There is no doubt Shoalhaven residents appreciate their libraries – a recently-published satisfaction survey confirms this. However all Shoalhaven libraries are undersized, based on recommendations for district standard libraries published in NSW Public Libraries People, Places Guidelines.
In square metres, Nowra’s library is 1570, short of the recommended 3785, Ulladulla’s is 597, under the recommended 1250 and Sanctuary Point’s is 141, short of the recommended 1500. There is no data on a recommended size for the 130 metres-squared Milton Library.
To Councillor Kaye Gartner’s disappointment, council’s been planning a new library in the Bay and Basin area at Francis Ryan Reserve, Sanctuary Point, which will not meet size standards.
“It seems all current Shoalhaven City Council libraries are undersized, and that tradition will continue,” she said.
“The site at Sanctuary Point means yet another opportunity to get an appropriately sized library has been lost.”
Cr Gartner has long advocated for the library to be built at the community hub planned for Vincentia.
A majority of councillors are in favour of the library being built in Sanctuary Point, to provide the community there with a vital service on its doorstep.
Councillor Bob Proudfoot argued if the site was undersized, then council could build a two or three-storey facility to meet size requirements.