Thursday, April 25, 2024

Casey/Cardinia libraries model shelved

Victoria’s City of Casey and Cardinia Shire Councils have voted to shelve their current libraries service model.

The joint decision will see the dissolution of the Casey Cardinia Libraries Corporation in favour of a new service model.

 City of Casey Chair of Administrators, Noelene Duff PSM said the Councils had agreed to look at their library services earlier this year, to help plan and make informed decisions for the future.  

 “The joint decision was made due to a number of contributing factors, most notably the significant growth and change in demographics of both communities, along with new legislation in the Local Government Act 2020, which requires the current regional library model to be changed in the coming decade, and the timely need for a review of the existing model,” Ms Duff said. 

 “Over the past 25 years, CCL has grown to Victoria’s largest public library service with the population across the two municipalities increasing to almost half a million people and is planned to reach 750,000 by 2041.”   

Recent changes in the Local Government Act 2020 also impact on libraries and means that CCL can not continue as a ‘Regional Library’ beyond June 2030, she said.

 Cardinia Shire Mayor, Brett Owen said the change in legislation had been a contributing factor towards the councils initiating discussions and looking to explore the most suitable options for the libraries going forward.    

 “Both councils acknowledge that it’s important for our services to be fit for purpose, for both community needs and the councils’ requirements,” Mayor Owen said.  

“This has led both councils to realise the benefits that may be available in operating separate library services and as such we’ve now started to take the necessary steps to allow us to explore the opportunities for future service models independently. 

“We’d like to reassure library members across both municipalities that it’s not the intention to reduce or impact library services and there will be a focus on retaining CCL staff in whatever new service model we both pursue.”  

 Ms Duff said the transition to a new service model would be a staged process over the next 16 months, allowing for a planned transition with the objective of minimising impact on library services to the community. 

 “As with any change like this, our community and customers are always at the forefront of everything we do, and both councils will undertake community engagement on their future library vision throughout 2022.”

“We would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic work of CCL staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff have demonstrated their dedication and resilience to the communities they serve and the organisation,” she said.

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