People on Auckland's North Shore plead for librarians to keep jobs
People on the North Shore have taken to social media to voice support for libraries, as community libraries undergo a major restructuring.
In October, Auckland Council announced it was consulting with staff as it looked to reallocate its resources to prepare for a digitally focused future.
So far, 74 librarians have taken voluntary redundancy and the remaining 955 staff are likely to have to apply for new contracts.
Auckland Libraries general manager Mirla Edmundson says the "Fit for the Future" programme will be finalised in the next two to three weeks.
In an unscientific poll on Neighbourly.co.nz, there was wide support for libraries, especially in the 24 comments.
Of the 435 people who voted, 277 visited the library often; 88 visited occasionally, and; 70 seldom or never visited.
"The local library is so much than just a place to procure books. It is a community centre, a meeting place; filled with knowledgeable, helpful staff and other services. The library is a truly unique, special place; to be treasured!," Rachel Poppelwell from Bayswater posted, summing up the feelings of many.
"Auckland Council's plans to cut library staff and services is inhuman. There is so much more than borrowing books going on in the libraries of today. Council seems to be ignoring a human being's need for fully staffed libraries to enhance education and to feed the human soul," Susan Wann from Hauraki said.
"Libraries are a most valued asset to every community. They're vibrant hubs of learning, entertainment and social gatherings. From young children's music sessions, computer classes, author talks, Book chats, as well as brilliant librarians helping, guiding and recommending, our communities would be so much the poorer without them.
"With the dreadful prospect of some school libraries being removed for burgeoning schools, local libraries are even more vital," Louise Dunnet from Beach Haven.
On the other side, Paul Gregory Neighbourly Lead from Glenfield, said: "I had quite a problem a few years ago convincing my daughter that it was a great life skill knowing how to use reference books at the library as, of course, her simple answer was 'I can just Google it, Dad.' After a few whys and whatnots, she actually enjoyed learning to do so!
"I'm not sure what libraries can do to attract this instant gratification generation, maybe we just have to accept that it might be a dinosaur ready to go to pasture!"