The city libraries mobile library bus will stay in service for the next 12 months after Tauranga City Council decided to postpone its final decision on the service until 2013.
During Ten Year Plan deliberations on Monday, councillors decided to postpone its final decision on the mobile library service until after the overall review of all city libraries expected to be completed late next year.
The mobile library service.
The decision was criticised as a “kicking for touch” decision but obtained support as it provides an answer to aspects of the mobile library service proposal councillors believe the public misunderstood.
This includes the perception that the discontinuation of the service is a cost cutting measure. The cost of the service was to have been reallocated within the libraries’ budget.
Councillor Larry Baldock says it may be that more mobile libraries will be required as a result of that review.
Councillors also have to take note of the kind of overwhelming support shown for the library service in the submissions process, says Larry.
Of 180 submissions on the service 176 are in favour of retaining it.
Councillor David Stewart voted for the kicking for touch holding pattern because it leads to a way of settling the issue once and for all.
He believes the service is no longer required.
The mobile library bus was established to service the city’s eastern population before the Papamoa Library was built.
Rest homes now have vans and can take their own people to the library, says David.
He says it may be more effective to provide vans to take people to the libraries instead of taking books to people.
“We can’t be all things to all people all of the time,’ says David.
“We have to pick who we have working for what service we are providing for them.
“Can this money be better spent in the library? Things are changing with electronic books. Is there more we can do there?”
Davis says things are continually being added to the rates bill when council should be attempting to save money, otherwise the city is going to be left paying for a lot of services that have had their day.
Councillor Wayne Moultrie supported the approach saying at least one head teacher he has spoken to recently has not been approached by the city library service about helping to pay for school visits.
He says Aged Concern is also not fussed about the city ceasing the service.
The service costs an estimated $104,000 each year and represents 2.8 per cent of Tauranga City Libraries total business.
The change from previously quoted costs of about $250,000 is because the larger earlier figure included an allocation of library overheads – which in reality would not change significantly if the mobile service stays or goes, says City libraries manager Jill Best.
The mobile library bus was new in 1999 and has a residual value of $58,000 and a remaining working life of 30 years.
It needs repainting, the cost of which councillors expressed a hope may be sponsored by someone paying for an advertisement on the back.
The decision is part of the Ten Year Plan deliberations process this week where councillors will debate whether the public response to the various proposals in the draft plan is enough to change their minds on various issues.
The Draft 2012/22 Ten Year Plan was released for community consultation on March 19. Public hearings were held from May 7-10, with 151 submitters speaking to the council. Following the deliberations process the results will be set in the Ten Year Plan, which will be adopted on June 26.
Council received two submissions during the hearings, both library related. A petition supporting keeping the mobile library service had 1519 signatures, and a petition signed by 933 signatures pleaded for the 450m2 $1.3 million expansion package for the Greerton Library.