As a replacement for the much-loved mobile library, the Bass Coast Shire Council (BCSC) is proposing a 13 or possibly 36 square metre Waterline Regional Library at Grantville.
This is a much smaller floor space than the mobile library it replaces.
It is a book-collection point, not the promised ‘superior’ replacement service.
Moreover, it provides walking-distance proximity for patrons in just one town, not multiple towns.
Such a miniscule library will not attract patronage from outside Grantville. Its dimensions are not those of a regional library, instead approximating a one-town ‘click and collect’ depot. Click and collect’ is already more conveniently and universally provided from the current mobile library to all Waterline towns.
By comparison, Inverloch has a 192 square metre library (386 per cent higher), and Phillip Island a proposed 650 square metre library (677 per cent higher).
On a per-capita basis this equates to a Waterline regional library approximating 200 square metres, not 36 square metres.
The smaller library means Waterline ratepayers will be effectively cross-subsidising Inverloch and Cowes libraries.
The evidence suggests the mobile library service was terminated non-transparently, non-consultatively, non-partially, and in complete secrecy.
Remarkably, BCSC also voluntarily and gratuitously relinquished its ‘Living Library’ grant eligibility (valued up to $750,000) which would have preserved the mobile service.
The mobile library should be retained until such time as a 200 square metre Waterline Regional Library is constructed.
These matters are to be discussed at the Grantville Business and Community Association (GBCA) AGM at 6.30pm, Friday 20th September at the Grantville Hall. Residents interested in advancing services in their Waterline region are encouraged to attend.
Pete Granger, Tenby Point.