Upper Lachlan Shire Council has signed a service level agreement with Goulburn Mulwaree Council for the provision of library services over the next 12 months.
The existing Southern Tablelands Library Cooperative, which involves Upper Lachlan, Goulburn Mulwaree and Yass Valley Councils, will cease on June 30, 2017.
It follows a decision by Yass Valley Council to exit the Library Cooperative following a review of its library operations.
Upper Lachlan conducted its own review of library operations and a Library Service Model Review Report, prepared by Janet Smith, was presented to councillors at a council meeting in Crookwell last December.
At that meeting, councillors voted unanimously to engage in further discussion with Goulburn Mulwaree to negotiate an interim agreement for the provision of library services, which covered service levels and fee structures, over 12 months.
Upper Lachlan general manager John Bell said the agreement, which includes an option to extend for a further five years, satisfies both parties, and most importantly will ensure the needs of library users continue to be met.
“The agreement will enable our library users to continue to have access to the vast library catalogue of Goulburn, Crookwell and Gunning Libraries,” Mr Bell said.
“Library users will be able to borrow, renew, return and reserve items from all three library locations as they do now. A new website will be developed for the Upper Lachlan Shire library service and new library membership cards issued which will allow library users to continue to access services and functions in a similar manner offered now by the Southern Tablelands Library Cooperative.
“In a first for the area, a mobile library service will also be trialled in Taralga on a three weekly rotation basis. The mobile library will be fitted out with wireless internet and hold up to 3000 library books and other items for loan, reducing the need for residents of Taralga and surrounding areas to travel to Crookwell or Goulburn.”
From July 1, members of the Upper Lachlan Shire Library Service may join Yass Valley Library for free as a reciprocal member and access Yass Valley library collections and services; however materials will only be able to be borrowed from, renewed with, and returned directly to Yass Valley Library.
The Upper Lachlan Shire Library Service will be able to borrow books on behalf of non-reciprocal members via the National Interlibrary Loan Network. The cost of this service will be $5.50 per item requested.