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PROPOSED LIBRARY CHARGES at the Tauranga Public Library

Libraries have existed almost as long as writing. One of the earliest libraries was the Sumerian library from the 7 th
Century BC. Some of the earliest libraries were royal libraries that were owned by the government. I believe that
libraries should be considered a central part of any healthy community and that access should not be
discriminatory to anyone.

Why keep Library Books as “free”? (ie. Already paid for out of rates).

• Literacy is freedom. Those who don’t have access to literacy know this only too well.
• Access to literacy is a basic human right that is protected by legislation in most
countries; sadly not in NZ. Even more reason to protect it in this the UN Literacy Decade
(2003-2012) in a time when worldwide literacy rates are dropping
• Literacy is a crucial element in the socio-economic success of any society. To restrict
access to literacy is deeply prejudiced and regressive.
• Charging for all adult material will set a dangerous precedent for other Councils in NZ to
do the same. We must safeguard things for the next generation.
• These charges are based on current lending rates of books. But lending rates will drop,
GST may go up, so the fees will rise way beyond $1.00 per item.
• It’s Tauranga “Public” Library, not a “Private” Library. Let’s keep it public.
• Many people on low and fixed incomes and cannot afford lending charges, as they are
already finding this recession and the cost of living too high to cope with. This is just
another burden for them.
• On top of rates we pay for water, rubbish collection, power, energy, transport, and
education. And now access to books?
• Already paid for out of rates – to do so again is double-dipping.
• Prisoners have free access to Library books. Why should law-abiding citizens have to pay
for borrowing books?
• Under the proposal all previously free adult books (including audio and large print-just to
punish those with reading or sight impediments) will have to be paid for - at first 50
cents then 80 cents per book. This will surely rise as lending rates drop. (Projected
income is based on current lending rates). Lending rates dropped by 22% at Ashburton
Library.
• Ashburton Public Library found that its lending rates plummeted when charges of $1.00
per book were brought in. The Council then withdrew its charges. This has not worked
before.
• There is massive dissension amongst parents, the arts community, retired folk and many
different socio-economic factions. This issue unites anyone who cares about reading.
• Access to literacy is fundamental to a city's lifeblood and this is supported by much
current research.
• About 6% of rates currently go towards the Library services. If this budget is not enough
then the Council must apportion more money from other projects to the Library services.
(By the way – 4% of rates go towards debt servicing!)
• Council income is down because building consents are down. Why punish the Library for
this?
• The Council also wants Library to reduce its book stock by 30,000 copies – in perspective
the Greerton and Mount libraries hold 40,000 books each.
• Current funding is $6.8 million funded at 90% of running costs (6% of rates spending -
$125 per person): the Council wants this to go to 80% funded – therefore slashing about
$500k annually
• Dunedin Council debated this recently and voted to increase the Library budget.
• This is a huge issue for the community and we must take a long-term view on the matter.
• Public submissions are available from 22 March for 4 weeks. Send one in!
• Emil councillors directly and ask for the opinion on the matter.
• Email your views to the BOP Times “Letters to the Editor” on editor@bayofplentytimes.co.nz

Proposed Charges on Library Books – the Council says:


A paper outlining proposed revenue increases for Libraries was presented to Council in December last year as part of
the annual plan budgeting process. The report, requested by Councillors, outlined how the Libraries could reach the
required target by doubling their revenue over a five year period.

Councillors voted to go out for public consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult loans (those not already subject to
charges) for the next three years. This includes all lrge print and audio books. After three years the charge is
proposed to increase to $0.80 and then $1.00 long-term. It is not proposed to charge for children and teen items. A
paper outlining proposed revenue increases for Libraries was presented to Council in December last year as part of
the annual plan budgeting process. The report, requested by Councillors, outlined how the Libraries could reach the
required target by doubling their revenue over a five-year period.

Councillors voted to go out for consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult loans (those not already subject to charges)
for the next three years. After three years the charge is proposed to increase to $0.80. It is not proposed to charge for
children and teen items.

