Sunbury Library.

24-hour libraries shelved

A plan for 24-hour opening of the city’s public libraries was knocked on the head this week.

The idea was first floated in February by mayor Cllr Naim Kurt who claimed some library users, such as shift workers, found 8pm weekday closing times a problem. He asked staff to investigate the option of keeping them open around the clock.

This week, council officers reported back highlighting a range of concerns for library staff and its users should the buildings have 24-hour access.

If the proposal went ahead, it recommended staff be given personal alarms, introduce admission restrictions for under 18s during certain times, there were worries over child safety, rough sleepers, and the potential for vandalism.

Council staff also reported there was no demand from the public for longer opening hours, and that the cost could run into hundreds of thousands of un-budgeted dollars.

“For Hume libraries to either trial, or transition to an open library model, site modifications as well as technology upgrades would be required,” stated report presented to councillors. “There are currently no budgets allocated to undertake this work.”

Mayor Kurt thanked staff for their “extensive research” and said he looks forward to further opportunities to increase access times to libraries.