Council to take over library services in the coming months

Published on 12 February 2020

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Northern Grampians Shire Council will take over operation of the Stawell and St Arnaud libraries at the end of the financial year.

The decision to withdraw from the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation was made in a session of closed council in April last year but was resolved to be made public at the ordinary council meeting last week. 

Council is able to release the confidential decision to the public as the final terms of the withdrawal have now been finalised with council giving notice of its intention to exit the service entirely by 30 June 2020.

The decision to take on the library services as part of council’s operations is part of a broader ongoing process of council continually looking at ways in which the organisation can provide services to the community more efficiently and effectively. 

Following that review, council came to the conclusion it could provide the same service or better for lower running-costs and provides council the opportunity to better integrate existing library programs. 

By aligning the library services and programs council will be able to provide robust and engaging programs that position libraries back at the heart of the community. 

Further, it is expected that by incorporating library functions into council’s existing community services that there will be additional benefits for the community at a reduced cost. 
 
Northern Grampians Shire Council CEO, Liana Thompson, said in absorbing the library operations, NGSC is able to offer a better library experience to the community. 
 
“The library review showed the current service model doesn't suit the community and we can provide a better service at a better price if we do it ourselves,” she said. 
 
“We have chosen a path that is best for the community in a financially sustainable way.” 
 
“Libraries have moved from being just about books to being community hubs, and with that in mind, by taking the libraries under council’s wing, we can create spaces that allow growth, promote learning across all demographics, and bring people closer together.” 

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