Reprieve for Bruns Library but Byron still in firing line

FEARS that Brunswick Heads Library would close on Saturday mornings to cut costs have been allayed for now, with Byron Shire Council voting to look at other ways of making savings.

However, the option to reduce Byron Bay Library's opening hours remains on the table as council explores alternative funding options prior to a further report being considered by Council in August

The original cost-cutting proposal debated yesterday was put forward by the council's sustainable communities department.

It included closing the Brunswick Library on Saturdays, closing the Byron Bay Library on Thursday evening and cutting Byron Bay Library resources.

Brunswick Heads resident Louise Doran spoke during public access at the meeting.

"We are very relieved that the decision has been made not to cut our library hours," Ms Doran said

"This is traditionally a family area and the library is a quasi-community hub for us."

The new report requested by council will still look at making the required $65,000 in cost savings but will take into account how they would affect library users.

Mayor Simon Richardson said any impacts on reduced opening hours and how it would affect communities would be closely scrutinised.

"Libraries are an essential service and are often of vital importance to groups in our community that are most vulnerable," he said.

Cost-cutting options still up for consideration included library opening hours being decreased by one hour and the consideration of Wi-Fi usage and the potential to charge for non-library members.

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