A rally to save village library

Shellharbour Councillor Kellie Marsh with Barrack Point resident Harry Gooden will rally against the possible closure of the library at Shellharbour village. Picture Eliza Winkler

Shellharbour Councillor Kellie Marsh with Barrack Point resident Harry Gooden will rally against the possible closure of the library at Shellharbour village. Picture Eliza Winkler

A COUNCILLOR has called on residents to join discussions regarding the future of Shellharbour Village library.

Shellharbour Councillor Kellie Marsh has expressed concern about a proposal to relocate the library service to Shell Cove and will hold a Save the Village Rally on Friday, July 4 at 4pm.

The library is currently managed under a Libraries and Museums strategy 2024, which was adopted by council in March 2014. The strategy is aimed at improving the form and function of local libraries and incorporating community input, demographic analysis and research. 

A council spokeswoman said the current strategy explores the concept of moving the Shellharbour Village library to a suitable site at The Waterfront, Shell Cove development in 2018.

However, she said all plans were at a conceptual level and any changes would involve further community consultation.

Barrack Point resident, Harry Gooden said the community didn't want to see the building demolished, they wanted it enhanced.

“It’s in a perfect spot, right in the middle of town and central for pensioners, we want it to stay here,” Mr Gooden said. “We pay higher rates to live by the beach and in the village and these rates are increasing every year.”

Cr Marsh said if the library was to close, her main concerns would be, “the loss of service for the residents of Shellharbour Village and Barrack Point, the social isolation particularly for the elderly resident, travel costs and the loss of internet services for families and students.”

“There are a broad spectrum of people that use this facility,” she said, “People of this area like it because of its community feel and they are becoming a victim of council’s decision.”

“This is an expensive block of land and I’m concerned that council are thinking more about money than about the community.”

A council spokesperson said in effort to ensure that current village library users still have access to the service, the library’s home service would be expanded.

Cr Marsh said the rally would give residents a chance be informed about the plans and speak out in favour of, or against them.

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