Posts Tagged ‘Fees’

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:

South Taranaki Library Users Face Shock $1-A-Book Charge / Taranaki Daily News; New Plymouth, New Zealand, Apr 14, 2010 by Loney Kelly

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.

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An interesting article from Minnesota Public Radio came to my attention via Twitter. Copied below is the start of the article, which discusses the growing trend in libraries for librarians to act almost as social workers. I have to say that I have always felt that in public libraries the “social work” aspect, i.e. providing support to the lonely through friendly interactions and a listening ear (like the barkeep), has been underrated. Their certainly seems to have been an expansion in that side of the public librarians role. Through dealing with troubled teenagers to helping people apply for jobs, the Librarian as a “social worker” is a reality.

In my role I have found that apart from helping people put there pictures up on Bebo or Facebook, the other major help function on the APNK computers ahs been in the editing and sending  of  CVs for the functionally computer illiterate. Which is why public libraries with free Internet are becoming even more important as a core part of the community. It seems that more and more jobs are being advertised, found and applications are via the Internet. A lot of the people I deal with don’t have a computer at home, and have never used one. And it can be very distressing at times, for us and them. I had a young teen mother in the other day, who sat down and prepared a CV for applying for a job. She went to save to disc, and managed to loose the lot. She hadn’t the time to redo and I couldn’t rescue her work. So off she went in tears, and there was nothing I could do, which was painful as she is one of the young mums who actually wants to go beyond the DPB. Sigh.

It’s also quite sad to hear through the grapevine that South Taranaki Public libraries, that beacon of good and progressive management, with no fees, is about to have all that work taken away. The word I have heard, from multiple sources, is that the council is not only insisting on higher revenues, thus the reinstatement of overdues/reserve fees, but in their draft annual plan will be proposing a Adult book rental fee like Tauranga.  That will rip the guts out of the service as far as I am concerned.  

Librarian’s job description expands to help unemployed by Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio

Edina, Minn. — The combination of a recession and changes to the typical job application process has made some local librarians into self-described social workers.

Many companies nowadays require job seekers to fill out online applications, which may be tough for people who don’t know much about using the Web, or don’t have access to it. Many job seekers are turning to their local librarians for help.

“It’s like the new normal to have social work be part of being a librarian,” said Kim Poole, a librarian at Hennepin County’s Southdale Library in Edina. “Sometimes as a librarian you feel like you’re throwing out a life preserver to a person … they are often at the edge of an abyss.”

Poole started working in the early 1980s during a recession and remembers memorizing the Dewey decimal number for a book on resumes and reciting it to each unemployed person who came in looking for help.

But when this recession began, Poole realized it would be very different.

“I could see more and more people coming in,” she said. “You often saw a lot of older people which was quite frightening for them because a lot of those people had been working at jobs for 25 to 30 years and some of those jobs never involved any computer access, so suddenly they are thrown out to find a job without any kind of computer skills.”

More people kept coming through the doors of Southdale and Hennepin County’s 40 other libraries. 5.6 million in-person visits to the libraries last year were counted.

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A Not So Surprising Move

In a move that is not really that surprising except for the timing Tauranga City Council is proposing lending charges to adult the adult collections. I was sort of expecting one of the councils to look at this, however I was thinking next year, since this year is an election year. Maybe the council there thinks that the bad press from increasing, and creating new library fees, will be offset by not having to increase rates?

This is not a good thing. 😦 

My library, Tararua District Libraries, has managed to talk the council into proposing the end of the “Annual Card Fees”, although at the cost of a corresponding drop in the book budget. This is good, but with the way budgets are being formed and the continued pressure on council spending, I worry that we will be asked to look at increasing our revenue stream.

Below is the press release from the website.

Proposed Charges on Library Books.

Published: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010 11:00 by Tauranga City Council


A paper outlining proposed revenue increases for Libraries was presented to Council in December last year as part of the annual plan budgeting process.

The report, requested by Councillors, outlined how the Libraries could reach the required target by doubling their revenue over a five year period.

Councillors voted to go out for consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult loans (those not already subject to charges) for the next three years. After three years the charge is proposed to increase to $0.80.

It is not proposed to charge for children and teen items.

