VICTOR HARBOR – On Thursday, April 20, the Friends of the Library and groups Family History and Oral History held a morning tea to honour the service of library manager Ben Footner.
Ben Footner had been manager of the City of Victor Harbor library for nearly 10 years and his last day was Friday, April 21.
Ben will leave Victor Harbor to take on the challenge of Library Service manager at the Prospect Council.
However, Ben is proud of his time running the Victor Harbor library and said it has become one of the busiest in the state.
“More than 70 per cent of the community has a library card and 34 per cent is the state’s average, so the saturation is the state’s best,” Ben said.
More than 70 per cent of the community has a library card and 34 per cent is the state’s average, so the saturation is the state’s best.Library manager Ben Footner
There are a number of initiatives Ben has helped implement such as the oral history program, the refurbishment of the children’s and youth areas and the children’s program has become a “massive growth area”.
“We have two days a week when story time has up to 20 children at each one,” he said.
“A big change for us in my time as manager was the establishment of the One Card system.
“It has been such a positive change too, as we have received a significant increase in service while reducing the cost to ratepayers.
“In the holiday period we have a transient population so the tourists visiting really benefit through the One Card system.”
The Mayor Short Story Challenge with City of Victor Harbor, Alexandrina and Yankalilla councils has been highly successful according to Ben and he has appreciated the support received form the many volunteers.
“I get a buzz out of the people here, as volunteers play such an important role,” Ben said.
“I have loved it here, as I took over when I was 27-years-old and it is here I learnt my craft.”
Ben speaks glowingly of the library and the council building as a whole.
“The community has been so supportive and this facility is magnificent with the library a source of civic pride,” Ben said.
Ben Footner has implemented so much positive change to the Victor Harbor library and the community has reaped the benefits.