I am writing an open letter to all Bass Coast Shire residents to support the Waterline townships who are trying to stop the West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation and Bass Coast Shire Council from ceasing the South Coast Mobile Library Service effective June 2019.
Whilst there has been a complete lack of detail regarding the loss of the mobile library service and the replacement services that will be offered, verbal discussions with the current CEO, Leanne Edwards, have confirmed that there will be a “trolley of books” and a “drop off and pick up point with contact by a librarian by telephone”. Her words, not mine.
The South Coast Mobile Library visits Grantville, Corinella, Coronet Bay, San Remo and Kilcunda once a week, with the exception of San Remo who has two visits per week, for approximately two hours for each township.
Again, San Remo has seven hours and 15 minutes over the two visits per week.
The South Coast Mobile Library Service is an outreach service but West Gippsland Library Service bemoans the fact that the mobile truck spends too much too much time on the road travelling between the various townships. But is that not what an outreach service does?
The Mobile Library Service gives residents the opportunity to browse books, magazines, newspapers, CDs and DVDs together with internet access.
There is no doubt that the Waterline is not an affluent area and the services to supply books, magazines, newspapers, etc., is a well sought out and effective resource for those who cannot afford to purchase books in the retail market.
The Mobile Library Service is also a link of communication, friendship and much laughter when it visits the towns with the librarians who man the vehicle knowing many names of patrons.
The nearest public library is Wonthaggi or Cowes. The public transport is as scarce as hens’ teeth and if you do not have access to a motor vehicle life is very difficult.
We ask that you write to the councillors of Bass Coast Shire, urging them to reconsider the decision made in camera and without any community consultation to cease the mobile library service.
The $1 million figure to replace the mobile library truck is an absolute joke and disgrace. A few minutes on line will clearly show how inflated this $1 million figure is. The truck was purchased previously with grants from state and federal governments. This needs to be done and people need to make an effort to look after the Waterline townships.
The loss of the South Coast Mobile Library Service will be impacted greatly, and really, there is not much else that council can take away from us if we lose the Mobile Library Service.
Support the residents and make sure that you let councillors, state and federal governments and WGRLC know that it is not okay to take this service. We need your support, now!
The Facebook page is ‘Save our West Gippsland Mobile Library’.
Joy Button.