Council decides to leave most capital library hours alone
In its Draft Annual Plan for 2013/14, the council had proposed to close Brooklyn, Cummings Park (Ngaio), Wadestown and Island Bay libraries at 5pm on weekdays, because they were considered to be smaller libraries.
However, at a meeting last month, it decided that those libraries will continue to close at either 5.30pm or 6pm, except for the one day a week when they are open until 8pm.
Wellington City Council backtracked on the proposal after receiving feedback from the public, although Khandallah’s hours may still change.
Island Bay residents thought it was the right thing to do, though not all had heard about the original proposal.
Wilma Allen, who is retired, would like everyone to be able to get to a library.
“I myself would like the library to be open as long as possible, so that everyone, no matter what sort of job they have, or how far they have to travel, can get in and out and get their books changed.”
Anaesthetist Elaine Langton says it is a good idea to leave the library hours as they are.
“It’s good to be able to drop in after work.”
Retiree Beryl Skipper says people with mobility issues need their local library.
“I have a lot of friends who don’t drive and aren’t very mobile, and they rely on the library a lot.”
The proposal was aimed at targeting the times when the libraries are least-used, and would have saved $30,800 per year, which Councillor Justin Lester describes as a “minimal” saving.
“Due to community concerns, we resolved to keep the status quo”, says Cr Lester, who is the community facilities portfolio leader.
“We had feedback that they [libraries] wanted to keep their existing hours.”
It was also proposed to only open Khandallah Library from 1pm-5.30pm during the week, with alternative library services for Khandallah residents available at Cummings Park and Johnsonville libraries.
This would save $31,200 a year.
“My preference is for that not to happen. There’s minimal benefit, the cost savings would be small, detriment to the local community would be large”, Cr Lester says.
That proposal will be voted on by the council in June.
Submissions on the Draft Annual Plan can be made until May 16.