It is great that the Rockdale Council has invested in a new community library.
Whilst the physical appearance of the library as well as the features are great, it fails in the way it is run and organised.
This is no way a reflection on the great service the librarians provide but more a reflection on the council using the library like a community centre.
I understand that a local library should provide for the needs of the whole community. However there are some universally known library functions, which should be the main service that a library provides.
That is to have a quiet space for reading, research and study apart from the main purpose of being a hub to borrow books.
It is evident from my personal experience as well as the library activities published on the council website, that this space is used more like a community centre where people gather for a chat, where mother’s meet up for play dates and where high school students loiter after school.
The library goes one step further and even provides activities such as “toddler time” and “storytime”. This is done on the groundfloor where 0-2 year olds are running, screaming, crying. This happens in a open space (ground floor) of the library.
Meanwhile there are people on the first and second floor having naps, fully horizontal, on many of the couches that our great library provides.
The afternoons are filled with loud high school students who gather around many of the lounge sets for an afternoon chat, even playing music at times.
Then there are the handful of people who come to the library for its intended purpose of quiet study, research and reading. These poor souls feel like outsiders.
I am not against community activity or to have a space for the youth, the seniors or stay at home mothers to gather. However this would be best done in a dedicated community centre, not in a library.
I urge the library/council to review the way it intends to use the library.