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Request Turned Down For Unbudgetted Expenditure

The most expensive option to change the mobile library service has been turned down today by Auckland City’s Finance and Property Committee. Councillors preferred a service that would target wider interest groups within the budget already set.

The issue has now been referred to the Community Development Committee. Chairperson Penny Sefuiva said, “I am pleased that Community Development will now have a chance to review this matter. The status quo is costly, poorly targeted and delivers a very narrow customer base.”

Councillor Sefuiva said that most of the debate centres on the issue of mobile libraries. “To maintain the status quo the mobile service would cost us $122.25 per person which is actually untenable.”

“We really need to move with the times and look at how we can meet the changing needs of the community,” she said. “We need a service that truly represents the beginning of an expanded and accessible elderly service and one that also has wide potential to expand its customer base,” Councillor Sefuiva said.

The Community Development Committee will examine the options looking specifically at improved targeting to a wider group of housebound and rest home elderly, while maintaining access to 70% of existing customers and improving access to others. “It’s an exciting challenge to improve an historic service that sadly is really only servicing a tiny proportion of older folk and very limited numbers of children.” she said.
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Councillor Sefuiva said that libraries today have to look at economic benefits and make correct strategic decisions, which will influence their style of delivery and their relevance to communities in the future. “It is my view that Library staff need the flexibility to respond to the changing needs of a large city. They must remain relevant, accessible and competitive within the context of the fast developing knowledge economy today,” she said.

“If one mobile bus is taken off the road it should be mothballed which would allow time to make sure any changes to the service did indeed provide more opportunity for customer contact,” said Councillor Sefuiva.

Covering similarly sized geographic areas, Auckland City has more libraries than either Manukau City or North Shore City. Manukau City only operates one mobile library bus.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Councillor Penny Sefuiva
Chairperson, Community Development Committee
Tel: 8460861

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