I wonder how many residents and staff remember the "old", truly old, Sylvania Library when it was housed in Boomerang Hall, just as you approach Tom Ugly's Bridge? The Hall was built in 1934 and being the only large hall in the area, was used for many functions, for example monthly Roman Catholic services and meetings of the 16mm film club.
In the early 50s, residents set up a small lending library, with a collection of books and magazines from a library planning to incinerate its surplus, plus donations. In 1956 Sutherland Council took over its running, until the opening of the new Southgate Centre. Even then, there was some doubt as to the value of moving it into new premises. It certainly was the end of an era, with its old card catalogue and photocharging of loans. Total area was 37 square metres.
The boards of the extremely low ceiling were the floorboards for dancing classes upstairs. Imagine a vigorous can-can being performed overhead, to the accompaniment of an ancient piano and an enthusiastic dance teacher! My ceiling would flex and shudder. Hardly library ambience! But the public remained loyal and supported the move. After three months, statistics had risen fourfold.
The Sylvania Library is dedicated to Wal Page, a local councillor who was instrumental in founding it, and seeing it re-housed.