Lake Mac Libraries continuing transformation into multi-use community facilities, incorporating digital hubs

MORISSET LIBRARY: Lake Mac Libraries are transforming into more active multi-use community facilities, incorporating digital hubs, workshop areas, museum and exhibition spaces, the council said. Picture: David Stewart
MORISSET LIBRARY: Lake Mac Libraries are transforming into more active multi-use community facilities, incorporating digital hubs, workshop areas, museum and exhibition spaces, the council said. Picture: David Stewart

LAKE Macquarie City Council said staffing levels had not been cut in its libraries, although the roles of library staff were evolving.

The council was responding to concerns about library staffing levels from Wangi Wangi residents who said their library recently failed to open on a Saturday, as scheduled.

The council said the incident was not related to a staffing shortfall, but was an isolated error.

"In late 2016, the Cultural Services team had 83 permanent full- or part-time staff, of which 52 worked in the libraries business unit," a spokesperson for the council said.

"Today, the Arts, Cultural and Tourism team has 83 full- or part-time staff, of which 62 officers spend more than 75 per cent of their time working in libraries."

Related reading:

The council spokesperson said the ratio of library officers in Lake Mac Libraries "was within national and international standards", and positions that required a degree qualification, such as a librarian, remained.

But libraries were changing, the spokesperson said.

"Library visitation and loans have consistently declined over the last decade, so we need to improve and innovate to keep the customers we have and attract new ones to our service," they said.

"Council is committed to ensuring that we have the right balance of expertise and technology to meet our community's needs.

"Whether staff are managing an art gallery, library, community centre, visitor information centre, theatre or museum, the customer experience should be the same.

"Given these natural synergies, having staff that can transfer skills and experience and work across a number of similar areas is critical."

The Lake Mac Libraries Strategy and Action Plan outlines how Lake Mac Libraries will operate into the future - expanding from a traditional service, based largely on physical loan items, to one providing more active multi-use community facilities, incorporating digital hubs, workshop areas, museum and exhibition spaces.

"The five-year strategic business plan also includes 10 strategic goals, covering everything from supporting literacy, learning and reading in the digital age to celebrating Lake Macquarie's Indigenous culture," the spokesperson said.

In the news

Comments