Since the last news update the Maldon Athenaeum Library has been very busy. We have conducted a Devonshire Tea stall at the Maldon and Baringhup Agricultural Show and made a healthy profit for the Library. Many volunteers were involved either making scones, donating cream, jam etc. working on the day or organising the overall event. The response from the public was very encouraging.

We also participated in the Mechanics Institutes of Victoria’s Australasian Conference at Ballarat and the president presented a paper “A Phoenix Rising” reflecting the changes that have taken place at the Maldon Library during the past twenty years. The increase in the volunteers and the members using the Library has been incredible as have the improvements and increase in book stock, facilities and general appearance of comfort of the rooms.

The Library was awarded two certificates at the Conference. The Junior Library was judged the best Youth Program of the Mechanics Institutes in Australia and New Zealand and the Devonshire Tea event won the best event staged in conjunction with an institute or hall. These awards were made possible by J. Furphy & Sons and are highly valued by everyone associated with the Maldon Library.

Mount Alexander Council has granted a planning permit for the extension at the rear of the existing building and currently the builder is working with the building surveyor to obtain a building permit. It is hoped that the extension works will commence in the first few months of 2019. We wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and New Year.


All the planned improvements that have been made possible through the $10,000 Victorian State Grant have now been completed. The in-service training of our many volunteers to enable them to feel confident in using the upgraded borrowing and lending system is currently taking place with volunteers feeling confident and happy with the upgraded system and new laptop.

A major improvement has been the upgrading of the work room with the installation of new cupboards and a bespoke bench to make the repairing of books more efficient and easier for the volunteers who do this work.

Currently our really big project is a new extension to the rear of the existing Library building. For many years our major problem has been the amount of space available for our ever increasing collection of books and audio books. Our collection now numbers well above 19,200 and book space is at a premium. Increased space is clearly what is required to cater for the number of books and the increasing number of members. With the help of local draughtsman Peter Laurie, local builder “Kinga” Glenn Roy, the Stoneman Foundation and private benefactors this seemingly impossible dream seems likely to happen during the next few months. Plans have been submitted to Mount Alexander Council and hopefully a positive response will soon be obtained to allow building to begin in the near future.

During the past few months we have been updating our audio book section. Many great stories are on tape and while these are still available for borrowing we are moving towards many more audio books on discs.

Recently we had a visit from well known author Helen Garner who seemed to be charmed by the Athenaeum. Many visitors make the remark that it is wonderful to visit “a real library” so if you are in the area why not drop in to see our lovely rooms. Except for public holidays the library is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9.30 – 12.00 noon.


During the past few months lots of very exciting things have been happening at the Maldon Athenaeum Library. The State Government made a grant of $10,000 available to the library to help us carry out a number of projects. The major of these include the installation of solar panels on the rear of the library roof. The building of a new vermin proof shed to assist with storage of excess books, tables etc. the installation of bright new carpet in the Junior Library, a reorganisation of the work room so that a bespoke shelving unit could be installed to aid the repairing of books, an upgrade of the Bookmark computer system, a more sophisticated scanner and the purchase of a new laptop to make the borrowing and returning of books easier. In addition we have been able to spend a substantial amount on the purchase of new books.

It is always the policy of the Athenaeum Library to encourage our members to suggest books that they would like to read and then these can be purchased as long as they are suitable for general reading interests.

During the recent Maldon in Winter festival the Athenaeum held a very successful book sale. It was a cold Sunday and people were delighted to come into the warm Library and buy books for the small sum of $2.00 a book. Many people were very generous and donated more than that as they knew that all proceeds were going towards the Library.

The following Sunday afternoon saw the Reading Room quite full of people who came along to listen to Sean Kenan relate the history and development of Irish fiddle playing and of course to play a variety of tunes ranging from classical to hornpipes. Sean generously donated his talents and his time and the afternoon was a very happy one with people enjoying either a glass of wine or a soft drink with some very nice cheese and dips.

New members are always joining the Athenaeum and for $15.00 a year it is wonderful value with friendly and efficient service every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. The volunteers really try to make everyone welcome so why not drop in to see this unique and historical friendly library where you can also borrow the latest publications.


It’s almost spring but after a dry winter, the heavens have opened here and the alpine ski resorts are having a bumper year. Maldon, Victoria very rarely sees that cold, white stuff but we have had some wonderfully heavy frosts, not too good for the newly planted vegetable patches!

The Library has had a busy time with several events that emphasise its important place in our small community. Our hard working President ensures that we continue to feature in local news and advertisements. In recent months we have had two book sales (indoors in the Library Reading Room – in the warmer months we have stalls outside the building but not in winter). Both sales were extremely successful and later in August we are involved in a “pop up” stall at the local monthly market. This latter is very popular indeed and we anticipate more funds for new books.

We have also had two literary “events”, a reading of her biography by Joan Hooper and latterly a poetry reading by expatriate Katharine Gallagher, a London-based writer of renown who was born in Maldon and reared locally. Both events were well attended in spite of inclement weather.

In July, our annual Maldon in Winter festival saw a successful holiday activity for children organised by Castlemaine Library and held in our Athenaeum Hall, plus all the usual “Christmas in July” dinners by several of our local cafes and pubs. The retailers did us proud as always by dressing their windows in cold weather themes, the best judged by local school children. Special steam trains were run and Maldon was a visitors’ delight.

We have contact with the other (original!) Maldon in Essex and visitors from here are encouraged to visit our twin town. Occasionally articles from the UK Maldon appear in our local weekly newspaper, the Tarrangower Times. The editors of this publication which has been continuously published from 1858, offer a fantastic service to a small community of less than 1,300 and their website is worth a visit.

And so we carry on, the flag flying merrily! The Library’s almost forty volunteers should be congratulated on their dedicated service with new volunteers regularly knocking on our door.



If anyone has any queries regarding the Maldon Athenaeum Library, don’t forget, we have an email address:  

Should there be any questions on the Maldon Athenaeum Library, please do not hesitate to write to us at: 
P.O. Box 219



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