Closure of Highton Library

Monday, 15 May 2017
There are sound social and financial reasons behind the decision to close the Highton, Chilwell and Barwon Heads library branches.

Our municipality has the highest number of library branches per head of population in Victoria – with one library branch for every 17,500. But our population spread is shifting and the City and Library Corporation are responding to changing demographics and the need to service growth areas.

The City has invested in the development of a library at Leopold, due to open in 2018, and plans are underway for services in the growing population areas of Drysdale and Armstrong Creek. The opening of the $45.5m Geelong Library and Heritage Centre in November 2015, is further demonstration of this commitment.

This investment in our library network is being carried out during a time of financial constraint, requiring strategic decisions for the ongoing viability of the network.

It is a difficult decision to close these branches and it is one that has been deferred by the Council on a number of occasions. 

Repeated reviews since 1999, carried out by the Library Corporation and the City, have shown Chilwell, Highton and Barwon Heads library branches as being the least used and having the smallest membership.

All three of these branches are also in areas that are well-catered for by other library branches. In fact, the majority of members at all three libraries already use alternatives within the library network.

The decision to close the three libraries was not taken lightly and we understand there may be disappointment in the community. We are focused on ensuring the transition to the many options within our library services is as smooth as possible. 

We have developed a survey to identify areas of concern in accessing the other library services. It can be found in the Have Your Say section of the City website.