An image from the Waterline library concept plan, of an artist’s impression of what the new Waterline library could look like.

FOLLOWING three community consultation sessions on the plans for the Waterline library in Grantville, West Gippsland Libraries (WGL) CEO Leanne Williams says that the replacement for the mobile library is a starting point for the community to get the bigger library service that some are demanding.
Calls for the library to be 200sqm, around five times bigger than the chosen area in the Grantville Transaction Centre, were made in the consultation sessions, but WGL are not considering expansion until further down the track.
“There is going to be a library at the Grantville Transaction Centre, that’s not what we wanted to consult about, the sessions were about making sure that what we do provide with this service is good for the community,” said Ms Williams.
Leanne says suggestions about how the eight hours of librarian visits will be arranged, the layout of the room, services and programs, collection points in neighbouring towns and others have all been taken on board by WGL.
A key aspect of the sessions was letting locals know that growing beyond the 6m x 6m space shown in the plan is able to happen, if the library is used enough to warrant it.
“The community needs to strive for that bigger space.
“The more this library is used, that becomes the best lever to move on to something bigger.
“Our other libraries that we have been able to expand have been really bursting at the seams before that could happen.”
WGL met with two local community groups with strong reservations about the plan in the week before the consultation sessions, and Leanne says she feels positive that they want the same thing and will be able to work together.
Leanne said that there is no use in providing something that nobody wants to use, so they will be looking at the amount of use this service gets, to see if there is enough demand for something bigger.
“Everyone we spoke to thought the proposal was wonderful and a great addition for the area.
“Our vision is to have a thriving library service where people can connect.
“We are still consolidating all the information so there is no final decision on what it will look like yet, for example, will the meeting room wall be removed to open up the space?
“We are aiming to get the information to Bass Coast Council this month,” Leanne said.
The Waterline library concept plans are available to the public online at WGL’s website at https://www.wgrlc.vic.gov.au/.