My voting record‎ > ‎

Relocation or Refurbishment of Norwood Library off the table

posted 5 Feb 2018, 22:58 by Christel Mex
Unfortunately, my motion to reinstate the budget allocation for the relocation or refurbishment of the Norwood Library was defeated by one vote.  The staff recommendation, based on some elected members questioning the need for a library in Norwood, went ahead.  Many thanks to Paul Wormald who seconded the motion and to the other Councillors who voted with me including Evonne Moore, Kevin Shepherdson, Mike Stock and Sue Whitington. The funding will now be removed from the draft 'Long-term Financial Plan', but there will be an opportunity to have it reinstated when Council votes on the final version later this year. 

Here's what I said:

Public libraries are dynamic, versatile community centers.  According to the November Council report, over 41,000 attended Norwood Library in the last 12 months, and attendance is growing.

Libraries encourage new readers, foster book groups and engage communities.

In the words of academic Robert Putnam, “People may go to the library looking mainly for information, but they find each other there.”

New moms connect at baby story-times; elderly people, often facing difficult life transitions, visit the library and find that they make new friends; teenagers meet up in library spaces after school; and readers discuss current events over the newspaper. In libraries, community-building is happening all the time.

Libraries also help to ensure that non-English speakers see themselves represented in their communities. Public libraries often collect books in languages other than English, incorporate appropriate signage, and often offer bilingual book clubs. Services like these help all community members recognise the depth of diversity that exists in their communities.

And in a time when education is increasingly expensive, public libraries provide information and educational opportunities free for all people, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

For a greater number of people than we might care to believe, the library serves as a warm and dry sanctuary, a place they can sit without fear of being bothered. For others, it is a refuge from loneliness, a place to learn and to meet others, and read the daily paper free of charge.

 With the new housing developments on the population of Norwood will be increasing and we will need this library more than ever.  We shouldn’t forget all the residents who live in local aged-care facilities and public housing who depend on our free library services.

 It would be irresponsible, and short cited of us, not to think about the future of the Norwood Library and its crucial services to our community.

I commend this amendment to my colleagues.