Library advocate speaks

Long-time advocate for Dunedin libraries Merle van der Klundert, from the Dunedin Public Libraries Association, has once again urged the council to pay serious attention to its libraries.

She urged councillors to follow through on a proposal to spend money to investigate a ''shop front'' library and community centre in South Dunedin, as long as the library was the central part of the development, not an adjunct.

''Every time some sort of progress seems within cooee, councillors reprioritise and the projects are stalled or refocused.

"It's an excellent move, but our concern is things will change and this, too, will be postponed until some future date.''

She said the association did not want to denigrate the council's focus on attracting new businesses to the city, but wanted to ensure it accepted services such as libraries added value to the community and added appeal to the city.

All was good with the city library's collection, technology and staff, but the library itself was ''shabby'' and needed to be upgraded far sooner than the 2019-20 date outlined in the draft annual plan.

''Council has procrastinated on [these projects] too long. I expresses the earnest wish there be no loss of momentum this time.''


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