VALUED SERVICE:   Brenda Jukes (centre) surrounded by her community at the Mungallala Library.
VALUED SERVICE: Brenda Jukes (centre) surrounded by her community at the Mungallala Library. Brenda Jukes

After 60 years Mungallala library is still thriving

IF YOU want to explore tales of murder mystery, embark on endless fantasy adventures or learn to cook Asian cuisine in Mungallala you will have to talk to librarian Brenda Jukes.

For the past 30 years Mrs Jukes has been the gatekeeper of literature in the town of 136 people and on Saturday she helped celebrate the Mungallala library's 60th birthday with the community.

Located in the centre of town on Redford St, the library has been a stable social hub throughout the years, with Mrs Jukes opening the doors for three hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

"We haven't got much else to offer our residents and it's great that the library has been able to keep functioning and offering this great service to people,” she said.

Mrs Jukes oversees the interchange of 800 books each year through the library. The small library offers a range of paper back books and digitalised copies that they are now fortunate enough to receive from the Queensland State Library upon request.

"I can still recall the days before the technological wave where we didn't scan the books out because there was no computers, so every book had a pocket and card and a date due slip - it was all manual back then,” she said.

"When I first started we borrowed books from the southwest regional library in Charleville and they would come down every three weeks and we would circulate the books across the region.

"These days borrowers don't even have to leave their home to request a book.”

According to Mrs Jukes, the readers of Mungalla have a wide-range of literally interests with fictional crime and murder mysteries and cooking and gardening books proving the most popular.

"Out of all the books I've come across Who sank the boat?, by Pamela Allen, would be my favourite and I can still remember picking it off the shelves at Mungallala library as a kid,” she said.

In its 60-year history, Mungallala library has become a meeting place for the community and Mrs Jukes said offering that service drove her to keep the library running.

"It's not just a library, it's where people can come to catch up with friends even if it's for short time to get out of the house,” she said.


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