Kids write to council demanding library book return
THREE bright young girls say their education will be affected after reading books were ripped off the shelves at their local Redbank Plains Library.
When Hayley Clements, 12, Eve Cronin, 11, and Claire Brose, 12, visited the revamped library earlier this month they were left disappointed the memories of their childhood had been removed in favour of more computers and meeting rooms.
The thousands of books that previously sat on the shelves were removed by the Ipswich City Council in a shift towards a smaller, boutique-style presentation.
Feeling upset with the lack of reading materiel, the three girls later put pen to paper and began writing a letter to the council while at the pub for lunch.
Probably the youngest lobbyists in the region, the girls took action to "persuade the council to change our library back".
"We could get the library back to normal and prove to the council there were enough people who want the library back," Claire said.
She said her "heart sunk" after entering the renovated library for the first time.
"The library is so empty and so dark it's not funny," Hayley added.
"There's not any places to sit.
"When we were little there were little rocking horses and things you could play on."
The girls helped neighbour Dawn Hauser with her petition to return books to the library.
In about one week Mrs Hauser has gathered about 500 signatures to call for the council to return books to Redbank Plains.
"People want their library and they're outraged about it," she said.
The woman, with no political movement experience, "never in a million years" thought she would have started a petition.
"I was so angry, I use that library all the time. I think most people in the street use it because it's convenient," she said.
"We had really good children's programs, all my children went there.
"They need a library."
Mr Hauser was proud of the girls for taking a stand against the changes.
"I've always taught my kids that if you don't believe anything, do something about it," she said.
"If you sit down nothing changes."
EXTRACTS FROM THE GIRLS' LETTERS TO IPSWICH COUNCILLORS
- Claire Brose, 12
"Imagine if you loved reading and someone took your books away.
"As it was the school holidays, we were hoping to borrow and art/craft book. We struggled to find one of interest. We could have ordered one but by the time it would take to arrive, the holidays would be over.
"The library used to be bright, colourful and a place that you wanted to go into. Now it is dark, boring and unfriendly.
"We must change our library back to its old self because there are not very many books, there are too many computers, there is nowhere for children to sit and read and it is uninviting.
- Hayley Clements, 12
"A library should encourage imaginative education and or active learning. To make this possible there should be a comforting, welcoming and maybe even fun environment.
"The room is dark and empty making any visitor feel out of ordinary or not belonging.
"At this day and age we are expected to have an obsession with technology. We know this is helpful, but so is reading and writing.
"Please take the time to deeply reconsider the change that you made to the library.