In the last couple of weeks I have heard rumours and heard second hand that South Taranaki Library was having library charges, including adult rental charges, reintroduced. For many years now South Taranaki has been the library services most envied by many in small town public libraries. They had no overdue charges, no reserve charges, even their DVD’d were free. Any change to that is going to come as a big shock.
I have been waiting to see some sort of news reporting, or announcement from LIANZA on this development. Maybe a bit like when the Tauranga charges hit the front pages. So far I have seen nothing, and I find that disturbing. I know that in Tauranga there has been public meetings, and protests, yet I have heard nothing coming out of South Taranaki.
This morning I decided to see if I could find anything on the Internet and all I found was this:
LIBRARY users in South Taranaki may have to pay library rentals of $1 a book as the council finds ways to keep rates down.
The shock moves also include higher fees for rubbish and selling off town halls.
The possible sale of pensioner units and shorter swimming pool seasons are also in the mix, but rates are set to rise significantly.
Despite that, the council’s proposed annual plan for the 2010- 2011 financial year is warning average residential rates could rise by about $200 a year.
All that was revealed at a council meeting in Hawera on Monday, when the proposed annual plan was adopted and made available for public consultation.
I was horrified by the thought of $1.00 adult charges. It makes the silence over this even more worrying, especially since the consultation period for Draft Annual Plans is rapidly coming to a close.. If that is introduced the impact on the library service in South Taranaki will devastating.