BENDIGO libraries could look very different in 10 years time, as the region's library corporation works to compile two plans for its future.
Leaders say it's an opportunity to make sure the libraries continue to meet the needs of their communities.
The Goldfields Library corporation is asking for community members to share their views on the future, as libraries change to meet new needs.
Goldfields Libraries chief executive Mark Hands said the plans allowed the libraries to look at what other community services the libraries might sit well with, such as leisure centres.
He said Bendigo library-goers now wanted to come and stay longer, rather than to borrow a single book. Library users were more likely to come to the library to use computers, or meeting space, or go to the cafe, he said.
Mr Hands said part of the planning was about creating libraries which recognised that people wanted to learn in different ways, for instance from speakers, or experiments, or gathering, as well as from books.
"We're certainly moving away from a model that would have a library sitting there on its own, operating in isolation," Mr Hands said.
"The library is one of those great spaces, facilities and services that provide something that's completely free of charge for our community.
"We want to make sure we know what the community wants from its local library and direct our resources towards that."
Mr Hands said one plan was the City of Greater Bendigo plan for the municipality's libraries in the next 10 years, while the other was a corporation-wide plan for its entire region, which covers four municipalities.
He said the Goldfields Libraries had received feedback both from those who love the libraries, and those who rarely visit.
Mr Hands said themes coming through included the need for comfortable spaces, a mix of spaces, a welcoming place with diverse offerings, food and support for those working remotely.
He encouraged anyone interested to make contact, saying community submissions always came up with something great.
Have your say on libraries at: ncgrl.vic.gov.au/librariesforthefuture
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