The Queenstown Lakes District Council is embarking on a
review of its library services and one of the ''big
challenges'' for the district, the council's chief executive
claims, is that 80% of people do not use or regularly use the
The council's chief executive Adam Feeley yesterday told the
Otago Daily Times around ''80% of people across the district
don't use the library or don't regularly use the library''
which is ''a big chunk of the community''.
Seven libraries - in Queenstown, Wanaka, Hawea, Makarora,
Kingston and Glenorchy and Arrowtown - are available to
people in the district.
The council's general manager of operations, Ruth Stokes,
said a ''suitably qualified independent consultant'' would be
appointed to lead the review.
Mr Feeley's claim was despite protests of up to 150 people in
Wanaka objecting to the proposed cuts to library staff as a
result of the council's organisational review and the now
named Wanaka Public Libraries Association collecting nearly
2000 signatures in opposition to the cuts.
When asked whether the library review, which was announced
yesterday, was planned, Mr Feeley said: ''I think it's fair
to say that it was very obvious through the organisational
review that there was a depth of feeling around the libraries
that probably wasn't replicated for people's views, for
example, on sewage or roads''.
Yet one of the ''big challenges'' for the Queenstown Lakes
District was finding out why the libraries were not of value
to some people.
''There is obviously a big part of the community not using it
and I think that's as important to understand what might make
them use it as to understand what current users might think
of the library, as well.''
The organisational review, which was undertaken earlier this
year by an independent team, also reviewed library services
and proposed libraries become one-stop shops where residents
could access a range of council services.
Mr Feeley said the organisational review and the newly
announced library review are ''fundamentally different''.
''The organisational review that we conducted was
fundamentally about matching current resources to current
demands and, once we'd gone through that exercise, producing
a structure which best supported that.''
The library review would encompass what a modern library was,
what people in the Queenstown Lakes District wanted in their
libraries and what the cost of doing that would be.
He said given the level of interest with ''some parts of the
community'' about libraries, it would be counterproductive to
put out proposals about what the future of Queenstown Lakes
libraries could look like.
The Wanaka Public Libraries Association is conducting its own
survey about people's use of and satisfaction with the
Mr Feeley said he was unaware of the survey but was certain
the group would be vocal in sharing the results.
Chairwoman for the libraries association Nicola Martinovich
said the group would be responding to the council's request
for feedback and she disagreed with the 80% figure.
''If this review is done correctly by correct people then
they should get the correct information out of it.''