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Consultation underway for the Palmerston North City Library

Consultation underway for the Palmerston North City Library and Community Services Change Proposal

The Palmerston North City Library and Community Services Change Proposal (Proposal) aimed at improving integration of services relevant to the changing needs of city residents has been released to staff for consultation.

Palmerston North city librarian and general manager community services, Anthony Lewis, says the review is the first major revamp in the past 20 years and comes at a time when technology is placing pressure on libraries internationally.

Recognised as a leading New Zealand library the Palmerston North City Library has seen a significant uptake in the usage of new technology. “We’ve also had an eight per cent drop in the number of books being issued in the last two years,” says Mr Lewis.

Staff were made aware of the review earlier this year and presented with a Proposal based on that review yesterday and this morning. “It is important to remember that it is a proposal only. It is subject to consultation with both staff and the PSA and we anticipate that changes are likely to be made before its finalised later this year.”

“The Proposal includes the creation of a three tier management system which if approved will be the first part of the Proposal adopted. It recommends creating new roles, changing job titles and profiles and some roles will no longer be needed. “At this stage we anticipate there may be around five fewer full time equivalent positions.”

Mr Lewis says a change in public opening times for the City library including earlier on Sunday mornings and only having one late night a week, is also proposed. “It’s much of a muchness as to the amount of time the library will be open, however it will have a large impact in terms of the library’s facilities being available when people want to use the them.”

“I’m also pleased to say the branch libraries, the Youth Space and the Mobile Library will continue and be improved.”

Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford says the Change Proposal is about improving service delivery for the residents of Palmerston North now and in the future.

“Several years ago we merged Community Services with the Library. The sum of the parts combined is achieving greater results for the social and cultural well-being of our city and this Proposal will strengthen that.”

The consultation period will run until Friday 21st September, following which the finalised plan will be released and implemented.

An E-Newsletter has been created to keep people informed on the development of the project and those wishing to know more can visit http://citylibrary.pncc.govt.nz/library-news,listing,,,1699,library-and-community-services-change-proposal.html.

Editor’s notes:

Palmerston North City Library and Community Services Review

About the author:

Sue Sutherland of Sue Sutherland Consulting is a previous acting chief executive and National Librarian for the National Library of New Zealand. Internationally renowned Sue is a previous Libraries Manager for Christchurch City Council, and was an elected Council Member at CPIT from 2003-2008. An Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, Sue is also an honorary life member of LIANZA and a former trustee of the 2020 Communications Trust. Sue helped develop the Public Libraries of New Zealand ten year strategic frame work and was a key player in the development of the Aotearoa's People Network.

Objectives of the Review
The core objectives of the Review were to position the Library and Community Services to ensure it:
• Is adaptable and agile – able to effectively and efficiently respond to the significant and rapidly evolving changes impacting the Library and community sectors globally, particularly through technological advances and the resulting change in expectations of our citizens and the current and potential Library users.
• Is effectively resourced and has the roles and people capabilities to deliver a range of services outlined in both the Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) and LCS strategies to enhance our communities’ literacy, learning and wellbeing.
• Cements integration of the Library with Community Services to better leverage and maximise the combined capabilities and potential.
• Is responsive and efficient in the current challenging economic environment.
• Meets or exceeds the service expectations of both the PNCC and the community.

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