Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boroondara Libraries 150

On 27 July 1860, the Government Gazette proclaimed the municipality of Hawthorn. Hawthorn Library moved east to the first Hawthorn Town Hall in Burwood Road when an extension shown in the photograph was completed in 1862. The library opened on this site on 5 February 1862.

Apollos Slatterie, Town Clerk of the Municipality of Hawthorn from 1875-1882 and editor of the local newspaper, the Boroondara Standard, claimed responsibility for calling together the meeting of local residents which resulted in the establishment of Hawthorn Library.

He was also Honorary Librarian, a task he continued to discharge after his retirement as Town clerk and despite his blindness. He achieved his duties by having one of his many children on hand to fetch books for the library users! It is probable that standards were not too high, as in 1891 an irate resident wrote to the local paper complaining about the library not opening on time and spoke of "an air of decay pervading the library"!

Edward Morrison was Librarian for the Municipality of Hawthorn from 1900-1927 when Hawthorn Library was located in the 1888 Town Hall.
From 1902 to 1921 he was both "Dog Registrar and Librarian" but gave up his dog registration to concentrate on library membership from 1922! In 1927, Hawthorn Library was open 33 hours a week, there were 9000 books and loans per week were between 800-1000.

Children from Hawthorn Primary school celebrating Flower day in 1916 pose for the camera in Burwood Road in front of the Hawthorn Free library which was situated from 1888 in the Beswicke designed Town Hall.

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