RTRL signs first Deed of Agreement in almost 50 years

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Richmond Tweed Regional Library has officially entered into its first Deed of Agreement in almost half a century.

More than 70 staff and representatives from the four constituent councils – Tweed, Lismore, Byron and Ballina – gathered at Tweed Heads Library to sign the Deed of Agreement and celebrate with library staff.

The Richmond Tweed Regional Library first came into existence in 1971, but there has never been a formal agreement between all four councils.

The Richmond Tweed Regional Library Committee has overseen operation of the library service under a handshake agreement since its inception. However in 2010, the library service was officially brought under the administration of Lismore City Council for legal reasons.

The new Deed of Agreement gives all four member councils certainty about the library’s future governance and direction.

Richmond Tweed Regional Library Manager Jo Carmody said it was historic day to see the constituent councils make a formal agreement after 46 years.

“This is momentous occasion for the Richmond Tweed Regional Library and we are thrilled to celebrate with our committed staff,” Jo explained.

“For almost half a century, the staff of Richmond Tweed Regional Library have provided an exceptional service to their individual communities. This signing is as much a thank you to them as it is a celebration that this historic moment has finally arrived.”

Jo said the Deed of Agreement signing marks a new era for the Richmond Tweed Regional Library with all member councils focused on building and improving the library service both in the short and long term.

“This Deed of Agreement provides genuine stability around managing the library service and planning a strategic direction. Up until this point, we have not been able to plan with any great confidence for the future of the library service,” Jo said.

“We now have a common goal and with all councils interested and engaged, we can focus our collective strengths on building a modern and vibrant library service that meets the needs of our diverse communities across the Northern Rivers into the 21st century.”

Richmond Tweed Regional Library Committee Chair Sharon Cadwallader said she commended all four member councils for coming to an agreement.

“No stone has been left unturned in this process – it has been exhaustive, and we have ensured through many workshops and meetings that we have an agreement which allows all councils to move forward with stability and confidence in the management of the library,” Cr Sharon said.

“This is so important at a time when the library environment is changing so rapidly, and our services are becoming less about books and more about being social spaces where people interact and learn with one another and with technology,” she added.

“This is a very exciting time to have this agreement in place. We can now focus our collective energy on keeping pace with this changing environment, and look forward to a long and rewarding future for Richmond Tweed Regional Library patrons and staff.”

The Richmond Tweed Regional Library has more than 100,000 members and the biggest population served by a regional library service in NSW. It is visited by more than one million people each year and also has the highest circulation rates in the state with 1.8 million items borrowed in 2015/16.

Image: Celebrating the signing of the RTRL Deed of Agreement are (front l-r) Tweed Councillor Chris Cherry, Ballina Mayor David Wright, Byron Deputy Mayor Basil Cameron, Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith and RTRL Committee Chair Sharon Cadwallader with library staff and Council representatives.

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