When asked about libraries, some people still conjure up images of old buildings, dimmed lights, dusty bookshelves and a librarian insisting on silence.
Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said libraries had moved a long way from that vision and they were set to move even further with the endorsement of the Sunshine Coast Libraries Plan 2014-2024, at Council’s Ordinary Meeting.
“Sunshine Coast Libraries are one of Council’s most visible, highly utilised and valued services to the community, with 90% of surveyed library users indicating a high satisfaction with their library service,” Cr McKay said.
“However, we need to ensure that our community continues to have equitable access to library facilities in a way that meets their changing needs, and within a strategic framework of what a contemporary library looks like today.
“The Library Plan does this. It clearly articulates the library’s future role of not only providing information but of enabling the community to learn how to access information and knowledge independently.
“Technological advancements, community patterns and needs, and evolving staff roles are a key focus of the Plan. It outlines the changing role of libraries not only in the services offered but also in the look and feel of library spaces. It also repositions libraries within the community – reshaping their role as social hubs within the communities they represent.
“Our libraries help people from all walks of life to function in a fast-paced contemporary society. In fact, our eight branch libraries and two mobile libraries are visited over 1.5 million times each year by over 110,000 members.
“Our libraries assist the community and individuals to learn, develop, explore, create and connect. They provide a space to bring people together, reducing isolation by promoting social interaction and inclusion.
“The adoption of the Plan is a vital step towards ensuring Council can progress its delivery of a contemporary library service in a targeted and efficient way over the next 10 years.”
The seven guiding principles for Sunshine Coast Libraries are Pillars of Community, Catalysts of Place, Pioneers of Innovation, Champions of Reading, Supporters of Literacy, Incubators of Learning and Nurturers of Expert Staff. These principles provide a charter to aspire to in the daily operations, design and objectives of the region’s libraries.
The Sunshine Coast Libraries Plan 2014-2024 is available for viewing on Council’s website.