LIBRARY users are being invited to have their say on proposed new opening hours at Hastings, Mornington, Rosebud and Somerville branches.
This comes after a painful restructure of the Mornington Peninsula Shire library service mid-last year which sought to reduce back-office staff and part-time roles amid complaints of a lack of consultation with staff.
The shire’s communities director Robin Adams said at the time the library service was “undergoing the most significant renewal and reform process since its inception”.
“This began with the major refurbishment of the mobile library to a state of the art facility for our isolated townships,” he said. Other changes are new layouts and self-serve kiosks and alterations to staff roles.
Now, with the dust settled, the shire is seeking comment to “enable our team to provide more customer-focused service and additional programs”.
“We’re now looking at how we can improve our opening hours across all our libraries.”
Under the proposed changes the four branches would open all day Mondays, instead of three closing at 2pm and Somerville not opening at all. Hastings branch has minor changes to its opening hours and an extra hour has been added at Somerville on Saturdays. It is also proposed to open Mornington Library on Sundays, 11am-3pm.
The mayor Cr Bev Colomb said the council was considering the changes to opening hours to “ensure hours aligned with community use and expectations”.
“Our libraries are a free community service truly loved by all ages. From babies to seniors and everyone in between, visitors can enjoy hundreds of general books, DVDs, music, online homework help, a range digital resources and access to free Wi-Fi and PCs,” she said.
“To maximise access to these great services, the proposed opening hours are based on current and future visitation at each branch to ensure the hours offered are best suited to the local community around each library.”
The mayor said the current library opening hours had been fixed for many years and involved all libraries being closed on Monday afternoons.
“The proposed changes bring an additional 21 total opening hours across the four branches and should better meet the expectations and demand from our library members.
The shire says it will compile a “detailed business report” after the community feedback is collated. This is expected to be presented back to the council for a decision early in the new year.
Have a say online at mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay or in person at a library branch, the shire’s mobile library or at shire customer service centres.