New mobile library service promised for Scenic Rim residents

LIBRARY: Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen with the now-defunct mobile library van.

LIBRARY: Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen with the now-defunct mobile library van.

COUNCIL has promised a new mobile library service within the next year.

At a meeting this week council approved what they say will be a flexible library service that will better serve the needs of the community.

Council said the new mobile library was replacing the large mobile library trailer service, which ceased in July as it reached the end of its service life.

In June a Facebook post suggesting that the mobile library would be scrapped created an online furore with ratepayers in Kooralbyn saying they would be disadvantaged by the move.

Division 4 councillor Michael Enright weighed into the online discussion, saying the mobile library was not closing.

"It will change in its current form to a new, smaller library van and with input from the Kooralbyn community can grow into an improved and more relevant service for all the community to enjoy," he posted.

"The van will provide a similar service during an interim period, during which consultation will be held with library members and the wider community to help design an improved service into the future."

Cr Enright said the interim mobile library had been in service since then and would now be upgraded to a larger van.

Mayor Greg Christensen said council had listened to community feedback over the past few months and was pleased the new service would offer contemporary library services across the region that better reflected community needs.

"Through our consultation with the community, many people understood that we needed to reshape our services, and were keen to see more flexibility in the services we offer," he said.

"One of the great advantages is the new service will include a smaller multi-purpose van, which means it can be driven with a Class C drivers licence and parked almost anywhere.

"This new service allows for the introduction of additional visits to other institutions such as schools, day care centres and nursing homes, which our communities raised as an important service in the survey.

"The van will also provide the community with access to mobile WiFi, laptops and printers, and being smaller in size, it will be quicker to set down and pack up, which allows council to increase the number of locations visited.

"Services at Hillview will change to school holiday activities and other special occasions rather than regular visits due to declining usage. However, Council will review this arrangement based on patronage and feedback from the community."

Cr Christensen said the library van would also provide an opportunity to boost engagement with communities.

"Council officers will be able to travel with the van and use the visits to help inform communities about services including preparing for disasters, educational programs on waste management and the environment and learning about council's healthy and active lifestyle programs," he said.

Following the approval of the new service at this week's meeting, it was agreed a new multi-purpose van would be purchased and customised to host a small travelling collection of library items.

Council said it would continue to keep the community updated on this project and communicate the new timetable before the program is ready to launch.