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Extended home delivery service to replace book bus

Extended home delivery service to replace book bus

At today’s Combined Committees meeting, Auckland City councillors approved the recommendation to replace the city’s mobile library service with an extended home delivery service. The idea is now open for public feedback.

The mobile library is used mainly by Auckland City’s elderly residents. It visits 18 resthomes and 31 pensioner villages as well as making two street stops every one or two weeks.

Chair of the council’s Community Services Committee, Councillor Graeme Mulholland, says the mobile library service is used by only a small number of loyal clientele, many of whom could travel to their community library or access the information they require via the internet.

Last year the mobile service issued only 37,000 books at a cost of $2.15 per issue. This compares sharply with the city’s second smallest library, Otahuhu, which issued 68,000 books at a cost of $1.80 an issue.

Despite various adjustments to the bus route over the past couple of years, use of the service has remained static.

Councillor Mulholland says many older people and people with physical disabilities are unable to board the bus and hence can not access the service. The home delivery service, on the other hand, ensures people with physical disabilities who are unable to visit their local library have the books and resources they need delivered directly to their own homes. About 115 people currently use the library’s home delivery service. The plan is to initially increase this number to 240.

Services to resthomes would also be further developed with the extension of self-help services. For example resthomes could be issued with special membership cards which would allow them to take out large quantities of certain books for a longer period than is usually allowed.

This recommendation to replace the mobile library with an extended home delivery service will be included in the public consultation process for the draft annual plan in April and May 2003. At this time the public will be able to make submissions on the recommendation. The council will consider all public feedback before finalising the 2003/2004 annual plan.

If the recommendation is adopted the extended home delivery service will start and mobile library service cease from 1 July 2003.

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