Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Dickson Library celebrates half a century

November 30, 2019

Libraries ACT today hosted a day full of celebrations for the 50th birthday of the Dickson Library with stories, music and activities.

“It was a pleasure to attend today’s festivities for such a wonderful community resource. The milestone birthday for the Dickson Library is a special day for the inner north,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“With almost two million visitors to our nine library branches each year, Libraries ACT provide a vital service to neighbourhoods and communities across the Territory. Dickson Library also holds a unique place in our history, being the first permanent district library in the ACT.

“Generations of Canberrans have learned to love books and indulged their love of reading in this iconic building.

“The library isa place to uncover history, a place of connection and inclusion as well as make new friends,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

Back in 1924, well before the Dickson Library branch opened, the site was an operational airfield, known as the Northbourne Aviation Ground. Aircraft operations continued until 1926 when they were transferred to a site on part of the present Canberra Airport.

“In 1969 when the Dickson Library opened, there was only a card catalogue and book tokens. Now, Libraries ACT has just launched its new computer database, removed overdue library fines and the Dickson library branch made more than 240,000 loans in the last year,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“This highlights how our libraries have grown with our city and still play an integral role in the everyday lives of Canberrans whether it be for education, social interactions or entertainment,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.