23  April  2013   TO:   CC:   FROM:   RE:   Adam  Feeley,  Vanessa  van  Uden   Lyal  Cocks   Protect  Wanaka  Library  Organising  Committee

  Response  to  Open  Letter  Dated  17  April  2013    

dŚĂŶŬLJŽƵĨŽƌLJŽƵƌƌĞƐƉŽŶƐĞƚŽƚŚĞĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚLJ͛ƐĐŽŶĐĞƌŶƐƌĞŐĂƌĚing  the  proposed  changes  in  the   draft  organisational  review  document.  We  appreciate  the  time  taken  to  consider  the  questions  in   ƉĞŽƉůĞ͛ƐŵŝŶĚƐĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞƌĞǀŝĞǁƉƌŽĐĞƐƐ͘'ŝǀĞŶƚŚĂƚƚŚĞĚĞĐŝƐŝŽŶŚas  been  made  not  to  hold  formal   public  consultation  on  this  matter,  we  want  to  make  one  more  submission  at  this  point,  in  an  effort   ƚŽƌĞŝƚĞƌĂƚĞƚŚĞĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚLJ͛ƐĐŽŶĐĞƌŶƐďĞĨŽƌĞĂƌĞǀŝƐĞĚƌĞǀiew  proposal  is  finalised.     Summary  of  key  points   We  would  like  to  see  the  final  review  document  include  input  to  the  review  recommendations  by   someone  with  specific  library  experience    We  would  also  like  to  see  the  implementation  process  set  up  in  a  way  that  it;   1. establishes  benchmarks  based  on  customer  or  user  demand  for  services  rather  than  a  top   down  cost  reduction  driver   2. allows  for  political  decisions  to  be  made  about  the  appropriateness  of  differential  service   levels  before  significant  changes  have  been  actioned   3. provides  an  opportunity  for  the  residents  and  ratepayers  to  make  informed  submissions  on   proposals  for  changes  that  affect  them.     This  matter  concerns  our  community  a  great  deal   The  LTP  is  a  form  of  contract  between  the  community  and  the  council.  It  seems  to  us  that  council  is   proposing  to  unilaterally  alter  that  contract  in  relation  to  library  services.  We  do  not  consider  this  is   fair  or  reasonable.  We  used  the  public  forum  process  to  make  our  communities  views  about  the   proposed  changes  to  the  library  known  to  you  as  best  we  could.  We  took  the  opportunity  to  talk   with  council  staff  and  politicians  ĂƚƚŚĞ͚ĐƵƉƉĂ͛ŵĞĞƚŝŶŐŝŶĂŶĞĨĨŽƌƚƚŽƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚŵŽƌĞĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞ proposals,  the  likely  means  of  implementation  and  the  relationship  between  the  review  process  and   the  LTP/AP  process.   We  understand  from  your  letter  that  council  considers  that  there  is  no  legal  imperative  to  consult  on   this  matter.  dŚĞŽƵŶĐŝů͛ƐƐŝŐŶŝĨŝĐĂŶĐĞƉŽůŝĐLJĂůůŽǁƐĨŽƌ͕ǁŚĂƚĂƉƉĞĂƌƚŽƵƐƚŽďĞ͕ĂƌďŝƚƌĂƌLJĂŶĚ inconsistent  decisions  to  be  made  about  what  council  chooses  to  consult  on.    We  remain  of  the  view   that  Council  has  a  moral  obligation  to  involve  the  community  in  decisions  that  have  the  potential  to   substantially  impact  on  the  day  to  day  lives  of  its  residents.    Council  has  assured  us  over  the  last   couple  of  years  that  we  will  be  involved  in  decision  making  to  a  greater  degree  than  in  the  past.     We  believe  services  at  our  libraries  will  be  compromised   We  believe  the  proposals  for  our  libraries  as  outlined  in  the  draft  review  document  would  have   substantial  impacts  on  the  day  to  day  user  experience  of  a  wide  ranging  group  of  residents  and   ratepayers.  You  are  already  aware  that  on  average  Wanaka  people  are  issued  with  more  than  twice   1    

as  many  items  per  annum  than  Queenstown  people.  1This  indicates  that  there  is  a  significant   relationship  between  our  community  and  our  local  libraries  and  the  people  who  work  in  them.    The  mission  for  our  libraries  and  the  stories  that  have  been  told  in  the  public  forum  and  through  the   media  over  the  last  week  are  very  strongly  aligned  with  the  vision  from  the  New  Zealand  public   ůŝďƌĂƌŝĞƐƐƚƌĂƚĞŐŝĐĨƌĂŵĞǁŽƌŬ͘͞WƵďůŝĐůŝďƌĂƌŝĞƐĞŶŐĂŐĞ͕ŝŶƐƉŝƌĞĂŶĚŝŶĨŽƌŵĐŝƚŝnjĞŶƐĂŶĚŚĞůƉďƵŝůĚ ƐƚƌŽŶŐĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚŝĞƐ͘͟2     The  Mission  Statement  of  our  libraries  reads  as  follows;  ͞The  mission  of  the  Central  Otago  /   Queenstown  Lakes  Libraries  is  to  provide  the  highest  quality  library  services  to  fulfill  the   informational,  educational,  recreational  and  cultural  needs  of  the  community3.