Childers library now mainly fiction
A CHILDERS woman is calling for action after renovations to the town’s library resulted in many of its non-fiction books being culled.
Bundaberg Regional Council confirmed the cull but hit back, claiming the books were not a “high priority” for the community.
Of the 11,894 items now stocked in the Childers Library, 8% are classified adult non-fiction.
Childers book lover Judy Petschulies said she was shocked when she went to borrow from the library and found so few factual books on the shelves.
Mrs Petschulies said she approached the librarian to ask where the books had gone and was told non-fiction was not popular in Childers.
Instead, most borrowers at the library preferred to read romance novels.
“I just felt it was a bit off-handed,” Mrs Petschulies said.
“That’s a little bit of a put down to people who do and I feel we shouldn’t be penalised.”
The council’s library operational supervisor David Cornwell said the $30,000 upgrade resulted in 90% of the library’s books being replenished.
He said statistics obtained by the Childers Library through its borrowing monitor system, Library metics, showed what genres were popular in the region.
“We were able to determine that non-fiction books were not considered a high priority for our library users,” Mr Cornwell said.
“As with any library, the Childers Library has only a limited amount of shelf space and our staff work diligently to ensure that the content we provide is relevant to our community.
“The Childers Library received an entirely new junior collection and adult fiction section.”
Mrs Petschulies was appalled and said she could read up to three non-fiction books a week from the library.
“In the old library, there were two big, long non-fiction shelving units, plus another one, and it’s just been reduced down dramatically to this little corner that we have now,” she said.
“It’s bad enough that they don’t seem to change the books very often, but I can’t believe how many of the factual books they’ve reduced down.
“With so few books in there, you keep going in and it’s the same books all the time.”
With so few books in there, you keep going in and it’s the same books all the time.
Mrs Petschulies could not understand how such a decision was made.
“Why couldn’t we have had some community consultation with the council to actually find out what people wanted in the library,” she said.
But Mr Cornwell said the opportunity for community consultation had come and gone.
“Community consultation was undertaken for a period of about four weeks, during which plans were displayed at Childers Library for public feedback,” he said.
But Mrs Petschulies said the plans mentioned nothing of the cull on non-fiction books.
She said the “cosy little nooks” and kids’ areas in the library were also gone.
“They’ve ripped all this out, put in all the new shelves and the new furnishings,” she said.
“Yes, you’ve got a big light, bright, newish looking library, but if you don’t have books in there? That’s the main purpose of the library, to have books in there.”
Mrs Petschulies said she was now forced to drive to Bundaberg and borrow about 12 at a time.
But feeling the response from the library to be poor, Mrs Petschulies is considering launching a petition to get the books back.
“I’m not the only one saying it,” she said.
“Other people have said it to me too that there’s hardly any books there now.
“I might just get a little referendum going myself and put them around in different shops and see how many people I could get to sign it.”
WOULDN'T READ ABOUT IT: Apple Tree Creek resident Judy Petschulies is disappointed that the number of non-fiction books at the Childers Library has been significantly reduced by Bundaberg Regional Council.
WOULDN'T READ ABOUT IT: Apple Tree Creek resident Judy Petschulies is disappointed the number of non-fiction books at Childers Library has been significantly reduced by Bundaberg Regional Council.