By CAMERON LUCADOU-WELLS
IN a chronicle of the times, a Greater Dandenong councillor has proposed books should make way for more public computers at Springvale library.
Greater Dandenong councillor Sean O’Reilly said the trend for library use was “less about books and more about other activities”.
He said the “relatively cheap” cost of fixing slow internet and queues for computers could be offset by cutting the non-fiction book budget – except for biographies.
“The actual stock of non-fiction books that we keep hasn’t changed in number but their utilisation would have declined.”
By contrast, computer services were “highly utilised to the point of bursting” including two-hour waits for computers and a shortage of seats for people using their own computers, he said.
“What [the library staff] are saying to students is to phone the library first to see if it’s worth coming in to use a computer. This is not satisfactory.”
He said the council should ramp up the “0.4 megabytes per second” internet speed – which was being shared by up to 200 students on WiFi connection.
Greater Dandenong community services director Mark Doubleday said print was still the ‘’predominant’’ format.
“While demand and use of e-resources is growing the predominant format that library patrons use is print. However, whatever options can be developed to enhance access will be investigated.”