Cost Cutting: library hours

Reports are emerging of plans to reduce the opening hours of the Brooklyn, Wadestown and Khandallah libraries so they would only function for half of the current 10 hours they are open each day. It is estimated that this would save $417,000 per year, which you have to admit is not an insignificant sum. The report also seems to propose that the Central Library move to close at 7pm on weeknights (rather than the current 8:30pm and 9pm hours).

Unfortunately, the councillor the Dom Post has gone to, social portfolio leader, Stephanie Cook, seems woefully underprepared to fight or even challenge it. Her messaging is all over the show…

“It is going to be politically very unpalatable. While the council has got some huge cost pressures, I think things like these [proposed cuts to] direct service areas are going to spike a huge backlash from the community.”

Ms Cook is less averse to reduced opening hours at the Central Library and thinks the public may also be accepting of it.

“Apparently the visitor numbers are really low for that last hour and a half … But I’d like to see more detail on the numbers to see what they actually are.”

This issue has the potential to be a big thorn in the side for many of the councillors, particularly Cook and Wade-Brown. I doubt anyone who voted for Celia thought that would lead to their precious libraries closing early.

There was a Facebook group called O.W.L. (Owners of Wellington Library) created during the election campaign – it will be interesting to see if these people are capable of getting any traction out of the issue.

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6 responses to “Cost Cutting: library hours

  1. One option would be to use Koha, an open source integrated Library management system. That would save around 400k in license fees alone .. problem solved

    • It would also fit in nicely with Celia’s plan of bolstering the local IT sector – contract out the implementation and fine tuning of Koha to one of the many local open-source firms…

  2. Thanks Chris and WCC Watch – an interesting idea. Councillors will follow up with Library staff. Good ideas for saving money always welcome. Keep them coming.

  3. Earlier closing times at central doesn’t sound so bad. The few times I’ve been in close to closing it has been a bit dead. Even cutting back to closing at 7.30 would be ok with me as long as there was at least one day a week where it would open before everyone’s at work.

  4. And in the same breath a $375,000 designer toilet was approved? One option was a cheaper designer toilet (or none at all) to save our library hours? Yet again, the focus is on the waterfront at the expense of the suburbs. I wonder if the $400,000 rugby monument will be re-considered?

  5. I would spend more time at the library towards closing times if the tables on the second floor weren’t always so full. I’ve lost count the times I’ve turned up after work, gone up and there be nowhere to settle so I just leave straight away.
    In saying that, having them open before 9:30am would be just short of a godsend!

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