Lismore City councillor Isaac Smith visited the Richmond-Tweed Regional Library in June.
Lismore City councillor Isaac Smith visited the Richmond-Tweed Regional Library in June.

Lismore council takes over library

USERS of Richmond/Tweed Regional Library would not notice any difference when Lismore City Council became the executive council from today, Library Committee chairman Isaac Smith said yesterday.

Lismore City Council announced three weeks ago that it would take over the executive-administrative role after it exhausted all other options to bring the regional library in line with the NSW Library Act.

“People won’t notice any changes tomorrow,” Cr Smith said.

“The high service that has been delivered will continue to be delivered.”

As part of the process of transferring the library’s administration and assets to Lismore Council, new service level agreements are being developed with member councils Ballina, Byron and Tweed.

Cr Smith said the new agreements would maintain a similar level of service to ratepayers.

He said the only way the new agreements could lower the standard of service was if a particular council asked for it in its area.

“It would be up to the particular council, but I would think it would be a very brave council to lower their standard given it is an excellent service,” he said.

As part of the restructure, widely respected library director Martin Field who transformed the network into one of the best in the state, has taken a redundancy. His last day was yesterday.

Mr Field’s deputy, Nicole Don, would fill the position until a permanent replacement was found as soon as possible, Cr Smith said.

The library’s new structure caused community angst when it was announced and sparked concerns among some councillors.

Lismore’s Greens councillor Vanessa Ekins is the latest to raise concerns and intends to put a motion at the council meeting next month.

The motion calls on the council to maintain the library’s high standard, thank Mr Fields for his 14 years of service and commit to consultation with member councils on any significant policy change or rationalisation of assets.

“I am a bit concerned that the library committee isn’t going to be there any more to make decisions,” Cr Ekins said.



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