Possible change for local library

A report has been prepared following advice from Goulburn Mulwaree Council that the current Southern Tablelands Library Cooperative, which involved Upper Lachlan, Goulburn Mulwaree and Yass Valley Councils, would cease on 30 June 2017.

Councillors have considered the independent report by Janet Smith on a Library Service Model for the Shire.

Yass Valley Council determined they would adopt an independent library model.

Friends of the Library representative Mrs Doreen Wheelwright addressed the Council at the December meeting on the benefits of the existing cooperative model.

She urged Council to give their decision on the library model a little bit of time.

Mrs Wheelwright is the past-president of the Friends of the Library group and spoke about the proposed changes.

Mrs Wheelwright said, “any savings gained from a stand alone model will be absorbed with the new costs of running the current Library.

“With the decrease of services including the range of books, this will see residents having to visit Libraries in other areas therefore shopping in those areas.

Councillor Richard Opie backed the figures saying, “Crookwell Library visitors currently have the use of 80,000 books between the Goulburn and Crookwell Libraries.

“If we take away the Goulburn Library the amount of books available will drop to 28,000, a loss of over 50,000 books.

“If the books are valued at approximately $30 each that will see a loss approximately of $1.5 million in resources.

“Currently, the Library is run by a part time manager and part time staff and therefore if you add to the load at the Library more staff will be required.

“The villages are also struggling, for example, the Gunning Library is very reliant on their variety of books and resources and the children’s resources are crucial.

“Crookwell also has a High school and the resources that the Library offers students is also crucial.

Cr Opie said, “it is too early to make a decision.”

Councillors voted to engage in further discussion with Goulburn Mulwaree Council regarding the negotiation of an interim agreement for the provision of library services for a 12 month period that covers the service level and fee structure.

Crookwell Friends of the Library have provided $3000 in funds to the Library last year.