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Amazing people

by / Saturday, 17 September 2011 / Published in Events

Just a quick blog to do a ‘shout out’ to Cathryn Harris who has won the SA – Nokia Business Innovation Award for 2011.  

As the Mount Gambier Library manager, I met Cathryn earlier this year when she organised for me to travel to their amazing library to talk about my recent book.  It was a very quick trip, all I could allow with young kids, but none the less it was still a highlight! I was spoilt by Cathryn and her staff. So it’s come as no surprise that she has won this amazing award. 

The library is very special and I wish we could all have one just like it. (I would live in it all day just about!!)   So a huge hug for all your effort and ‘Congratulations, Cathryn.”

 “No longer places where everyone has to be quiet, libraries are busy information centres that focus on customers and offer a place to meet friends for coffee, use the Internet and, of course, find the latest thriller.” – Cathryn Harris

“Believing a library is much more than books in a building, Mount Gambier Library Manager Cathryn Harris has created an exciting community hub that invites discovery. After convincing the Council in 2005 that it needed to invest $10 million in a complete library revamp, Cathryn set about gathering ideas and inspiration for programs to draw, involve and enthral her community. The Mount Gambier Library is now designed on the latest book retailing trends, with a fully integrated cafe, giving it the look and feel of a social bookstore. Its community offerings include: mentoring workshops where at-risk youth meet local business people; reading and play sessions for children and babies; IT lessons; family history programs; and Sunday farmers markets. A self checkout system was also installed to free staff for community activities. Cathryn says employees have embraced the changes through retraining and increased job satisfaction. Most importantly, library visits have increased four-fold since Cathryn’s changes were implemented.”

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