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Mobile library service comes to an end

NEWS RELEASE
29 June 2006

Mobile library service comes to an end

Wellington City Council last night voted to discontinue the mobile library service as part of adopting its Long Term Plan for the city.

The last day for full service of the mobile library will be Friday 30 June (tomorrow) to coincide with the end of the Council’s financial year for 2005/06. The bus will provide a reduced service visiting its usual stops from Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July. There will be no library items available to borrow, however people will be able to return items to the bus and staff will be available to advise on other library services.

The mobile library return boxes will remain at all sites until Monday 31 July 2006. Items which have been issued from the mobile library and returned to other libraries will not receive the interlibrary return fee. Mobile library users who have items on reserve that become available after 1 July 2006 can collect these from any nominated branch library or make alternative arrangements for delivery by contacting Central Library.

All users who have borrowed items from the mobile library in the last six months have been written to and signs have gone up at all mobile library sites. There are 662 individual mobile library users comprising less than one percent of overall library users.

Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw, who proposed that the mobile library service be cut, says the end of the mobile library was inevitable as the usage was too low to justify the cost.

“We have the highest library usage in the country but this is one area where usage is very low. Only 70 people use the mobile library as their sole library service – most users use a branch library or Central Library as well. This is a service that has cost us nearly $70,000 a year and if it were to continue the need for a replacement vehicle would bring the cost up to cost to $150,000 a year – it is just not fiscally responsible to spend ratepayers’ money this way. By cutting this service we can ensure that that the city’s new books and periodicals budget is not reduced.”

The mobile library was established in 1947 to fill a gap in library access when few areas had branch libraries and public transport was limited making it harder for people to access library services.

Wellington City Libraries has several alternative services, such as the housebound service which is free to residents who cannot get to a library through illness of disability or frailty and gives them access to the full library collection. Library Express is another service that can locate issue and deliver any library item for a small charge. The libraries also host a number of school visits and have an outreach service where librarians visit schools around the city.

ENDS

Wellington City Council news releases are also available daily as Web Alerts through the Council's website, www.Wellington.govt.nz. To subscribe, select the Web Alerts icon on the home page.

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