͟    It  is  clear  that  the   current  level  of  service  is  intended  to  be  very  high  rather  than  average  and  that  this  level  should  be   benchmarked  against  community  and  user  demand  rather  than  driven  down  from  the  top  using  a   cost  minimisation  imperative.     Embracing  change   Our  library  has  served  our  community  well  for  125  years.  As  a  public  institution  it  has  adapted  to   massive  social,  technological  and  economic  change  over  that  time.  We  have  no  doubt  that  it  will   continue  to  adapt  and  change  to  meet  new  needs  that  emerge.  It  will  deliver  content  to  us  in  new   forms.  However  the  essential  function  that  the  library  fulfils  for  us  of  organising,  sorting  and  helping   ƵƐƚŽĨŝŶĚƚŚĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƚŝŽŶǁĞŶĞĞĚǁŽŶ͛t  change.     If  anything  user  expectations  are  higher  than  they  have  been  in  the  past.  The  value  add  we  are   seeking  from  our  library  staff  is  them  knowing  exactly  what  is  available,  choosing  the  things  that  are   most  likely  to  be  relevant  to  the  mix  of  people  in  our  community  and  being  able  to  give  them  to  us  in   a  form  we  can  receive  them  in  when  we  ask.  Time  is  money.  We  need  people  who  know  their   collection  and  their  community  on  hand  to  connect  us  with  what  we  need  in  the  most  efficient  way   when  we  walk  through  the  door.   Our  library  is  a  very  important  community  asset.  The  asset  includes  (a)  the  physical  building  and  the   collection  and  (b)  the  capacity,  local  knowledge  and  personal  relationships  that  have  been  built  up  in   the  staff  over  many  years.  Both  of  these  are  of  value  to  us.  Our  community  has  invested  in   developing  this  physical  and  institutional  capital  over  many  years.  We  do  not  wish  to  see  the  value  of   our  investments  eroded  by  hasty  changes  intended  to  minimise  cost  rather  than  maximise  value.   Every  business  and  organisation  has  to  invest  in  human  resources  to  create  and  capitalise  on   opportunity.  Our  libraries  do  have  a  future  if  we  choose  to  invest  in  building  their  capacity  so  they   can  continue  to  meet  our  needs.  Our  libraries  help  create  an  inclusive,  socially  cohesive  and   informed  community.  These  are  important  value  adds  that  deliver  on  our  community  outcomes.  Our   long  term  success  as  a  district  depends  on  us  being  able  to  build  the  capacity  of  our  people  through   lifelong  learning.  We  need  great  libraries  and  skilled  staff  to  make  that  happen.                                                                                                                          
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 Queenstown  people  are  issued  with  10.31  library  books  (or  other  catalogued  items)  per  head  per  anum,  Wanaka  basin   people  are  issued  with  22.8.  Issues  data  is  taken  from  Libraries  report  Feb  2013,  population  data  from  QLDC  2011  growth   projections  report.     2  Public  Libraries  of  New  Zealand  a  strategic  framework  2006  -­‐2016   3  http://codc-­‐qldc.govt.nz/libraries  bottom  of  page  

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In  conclusion   In  an  ideal  world,  we  would  like  the  library  to  maintain  existing  levels  of  service  with  the  existing   level  of  staff,  at  the  existing  cost.    We  are  willing  to  pay  our  rates  accordingly.  We  would  like  more   information  to  be  collected  and  fed  into  the  organisational  review  of  the  library,  as  the  key  points  in   this  letter  outline.    There  may  have  been  a  technical  decision  made  not  to  consult,  but  we  feel  there   is  a  moral  obligation  to  consider  the  points  raised  at  public  forums  and  in  written  submissions,   alongside  the  staff  consultations.    