Twelve staff at Waiheke Library are among 1100 Auckland Library staff who could be lose their jobs.
Auckland Council’s libraries cost $65 million a year and Waiheke Library has an annual budget of $329,000, employing the equivalent of 6.8 full-time staff.
A need to “become more efficient and offer value for ratepayers” is driving plans to reduce staff numbers at Auckland libraries, says Auckland Council’s general manager of libraries and information, Mirla Edmundson.
“We do not know how many jobs will be affected at this stage,” she says.
A proposal will soon be taken to staff, who will be given the opportunity to apply for newly-created roles.
Decisions about staff cuts are likely to be made next month, and phased in from February next year.
Over the past six years, library use has changed due to Auckland’s expanding and diversifying population and evolving technology, says Ms Edmundson.
“Some of our services and programmes need to be redesigned in response to shifting customer demand.”
Library hours are likely to be reduced at some Auckland libraries over the Christmas and New Year period, but Waiheke Library will close at the normal time on Christmas Eve and will be open extended hours through the holiday period, closing only on public holidays.
About 220,000 visits to Waiheke Library were made in the year to 30 September.
While an average of 489 people go to the library each day, this number increases to 705 between Christmas and New Year.
Waiheke Local Board is working with the council to finalise library hours over the holiday period. • Rose Davis

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