A further report was presented to Council on 26 January 2010 by the General Manager of Libraries. This report was
for Councillor's information regarding savings that could be made in the libraries budget over the next three years.

After some discussion, Councillors accepted the report and the proposed savings will be incorporated in Council's
annual budget which is consulted on as part of the annual plan process. The proposed charges for adult loans was
not discussed again at the January meeting. The elected members are looking to community feedback on 'charges
and savings' through the Annual Plan submission process to assist them make decisions about this proposal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Proposed Library Charges

Why is the Council proposing to increase library charges?


At the request of the Mayor and Councillors, in an effort to reduce the rates contribution to library services,
library staff were asked for a paper outlining proposed revenue increases for the libraries. This paper was
presented to Council on Thursday 3 December 2009 as part of the annual plan budgeting process.

Currently the libraries are 90% ratepayer funded, Council has requested that this decreases to 80% over
the next 5 years. This means the libraries have to double their revenue over a five year period.

How much will I be expected to pay?


Councillors voted to go out for consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult items (those not already subject
to charges) for the next three years. After three years the charge is proposed to increase to $0.80. It is not
proposed to charge for children and teen items.

When will the proposed charges take effect?


If the proposed charges are approved as part of the Annual Plan process next year they will take effect from
July 2010.

How can I express my opinion about this Council decision?


In March as part of the Annual Plan submission process you will have a chance to formally comment on the
proposed charges. If you want Council to listen to your opinion you need to make a submission. Formal
submission forms will be available from 22 March for 4 weeks. If you would like to contact someone now
you have a choice of ways:

1. Go to the Tauranga City website www.tauranga.govt.nz and type ‘elected members’ into the search
box. All elected members’ contact details are listed here.
2. If you would like to send an email to the Mayor and all elected members please use the following
email address:
ElectedMembers@tauranga.govt.nz
3. Or you can always call the customer call centre on 577 7000.
4. email the BOP Times “Letters to the Editor” on editor@bayofplentytimes.co.nz
Elected members are looking to community feedback through the Annual Plan submission process to assist them make
decisions about this proposal. Please click here for more information.

Where are my rates spent?

It costs the Council $100 million per year (in round figures) to deliver you the services and activities this
growing city needs. The Local Government Act 2002 requires Council to consider the environmental,
cultural, social and financial impacts of its decision making. All services and activities relate to the outcomes
of Tauranga Tomorrow.

In very simple terms, every $1000 of rates is allocated as follows:

Planning - 1%

Rubbish & Waste - 2%

Arts & Culture - 3%

Debt Reduction - 4%

Indoor Facilities - 5%

Libraries - 6%

Democracy / Information - 6%

Public Health - 7%

Transportation - 13%

Outdoor Facilities - 14%

Water Supply - 15%

Stormwater & Wastewater - 24%

United Nations Literacy Decade


Education for All (2003-2012)

Literacy is a human right. Basic education, within which literacy is the key learning tool, was recognized as a human
right over 50 years ago, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, today, this right continues to be violated
for such a large proportion of humanity.

Literacy is about more than reading and writing. It is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices
and relationships, about knowledge, language and culture. Literacy -- the use of written communication -- finds its
place in our lives alongside other ways of communicating. Indeed, literacy itself takes many forms: on paper, on the
computer screen, on TV, on posters and signs. Those who use literacy take it for granted but those who cannot use it
are excluded from much communication in today’s world. It is the excluded who can best appreciate the notion of
‘literacy as freedom’.

However, if current trends continue, and if we fail to introduce major changes in the school system, "Literacy as
Freedom" will continue to be an unreachable dream for millions of people. Renewed, co-ordinated and sustained
efforts must be taken in the next few years to reverse these trends and ensure that we are on the right track towards
Literacy for All and thus "Education for All".

