Reservoir Libraries

In the 1950s there was strong interest in a library for Reservoir. In 1958 Miss Hilda Jane Harris opened a library and stationary shop at 240 Broadway Reservoir. This was a privately run library. Miss Harris was well known to the residents. Her father John Trevenen Harris joined the library in the late 1960s to form Harris HJ & J Library. John Harris passed away in 1971 and Miss Hilda Harris ran the library until the early 1980s. 
In 1954, Council asked the then City Librarian, Miss Elizabeth Elsie Scurrah to report on a proposal for a branch of the Preston Public Free and Lending Library in the northern part of the city. She recommended that the Branch Library share the building with the Health Centre which would cut the cost to £2,940 and the library should aim for 10,000 volumes of books. 
In 1957, the City of Preston opened the Reservoir Baby Health Centre on Edwardes Street. In 1960 the building became the Reservoir Civic Centre with a Public Library, Police Station, Council Chambers and the Baby Health Centre. The library was located in part of the ground floor of the Reservoir Civic Centre and was deemed too small to meet the demands of the area by the early 1970s. It could not be extended due to a lack of space. In 1974 Mr William Arthur Walters, the Preston City Librarian said, “there is no room for new books and other library facilities. Members of the public are not receiving the services to which they are entitled.” Cr Lindsay Cotchin, said that the council was investigating the possibility of building a bigger library in Ralph Street.
In 1975, Preston City Council applied for and received a special grant to buy a site for a new branch library and planning for a suitable building began in 1976. Construction started in February 1979. The old branch library in the Reservoir Civic Centre closed its doors for the last time on December 3, 1979. Services began in the new building 12th December 1979.
On 11th February, 1980 the Mayor of Preston, Cr Gibson officially opened the new library building at Reservoir. The $470,000 library was bigger, brighter and better equipped than the old library at the Civic Centre in Edwardes St. With a floor space of 987 square metres, it was 10 times larger, the number of books was doubled to 24,000 and staff increased from three to five. 
Reservoir Library boasted new resources such as foreign language materials, records, cassettes, art- prints, posters and large print books. The library opening hours were extended from 34 hours per week to 52 hours, including Saturday mornings. Among the new innovations was a multi-channel sound system. Cr Lindsay Cotchin congratulated the designers and hoped the carparks could be beautified. A lovely Japanese garden was planted in the front area of the library.
In June 1994 the City of Preston amalgamated with the City of Northcote to form a new local government area called the City of Darebin. Reservoir Library along with Preston, Northcote and Fairfield Libraries became part of Darebin Libraries.
After 35 years at Ralph Street, Reservoir, the library closed its doors for the last time on 31 July 2015. The Reservoir Community Learning Centre opened on 10 August 2015 back at the original site of Edwardes Street Reservoir. 

Australia Birth Index,1788-1922
Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980
Great need in Reservoir – Library is a ‘poor relation.’ (1974, March). Northern Times. (Northcote. : 1959-1978).
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864-1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne:  Sands & McDougall
Shift police? – library plan is probed. Reservoir may get a new library (1973, October). Northern Times. (Northcote. : 1959-1978).
(1974, September). Northern Times. (Northcote. : 1959-1978).
(1980, February). Northern Times. (Northcote. : 1959-1978).
(1980, February). Northern Times. (Northcote. : 1959-1978).