Shires commit to future of libraries

Two south-west Councils have vowed to ensure a secure future for their public libraries despite the loss of two significant financial partners.

Corangamite and Moyne shires are working together to ensure the future of library services for their residents.

Warrnambool City Council and Colac Otway Shire will withdraw from the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation (CRLC) as of 30 June 2021.

Corangamite Shire Mayor Ruth Gstrein has been on the CRLC Board since 2011.

She said the remaining CRLC partners were disappointed by the decisions of Warrnambool City Council and Colac-Otway Shire.

“Their departures will reduce the economy of scale that has been a strength of the CRLC,” Cr Gstrein said.

“In a regional area, co-operation and provision of shared services is vital to reducing costs and delivering better services, in this case, books.

“Corangamite are committed to ensuring our residents continue to receive a high level of public library service provision,” Cr Gstrein said.

Cr Gstrein said regional libraries were far more than just book lenders. They provide education and literacy programs, social connections, access to technology and refuge during extreme temperatures.

“A review into potential management models is being undertaken. We will use the results to plan how to provide library services into the future.

“Our communities can be assured that both Corangamite and Moyne are committed to delivering the best service we can.

“We will need to consider a number of options for future library services and decide on the most appropriate delivery model for each council and its residents.

Moyne Shire Mayor Daniel Meade said the Council was investigating future management models for the Shire’s libraries.

“Regional libraries and their programs and services have an important role to play in our towns,” Cr Meade said.

“It is timely a review is carried out into the future library management model, given the withdrawal of the Warrnambool and Colac councils.

“We are working closely with Corangamite Shire to investigate a management model that will continue to provide library services in Moyne.”

A final decision is expected early in the new year.

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