Council will invest $370,000 over 10 years to enhance library services for isolated and disadvantaged members of the community.
New and enhanced programs will include delivery services to retirement communities and aged care facilities, an extended home library service for those who are unable to access the library and a community reading room located to improve access in lower socio-economic areas of Knox.
Library staff and volunteers will regularly visit retirement and aged care facilities to determine their borrowing needs and provide a ‘personal shopper’ model for residents, delivering materials on a three-week loan from their nearest library branch.
The Home Library service, which helps vulnerable members of the community who cannot access a library, will be expanded to include more local residents.
A community reading room will be established in a location that provides access to disadvantaged areas of the community and could potentially be located near a school or other high-traffic site.
Community reading rooms have been successful in other parts of the eastern region, providing a limited library service in a neighbourhood house or similar organisation. This service will be piloted for one year to measure its success.
The new services replace the Knox Mobile Library service, which has been closed for 12 months due to COVID-19.
The Mobile Library currently has fewer than 40 active members.
Members of the Mobile Library were surveyed and their feedback used to develop these alternate services. Council will support them in transitioning to the new services.
With all Knox residents currently living within 8km or a 10-minute drive of a library branch, replacing the Mobile Library with a series of new and enhanced services will allow greater access to vulnerable or disadvantaged members of the community who may not otherwise be able to access the library.