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Selwyn libraries introduce extended hours and increased staffing

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Selwyn libraries introduce extended opening hours from this Friday, 1 February 2019.

The new hours, which were announced last August, have come about in response to customer feedback and a recent trial of extended Saturday opening hours.

Community Relations Manager Denise Kidd says the trial proved very popular with library users and will now be continued at all library locations. Across the district’s network of libraries, in Darfield, Leeston, Lincoln and Rolleston, the hours will also be more consistent.

Weekday hours at all four libraries will be from 9am to 6pm, with Lincoln and Rolleston libraries also remaining open until 8pm on Thursday evenings.

Saturday opening will continue at all four libraries, from 10am to 4pm. Lincoln and Rolleston libraries will also be open on Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

The review of library services also included changes to outreach services, including the mobile library. Data showed that usage of the mobile library by children at schools and pre-schools was inconsistent, and general public use of the service was also limited.

The Council is actively exploring different options to improve the delivery of outreach services and will be progressively implementing changes over the coming months. The aging mobile library will eventually be decommissioned and replaced with a smaller vehicle that provides for a broader range of uses associated with outreach.

Ms Kidd says the Council is in communication with a number of user groups, schools and pre-schools about how it can offer a more effective and efficient service in the future.

"The new outreach service is expected to provide a more flexible and responsive service for users," she says. "This will include programmes delivered directly to more remote schools and pre-schools, increased availability of digital resources and enhanced 24/7 digital library, along with expanded lifelong learning programmes delivered at locations outside libraries."

The Council has also confirmed an increase in libraries staffing numbers to support the longer opening hours. Overall staffing numbers at libraries will increase from approximately 21 to 26 full-time equivalent positions.

Following a process of consultation with staff, a total of 12 new roles have been established. Seven positions have been disestablished (of which three were vacant at the time).

Staff whose positions were disestablished or changed had the opportunity to apply for or express an interest in new roles if they wished; some staff chose to reapply, some staff chose to progress with other options.

Ms Kidd says the changes are aimed at ensuring that the libraries have the right mix of skills available to deliver the proposed services and support the new hours.

"We are continuing to build a great team of staff across our libraries network, and I’m confident the changes will position us to meet our changing communities’ expectations now and in the future," she says.

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