Uproar as Tweed library shuts for eight months
RESIDENTS are up in arms after discovering Tweed Heads Library will shut on Christmas Eve for up to eight months.
The library will close for major renovations for eight months, starting from January, 2017.
While the library is temporarily closed, users will have to travel to either the Kingscliff or Murwillumbah libraries or use the mobile library due to visit Tweed Heads every fortnight.
But Tweed Heads resident Terry Sharples said he was outraged the much-needed facility would be shut for so long.
"I cannot believe they think they can take away the most valuable service that a huge number of people in Tweed Heads absolutely love and use regularly," Mr Sharples said.
"What sort of Christmas present is this for all the people in Tweed Heads?
"I can't believe our councillors would think that it's appropriate to take away our services and demand us to go to Kingscliff.
"Our museum got taken away and put into boxes and put in Murwillumbah, now our library is being put into boxes for nine months."
Mr Sharples said the library should be temporarily relocated to the adjoining council administration building at Tweed Heads Civic Centre during the renovation period, instead of shutting.
"They've got a great big building opposite they could easily put a shopfront library there," he said.
Council's director community and natural resources Tracey Stinson said the $2.5 million upgrade would almost double the library floor space from 619 sqm to 1054 sqm, allowing greater flexibility in how the building is used, including new areas to accommodate programs and user groups.
She said measures would be taken to ensure residents still had access to much of the collection and services during this period.
These include an alternative reservations pick-up, return and collection browsing area within the civic centre building, along with a computer and newspaper reading area in the neighbouring Council Tweed Heads Administration Centre.
Home library services, an extended mobile library service and the provision of activities and children's library materials at Council Community Centre (next to Tweed Heads South Aquatic Centre) at Tweed South are also being implemented.
"A temporary closure is the best option while we create a library building that meets the needs of a growing Tweed community with increasingly sophisticated requirements from its local library," Ms Stinson said.
"The improvements also include a more user-friendly service desk and better self-service checkout facilities, improved accessibility and a larger computer area with more PCs."
All three Tweed libraries will close at noon on Christmas Eve for their usual festive season break.
While the Kingscliff and Murwillumbah libraries will reopen on January 3, the Tweed Heads Library will remain closed until September 2017.
The alternative sites and services will become available from January 16.