Staff ditched for ‘express’ library

MELVILLE council has stripped staff from the Canning Bridge Library and will instead offer a new “click and collect” model.

The new self-service, or “express” library’s hours will be reduced to Monday to Fridays 9am to 4pm and will no longer be open on Saturdays.

Several people on the city’s Facebook page have expressed concerns that there will be a decrease in community contact and the change of closing time from 6pm to 4pm will make it impossible for student or office workers to use the facility.

Premature

The Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan promises an extra 24,000 residents by 2051 but Mayor George Gear says downgrading the library to an “express” model wasn’t premature.

“The new express model will continue to provide access to library services in the area that better reflects the current demand,” Mr Gear said. 

“We remain flexible and we are planning to respond when there is increased demand for library services in the area in the future,” he told the Herald.

“The City of Melville is working with a developer in the area as part of the developer’s community benefit component to deliver a modern library in the future to match population growth.”

Edge Visionary Living has had plans approved for a 15-storey mixed-use development on the corner of Canning Beach Road and Moreau Mews which includes a “Community Resource Centre”, art studio and workshop.

In a response to the Facebook concerns, the city said Canning Bridge staff would be reallocated to other branches although Mr Gear confirmed there would be an internal restructure and they would have to apply for the new positions to “ensure equity amongst existing staff”.  

Equity

Mr Gear said while Canning Bridge only accounted for 3 per cent of loans and visits to city libraries other branches were under the pump and could use the extra staff.

“The city is also continuing to pursue a new library and cultural centre at Booragoon that would service the wider City of Melville as the city’s main library facility.”

by EMINA HAJDAREVIC

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