Council to review library operations
Staff at Invercargill's public library face an uncertain future after the city council announced yesterday that the library's operations would be reviewed to take into account changes in technology.
The council's director of works and services, Cameron McIntosh, said about 55 people were employed fulltime and part-time at the library and the council was seeking their feedback on the review.
He expected several staff and their families to feel unsettled by the process, but gave an assurance they would all be treated with fairness and integrity, and the process would be transparent and robust.
Mr McIntosh said he could not rule out the possibility of some redundancies, but expected most of the staff to be redeployed within the building.
Technology had changed rapidly since the library opened and the council needed to react with the times, he said.
There had been a significant number of new roles created under the new proposal for the Invercargill library, with Mr McIntosh saying those roles better reflected the changing roles of libraries.
One change would allow library users to take out their own books electronically, with the counter staff to be used more in a service and assistance role, he said.
Increasing numbers of library users were getting e-books out, and were using the internet for research, he said.
The number of hard-copy books at the library was likely to decrease in coming years and the number of e-books was likely to increase, he said.
The council's budget for the library would not be changing, he said.
Public Services Association (PSA) national secretary Brenda Pilott said the body represented about 45 of the Invercargill library staff. It was always a difficult time for staff going through restructuring, she said.
"There is some concern and uncertainty."
The PSA was working closely with the council to ensure the restructuring was not about cost-saving and redundancies, but about refocusing jobs so that they were more aligned with new library technologies and the new digital environment, Ms Pilott said.
"It's important that good quality jobs are maintained and Invercargill ratepayers continue to get quality services."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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