Library swap shelved?

Council considers scrapping Spar plan

THE Clarence Valley Council appears set to drop a proposal to relocate the Maclean library to the Spar supermarket site in River Street.

Council has been considering a direct swap between the library and the supermarket as part of a wider plan to provide a boardwalk along the river bank behind the main shopping centre.

But on Tuesday the council will consider a recommendation from its Community and Cultural Services Committee that it 'not proceed with the Maclean library exchange'.

The committee's decision follows the receipt of a report from library building consultant to the State Library of New South Wales, Dr David Jones, advising council that the Maclean library would be moving to an inferior n Continued:

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site if it was to be relocated to the Spar supermarket site.

"From the perspective of someone who has been involved in public library planning for the last 23 years, the only reason to relocate from a good site, with ample parking, a good street frontage, compatible neighbours and space to grow, would be if the alternative site can offer all of this and more," he said.

"Although it would be feasible to locate a library in the River Street supermarket building, that site does not offer significant advantages over the existing library site. A library on the River Street supermarket site would be inferior to a library of the equivalent size on the existing library site.

"The River Street supermarket site has the serious disadvantage of lack of adequate parking ? critical for running a supermarket and no less important for a successful library with a high readership by less mobile people and children.

"The true cost of relocating the library is more than just relocation, but may involve significant investment."

Clarence Valley Council library and historical services manager Noelene Grace told the committee the Lithgow Council paid $1.8million to refurbish a supermarket as a library to service a population of 18,000.

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