More or less? Councillors unsure how many libraries we need
HOW Ipswich's libraries will be managed remains uncertain, with councillors delaying a decision on changing the city's strategy.
For several years councillors have attempted to set a direction for the region's libraries.
In 2009 the council agreed to forward plan for future facilities.
It was recommended three city-sized libraries across the central business district, Springfield Central and Ripley be built - with a smaller library branch at Rosewood.
Under this model, the Redbank Plains and Redbank Plaza libraries would close.
A second option, largely rejected by councillors, was to build one flagship city-sized library in the CBD, with 15 smaller branch libraries to support population growth across the city.
Since 2009 the council has deviated from the endorsed strategy.
Major libraries at Springfield, Rosewood and in the Ipswich CBD will be built, but both the Redbank Plains and Plaza libraries remain open.
For 40 minutes at the council's City Management and Finance Committee on Tuesday councillors grappled with the way forward for libraries.
Four options were provided to councillors.
The most "cost-efficient model" would include a CBD library, Springfield Central Library, Rosewood Library and a library at Ripley, with pods throughout the city.
A second option maintains the status quo, with the exception of the closure of Redbank Plaza Library.
A fiery councillor Kerry Silver hit back at the proposal.
"This council will be opposed to the closing of the plaza or any library," she declared.
Most councillors indicated their support for the third option; the reinstatement of a flagship-style CBD library concept and a number of smaller branch libraries opened as the population increases.
Meeting chairman Wayne Wendt expressed his frustration with the ongoing indecision and said the matter should not have been brought to his finance committee.
Councillors agreed to send the options back to the library working group for discussion.
Group leader David Pahlke questioned what an administrator would do with libraries "if we're all dismissed" and wanted a quick decision.
"He'll come in with an iron fist," Cr Pahlke said.
A notice of motion by councillor Sheila Ireland to reinstate 25,000 books to the Redbank Plains Library was moved earlier this month.
In a compromise, councillors heard increasing the number of books from 2000 to 7500 would cost more than $100,000.
Cr Ireland's proposal is due to be debated at the council's next meeting on Tuesday.