New era for Irymple Library building

Published on 28 November 2017

Irymple library.jpg

The next step to come out of Council’s library services review has now been implemented after Councillors this month endorsed Christie Centre Inc. as the new operator of Irymple’s future library agency and community centre.

The endorsement at this month’s Ordinary Council Meeting follows an expression of interest process in July and August for potential operators of an alternative library service for Irymple.

Council’s library services review earlier this year recommended a range of options to save rate payers almost $190,000 a year, while ensuring the region’s libraries remain viable and meet the community’s needs.

They included:

- develop a Mallee Track Library Service (MTLS), which will include place-based libraries based at the Ouyen Service Centre and an existing building in Murrayville.

- establish a weekly pop-up library service for Underbool and Walpeup residents.

- establish a weekly pop-up library service for Werrimull and Lake Cullulleraine residents.

- discontinue the mobile library service to Nangiloc.

- establish an alternate library service model for Irymple, which will include offering the current library building to a local organisation to operate a community centre. This community centre could include a library agency offering books, DVDs and other items, computers with internet access, WiFi access and a drop-off and pick-up point.

The review found that, in the case of the Irymple Library, it was suffering from a combination of declining patronage, increasing costs and decreased State Government funding. The plight of the library was also worsened by the close proximity and usage of the Mildura and Red Cliffs libraries by Irymple residents.

Councillors in May this year agreed to offer the existing building to local organisations via an expression of interest process, which would pave the way for the transition to a community centre, which could include a library.

It’s a move which will save rate payers about $70,000 year.

Councillor for Arts and Culture Jason Modica congratulated Christie Centre Inc. on their successful EOI submission.

“It’s fantastic to see a respected organisation that has done so much in our region to help people with disabilities turn their attention to yet another endeavour that I’m sure will once again provide significant benefits for the community – in this case, the Irymple community,” Cr Modica said.

“It’s also heartening to note that while the closure of the library was initially seen as a negative step, the eventual outcome will result in a library service continuing, with the addition of other community services, and that the EOI has the support of the Irymple Progress Association.

“We look forward to working with the Christie Centre team to see what they have planned for the Irymple library building and the services offered to Irymple residents.”

Following Councillors’ endorsement of Christie Centre Inc. Council will now develop formal occupancy arrangements, which will outline specific expectations for both parties, with a view to enabling the Christie Centre to not only deliver identified services, but other potential programs in the future.


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