Library could soon be ‘hubs’

Rod Wangman says libraries of the future will be very different places. Picture: BEN EYLES
Rod Wangman says libraries of the future will be very different places. Picture: BEN EYLES

WODONGA’S library service could soon evolve as a series of as many as 10 outlets — from the pool to cafes.

The Wodonga Council is considering hub locations for the services after it leaves the Upper Murray Regional Library from July.

WAVES and cafes could provide such services such as books and wireless internet.

The council agreed at a meeting last week to spend $272,623 on Upper Murray stock — books, DVDs, CDs and library software.

Wodonga Cr Rod Wangman said the council needed to think about where libraries were headed.

“Libraries have been a collection of books but those of the future mean free computer use, wireless internet and a meeting place for community groups,” he said.

“We need to think about what that means for Wodonga.”

A report on a new library model is being prepared for the council.

Until then, councillors have agreed to consider a community network with 10 or more hubs.

“These locations could be cafes, neighbourhood houses or WAVES,” Cr Wangman said.”

Indigo and Towong shires have also agreed to buy Upper Murray stock.

Library chairman and Indigo councillor Peter Croucher said the councils would need stock to maintain some service.

Indigo will spend $63,800 on 17,446 items it will house at Beechworth, Chiltern and Rutherglen libraries.

“We don’t have the money in our budget but we will have to find it,” Cr Croucher said.

“We might have to get it from next year’s budget or councils often go into debt.”

Cr Croucher said buying Upper Murray stock was the council’s cheapest option.

“It also raises money to pay Upper Murray staff and discharge liabilities,” he said.

Greater Hume, Corowa, Urana and Tumbarumba have joined the Riverina Regional Library.