First regional public library to connect to AARNet opens

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Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

The new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre has opened its doors to the public, and the world. It is the first regional public library in Australia to connect to AARNet, Australia’s Academic and Research Network.

AARNet is providing the $45.5 million state-of-the-art facility with a high-speed one gigabit per second connection to meet the needs of visitors now and into the future.

The AARNet connection will enable the Library to deliver 21st-century library and heritage services, as well as collaborate with Deakin University and other education providers connected to AARNet locally, nationally and globally to create new research and education opportunities for people in the region.

Cathryn Ferencz, Executive Manager Collection and Technologies Access, Geelong Regional Library, says public libraries contribute to bridging the digital divide that exists in our communities. Connection to AARNet will provide the foundation on which Geelong Regional Libraries digital strategy can be developed and actioned and this strategy positions the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre to lead in the adoption of and access to new and emerging technologies.

“The connection to AARNet is the foundation of the Library for the future in terms of delivering a digital library to the community,” she said.  “We have a digital strategy that includes providing people of all ages with access to digital technologies so they can learn how to use them and develop the skills to participate in the digital economy. A fast connection is vital and AARNet is delivering that,” she said.

Inspired by the domed-shape reading rooms of libraries around the world, this magnificent five storey building was created for the whole community to enjoy and embrace.

Geelong Regional Library Corporation Chair Andy Richards describes the new centre as a triumph on many levels.

“Inside, the digitally-advanced spaces provide the perfect platform for the delivery of  world-leading library and information service and for the community to enjoy reading, meeting, learning, discovery and fun” says Cr Richards. 

Deakin University, The Gordon TAFE and a number of schools in Geelong are also connected to AARNet.

AARNet provides high speed connectivity and other communications services for Australia’s universities, CSIRO and other research organisations, as well as many of the nation’s TAFEs, schools and GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums).

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