Boost for libraries in 2021/22 Budget

The relocation of the Thuringowa Library to the Riverway Arts Centre at a cost of $5.5 million is the centrepiece of an $11.7 million allocation for libraries in Townsville City Council’s 2021/22 Budget.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the relocation would involve the much-loved Thuringowa Library being housed in one of the city’s most well-known and treasured locations.

“The Riverway Arts Centre and the surrounding Riverway Precinct is the heart of the Thuringowa community; however, it is currently under-utilised and it makes sense to locate the library there,” Cr Hill said.

“This will reinforce Riverway’s reputation as a place for families. They can come to Riverway and swim, browse the library collection, exercise or just relax together.

“The $5.5 million in the Budget will allow for the fit-out of the new space and relocation expenses.

“Relocating the library will also save Council money. Instead of paying rent for the current space, we can deliver a new and exciting space in a Council-owned facility.”

The new Riverway Library will be a welcoming, fit-for-purpose space which will include 24-hour access to returns and reservation pick-ups, meeting rooms and digital studios.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said the community would be engaged about the relocation.

“I know there are some in the community who will be concerned that we’re moving away from the current location, but the move to Riverway will be the start of an exciting new chapter for the Thuringowa Library,” Cr Greaney said.

“Our commitment is to work collaboratively with the community on designing the new spaces, with workshops commencing over the coming months.

“Our libraries are places for everyone, and community input into delivering these top quality spaces to make them ideal for kids, families, existing and new customers helps us to deliver our City Libraries Strategic Plan.”

Cr Greaney said the Budget also included funding for the digitisation and proper storage of film donated to the city from TNQ7.

“We have been incredibly lucky to receive old film from TNQ7, which provides a vital link to Townsville’s past,” she said.

“We want to digitise the film footage but also ensure it is stored properly for posterity.

“The 2021/22 Budget includes $220,000 to allow us to do that.

“There is also $230,000 in the Budget for equipment and library-specific software upgrades.”

Libraries services across the city will share in $5.7 million operating budget for 2021/22.

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