Empowering Rural Australia: 78 Country Libraries Receive Vital Grants through LBW Trust
In a heartwarming display of community collaboration and support, 78 country libraries scattered across regional, rural, and remote Australia have been awarded much-needed funding through the LBW Trust's 2023 National Backyard Cricket (NBYC) campaign. This initiative, made possible by the joint efforts of the LBW Trust, Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA), and retailer Harvey Norman, aims to bolster these essential centres of knowledge and learning in underserved regions. With a total grant of $110,126, these libraries now have the means to launch a diverse range of projects that will enrich the lives of their communities.
A Triumph of Community Spirit
The NBYC campaign is a unique amalgamation of two beloved Australian passions: cricket and community support. Marek Ristwej, Chair of NBYC, expressed his delight at the success of the campaign.
"Backyard cricket holds a special place in Australia, and it is wonderful to be able to combine our love of cricket with supporting country libraries."
The funding for this remarkable endeavour was made possible by the generous contributions of individuals who participated in the 2022/2023 NBYC events, along with the invaluable support from Harvey Norman and dedicated LBW Trust supporters. Thanks to this overwhelming show of community spirit, all 78 library applicants have been awarded grants, enabling them to breathe new life into their services and resources.
A Boon for Rural Libraries
Jack Goodman, President of FOLA, emphasized the significance of country libraries as centres of community and knowledge-sharing.
"Country libraries are at the heart of the community, providing havens where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to share ideas, learn new skills, and connect with each other."
Often facing financial constraints, these libraries play a crucial role in bridging the educational and cultural gaps in remote areas. The grants represent a powerful validation of their dedication and an acknowledgment of the extraordinary projects they undertake despite limited funding.
Diverse Projects, Lasting Impact
The distribution of funds will enable country libraries to pursue a diverse array of projects tailored to the unique needs and interests of their respective communities. Some of the initiatives include:
Seed Library: Encouraging a culture of sustainable gardening and community-driven seed sharing.
Mindfulness Meditation Workshops: Promoting mental well-being and mindfulness practices among library patrons.
Story Dog Program: Introducing therapy dogs to assist children in developing their reading skills and building confidence.
Digital Literacy Education: Implementing educational programs to equip the community with essential digital skills.
Aboriginal Cultural Education Events: Celebrating and preserving indigenous culture through workshops and events.
Summer Reading Challenge: Engaging readers of all ages in an enriching literary adventure during the summer break.
Teen-led STEM Club: Empowering young minds through the Innovation Station at Broome Public Library in Western Australia.
An Inclusive Approach
The geographical distribution of the grants spans New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia, ensuring that libraries in various regions receive the support they need to thrive. This inclusive approach acknowledges the significance of every community and their right to access information and learning opportunities regardless of their location.
Harvey Norman's Commitment
John Slack-Smith, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director at Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd, expressed pride in supporting Australian country libraries, given that a significant portion of their franchises operates in regional Australia. This commitment from a prominent retailer like Harvey Norman demonstrates a genuine desire to invest in initiatives that uplift and strengthen the country's regional communities.
Assessing the Influence of LBW Trust and National Backyard Cricket Campaign
The infusion of much-needed funding into 78 country libraries across Australia is a testament to the power of collaboration, community support, and the recognition of the essential role these libraries play in fostering education, connection, and enrichment.
As these projects come to life, the impact they will have on their respective communities is immeasurable. The NBYC campaign serves as an inspiring example of what can be achieved when individuals, organizations, and businesses unite to empower regional Australia and ensure equal access to knowledge and learning opportunities for all.
Thank you for your invaluable support in our journey towards Learning for a Better World. Together, we can make a greater impact and create a brighter future for all.
The LBW Trust