Demolish Bexley Library - Bayside Council report

Bin it: A Bayside Council report recommends Bexley Libary service remains closed permanently and that the building be demolished.
Bin it: A Bayside Council report recommends Bexley Libary service remains closed permanently and that the building be demolished.

Bexley Library would remain permanetly closed and the building demolished under a recommendation to go tonight's Bayside Council meeting.

And the council will look at future options for the Brighton library and site with a report to come back to the council next year.

These are recommendations in the Bexley Library and Brighton Library Review, initiated by the former Rockdale Council and completed in 2016.

One of the key recommendations was to close or repurpose Bexley and Brighton libraries which have operated two days a week for more than 10 years.

The review found that the buildings are "not fit for purpose to provide contemporary library resources, programs and activities".

The opening of the Rockdale Library significantly increased the available resources, technology, study spaces, meeting rooms and programs to service the community.

"It's increasingly challenging for the council to adequately resource, service and maintain such a large library network," the council report says.

Bayside Council operates eight libraries, a home library service and the occasional "pop up" library.

The Bexley Library building at 499 Forest Road has been closed since March as a result of storm damage and the poor condition of the building and more than $700,000 would be needed to restore it, according to the council report.

"However, the building is in such a poor state that demolition appears to be the most viable option.

"Utilisation of the library facilities and services is low and declining particularly since the opening of the Rockdale Library in 2017.

"Between April, 2018 and March 2019 only 256 individual people borrowed books from Bexley Library. Of those, 67 only ever borrowed from Bexley Library with the other 189 borrowing from other Bayside Library Branches.

"It is recommended that Bexley library service remains permanently closed and that the building be demolished and the land be levelled, landscaped and include, if possible, a drop off/pick up zone for the neighbouring community centre," the report concluded.

Brighton Library at Moate Avenuehas been operated from a residential cottage as a part time service two days a week from 10am to 6pm for more than ten years.

The building is in a fair condition but the structure is not conducive to provide contemporary library spaces, the council report said.

"It is therefore recommended that council explore other community options for this building."