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Council reviewing its library contracts; asking residents to provide feedback

Hamilton Central Library
Every year Waikato District Council pays more than $300,000 so its residents can access library services provided by other councils. 

These contracts are currently under review and Council is consulting with its communities to find out what options they prefer.

“These contracts were put in place more than ten years ago because not all Waikato district communities can easily access our libraries in Raglan, Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Te Kauwhata, Meremere and Tuakau,” says Customer Delivery Manager Angela Parquist. 

“It’s assumed that this service is still valued by our customers but we can’t be sure without talking to our residents and finding out what they want. 

“Residents who aren’t near one of our libraries or offices probably find it frustrating that they don’t have the same opportunities as others. In particular, we know that residents in the former Franklin area, Tamahere, Whatawhata and Rotokauri are more likely to use libraries run by other councils.”

Council is considering four options: Keeping the status quo, cancelling the agreements, introducing a mobile library service and e-book collection, or working together to get new ideas.

“Libraries have changed a lot over the years so it’s important that we re-look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” says Mrs Parquist. 

“We’re asking residents to tell us if they use neighbouring councils’ libraries, if this is money well spent, or if they’d prefer another option.”

In November Councillors will discuss whether Council continues with the existing contracts or whether it does something different. 

“For that conversation to be relevant, we need to understand what services our communities want to access and how, and that the right services are being delivered in the right ways – well into the future. We’re trying to find ways to do things more effectively and efficiently, getting more bang for our current buck,” says Mrs Parquist 

Letters have been sent out to all ratepayers and library members in the district and feedback forms will be available in our libraries and offices.

Feedback needs to be in by 8pm on 3 November.