Tracey Stinson, director community and natural resources, Tweed Shire Council.
Tweed Heads residents concerned by Terry Sharples’ recent letter (Echonetdaily 28 December 2016) will be pleased to know that reduced library services will still be available at Tweed Heads despite the building’s major upgrade.
There is no doubt there will be some inconvenience to library members. However, the Richmond Tweed Regional Library staff have worked hard to minimise the disruption to services and programs.
By the end of the project, library members will be able to use a facility that is almost twice the size, more accessible and better meets their needs.
The facility – built in 1974 – will be brought up to date to cater for the area’s increased population, current trends in library standards and members’ needs and to incorporate environmentally sustainable design.
Based on the recent experience of other libraries around the State who have been through a major upgrade, the best approach is for the library to vacate the existing library area and reduce services during construction.
A review of available temporary spaces found there was no single venue that was affordable, safe, accessible and suitably located with sufficient space to enable the full operation of the Tweed Heads Library during the build.
The Auditorium will be used by an estimated 13,600 people attending events from 12 March to the beginning of September. Organisers of those events booked performers up to 12 months ago. In addition, the specially designed timber (parquetry) flooring would not be able to withstand the impact and weight of library shelving and so the damage bill would be prohibitive to pursue this option.
The library building will close during the construction to protect customer and staff safety and to ensure the works are completed as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Construction begins this month and the upgrade is expected to take six to eight months to complete.
From 16 January 2017, there will be a pop-up computer room with reading area in Council’s Tweed Heads Administration Office and a temporary library for browsing, returns and reservations located next to the Tweed Heads Auditorium to continue library services during the works.
In addition, the Mobile Library will make extra visits to the Tweed Library site on Wharf St so it is available every second Monday starting 9 January 2017 between 10am and 3.30pm, and children’s programs will be run at Council’s Community Centre at Tweed Heads South.
Council advised the community in June last year about the library upgrade. It was not possible to release specific details at that time until the contract for construction was issued after a decision at the 15 December Council meeting.
Council will keep the community informed through regular updates via the Council website, fact sheets, meetings with key library groups, the Council and Richmond Tweed Regional Library websites, the Tweed Link, media releases, library e-newsletter, online video updates and specific program information for user groups, such as Baby Bounce attendee and Home Library users.
For more information about the upgrade and updates on the project, see www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Library For information about library services, see www.rtrl.nsw.gov.au