hawkesbury district was served by several Literary Institutes or School of Arts. Windsor commenced in 1857 and Richmond in 1860. Members paid a subscription fee to borrow books, and lectures were also presented.

In 1935 the Munn-Pitt Report was published and recommendations included free public library services. Four years later the Library Board was set up in NSW to provide library funding. The first public library in the Hawkesbury district was established by Windsor Municipal Council and was housed in the old School of Arts building in Thompson Square. At that time the State Government subsidy was £87 per annum, Council's contribution was £260. The Library served a population of 3,460 with one member of staff.

The first purpose built library building, was constructed by the Council in Fitzgerald Street, and was opened by the Mayor, Alderman Vic Gillespie in 1953. Later Colo Shire Council joined with Windsor to form Windsor/Colo Joint Library. A branch library was established in Richmond in the old Council Chambers in West Market Street in 1957.

By 1979 Windsor Council resolved to build a new library. This octagonal shaped building, situated on the corner of Dight and George Streets, was officially opened the following year. Substantial extensions were also made to Richmond Library in 1980.

In 1981 Colo and Windsor amalgamated to form Hawkesbury Shire Council and the Library became known as the Hawkesbury Shire Council Library Service. By 1986 the Library Service was computerised and the card catalogue removed.

In 2001 the Hawkesbury City Council approved the concept of a new library building on the Old Hospital site in Macquarie Street. A combined Library and Art Gallery building was proposed and the Deerubbin Centre was officially opened in 2005.  The Library is now known as the Hawkesbury Library Service.

The service has advanced over the years, with new collections introduced and others becoming obsolete. Technology has played an important role for both staff and borrowers. Today there over 20 PCs for customers to use, wifi is freely available and members can borrow a range of material, download magazines and books.

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