THREE Wimmera councils have announced they will no longer be a part of the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation as of July 2020.
Northern Grampians and Hindmarsh shire councils announced last week they would be implementing alternate library service models.
On Wednesday Yarriambaick Shire Council joined them by announcing it would transition to a "community based library service".
The Wimmera Regional Library Corporation includes libraries in Dimboola, Edenhope, Goroke, Harrow, Horsham, Kaniva, Nhill, St Arnaud, Stawell and Warracknabeal.
Yarriambiack Shire Council chief executive Jessie Holmes said council staff would speak with community members over the next few months to discuss the future of the shire's libraries.
Ms Holmes said the council's Community Development Team, as part of a wider Wimmera Regional Library Corporation review, had "made a commitment to maintain the static library at Warracknabeal and its current staff".
The mobile library will be replaced with a local community model.
"The corporation model for library services has served us well for many decades, but it is time now to look at the way in which Yarriambiack Shire Council can deliver library services as part of their wider community development commitments," Ms Holmes said.
"Once we have spoken with all of our communities about how they see the library service working for them and provided them with examples of options available, including partnering with neighbourhood houses or civic locations, then we will have several months to see that new library space and community responsive model developed prior to kicking off from July 1, 2020."
Hindmarsh Shire Council's chief executive officer Greg Wood said the council would be "transitioning to an alternate shared library service model" and implement static library services at Jeparit and Rainbow from July, 2020.
"A review of current library services has enabled council to review ways of improving library services in Jeparit and Rainbow. These towns are currently served by the mobile library with Jeparit receiving two hours per fortnight and Rainbow two and a half hours per fortnight," he said.
"Our review and investigations are looking at different scenarios effective from July 1, 2020, and one of the options under consideration is to establish static libraries located at Council Customer Service Centres in Jeparit and Rainbow."
Mr Wood said works to construct the new Dimboola Library would start soon.
He said the council was also looking at ways to share library services with other councils in the region.
Northern Grampians Shire Council chief executive Michael Bailey said the council's library services in Stawell, St Arnaud and Marnoo would change by making library staff council employees. He said this would reduce the cost of administering library services.
"The transition phase is a 12 month process, where the final operating model will be developed over that time in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders," he said.
Horsham Rural City Council'scommunity wellbeing directorKevin O'Brien said the council was aware of the intention of the three shire councils to withdraw from the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation.
"Horsham council has requested the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation Board assess the financial and service implications as a result of withdrawal by the three councils," he said.
"Council will determine its position in relation to its membership of the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation after the financial and service implications as a result of withdrawal by the three Councils is known."
The Mail-Times contacted the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation for comment. The corporation was unable to comment due to confidentiality reasons.
The Mail-Times has also West Wimmera Shire Council for comment.
More to come.
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