Library History

The Woombye School of Arts and library committee was formed in 1898. Schools of Arts, in the nineteenth century, were viewed as worthy bodies concerned with intellectual improvement, literacy, and nourishing community life. As such they were able to claim an annual subsidy from the Government for the purchase of library books and for other associated costs. As the community grew, the Hall was deemed too small and in 1909 a new one was built.

The Woombye Library was opened in 1898 in the original hall. At that time, books were sent by train from the Brisbane School of Arts Library on loan. Mrs Charlotte Kuskopf was instrumental in the initial set up. In 1904, fifty volumes were added to the library and there were fifty eight subscribers.

When the new hall was built in 1909, a room was made available for the library, our present site. Mrs Kuskopf continued her interest in the library and was considered the literary watchdog. She had selected townsfolk read all books, acting as censors, before they were placed on the shelves. One could not be too careful of the tender sensibilities of the readers. In later years, she burnt Peyton Place as it was far too racy.

To add variety, in 1917,the library began to exchange books with Montville and later with Kenilworth. This rotation continued until 1992. The library remained continuously open until 1972 when it ceased to loan books out but was manned as a reading room.

A community meeting in November 1984 was strongly supported and passed a resolution that the library should be used for its original purpose, with books supplied by the Nambour library.

In 1986 the Junior library was established in the room formerly occupied by a bank.

In 1989 the Woombye Community Library became an independent entity by becoming incorporated. Although the financial situation was not healthy, it survived until the Maroochy Shire Council came to the rescue with an annual grant.

2014 sees the library still supported by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to a more limited degree. Other funds are contributed by the Nambour RSL, the Woombye and Community Bendigo Bank and the Gambling Community Benefit Fund. These funds buy our books and magazines and cover our running costs.

Our small band of thirty volunteers staffs the library six days a week as well as buying, covering, cataloguing and repairing the books. It is a happy, friendly, air-conditioned environment where borrowers compare notes on books, ask for suggested good reads or catch up for a chat. Our borrowers come from Woombye and its environs of Palmwoods, Eudlo and Chevallum. Many who come for other activities at the Halls, decide we are such a great library, they visit us afterwards. We are an important part of the community, providing a friendly meeting place for volunteers and borrowers alike.

Woombye School of Arts Hall circa 1912

Woombye School of Arts Hall circa 1912