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New chapter for library service

ALTHOUGH the South Coast Mobile Library has reached the end of its life, Bass Coast Shire Council is adamant the community will not go without a library service.
Currently, council is working through service model options for each of the five locations the mobile library once stopped at: Grantville, Corinella, Coronet Bay, Kilcunda and San Remo.
Some of the concepts under investigation include micro libraries or click and collect services.
These options promise to be more modern, flexible and offer more hours of service per week.
The community libraries and click and collect points will be able to operate from multiple places and will reflect the ways people are increasingly using libraries.
The libraries would be planned for Corinella and San Remo with click and collect points available in Coronet Bay and Grantville.
Each of the four outlets would service the towns for 30 hours a week, versus just one to 2.5 hours a week delivered by the mobile.
Expanding outreach programs in schools, early year centres and aged care centres have also been explored.
This solution has already been in launched with weekly Story Time now taking place at Bass Valley Children’s Centre.
Other options are still under investigation.
Ultimately, council and West Gippsland Libraries concluded the cost of replacing a truck – approximately $1 million – was not a viable option.
The mobile library is set to be discontinued on June 30.
However, it will remain operational if the alternate service models are not yet underway.
Cr Clare Le Serve said it had been a stressful time with a lot of conflicting opinions, but the cost was not justifiable.
“We have been given assurance the Waterline area will have a library service. How that will be delivered, we are yet to know,” she said.
“We all value the library service and know the value of reading in our community.”
Cr Le Serve thanked the Save the Mobile Library Group.
Currently, there are 252 active mobile library users in Bass Coast and 121 active users in South Gippsland.
Cr Julian Brown said the figures just didn’t stack up.
“To buy a new truck for the number of residents it services is not practical,” he said.
“It would be nice to see something like a community library in the Waterline area. We do have an aging demographic who struggle with technology and value books. We are working to ensure there is no gap between the new and the current service, and I look forward to further consultation with the community.”
Cr Ellis reiterated the library users would not be abandoned.
As chair of West Gippsland Libraries, Cr Ellis said; “The new service delivery methods will improve access to library services in the region by being available more hours per week and offering programs and events that cannot be offered on the Mobile.
“As chairperson of the board and as local councillor, I’d like to reassure residents that we will not withdraw the
mobile until the replacement services have been determined.
“It’s important now that we all work together and harness the can-do attitude of the Waterline to ensure this
does become the best possible library service for our communities moving forward.”
West Gippsland Libraries CEO Leanne Williams said; “On behalf of our library staff, I would like to thank council for its ongoing support of these changes and for the very thorough process it went through to listen and reassure the community that our changes are being made with a focus on improving access to library services for all residents.”

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=28012

Posted by on Mar 26 2019. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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