Wake up Mr Brown, your libraries need paid librarians!

Friday 17 March 2023, 6:37AM




The suggestion of Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown that libraries could be run by volunteers is an insult to the mahi council library workers are doing every day to serve their community.

"It’s a huge slap in the face for Auckland Council librarians for the Mayor to suggest that some of the city’s library workers could be replaced with volunteers," said Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi Assistant Secretary Bronwynn Maxwell.

The Mayor’s comments came during a RNZ Morning Report interview.

"Libraries provide a valuable service to so many people young and old throughout the city - using volunteers is simply a recipe for shorter hours and a run down in services.

"The council is targeting $20m in savings from community and social services.

"These services aren’t just ‘nice-to-haves’ like the Mayor seems to believe. The kinds of services that are under threat include initiatives to address homelessness, programmes to help young people get into decent jobs, the Citizens Advice Bureau helping people access much needed services.

"They’re also the things that make Auckland a place where people want to live - the things that make a community. Like events and festivals, and the arts.

"The Mayor also signalled job cuts for head office staff are also on the table. We urge the Council to carefully consider these decisions as well.

"In tough times, austerity measures never work. The city will only be the poorer if the proposed cost-cutting plans outlined in the draft budget for 2023/24 are carried out.

"The plan is now out for consultation, and we urge Aucklanders to tell the council how much they value their community services," said Maxwell.