Mildura Library is helping to support problem gamblers by extending its opening hours on Thursdays as part of the Libraries After Dark program.
Libraries After Dark is a Victoria-wide initiative aimed at providing problem gamblers with alternative options and venues for socialising through extended evening opening hours at libraries.
In Mildura’s case, the Mildura Library will extend its Thursday opening times by two hours, closing at 9pm instead of 7pm from tomorrow.
Councillor for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Mark Eckel said that aside from providing another recreation option for people who may have a gambling problem, libraries can be a powerful tool in addressing the contributing factors behind the issue.
“Studies have shown that social isolation is a well-established risk factor for gambling harm and our libraries have a broad range of activities on offer to break down social isolation,” Cr Eckel said.
“This is a great program that creates an opportunity for all members of the community to come together and enjoy the library and what it has to offer.
“I’m a big supporter of the Libraries After Dark program and attended briefing sessions with other Victorian Councils and was encouraged by its success.”
Libraries After Dark activities will include:
- Kanopy streaming films;
- Book chats;
- Community group talks;
- Presentations by guest speakers from local organisations;
- Craft activities.
There will also be introductions to library services, internet access, games, writing and mindfulness activities.
The Mildura Library will be open to all residents until 9pm each Thursday, delivering its normal services, as well as Libraries After Dark activities. Bookings are not required and there is no cost for the activities. Light catering will be provided where possible.
Libraries After Dark is funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation as part of a broader strategy to prevent gambling harm. It is managed by Moreland City Council and delivered in partnership with the Victorian Local Governance Association.