A new chapter
Monday, 1st July, 2013
By Kurtis J Eichler
City Council will ask the Patton Village to run the struggling South Library.
For 20 years the library has been in the hands of the Anglican Church of Broken Hill and the Far West.
But the Venerable Brian Ford says the potential for the centre was limited under the Church, and has asked Council to find a “like-minded, not-for-profit” body to take it on.
“There is real community enthusiasm emerging in the South, and with the new leadership, the sky is the limit for the Community Centre,” Fr Ford said.
Council will approach the Patton Village committee to see if they will take on job which would include covering the library’s insurance costs.
Patton Village president Jason King said the offer was attractive as it was the South’s only public community space.
“It’s just a great space,” Mr King said. “It was originally a community centre and library and its fallen more on the library side of things along with doing other things.
Patton Village hold their regular meetings at the library and the upcoming Fringe Festival is being organised from there.
“I’d personally like to see young people get involved to see what is missing for them,” Mr King said.
Last month councillors voted to waive the rent for the library for another year.
South Library chairman John Harris said having it run by a not-for-profit organisation meant it could continue to be regarded by Council as a community group.
“The last thing we want to happen is for Council to say that we had to pay rent,” Mr Harris said.
He said there was the potential for the library to expand into eBooks and hold more public meetings.
The South Library faced dire straits in April when a shortage of volunteers almost forced it to close.
Mr Harris said since then volunteers had “come out of the woodwork” and there were now up to 12 working at the library.