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Libraries Open Doors On Sunday

Five of Auckland City’s libraries will be opening on Sundays, following approval at the 2 June meeting of the Community Development Committee.

The libraries, in the Central City, Mt Wellington, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill and St Heliers, will open for four hours each Sunday. (For individual opening times see attached list)

Sunday opening hours will be accommodated within the libraries existing budget, and with existing staff levels. To open more libraries on a Sunday would require additional funding.

Councillor Penny Sefuiva, Chairperson of the Council’s Community Development Committee, says that the new opening hours reflect the changing lifestyles in Auckland’s communities.

“Sunday opening is designed to accommodate those people that simply don’t have the time to visit the library during the week. It also offers a better opportunity for families to visit the library together.

“Council’s Strategic Plan talks about community access to facilities – this is one way of making sure that happens”

Other changes to hours include a 7pm closing time for ‘community hub’ libraries (Mt Roskill, Mt Wellington and Mt Albert) on weeknights. This replaces the one ‘late night’ per week that each of the hub libraries operates currently.

A late night opening for Onehunga Community library will also be trialed, at the request of the Maungakiekie Community Board.

Overall, the changes represent a 6 per cent increase in library opening hours, from 841 hours to 890 hours per month.

Research on the opening hour proposals was carried out at the libraries, and at shopping centres throughout the community. Approximately half of those people interviewed were in favour of the proposals.

Councillor Sefuiva says that Library staff will monitor the new opening hours to see if people are making use of them.

“We’ve no absolute guarantee that people will make use of the Sunday opening, and we will be checking to see that it is offering value for money. But I’m confident that people will make use of the service.

The introduction of new opening hours is one part of a new programme of initiatives which will offer greater access for those members of the community who are currently less likely to visit libraries.

Barbara Birkbeck, Libraries Manager says “we will be focussing our efforts on children, seniors, people with little or no time during the week and diverse ethnic communities, where research shows us we can have the greatest impact”.

The new opening hours for Auckland City Libraries will take effect from 2 July.


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