Noosa councillor candidate Karen Finzel says the prospects for the shire retaining a decent mobile library are looking grim.
“The council is ready to adopt a second rate replacement,” she says.
“It seems this much loved and well used service which visits many townships in our shire is gone six months from now,” Ms Finzel said.
“And gone with it will be the look and feel of a real walk-in library along with its wifi, photocopier and reference books.
“Certainly this is the belief of many people in the hinterland who have noticed the council dithering for over a year to replace the current vehicle.”
In late November, Pomona community stalwart Brian O’Connor asked the council in open session what will happen when the mobile library reaches its last page.
Mr O’Connor was told the library was 13 years old and "reaching the end of its useful life", estimated to be in the middle of 2020.
“It’s our view that the articulated truck housing the library must be replaced with a modern version of itself, not the small vehicle or vending machines the council is planning and has called an ‘achievement’,” Ms Finzel said.
“The mobile library makes scheduled visits around the shire and is especially important in hinterland townships like Pomona, Cooran, Kin Kin, Federal and Boreen Point which are distant from physical libraries and have poor or no public transport opportunities.
“It is of great value to aged people, school children and their teachers who organise educational programs around the services it provides.
“Our council boasts of its financial management and seems to easily find funds for pet projects but here we have a vital community service which the council is going to replace with a van and vending machines.
“The council has had a year to make a final decision and the community is suspicious this is being delayed until after the election, and that it will be another decision that will disadvantage the hinterland,” she said.
“I’ve already had to remind the mayor that the hinterland expects its fair share of council resources, including a program to improve 200 kilometres of gravel roads.
“The loss of a fully-fledged mobile library service would be yet another blow to this important part of the shire.”