The Mirror News

Real need for library space

FOSTER’s library is bursting at the seams. The Friends of Corner Inlet Libraries are determined to do something about it and are asking the community to help.

“We have made up a corflute board for the Planning for Real exercise at this Saturday’s State Election,” said Friends member Chris Kemper.

The Friends have posted on the board their top ideas to improve the library. They are hoping to inspire community members participating in the Planning for Real exercise.

Hosted by the Foster Community Association, the Planning for Real exercise involves community members naming projects that they consider should be given high priority in order to make Foster a better place to live, work and play. As they leave the polling booth, people will be invited to highlight their priorities by placing flags on a map of Foster and district.

In the eyes of the Friends of Corner Inlet Libraries, the expansion of Foster Library is of high priority.

“We need more space for the collection. We also need a meeting room and more space for seating for reading newspapers and magazines and we need additional space for study areas, for teenagers in particular,” explained Chris Kemper.

“Many tourists visit the library to use the free wifi, and we could do with more space for computers and device access. We also need more room for the hugely popular programs run at the library, programs such as Lego Club or Between the Covers.”

Ms Kemper said it was wonderful to see how popular the programs run at the library are. The downside, she said, is that programs like Baby Rhyme Time are held in very cramped conditions and it is almost impossible to hold functions, such as author visits or book launches, in the library.

“We also need space to address some inequities in our library,” said Ms Kemper.  “There are a large number of children in the 5-14 age group who need study desks and recreational space areas e.g. gaming, music. Modern libraries are so much more than book collections. The library was built to a budget and not to specifications appropriate for a library in the 21st century.”

At the Planning for Real exercise at the 2010 election the public came up with 1800 suggestions for Foster. The exercise led to the upgrading of the ‘Welcome to Foster’ sign and the Foster Lookout, the beautification of the rotunda at the bus stop and a start on beautifying the alleyways and main street in Foster – to name just a few projects.

What will come out of this year’s exercise? An upgrade for Foster Library? The Friends of Corner Inlet Libraries would like to think so.


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