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By Jodie Symonds

Community involvement is at the forefront of some big changes for the Mount Evelyn Library.
A new partnership with Mount Evelyn Community House (MECH), Eastern Regional Libraries (ERL) and Yarra Ranges Council saw the library transition into a reading room on Monday 20 March.
As part of the transition, MECH co-ordinator Nicky Cordello said Mount Evelyn Community House members could enjoy some exciting changes including extended opening hours and a range of community programs and workshops.
“The community house in general is looking to enhance the existing service,” Ms Cordello said.
“The reading room is based on community needs.”
Yarra Ranges Council director of Social and Economic Development, Ali Wastie, said the reading room would operate similarly to Yarra Glen’s Reading Room, operated by Yarra Glen Living and Learning Centre in partnership with council and Eastern Regional Libraries.
“Mount Evelyn’s Reading Room is about that connection for the community house, where they can broaden their connection with the town, from children to seniors,” Ms Wastie said.
“People can still self-borrow, self-check in, order books online to be picked up at Mount Evelyn, use printing and photocopying facilities as well as have access to Community House programs and the cafe.”
Walling Ward councillor and council’s representative on the Eastern Regional Libraries board, Len Cox, said having Mount Evelyn Community House run the reading room “makes sense”.
“ … (It) will help residents to engage in new programs to broaden their experiences and knowledge,” he said.
“Everyone will benefit from longer opening hours at the room, giving visitors more time to look for and enjoy good books in the heart of Mount Evelyn.
“We encourage readers interested to sign up with Eastern Regional Libraries online, or at nearby branches in Lilydale or Montrose.”
Ms Cordello said she was excited about the opportunities the reading room will bring for Mount Evelyn.
“We just see a nice synergy between the Community House and the reading room, and we hope we can enhance the features that already exist,” she said.
The reading room will be supervised by MECH staff and will be open Monday and Tuesday 10am to 4pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 5pm and Friday noon to 4pm.
To sign up for a library membership, visit erl.gov.au and for more information about the Mount Evelyn Community House, visit facebook.com/mtevelyncommunityhouse

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