Victorian Govt funding boost to progress new library services model

Published on 20 December 2017

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Mildura Rural City Council will continue to progress its plans to replace its mobile library service with a new enhanced model following its successful application for $294,000 in Victorian Government funding.

Council applied for the funding as part of the Victorian Government’s Living Libraries Infrastructure Program, which will be injected into the rollout of the new library service for residents along the Mallee Track and the Millewa.

Councillor for Arts and Culture Jason Modica said the new model would include:

  • establishment of a Mallee Track Library Service, which will include place-based libraries at the Ouyen Service Centre and in Murrayville
  • establishment of a weekly pop-up library service for Underbool and Walpeup residents
  • establishment of a weekly pop-up library service for Werrimull and Lake Cullulleraine residents.

Cr Modica highlighted the valuable contribution from the Victorian Government.

“At the end of the day, the changes we’re implementing are aimed at ensuring both a sustainable and effective library service that accommodates as many residents as possible,” he said.

“The Victorian Government’s contribution, added to the $190,000 in savings already forecast by our review of library services, will ensure we’re able to achieve these aims and we’re certainly grateful to be able to work with government to do this.”

The funding will be injected into redesigning Council’s Ouyen Service Centre to incorporate a placed-based library and purchasing and establishing a relocatable building at Murrayville for the second placed-based library.

Other plans include the purchase of a large van for pop-up library services and renovations to the Lake Cullulleraine Tennis Club, which will also serve as a pop-up library.

Cr Modica said the new model would in many cases increase access to library services for residents along the Mallee Track and the Millewa.

“In the case of the place-based library at the Ouyen Service Centre, access to library services will go from the existing eight hours per week to 45 hours a week,” he said.

“Similarly, the placed-based library at Murrayville will deliver an increase in library access from 4.5 hours per week to between six and eight hours – operated by library service staff who would be employed from the local area.”

The weekly pop-up libraries for Underbool, Walpeup, Werrimull and Lake Cullulleraine residents will all operate from local buildings, some of which are still to be identified.

Replacing Council’s Mobile Library Service with placed-based and pop-up libraries is among several measures to come out of a comprehensive sustainability review of Council’s library services last year.

The review, which include significant community consultation, found that while small rural and remote libraries contribute to residents’ wellbeing, there had been a clear shift in the way people were accessing their library services.

This has been reflected in the new model proposed for the Mallee Track and the Millewa, which will provide increased access for the majority of library users in these areas.


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