1966

Altona Shire Council decided that demand for the library service was so great that a branch library should be built to serve the eastern and northern parts of the municipality.

The Altona East Branch Library was opened at 7 The Circle on August 13th 1966.  This may not have been the location that Mr James had in mind, because in his annual report to Council (written just after he had resigned and accepted a position with the City of Kew Library Service) he states “Borrowing at the branch library has been satisfactory, but growth of this library tends to be slow, probably due to it’s location in an area not conducive to the best library development.” Perhaps Mr James had Borrack Square in mind as this was opposite the Altona North High school.

In the same report he criticized some councillors saying “...there are many who still do not understand the full function of a public library, and who imagine that it is merely a place for borrowing a book or two to while away the hours. The true function of a library service goes far beyond this indeed and its’ impact upon this community has been of a significance far deeper and wider than is generally realised.”

Due to the growing popularity of the library services, Mr James also recommended “...the establishment of an interim library service at the original site of the branch library...Where branches are contemplated, I consider these services should be situated in vacant shop...until such time as use of the branch shows that a bigger area is warranted” 

Non residents of Altona were required to pay a yearly subscription fee of £1.00, however, students attending school in Altona but living elsewhere were exempt.

In an annual report of the Altona Public Library dated October 1966, Mr James stated:

“The Public Library is a way of escape from the narrow area of our individual lives into the field, finite, no doubt, but unbounded, of the wisdom and experience of all mankind. It is not only the way to escape, but for the majority of us, it is by far the widest and easist to pass through, thus the one that we should be most careful to keep open and free from impediments.”

1967