Local residents shared their ‘Cobar Library’ memories at a special library history morning tea last Wednesday at the Cobar Shire & TAFE Library.
The morning tea attracted over 15 locals to enjoy a cuppa while discussing the history of Cobar’s libraries as well as listening to the Great Cobar Heritage Centre’s museum curator, Kay Stingemore, give a talk about the libraries that Cobar has had over the years.
Local resident Bev Anderson spoke about her memories of Cobar’s library when she was a child and also recited a poem she had composed about the current library.
Cobar’s library history began in 1885 when the Cobar School of Arts established a public library on the eastern side of Barton Street only one year after the Municipality of Cobar was declared.
By 1886, 1,300 volumes were available to borrow as well as periodicals and newspapers.
Membership to the library fluctuated over the next two decades and, after an concerted effort to raise funds, membership soared with the numbers tripling between 1902 and 1904.
After the passing of the NSW Library Act in 1939 libraries were inundated with new members.
The Municipal Free Library was at that time located in the School of Arts building in Becker Street (which is now a private residence).
In 1959 new council offices were erected and the old chambers in Linsley Street (now the Cobar Family Day Care office) were renovated into the library.
Eventually the library outgrew that building and was moved into the newly built building in the middle of the main street (its current location).
The library staff invite anyone to share their own personal memories or stories about any of Cobar’s libraries to be included in a commemorative book.