Debbie Does Whitsundays

Whitsunday Regional Libraries is still recovering from the impact of Cyclone Debbie and her to those 263-287kph winds that swept through the region on a category 4 rampage. Cannonvale Library suffered the worst damage out of the four Branch libraries, and had to deal with water damage and subsequent mould to furniture, fittings, and print collections caused by the damaged roof.

Book 'CPR' - recovery containers at Cannonvale Library

Book ‘CPR’ – recovery containers at Cannonvale Library

With guidance & assistance from State Library’s Grant Collins and Cassowary Coast’s Alexis Adams, acting Team Leader Sharon Lam sorted through the collections & managed to save some of the material, currently placed in climate-controlled containers in front of the Library.

The library building, however, will not be operational for some time, so all team members are now ‘sharing the love’ with the Proserpine Library team, whose building has also become the temporary Council Customer Service Centre. Cannonvale library continues to provide children’s services to its community, re-locating to one of the shopping centres for Story time and First Five Forever’s Baby Bounce, and Toddler Talk.

Following discussions between the Library Manager, Rod Cousins and State Library of Queensland’s Executive Director of Regional Access & Public Libraries, Louise Denoon, State Library will be lending and sending us approximately three thousand books to help stock the shelves when a temporary location is finalised.

One important issue which was highlighted post Cyclone, was the absence of a library-specific disaster management plan which I had become aware of as a ‘raw recruit’ Librarian working at Great Lakes Library in NSW; and the Library Co-ordinator had to create such a Plan, which proved quite comprehensive in its coverage. Living and working in disaster-prone areas warrants such an important document, and after our experience I encourage every library to make sure they have one.

About the author:

Terry Mills-Edward is the Team Leader of Bowen/Collinsville Libraries.  Terry has been in this role for three years, focusing on creating vibrant, twenty-first century community hubs.  Bowen Library won first place in the 2015/2016 Summer Reading Club display competition.