Next steps on library opening hours

25 July 2023

At today’s Infrastructure and Community Services Committee meeting, Councillors deliberated on the possible scenarios for an optimal solution to when the three South Wairarapa district libraries should be open so that residents’ needs could be met.

It was a lengthy debate and the tabled Officer’s paper did not reach resolution and therefore was not approved. Instead, Councillors settled on three new and separate recommendations:

  1. Delegate the adoption of an interim revised roster to the Chair, Deputy Chair of the Infrastructure and Community Services Committee and the interim Chief Executive,
  2. The interim Chief Executive to take a thorough review of the shared services structure, the services offered and the management of Council’s library services and report back to this Committee in three months’ time,
  3. The interim Chief Executive to approve spend on library services for the review period, if needed.

Councillor Melissa Sadler-Futter who chaired this segment of the Committee meeting felt that there was a lot to learn and understand about how our libraries operate and how the shared services model works, and therefore these resolutions are a natural next step.

Cr Sadler-Futter added, “Libraries are a significant part of our community, and lives are enriched as a result of access to these services, as and when they need it. Closing on a weekend makes it inconvenient for those who work during the week, and for families whose Saturday feature might be a visit to the library. We need to rethink what we deliver and how we deliver library service offerings within financial constraints.”

Council staff will now take these recommendations and start work on implementing an interim roster and reviewing the library service.  The resulting report will be tabled at the Committee meeting in  November 2023.

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