Quietly, as befitting of a library, one of Cooktown’s most beloved community services turned 50 on Tuesday with a small gathering, cake, reminiscing and lots of laughter.
The Cooktown Library service had humble beginnings, replacing the Country Women’s Association book swap with a small library in a corner of the then-Cook Shire Council offices on Charlotte Street, opened in 1973.
This building eventually became the Cooktown History Centre, and in 1988 a small library was built next door at what is now the site of the Waalmbaal Birri Cultural Centre.
Cooktown’s current library, on Helen Street, was built in 1995 and has been open for 28 years, with satellite services now offered in Laura, Lakeland, Ayton and Coen.
Cook Shire Libraries Team Leader Gail Anning said library staff were very proud of the service they provided.
“The staff are very proud and dedicated to providing a quality service to our community, ranging from tech support to sourcing difficult-to-find books, with the ongoing support of the State Library of Queensland,” Ms Anning said.
Current staff member Diana Burns has been working in the Cooktown Library for 30 years, joined by the current team of Gail Anning, Barb Rosendale, Sarah Greaves and Anni Rigg, as well as library volunteers Sophie Langton and David Ainscough.
Cooktown’s Library is open six days a week, from 10am to 5pm weekdays, with an hour lunch break at 12.30pm, and 9am to 12.30pm Saturdays.