September 23, 2019

Hunters Hill is a step closer to having its own library in the heart of the local government area, following a unanimous decision of Hunter’s Hill Council tonight (23 September 2019).

Councillors voted to enter a new library service joint use agreement with Lane Cove Council, once an existing agreement with the City of Ryde expires in 2020.

Mayor Mark Bennett said Council’s decision represented a new chapter in providing library services to the people of Hunters Hill.

“Moving to a new joint use agreement with Lane Cove Council puts us a step closer to having our own library in the heart of Hunters Hill, he said.

“In the meantime, we can provide library services and programs to the people of Hunters Hill in Hunters Hill, with a home library in Lane Cove, just five kilometres away from the centre of our own municipality.

“We acknowledge the successful library services partnership we have forged with the City of Ryde over many decades. However, maintaining the status quo is significantly more costly for Hunters Hill ratepayers, in a non-central location to most residents and does not move our community towards a local government area-based service.”

Hunters Hill Council’s joint use agreement with the City of Ryde, to provide a library service at Ryde’s Gladesville branch and enable access to the broader City of Ryde library service network, costs Hunters Hill more than $700,000 a year.

An agreement with Lane Cove will save Hunters Hill up to $500,000 a year, with new library programs and activities for people of all ages, such as rhyme time, school holiday activities, author talks and arts and crafts, staged within the Hunters Hill local government area. Hunters Hill residents will have access to Lane Cove library services for borrowing and home delivery services.

Hunter’s Hill Council will also look to future options for establishing a stand-alone library in the Hunters Hill local government area.

“Hunters Hill is the only Sydney metropolitan council that does not have a public library building in its local government area and councillors and community members want that to change,” Clr Bennett said.

Tonight’s decision was informed by a review from a Library Services Working Party, comprising representatives from the community (including a young person), Friends of Gladesville Library, the State Library of NSW, and councillors, with support from council staff.

Clr Bennett said the ongoing operation of Gladesville branch library was a matter for the City of Ryde.

“With significant growth forecast for the suburb of Gladesville, it is expected demand will only increase for a branch library there,” he said.

Membership is not required to visit a library, browse materials, study or participate in programs, only to borrow materials. However many libraries offer borrowing rights to non-residents. State Library of NSW data shows that Ryde has about 23,000 non-resident library members, about 3500 of which are from the Hunters Hill local government area.

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
ABN: 75 570 316 011