UNHAPPY: Karalee residents Sue Bullock and Gina Green want the mobile library back.
UNHAPPY: Karalee residents Sue Bullock and Gina Green want the mobile library back. Rob Williams

Locals: 'Library relocation limits community ties'

KARALEE residents are angry they will have to rely solely on a new library pod to access books after the council cut the mobile library service to their suburb.

Gina Green had used the mobile library since moving to the area about four years ago. She said the new high-tech pod at Karalee shopping centre wasn't for everyone.

"I like to actually go in there. I don't read best-seller lists. I like to select what I'd like to read,” Ms Green said.

"You can't do that with this 'pod'.

"There are a number of elderly residents who use the service (my neighbour) is in her late seventies and she goes up every week - every Saturday; she doesn't want to have to go into Ipswich city to go to the library, nor does she want to select a best seller.

Ms Green said the pod had several disadvantages such as small print size in books, accessing the pod without public transport and the loss of community ties.

"The mobile library on a Saturday in Karalee is a community hub where older people get to have a chat with fellow library users and the fantastic library staff,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rosewood will have a library service much sooner than expected.

Ipswich City Council will redeploy its mobile library service as a temporary library and customer service hub until the new Rosewood library opens in 2020.

Council Community, Cultural and Economic Development general manager Ben Pole said the council had vowed to provide an enhanced level of service to the Rosewood community until the $6 million facility, currently under construction, was opened to the public in early 2020.

"In exploring our options, we reviewed the performance of the mobile library in light of the opening of the Springfield Central Library (the busiest mobile library stop), the imminent opening of a new service in Rosewood (the second busiest mobile library stop) and the deployment of a library pod in Karalee (the third busiest mobile library stop),” he said.

"With the three busiest stops no longer driving performance of the mobile library, there was an obvious query whether continuing this service was the best use of ratepayers' money and the relevance of the continuity of service.

"The other nine current stops cater for about 85 individuals who, on average, borrow some 50 books a week.

Mr Pole said the annual operating costs for the mobile library was almost $500,000.

Mr Pole said users of the mobile library who might be affected by the loss of service could see alternative options, such as transition to a branch library or to the home library service.