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FOGLLS was established with the aim of supporting library services for the Great Lakes area. In 2017 Great Lakes, Greater Taree and Gloucester Councils were amalgamated under the new title Midcoast Council with the libraries called Midcoast Libraries.

Over the years FOGLLS' activities have evolved into three major categories:

Lobbying:

The most important activity for the Friends is to act as lobbyists for better library services. This can be done by speaking to or writing letters to the General Manager of Midcoast Council, Councillors and local Members of Parliament, requesting that library services move up the priority list, and calling for an excellent library service for the area. The people of this region deserve better treatment by the three levels of Government - Local, State and Federal.

There are two separate issues:
  • The low level of funding for the existing library service
  • The need to establish a new, larger library to cater for the increasing population.

After consideration at Great Lakes Council's Strategic Committee meeting held in early February, 2010, it was announced that a hall and library will be the first services developed at the proposed Civic Precinct in Little Street, Forster. This visionary decision has brought much satisfaction to FOGLLS. Now the real work begins. If we are ever to secure the sort of library our community deserves we need advocates who will use their influence with Councillors and members of State and Federal governments to secure adequate library funding. We need to work with the Library and Council to develop and secure the best possible library service for our community.

The more people who support FOGLLS, the more influence can be exerted on those responsible for funding the public library system.

Bob Baldwin with FOGLLS

Midcoast Bookstart Funded and Coordinated By FOGLLS

Great Lakes Bookstart started in 2006 and since then 370-400 bags have been distributed each year. The Community Health Child and Family Nurses give them out to each new baby in the Great Lakes region when they do the home visit. Since the amalgamation of council areas bags are also distributed to the Gloucester area.

The concept of Bookstart programs comes from the Bookstart Program UK. It is designed to improve literacy in the community by providing all babies, through their parents or carers, with a library bag containing at least one book, information on the importance of reading to babies and information about children's services at local libraries. FOGLLS also adds some literary or numeracy ideas and a DVD and booklet of nursery rhymes.

Bookstart Pelican

Research has shown children who are read to from an early age learn more sounds, develop listening skills, extend their vocabulary, imagination, understanding of concepts, and are more likely to learn to read more easily.

Rolling Images

The Great Lakes Bookstart program was launched on 21st August, 2006 by the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair, and Mrs Rosemary Sinclair. The program is administered by FOGLLS and Forster Library.

Over the years, a number of wonderful individuals and groups have used their sewing skills to make bags used in the project. If you would like to help, please contact
Helen Bryan 0448 261 095 or Helen Duggan 6554 7781.


Functions:

FOGLLS initiates functions that offer literary stimulation, entertainment, and education to the community. A varied program includes book launches, author talks, poetry readings, traveller's tales, musical performances, and an annual trivia night.

We do this because in regional areas there are limited choices to meet the cultural and intellectual needs of the community. We also support the events organised by Midcoast Libraries

Xmas Party 2009

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