Deputy Mayor and Community Services Councillor Sandice McAulay “can’t contain her excitement,” being confident the van’s refurbishment was worth the wait.
“The Mobile Library van has been rejuvenated and will come back as the ‘Mobile Library and Customer Service’ van. It has a brand new exterior look and the interior of the van has been refurbished. It also has a retractable awning to allow us to use the van in a number of new ways, regardless of the weather.
“I am finding it hard to contain my excitement about this – so I have decided not to try! Of course, like always, you can borrow a book – and we have a fabulous new range to choose from. But we have also expanded the service we provide on the van to help the community access all Council services – not just the library service. You can pay bills, enquire about a planning matter, put in a customer request or ask about accessing aged care services,” McAulay said.
“We purchased a new prime mover to replace the one which was written off and it arrived a short while ago … we were thrilled to find out in December that we had been successful in obtaining a grant from the Victorian Government’s Living Libraries Infrastructure Program to help us fix up the Mobile Library van.
“This grant was essential to get this new and improved service back on the road. It has taken a few months longer than expected to get the works done, but the Mobile now looks amazing. Our thanks to the Victorian Government for their contribution to getting the service back up and running.
“So, when the Mobile is once again on the road, in addition to our library staff, we will have more Council staff going out on the Mobile. The idea here is to make it simpler for people remote from a Council office to talk to us about their needs and our services. We’d also like to know how you think we are going and any ideas you might have for improving our services. And we will also be taking the Mobile Service along to community events around the Shire so we can improve our presence and engagement with the community across the Shire.
“We had some great feedback from a community consultation about the Mobile we ran in late 2016. We heard that it was really important to ensure the equitable spread of the service to communities across the Shire.
“We agree – and this is something Council is keen to address across all of the service it provides, as we have made clear in our Council Plan and our draft budget for 2018/19. So, in addition to regular stops in Eildon, Marysville, Buxton, Flowerdale and Strath Creek, we are also adding new stops in Toolangi, Glenburn and Highlands.
“And we have made the stop in Strath Creek fortnightly instead of monthly, alternating with the fortnightly Flowerdale stop – another big improvement. Importantly, these changes have been made within the existing Mobile Library Service budget by rejigging the timetable. This ensures a fair spread of hours at each site with no extra burden on ratepayers”, said Cr McAulay.
“We know the community is super keen to get this service back up and running and we really appreciate everyone’s patience in getting to this point. We’d also like to thank everyone for keeping up their membership with the scaled-down library service we have been running in community halls. And a big shout out to our Mobile Library staff who are also very excited to have the library van back in operation.
“Existing library members, those wishing to become members and those wanting to access customer services will need to check out the new timetable to make sure they know when the Mobile is coming to their area. I’d urge existing Mobile users in particular to look carefully at the new times as they have changed from our existing schedule. Of course you can always give us a call on 5772 0333 if you are not sure when we are coming to your town.
“And don’t forget to ‘like’ the Murrindindi Library Service on Facebook so you can find out about any unavoidable last minute changes to the timetable or to ask us questions.
Murrindindi Shire’s Library Service is provided by the Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service.