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Saturday, 31st August 2019 from 10am

Everyone is invited to celebrate the importance of reading and history at a community event at Merriwa Library on Saturday, 31 August 2019, from 10am.
There will be displays of photos and old books, readings, and a sausage sizzle.

One hundred and fifty years ago the Merriwa Mutual Improvement Society commenced public readings at the courthouse.
“The second meeting of the Merriwa Mutual Improvement Society was held on the evening of Monday last, when we had a good attendance of members and visitors. The chair was occupied by the vice-president, Mr. Asser, who also gave a reading from the Merchant of Venice. The subject for debate was "Ought capital punishment to be abolished ?" which was decided in the affirmative.
The question for the next meeting is "Is the destruction of trees benefioial to the colony?" This time the Ministry takes tbe negative and Mr. Read is to give a recitation from Richelieu, I trust that the young men who have not yet joined the society will immediately have themselves enrolled as members, for I think they will find it very much to their advantage.
(Maitland Mercury June 1869)
In 1870 the Society changed its name to the Merriwa School of Arts,  established a Reading Room in the basement of the Cottage and discussions continued about the importance of having a library.  The reading room was lit three nights a week and had 100 books and newspapers like the Maitland Mercury, Town and Country Journal, Sydney Punch, Sydney News, London News and the Dublin Review. The catalogue grew quickly, a librarian was employed by 1871 and the reading room moved to the School of Arts building in 1876.
By 1950 there was still no public library in the region.
“The need for such a free library as this in our own district is obvious from the fact that much literature comes regularly -from private and public sources in Sydney.
There are no technical books at all available locally to assist students in their arts and trades, while at schools there is an unsatisfied demand. Letters in supportof the movement have been received from the following public bodies: Scone Chamber of 'Commerce, Primary Producers' Union, Scone Rotary Club, Scone P. & C, Association, Scone Soldiers' Memorial School of Arts.
Objects: Not merely to buy books and buildings, but to provide a service to the public— to keep books circulating — to keep them fresh and up-to-date by purchase, or by exchange with the Public Library in Sydney.
Purpose: Provide free to readers all classes of literature— fiction, technical, periodical and juvenile, The latter has always been a most popular section, and works in conjunction with the school library depots may be established in country centres, and books sent by post or rail, while those not available locally may be secured specially from Sydney.
Thus the wonderful service provided by the Public Library of N.S. Wales, the Mecca of hundreds of people each day, becomes freely available to the most remote reader in our district.”
(Joint Committee of Upper Hunter Shire Council and Scone Municipal Council, November 1950)

In 1959 Merriwa Library opened as a branch of Muswellbrook Regional Library.
in 2010 with the amalgamation of three shires, Merriwa Library became one of the five Upper Hunter Shire libraries (which are members of the Upper Hunter Regional Library Network, with Muswellbrook and Denman libraries). In 2018 a new, modern and colourful library opened in the former Merriwa Council Chambers.
In 2019 we celebrate 150 years of a library service in Merriwa. Come and help us celebrate all that is great about our modern library.