Council to investigate better library services

Redland City Council will investigate improved library services for the city including a possible expansion of the library on Russell Island and a new library on North Stradbroke Island.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the potential new facilities were part of a plan to find more efficient ways of delivering library services to the community.

“Currently library services in the Redlands are made up of a mix of new and quite dated facilities, with some facilities being under-utilised,” she said.

“As such we will look at what works best for the community, which may include new or upgraded facilities on Straddie and Russell Island, but this will ultimately depend on budget, including the availability of grants and any potential partners in the new facilities.

“As part of a feasibility study we will also consider whether to investigate combining a community hub with a new library on Straddie.”

Cr Williams said Redland City Council currently had seven static libraries, plus a mobile library, all ranging in age and condition.

“This includes three libraries on Straddie, all of which are below State Library of Queensland standards and a mobile library which is reaching the end of its life and is due to be replaced in two years,” she said.

“The mobile library  started operating prior to the opening of three new mainland libraries, which has meant utilisation of this facility has since fallen by a quarter over the past five years.

“We want to make sure the community has access to first class libraries rather than below standard facilities, but we also have to look at ways of achieving this without huge cost to ratepayers.

Council’s community wellbeing spokesperson and Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said today’s decision was fantastic news for the community.

“Libraries are a service used by people of all ages in the community,” she said. 

“They are more than just libraries, they are community hubs where people come together as a community.”

During today’s meeting Council rescinded a previous motion regarding libraries so further information could be gathered prior to making a decision.  

“Libraries are a core Council business and are a service the community is passionate about so we need to look for ways to improve facilities across the Redlands through partnering with other levels of government and the community,” Cr Williams said.

“Ultimately the aim is to find the best service for best value.”