Four of the Toowoomba Region’s favourite library services will soon return.

Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Services portfolio leader Cr Tim McMahon said the good news came off the back of initial results from the Toowoomba Region Libraries Survey.

“The return of these four programs is part of an interim offering while Council considers the survey results to determine what the future package will be,” Cr McMahon said.

“I’d like to thank all community members across the Toowoomba Region for their feedback and participation so far.

“In total we had 1460 residents complete the survey, which gives us great insight into what services are most important to our community.

“Council ran the survey to assess community satisfaction with its libraries and identify ways to improve the service.

“Residents were asked to comment on facilities they visit, services they access and how they hear about library events and programs.

“While the results are generally pleasing, the findings highlight opportunities for Council to improve the service we provide to our communities.

“Library facilities, book collections and hours of operation are important to residents and areas where improvements were suggested.”

Cr McMahon said survey results and other feedback received during the consultation period showed strong support for resuming key services suspended due to COVID-19.

“In response to this feedback, Council’s excited to announce the First 5 Forever Storytime outreach program, the Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland Program, the Home Library Service and the Great Book Swap will be reintroduced on a temporary basis,” he said.

“The Great Book Swap, which delivers large print items to nursing homes and care facilities in Toowoomba, will resume during May 2021.

“The Home Library Service, which provides reading materials and resources to residents who are unable to visit our libraries in person, will resume for existing Home Library Service members in May 2021.

“The First 5 Forever Storytime program, which helps build literacy foundations for children aged up to five, will resume in mid May 2021.

“The Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland Program, which provides older people with the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to use technology, will resume in early June.”

From the preliminary results of the Toowoomba Region Libraries Survey, residents indicated the reasons they visited libraries in the Region were to borrow books (98%), relax and enjoy the environment (79%) and to participate in library activities and events (63%).

The most-valued services are physical collections, including books and DVDs (70%), and library programs and events (33%).

Results also show that eBooks (36% per cent) and the My TRlibrary app (30%) are the most used digital resources.

“It’s great to have this feedback which Council will use to make a decision on the future shape and priorities of our library services later this year,” Cr McMahon said.

“The community will also have further opportunities to comment on library services with Council running focus groups to explore survey feedback from late May 2021.

“Council encourages the community to get involved in these sessions.”

To find out more about focus groups and to register your interest, please visit Council’s Your Say website or call 131 872.

For more information on the Toowoomba Region Libraries Survey, please visit https://yoursay.tr.qld.gov.au/libraries-survey call Council on 131 872 and quote Toowoomba Region Libraries Survey or email info@tr.qld.gov.au