This is the reason why the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the "United Nations Literacy
Decade" for the period, 2003 - 2012. Together, we can make a difference in this world so that everyone has access to
literacy in ways that are relevant and meaningful.
While societies enter into the information and knowledge society, and modern technologies develop and spread at
rapid speed, 860 million adults are illiterate, over 100 million children have no access to school, and countless
children, youth and adults who attend school or other education programmes fall short of the required level to be
considered literate in today´s complex world.

Did you know?


- In 2000, one in five adults aged 15+ was illiterate.

- If the current trend continues, in 2015 there will be 800 million illiterate adults.

- Women account for two out of three illiterate adults.

- There is a Gender Gap: In 2000, there were 236 million more illiterate women than men and it is projected in 2015
the difference will be 215 million. This gender gap is more pronounced in the Arab States and North Africa, and in
South and West Asia.

United Nations Launches Literacy Decade.

Despite impressive advances in worldwide literacy over the past 50 years, an estimated 861 million
people, or 20 percent of the world's adults, still cannot read or write or participate fully in their
societies, according to the latest UNESCO statistics. Two thirds of these people are women. Another
113 million children are not in school and are therefore not gaining access to literacy skills.
With this in mind, the United Nations launched the Literacy Decade (2003-2012) at UN Headquarters
in New York on February 13. The theme for the decade is "Literacy as Freedom."
Certainly, much progress has been made since the first survey of worldwide literacy rates, published in
the 1950s, found 44 percent of the world's adult population to be illiterate. Still, there is a long way to
go to achieve the goal set at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000--to halve adult
illiteracy by 2015. If progress is not accelerated, UNESCO estimates that 15 percent of the world's
adults (or 800 million people) will still be illiterate by that date.

Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia, and the Arab States and North Africa account for more than
70 percent of the world's illiterate adults (615 million). Another 185 million live in the countries of East
Asia and the Pacific. Another 39 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean. The remainder are
spread throughout the rest of the world.

Illiteracy, however, is not just a problem for the developing world. In the mid-1990s, the International
Adult Literacy Survey compared literacy skills in 12 industrialized countries (Australia, Belgium,
Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom, and the United States). This survey found that at least 25 percent of adults in these
countries failed to reach the minimum level of literacy proficiency considered necessary for coping with
the demands of everyday life and work in the member countries of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD).
"This situation is unacceptable and underlines the need for greater islet efforts," said UNESCO
Director-General Koichiro Matsuura in a message to mark the launch of the Literacy Decade. He
stressed that the decade should not be seen as a stand-alone initiative, but rather as an integral part
of the worldwide drive to achieve Education for All (EFA) and the development agenda for the new
century.
In his message, Matsuura emphasized that priority for the Literacy Decade will be given to the most
disadvantaged groups, especially women and girls, ethnic and linguistic minorities, indigenous
populations, migrants and refugees, out-of-school children and youth, and persons with disabilities.

UNESCO, as the coordinating agency for the decade, has prepared an international plan of action
proposing six lines of action:
• policy change
• the development of flexible programs to suit people's different needs
• capacity-building to reinforce the professional corps working in literacy
• research to better understand the problems and how they can be dealt with
• community participation
• monitoring and evaluation to measure progress

One of UNESCO's showcase projects for the Literacy Decade is the recently launched LAND-Afghan
project, which will tackle illiteracy in Afghanistan. Another major undertaking by UNESCO's Montreal-
based Institute for Statistics will be the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Program (LAMP), a
worldwide survey to measure a spectrum of literacy levels.
As UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said during the February 13 ceremony, "We are here because we
know that literacy is the key to unlocking the cage of human misery; the key to delivering the
potential of every human being; the key to opening up a future of freedom and hope. We are here to
open a decade that must translate that hope into reality."
The International Reading Association cooperates with UNESCO in a variety of ways, including
sponsoring the IRA Literacy Award, presented by UNESCO each year on International Literacy Day to
honor outstanding literacy work. This year marks the 25th anniversary for the IRA award; watch
upcoming issues of Reading Today for an article commemorating this landmark.