Sheila Ireland with David Pahlke.
Sheila Ireland with David Pahlke. Rob Williams

'SLASHED': 25,000 books shifted from Redbank Plains library

A "SLASH and burn" exercise to remove thousands of items from the shelves of the Rebank Plains Library has been criticised by several councillors, who claim they were not informed of the move.

Redbank Plains' catalogue will reduce from 27,000 items to 2000, to populate the new Springfield Central library.

The change will reduce the number of items on the shelf at Redbank Plains to less than a mobile library.

Instead, Redbank Plains will have extra public computers, new meeting rooms and extended trading hours - while items will be available to order from other council libraries.

In the council's Libraries and Tourism Committee meeting, Division 9 Councillor Sheila Ireland said it was a "slash and burn" change.

"It's a huge reduction," she said. Less than 2000 books is not a library."

The council's library services manager said the "community's ability to access books won't change".

Cr Ireland acknowledged the increase in computers at the library, but remained disappointed with the removal of items.

She was joined by colleagues Kerry Silver and committee chair David Pahlke in questioning the move.

"There are a lot of people in the community - that facility is their community hub," Cr Silver said.

"I'm disappointed.

"There should have been a lot more information."

The council's officers reminded councillors they previously voted on the plans.

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the change adapt to future needs.

Cr Ireland challenged Cr Antoniolli to front-up to a public meeting and explain the change to residents.

He agreed.

Cr Ireland said Redbank Plains would again consider themselves "poor cousins" of Springfield. 

The cost of populating the Springfield Central Library with new items while maintaining the number at Redbank Plains would cost $700,000.

The change has frustrated resident Jim Thompson, who said Redbank Plains residents used and paid for the library since 1985.

"It's become busier and busier over the years," he said.

"I don't begrudge Springfield having a library but it shouldn't be at the sacrifice of Redbank Plains."

He said more computers was a "sweetener", but remained annoyed with the change.

"They've tried to appease us but I think it's outrageous residents have been kept in the dark on this," he said.


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