Noosa Council Library Services art work depicting its ageing mobile library it admits is in need of replacing.
Noosa Council Library Services art work depicting its ageing mobile library it admits is in need of replacing.

Mobile library ‘needs to keep on trucking’

NOOSA’S ageing mobile library service must be replaced with “a modern version of itself”, according to Noosa councillor candidate Karen Finzel.

She said hinterland concerns about the future of the service have been fuelled by a council response that the on-road articulated truck and trailer set up was “reaching the end of its useful life” with a use-by date possibly in the middle of 2020.

Ms Finzel said alternatives like a smaller vehicle or vending machines as raised by council was not good enough and a replacement service must retain “the look and feel of a real walk-in library along with its Wi-Fi, photocopier and reference books”

“The mobile library makes scheduled visits around the shire and is especially important in hinterland townships like Pomona, Cooran, Kin Kin, Federal and Boreen Point which are distant from physical libraries and have poor or no public transport opportunities.”Ms Finzel said.

“The loss of a fully-fledged mobile library service would be yet another blow to this important part of the shire.

“It is of great value to aged people, schoolchildren and their teachers who organise educational programs around the services it provides,” she said.

The council library service’s response to community concerns about the mobile service it admitted appeared “to be off-the-road more often” was to apologise for the amount of repairs.

“As the mobile library is nearing its end of life, council is in the early stages of researching a wide variety of options to replace the current vehicle,” the service website said.

“These options include replacement with a smaller outreach vehicle, library kiosks/vending machines, home library services, bulk loans of collections, offering services through existing community facilities or a combination of any or all of these options.

“There will still be a mobile library service operating across the shire, however it is likely to be in a different form to take advantage of newer vehicles and technologies. This form will depend on local community needs and priorities, however we are hoping to be able to extend services to more customers.”

The library service said it is likely the replacement service will be operational in late 2020.

Council has carried more than 200 user surveys to help inform the future replacement model for mobile library services.