A further report was presented to Council yesterday (26 January 2010) by the General Manager of Libraries. This report was for Councillor’s information regarding savings that could be made in the libraries budget over the next three years.

After some discussion, Councillors’ accepted the report and the proposed savings will be incorporated in Council’s annual budget which is consulted on as part of the annual plan process. The proposed charges for adult loans was not discussed again at yesterday’s meeting.

The elected members are looking to community feedback on ‘charges and savings’ through the Annual Plan submission process to assist them make decisions about this proposal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Proposed Library Charges

Why is the Council proposing to increase library charges?
At the request of the Mayor and Councillors, in an effort to reduce the rates contribution to library services, library staff were asked for a paper outlining proposed revenue increases for the libraries. This paper was presented to Council on Thursday 3 December 2009 as part of the annual plan budgeting process.

Currently the libraries are 90% ratepayer funded, Council has requested that this decreases to 80% over the next 5 years. This means the libraries have to double their revenue over a five year period.

How much will I be expected to pay?
Councillors voted to go out for consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult items (those not already subject to charges) for the next three years. After three years the charge is proposed to increase to $0.80. It is not proposed to charge for children and teen items.

When will the proposed charges take effect?
If the proposed charges are approved as part of the Annual Plan process next year they will take effect from July 2010.

How can I express my opinion about this Council decision?
In March as part of the Annual Plan submission process you will have a chance to formally comment on the proposed charges. If you want Council to listen to your opinion you need to make a submission.

Formal submission forms will be available in March.

If you would like to contact someone now you have a choice of ways:

  1. Go to the Tauranga City website http://www.tauranga.govt.nz and type ‘elected members’ into the search box. All elected members’ contact details are listed here. 
  2. If you would like to send an email to the Mayor and all elected members please use the following email address:
  3. Or you can always call the customer call centre on 577 7000.

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Recently LIANZA released two documents for consultation, Enhancing LIANZA Governance Structure and Changing Institutional Members fee bands and rates, these two documents could have a dramatic impact on the library profession. The first will have an impact on how we as a profession communicate, lobby and organise, the second will have an impact on the funding streams.

It is important to give feedback to the council on this restructuring. LIANZA head office put out the following statement on submissions.

“We will be running a survey from the Monday 8th June to Tuesday 6th July using Survey Monkey and you will be sent the link to this survey on the 8th June.

In the meantime your region will be holding meetings for the purpose of discussing these proposals and your Regional Councillor will be able to field questions about the proposals. So keep an eye out for the notices about the dates of meetings in your area.

Once you have read the papers we would encourage you to attend your regional meeting for discussion and clarification of the proposals. We would appreciate any formal feedback you have on the proposals to be expressed using the survey to enable us to manage and analyse the responses.

Kind regards

Alli Smith
Executive Director
Library & Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
04 473 5834”

The Ikaroa committee, of which I am chair, will be holding meetings led by Heather Lamond our Council representative. You can send feedback directly to her or attend the meetings.

Palmerston North
Thursday 4th June @ 6.00pm
Massey University Staffroom (Level 3) – light refreshments

Wednesday 17th June @ 6.30pm for Fish and Chip tea, followed by discussion
Hawera LibraryPlus

EastIn SIG
Wednesday 10th June @ 6.00pm
Hastings Central Library – light refreshments

Hikuwai Regions meetings:

Barbara Garriock (President Elect) will be facilitating.

Meetings will focus on the governance proposal’s discussion questions:

* Do you think the proposed governance structure would allow for your views and interests to be represented within the wider organisation of LIANZA?

* What benefits of the proposal do you think would achieve a more effective and responsive LIANZA structure?

* What would you change about the proposal that would result in a more effective and responsive LIANZA structure?

* How can we shape our organisation to ensure that young people get involved in LIANZA?

* Do you think that this proposal will provide LIANZA members with leadership development opportunities

Meeting time is 5.30 pm for a 5.45 pm start.

Cost: No Charge

Venues generously provided by the institutions.

Nibbles and drink provided by Hikuwai.

