Shellharbour library loss hurts elderly

The relocation of the Shellharbour Village Library to Shell Cove will be a major loss for the village, with the town's elderly residents feeling the impact most according to Shellharbour City Councillor Kellie Marsh.

"The average age of people who use the library are in their 70s and 80s ... I can't see them hot-tailing it on their walkers to Shell Cove," Cr Marsh said.

"The bottom line is the library is being relocated, but to a new suburb," Cr Marsh said.

"Shellharbour Village will lose an asset ... once the doors are closed it will never re-open again."

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Cr Marsh said the council should be looking at opportunities to redevelop the current library site, located at the back of the Roo Theatre, rather than moving to a more expensive site at Shell Cove.

"This is a great block of land, a minute's walk to the harbour ... the only thing stopping the redevelopment of this site is the grandiose plans for the City Hub."

Under the council's adopted Libraries and Museums Strategy 2024, the Shellharbour Village Library will be relocated to The Waterfront, Shell Cove and co-located with other facilities and visitors centre. The council's general manager Michael Willis said this was endorsed by previous councils.

The home library service would be expanded to provide for the Shellharbour Village's ageing residents' needs.

At 65 sqm it is only 34 per cent of the minimum recommended size of 190sqm for any branch library and about 12 per cent of the 580sqm recommended for the projected population of the catchment in 2018.

The relocation to Shell Cove is expected to occur by 2018.

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