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Council sheds light on Longreach Library’s latest location

Published: 26th April 2019

Quiet spaces for study and reflection, meeting rooms with teleconferencing facilities, and a maker space for innovation are all on the table as Longreach Regional Council prepares to relocate the Longreach Library into new premises on Eagle Street later this year.

The move was made necessary when the current premises rented by the library were sold last year; leaving Council with a confirmed deadline in which to vacate the building and relocate the facility. 

Director of Community and Cultural Services, David Perry, said Council had to carefully consider its options in deciding what to do next.

“We basically looked at three concepts – constructing a brand new building, buying one of the few existing buildings for sale, or finding new premises to rent. It took a long time, and a lot of diligence on our part, to make sure we were doing the right thing.

“We ran each option through our Project Decision Framework, which assesses not only the up front costs but the total cost over ten years – and buying an existing building outright was by far the best value option. It was much better value than building something new.”

The new premises Council has purchased, at 104 Eagle Street, are located only a few doors from the current library. “It’s great that we can keep the Library in the main street” Mr Perry said. “It’s easier for people to find and just more convenient all-round.” 

Council takes possession of the new premises on Monday, and expects doors to open on the redeveloped facility by the end of July. Director Perry explained that despite not constructing a new building Council will still be re-fitting the new premises to deliver enhanced and upgraded services.

“The new digs have a bit more usable space, so we’ve got an opportunity to really create something that can be more things to more people. Libraries aren’t just about books anymore – they’re more valued for their spaces and the opportunities they create for the community.

“Things like support for education, access to technology, and help for local businesses and start-ups are all part of a modern library – and that’s what we want to create.”

One piece of new technology is already available at the current library, with the arrival of teleconferencing equipment last week. The new kit utilises the Zoom Room meeting application to allow users to hold online meetings and discussions with participants anywhere in the world. 

The newly installed touch screen unit contains the camera and microphone enabling simple and effective meetings with minimal setup for participants. The online meeting rooms can be utilised for a wide variety of purposes including job interviews, online appointments and collaborative group discussions. There are no costs involved and Council is encouraging the public to try out the newly installed meeting room. 

Director Perry said he was excited to see the new facility take shape.

“There’s a lot to be done in the next couple of months, even though we’re only moving a few doors up the street. But at the end of the day it’s a really exciting opportunity to create a new facility that attracts more people to make use of the library.”

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