No non­fic­tion

Childers li­brary now mainly fic­tion

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

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.”

PHOTO: MAX FLEET

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.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN260914CSL2

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.

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