Meeting's fury over library changes
AN aggressive campaign to revive the Northern Rivers co-operative library model will be launched after a crisis meeting at Byron Bay.
North Coast MLC Catherine Cusack organised the Friends of Richmond Tweed Regional Library meeting at the Byron Bay Services Club yesterday, where outrage over Lismore City Council's administrative governance of the regional library was expressed.
The meeting was attended by counsellors from Tweed, Byron, Lismore and Ballina councils and Friends of the Library groups.
It was resolved that the Friends of Richmond Tweed Regional Library would launch a campaign, which would include a letterbox drop to every home in the four affected council areas, to bring back the independent regional library model.
The group will also endeavour to collect 10,000 signatures in support of their cause to send to NSW Parliament for debate.
Mrs Cusack said they were pushing for a library co-operative that is democratic at the top with elected counsellors.
"People feel they have been let down by the general managers and that they have been manipulating information in favour of the Lismore model," she said.
"The general managers have not been keeping counsellors properly informed of the options available to them. They (general managers) don't want the co-operative model and they want a model run by Lismore."
Two weeks ago, Ballina Shire Council decided to support the current library structure, in which Lismore City Council is the administrating council.
Mayor Phillip Silversaid two weeks ago that Lismore had "stuck its neck out quite a bit" and they had not been given the recognition they deserve.
Ballina Shire Council general manager Paul Hickey said at the time that a county council model for the regional library would come at a significant cost.
Max Boyd, a former Richmond Tweed Regional Library committee member, chaired yesterday'smeeting and said when the library was controlled by Lismore, it was a "basket case."
The meeting heard that the former Richmond Tweed Regional Library director Martin Field had been subjected to a smear campaign when the regional library model was disbanded.
"In his 14 years, (as director) Martin took it from a basket case to being the second biggest library in the state and most efficient," Mrs Cusack said.
Byron Shire Council has indicated they will drop out of the regional library under the Lismore model, which will lead to a further loss of 13% of the regional collection, Ms Cusack said.
SHOULD THE LIBRARY RETURN TO THE ORIGINAL MODEL?