Kelly Roberts, Ocean Shores
I was appalled and terrified to read in this week’s Byron Shire Echo of the proposal by Byron Shire Council to reduce the library hours in Brunswick. I am limited for space, really, to convey the myriad reasons that this is a terrible proposal. Are we provincials, in the north of Byron Shire, not worthy of reading, of further study and access to computers? We seem to be considered when it comes to contributing to the land tax and rates in Byron Shire, but when it comes to things literary and cultural, we are not to be rewarded. In fact, our half-day of library time on Saturday is to be cut altogether.
I work full-time and routinely spend some of my Saturday, with my children, in Brunswick Heads Library. It is our only opportunity to go together. I am also undertaking postgraduate study and desperately need access to the internet. For some peculiar reason, we have for years been unable to access this reliably in Ocean Shores and we have a tenuous satellite connection at best.
Brunswick Library is a small, humble building, with one open room and three computers. Beautifully staffed by softly spoken librarians, who don’t seem to mind the children forgetting to whisper occasionally. It is not on the scale of Byron Library by any means, nor would it cost as much, but it is absolutely essential – to our survival as a community, our capacity to learn and educate ourselves and to give our children this opportunity to wallow in books. I would ask my learned colleagues in Council to reconsider this proposal and dig deep into your pockets in another area, to find the little you would recoup by this shortsighted move. Please.