The  credibility  of  council  rests  on  community  touch  points  like   these.       Finally,  a  simple  plea  to  listen,  really  listen,  to  the  strong  feelings  in  our  community  about  this  issue.     Review  the  comments  made  at  public  forums  ʹ  it  was  great  to  see  Vanessa  attentively  taking  notes.     Those  of  us  raising  our  voices  do  so  in  the  spirit  of  democracy  and  genuine  care  for  a  valued   ĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚLJƐĞƌǀŝĐĞ͘tĞ͛ƌĞŶŽƚƉƵƌƐƵŝŶŐĂƉŽůŝƚŝĐĂůĂŐĞŶĚĂ͕ǁĞĂƌĞĐŽŵŵŝƚƚŝŶŐƚŝŵĞŽƵƚƐŝĚĞŽƵƌŽǁŶ ĚĂLJũŽďƐƚŽĞŶƐƵƌĞǀŽŝĐĞƐĂƌĞŚĞĂƌĚ͘tĞ͛ƌĞĂĚŝverse  bunch  of  people  from  all  walks  of  life  who   ĚŽŶ͛ƚǁĂŶƚƚŽƐĞĞĂǀĂůƵĂďůĞƐĞƌǀŝĐĞĐŽŵƉƌŽŵŝƐĞĚ͘dŚĂŶŬLJŽƵ͘   Recommendations   1. We  would  prefer  to  see  the  changes  cascade  through  the  council  rather  than  implemented   from  the  bottom  up.  The  changes  to  the  library  services  do  not  seem  likely  to  generate  large   savings  in  absolute  terms.  However  it  is  likely  that  they  will  have  a  substantial  impact  on  our   community.  There  is  not  a  lot  to  be  gained  and  much  to  be  lost  from  rushing  into  making   changes.  The  implementation  of  the  proposed  changes  is  of  concern  to  us.  It  appears  from  the   timeframe  in  the  documents  that  the  change  to  staffing  levels  in  the  libraries  will  be  made  very   quickly.  It  seems  that  it  wold  be  better  to  roll  these  down  from  the  top.  The  top  people  would  be   appointed  first.  Clear  guidance  given  to  them  on  what  their  brief  is  then  they  explore  the  options   for  delivering  the  changes  sought  to  the  library  services.  This  would  allow  a  graceful  way  for  the   community  to  be  included  in  the  process.  It  would  also  allow  the  new  manager  to  establish  a   working  model  that  they  have  ownership  of  and  that  they  felt  confident  would  deliver   established  service  levels.     2. We  want  the  service  levels  to  take  the  users  perspective  into  account.  The  key  affordability   issue  for  the  libraries  is  willingness  to  pay.  We  are  not  aware  that  this  has  been  tested  in  our   community.  The  library  service  works  on  a  public  good  basis.  The  community  has  accepted  that   $82.79  is  a  fair  rate  for  the  current  level  of  service.  It  seems  that  council  is  proposing  reducing   the  cost.  We  are  not  aware  of  any  specific  request  for  the  library  charge  to  be  reduced.     It  seems  that  people  from  the  Wanaka  basin  and  the  Queenstown  area  value  their  libraries   differently.  There  is  already  a  precedent  for  the  level  of  service  to  be  different  in  the  two  halves   of  the  district.  The  Aquatic  centre  is  rated  separately  with  Queenstown  ratepayers  paying  $96   per  household.  We  consider  it  likely  that  Wanaka  library  users  would  be  willing  to  continue  to   pay  the  current  rate  to  maintain  the  existing  services  levels.  We  had  heard  that  a  survey  of   library  users  was  going  to  be  done  this  financial  year.  We  hope  that  this  is  completed  prior  to   any  of  the  decisions  being  implemented  so  that  the  library  users  perspective  can  be  considered   and  political  direction  given  to  staff  on  this  matter.       3. We  would  like  to  see  the  proposed  changes  to  the  library  services  reviewed  by  someone  with   specific  library  experience.  We  understand  this  has  been  done  for  other  areas  of  the  review   3    

