Moyne wary of hidden library costs

MOYNE Shire has cautiously supported the introduction of a statewide library card — on the condition it doesn’t have to foot the bill. 

The long-awaited stage two report of the state’s public libraries promises to deliver a single borrowing card that can be used at all libraries, as well as better efficiencies across Victoria’s 78 services and corporations. 

Corangamite Regional Libraries Corporation, which covers the south-west, could have access to online collections and resources at the State Library of Victoria as well as Geelong and Ballarat. 

Moyne has voiced in-principle support for the plan, titled Tomorrow’s Library, but doesn’t want to be left to cover any costs once the government approves it. 

Cr Jim Doukas was vocal at Moyne Shire’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, saying rural councils and library groups would struggle to come up with the cash. 

“If this report is adopted and the government drops the costs on the council, how do rural councils pay for it?” Cr Doukas asked. 

“If you’re a inner-city council you’ve got 100,000 people walking past your door and money flowing in from parking meters.”

Cr Jim Parker said Moyne would have to write to Spring Street. 

“We’re aware the state government — in the whole library structure — is only paying 20 per cent,” Cr Parker said. 

“The government should be paying for what comes out of this report.”  

Moyne Shire physical services director Trevor Greenberger said the “concern is that library corporations will be asked to make a contribution out of their existing budgets”. 

He said the measures would likely be brought in following November’s state election. 

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