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Colac Otway Shire to join Geelong Regional Libraries

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Plans are well underway for Colac Otway Shire (COS) libraries to join the Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC), after COS Council formally resolved to join in June this year. The existing member Councils of the GRLC – the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Golden Plains Shire and Borough of Queenscliffe – have all unanimously endorsed the move.

The GRLC, COS and Corangamite Regional Library Corporation (CRLC), which currently delivers library services for COS, are working together to ensure a smooth transition to the new management arrangements.

COS’s effective start date as a formal partner organisation in the GRLC commences on 2 April 2021 with GRLC commencing provision of library services to COS residents from 1 July 2021.
Library members can anticipate uninterrupted access to library services during the transition period.

Phil Howard, CEO of the CRLC, said that all the parties involved were committed to a collaborative approach to planning, to ensure the best outcome for the community, and regular meetings with the three groups are being held.

“We are working closely with both Colac Otway Shire and the Geelong Regional Library Corporation to ensure access to library services are maintained and that people can continue to access all the activities, collections and services the library has to offer,” Mr Howard said.

Ian Seuren, General Manager Development and Community Services at COS, said that the transition would represent a positive new era for library services in the region.

“We know the Colac Otway Shire community places a high value on their public libraries. The move to the Geelong Regional Library Corporation will ensure a strengthened sustainable network and will provide an expanded range of collections and services for children, young people and adults alike,” Mr Seuren said.

Patti Manolis, CEO of the GRLC, said that the integration of COS as a Member Council of the GRLC would result in many positive outcomes for the community, as well as making financial and operational sense.

“Geelong Regional Library Corporation is delighted to be welcoming Colac Otway Shire into the partnership – the vision the Shire has for their library service aligns closely with our own, and we believe the outcome for the community will be very positive,” Ms Manolis said.

“We are now working closely with the team at the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation and with Colac Otway Shire to understand how the current library services operate. We want to be sure that all of the systems and supports are in place for 1 July next year to enable seamless delivery of a great library service. We are also looking forward to learning more about Colac Otway residents, their particular library needs and interests and to build on the existing community-focused strengths of the services currently delivered by Corangamite Regional Library Corporation,” Ms Manolis concluded.

There are two library branches in Colac Otway Shire, in Apollo Bay and Colac, as well as library outreach services. 

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