Why council is doing a major review of its libraries strategy

Ipswich City Council will review its libraries’ forward planning and growth strategy for the first time in almost a decade.

Libraries and Tourism Committee Chairman Cr David Pahlke said the Coping with Growth 2008-2026 strategy was approved by council in March 2009. It has since been reviewed and updated in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

“While the key elements of the strategy have been updated and endorsed over the years a substantive review of the strategy as a whole has not been conducted,” he said.

“It has been 10 years since the strategy was researched and the Operating Model recommendation was proposed and endorsed.

“While the strategy has been notably accurate in its projections over the last decade, due to a number of constraints, there has been a series of departures from the strategy which reflect a shift in council’s focus and direction.”

Cr Pahlke said it was timely for key elements to be reviewed, including bench-marked methodology (measuring equitable access to library services across the city), council strategic priorities and value-for-money outcomes, and community needs.

“Local sentiment for public library use is strong, even among community members who may not use the library themselves, but support access to library services for everyone,” he said.

“Council is committed to the sustainable future of public library services for all residents.”

Council agreed to go to market to engage an independent industry consultant to review the Coping with Growth 2008-2026 strategy and conduct a concurrent community research and engagement process to determine the priorities of the community with regards to community facilities and the library operating model.

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