Council forces out library saviour
THE man who turned Richmond-Tweed Regional Library into one of the best libraries in the State has been effectively forced out after Lismore City Council stripped his position of much of its responsibility.
Byron Shire Council has threatened to pull out of the library – which runs as a co-operative effort between the Lismore, Tweed, Byron and Ballina councils – over the move and amidst claims Lismore has moved to take over the library service without full knowledge of the constituent councils. Tweed councillor Katie Milne said she was considering recommending her Council pull out of the combined library and was considering personally resigning from the committee.
Described as a “basket case” when director Martin Field stepped in 14 years ago, the Richmond-Tweed Regional Library has become one of the best in the State.
However, responsibility for maintaining and improving local library services will no longer rest with Mr Field after he yesterday told a closed session of the Library Committee he would take a redundancy rather than accept a reduced position within the Lismore City Council under a restructure.
The restructure addresses a years-old issue that had the library set up in a way that conflicted with the Local Government Act. Mr Field has spent years lobbying for legislative changes that would let it operate legally under its county council model, but those efforts had so far failed.