Thursday 4th June

Manukau Institute of Technology Library

Map: http://library.manukau.ac.nz/images/MITLibraryDirections2.jpg

RSVP to Warren.Curran@manukau.ac.nz by Friday 29th May

Tuesday 9th June

University of Auckland

Kate Edgar Information Commons

Map: http://library.manukau.ac.nz/images/uofa_kateedgar.gif

RSVP to Warren.Curran@manukau.ac.nz by Wednesday 3rd June

Thursday 11th June

AUT University, Akoranga Campus

Board Room (AG127) by campus Main Entry

Map: http://library.manukau.ac.nz/images/aut_akoranga.gif

RSVP to Warren.Curran@manukau.ac.nz by Friday 5th June

The Whangarei meeting is still being organised.

The Wellington Meeting:

Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui (Wellington) region would like to invite members to discuss the recently announced LIANZA proposals on enhancing the Association’s governance structure, and the changing of institutional member fee bands and rates.

Regional Councillor Paddy Plunket will facilitate an informal brown bag lunch meeting, talking to the proposals and seeking your feedback.

What: Consultation on the LIANZA proposals

When: Tuesday 26th May, 12.15 – 1.15pm

Where: Reserve Bank Building, Level 10, 2 The Terrace, Wellington

RSVP: Please RSVP to laurinda.thomas@morst.govt.nz, by 5pm Monday 25th May.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty:

Wednesday 27th May  2009- 5.30pm-7.00pm at The Furnace , Victoria St, Hamilton and Waihi Hotel on Friday 5th June 6pm.  – Cocktails for Library Lovers -Working in a library? This is chance to meet other library workers from the area and enjoy a drink together. Please feel free to pop along and join us. The committee will look forward to meeting you.

For those interested there will be an opportunity to discuss and /or offer feedback on the LIANZA governance proposals (via committee members and our councillor).

Aoraki Meeting:

LIANZA is currently consulting with members about how it will be governed in the future and on changes to the existing fee structure for Institutional members.

A meeting will be held for members in the Aoraki region on the 4th of June, 6.pm. The location will be CPIT room L202 (across the airbridge in the Atrium, above the library).

Outgoing LIANZA Regional Councillor Fiona Macdonald will be there to talk us through the proposal and to answer any questions you may have.


I don’t propose to discuss the second document much, as whilst I recognise that the funding from Institutional memberships is an important revenue stream for LIANZA, I don’t feel I am in the right position to comment. All I will say is from my brief perusal it seems a fair way to structure fees.

The proposed Governance structure is as follows:

“Key Features of the Proposal

• Formal adoption of the draft purpose statement as the Association’s Objectives

• Regions and SIGS remain at the heart of the LIANZA community, with personal members continuing to belong to a Region

• The size of the National Council is reduced from 13 to 8 Councillors

• Vice President is elected as President Elect and automatically assumes the presidency in the second year

• Three National Councillors are elected by the full membership

• Establishment of an advisory forum to National Council, comprising chairs and convenors of SIGs, regions, committees, taskforces, working groups and the Registration Board

Proposed LIANZA Purpose Statement

LIANZA works for library and information professionals in New Zealand Aotearoa by building communities, providing professional development services and representing their professional interests.

LIANZA works with library and information organisations to support the delivery of library and information services that are vital to the economic, cultural and social wellbeing of New Zealand Aotearoa.

And proposes these questions.

• Do you think the proposed governance structure would allow for your views and interests to be represented within the wider organisation of LIANZA?

• What benefits of the proposal do you think would achieve a more effective and responsive LIANZA structure?

• What would you change about the proposal that would result in a more effective and responsive LIANZA structure?

• How can we shape our organisation to ensure that young people get involved in LIANZA?

• Do you think that this proposal will provide LIANZA members with leadership development opportunities?”*

*From the document.

My thoughts.

I can see some definite advantages and disadvantages. While I can see that a smaller, more streamlined council should be able to work in a more cost effective and efficient manner, I am concerned that by moving from regional based councillors to national based councillors, the council will become dominated by a region or city. I also worry this will only create greater communication problems than already exist.

An inevitable consequence, as I see it, will be a greater impact on the regional committee’s in their role. This may not be a bad thing but will the committees be ready to take on that role?  Will there be sufficent support for the committees? From this and only briefly mentioned in the document is the nature of the regions. If regions must take on a stronger role in facilitating CPD and governance issues, are the current regions the right size?  If they become smaller regions will there be enough librarians to take on the leadership roles required?

There is a lot to discuss and only a relatively short time to make our voices heard.

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