where  specialist  knowledge  is  beneficial.  This  would  give  us  confidence  that  the  user  needs  and   expectations  have  been  given  appropriate  weight  in  the  review  process.     According  to  the  NZ  standard  for  public  libraries  local  authorities  have  a  responsibility  for   funding  library  services  to  at  least  the  minimum  levels  outlined  in  the  standard.  The  standards   state  that  as  a    general  rule  the  following  applies  for  a  given  level  of  service:  small  branches  cost   more  per  capita  to  operate  than  larger  units  and  the  smaller  the  population  unit,  the  higher  per   capita  expenditure  needed  to  provide  an  optimum  service.   We  note  that  the  NZ  library  standards  were  not  used  in  the  review.  We  consider  these  more   appropriate  than  the  Australian  ones  as  they  have  been  developed  specifically  for  the  New   Zealand  context4.  They  use  a  different  ratio  for  calculating  suitable  staffing  levels  than  the   Australian  standard  for  example.  Applying  the  NZ  standard  generates  significantly  higher  staffing   rates  than  those  proposed  in  the  review  document5.  It  should  also  be  noted  that  the  NZ  Public   Libraries  strategy  2006-­‐16  also  makes  the  point  that  areas  with  lower  population  bases  require   higher  staffing  rates  and  expenditure  per  head  than  those  with  higher  population  densities.     It  is  difficult  to  make  sense  of  the  numbers  in  the  review  document  and  we  hope  that  someone   with  experience  in  this  area  would  be  able  to  paint  a  clearer  picture  so  we  feel  assured  that  the   proposals  accurately  reflect  both  the  current  situation  and  a  realistic  future  scenario.  This   person  could  also  check  the  data  used  in  the  analysis  as  there  seem  to  be  a  few  random   calculation  errors  e.g.  totals  column  of  acquisitions  has  Kingston  with  27%  of  total  collection   items  etc.  It  is  difficult  to  reconcile  some  data  in  the  review  document  with  information  taken   ĨƌŽŵƚŚĞĐŽƵŶĐŝů͛ƐĂŶŶƵĂůƌĞƉŽƌƚƐĂŶĚŝƚǁŽƵůĚŐŝǀĞƵƐĐŽŶĨidence  if  this  was  cross  checked.     4. We  want  council  to  consider  the  economic  costs  of  the  review  proposals  for  the  Wanaka  basin   and  to  make  these  transparent.  We  are  concerned  about  the  economic  implications  of  losing   jobs  in  Wanaka  which  is  a  small  economy  with  very  few  opportunities  to  secure  meaningful,   skilled,  long  term,  year  round  work.  We  ask  that  the  review  decisions  take  this  into  account.   Given  that  the  Wanaka  basin  has  more  than  half  the  issues  it  would  be  appropriate  for  our   library  to  take  the  lead  in  delivering  the  districts  library  services.  We  note  that  the  current   document  has  more  staff  resource  allocated  to  the  Queenstown.  Outsourcing  work  by   purchasing  shelf  ready  books  does  not  make  sense  to  us  as  we  would  be  paying  more  for  the   same  end  result  and  losing  work  from  our  local  economy.     5. tĞƚŚŝŶŬĐŽƵŶĐŝůƐŚŽƵůĚĞdžƉůŽƌĞĂůƚĞƌŶĂƚŝǀĞŽƉƚŝŽŶƐĨŽƌŚŽƵƐŝŶŐƚŚĞŽƵŶĐŝů͛ƐĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌ services  activities  as  we  remain  unconvinced  that  the  library  is  the  best  home  for  them.  The   building  was  purpose  built  as  a  library.  The  current  use  seems  to  take  all  the  available  space  and   both  our  population  and  library  use  is  growing.         6. tĞƐƵŐŐĞƐƚƚŚĞŽƵŶĐŝů͛ƐƉŽůŝĐLJŽŶƐŝŐŶŝĨŝĐĂŶĐĞŝƐƌĞǀŝĞǁĞĚĂŶĚ  the  language,  tests  and   priorities  clarified  as  soon  as  possible  so  that  decisions  about  how  and  when  it  is  applied  do  not   appear  arbitrary.  As  it  stands  the  policy  is  worded  very  loosely  with  no  guidance  on  how  the   various  elements  are  prioritised.                                                                                                                          
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 We  note  that  council  was  not  able  to  access  a  copy  so  here  is  a  link  to  the  2004  Standards  for  NZ  Public    Libraries  from  the   LIANZA  website  http://www.lianza.org.nz/node/395  
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   The  following  levels  indicate  desired  levels  of  staffing.  In  addition  to  the  Library  Manager  one  staff  member  shall  be   required  per  2,000  of  population,  1  staff  member  per  30,0000  circulation.  Back  of  envelope  for  QLDC  baseline  would  be   Manager  plus  about  14  staff.  Then  adjust  upwards  for  impact  of  small  population  base.  p13  

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