Library membership fees?

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12 years 11 months ago #19141 by Isla
Does your local library charge you to belong to it? Do you use your local library?

Did you know that S142 of the Local Government Act says that "If a local authority or a council-controlled organisation provides a library for public use, the residents in the district or region are entitled to join the library free of charge."?

I'm not sure how my local council gets to charge me an annual fee under that legislation, but they've been doing so for several years, recently increased to $15pa.

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12 years 11 months ago #284246 by FraSla
Replied by FraSla on topic Library membership fees?
That's crazy! I've never had to pay to join a library, although I do pay $2 to get new released books out. Do you pay extra for new books?

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]I'm open minded and I'm looking to learn something everyday. [:D]

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12 years 11 months ago #284251 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Library membership fees?
When I queried our Council why we paid such high rates for no footpath, no sewerage, no water supply and a gravel road that is safe only 4 days per year, I was told that the rates were for the free library and the long distance that we had to travel on Council roads.

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12 years 11 months ago #284254 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Library membership fees?
We pay large rates and library fees - and I think there are fees for some books, but I'm rarely that fast so I wait until they're freer. I pay a great deal in overdue fees too.

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12 years 11 months ago #284259 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Library membership fees?
I seem to remember our Library talking about a charge at one stage but everyone sceamed blue murder so no memebership charge. That was dropped but they certainly hardened up in other areas. Same as FraSla that new books are $2.00 (no problem I just get old books!) and they rent out DVD's at $4 for two weeks - which is really good. However, one day overdue on the old books is .40C a day and on the hire books and DVD's - $1.00 a day!

One good piece of upgrading is that we are all now on the Net so if you are running out of time to get into town, you can renew for a further period of 3 weeks once.

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12 years 11 months ago #284269 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Library membership fees?
DiDi ours here is the same I think and we get a remineder e-mail 2 days before due back Still dont make it but good they warn me LOL

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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12 years 11 months ago #284274 by FraSla
Replied by FraSla on topic Library membership fees?
Wow, ours isn't online yet, at least not that I know of but our over due fees aren't as much either, admittedly they've just gone up from $2 to $3 but thats for one week to 3 weeks late i think, then you start getting charged more. I don't how much though because i've never had a book that late! ;)

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]I'm open minded and I'm looking to learn something everyday. [:D]

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12 years 11 months ago #284281 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Library membership fees?

Isla;265710 wrote:
Did you know that S142 of the Local Government Act says that "If a local authority or a council-controlled organisation provides a library for public use, the residents in the district or region are entitled to join the library free of charge."?


That's interesting and probably needs investigating do you think? And I bet they'll come up with some way around it.

I've lived in Dargaville, various areas of Auckland and Taupo and never had to pay to belong to the public library. I came up here, went to join and was told that will be $12.00 please (it was at that time). I was gobsmacked, not least because it is one of the poorest areas I have lived in and people are being charged to read. Then I made the mistake of taking out the first book of a trilogy thinking, that like any other library, it would have the following two. But no, they didn't and had to get them in for me - at $3.00 per book. I didn't do that again. It still rankles that I have to pay to belong.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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12 years 11 months ago #284282 by jdnz
Replied by jdnz on topic Library membership fees?
As a public librarian I was shocked to read that your library is charging $15 as a "borrowers fee" each year. I'd be interested to read the Standards for Public Libraries document - I haven't been able to find it online but I should be able to get my hands on a copy early next week.

The LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) website makes a statement on their website about free public library service. They also refer to the UNESCO Public Libraries Manifesto, part of which says:

"The Public Library shall in principle be free of charge. The public library is the responsibility of local and national authorities. It must be supported by specific legislation and financed by national and local governments. It has to be an essential component of any long-term strategy for culture, information provision, literacy and education."

Isla it's also worth a look at the LTCCP (volume 1n) for your local authority - they state that "Libraries need to be made more accessible" and they also refer to the high levels of low literacy in the district. 8% of residents surveyed were dissatisfied with your library service (compared to a national average of 2%)...and they acknowledge that the borrowers fee is what most people are unhappy about.

A large number of libraries in NZ are now providing free internet access via the Aotearoa People's Network. Your council state in the LTCCP that they have failed to achieve this. If I were a member of your community I'd be saying "forget free internet, we want free membership".

$15 a year doesn't sound a great deal of money but for many families in your area that amount of money will provide a few meals. I was pleased to see that you can at least take 50 books out at a time - I imagine many couples share a card rather than paying $15 each per year. I wonder if they discourage card sharing???

If you want to take this further I suggest you get in touch with the Regional Councillor for your region of LIANZA. See this page for her contact details www.lianza.org.nz/about/profile/regions/hikuwai/committee.html - she's the one with the initials KT and she's pretty senior in public libraries and a member of the national committee.

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12 years 11 months ago #284283 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Library membership fees?
Thanks, jdnz! I was thinking about this after receipt of the following press release:

NZSA alarmed at potential privatisation of libraries

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) is alarmed at reports of the proposed law changes to Local Government allowing councils to strip local spending back to core services (defined as transport, water services and public heath and safety). The proposed changes to the Act puts at jeopardy libraries and art galleries, potentially removing the right of free access to these community facilities from the very people the local councils were designed to support.

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) considers such community facilities to be vital to the present and future growth and development of the people of New Zealand. Libraries provide facilities for the elderly, children and students and for lower socio-economic communities. Such facilities would be unlikely to attract sufficient private sponsorship and it is the responsibility of local government to ensure provision of facilities of general interest that are commercially unviable. By removing the requirement for local councils to provide such services free of charge would put at risk the educational, recreational and social activities of our communities today and in the future.

It is widely acknowledged that ratepayers, by and large, are happy to pay for art galleries, libraries and the like. It has been generally acknowledged by our politicians that social policies are an important role for councils. And yet the Cabinet has signed off on a request to review local government law that includes the removal of council’s requirements to deliver on ‘community outcomes’ – a contradictory and unacceptable move.

The Local Government Act 2002 (as at 1 July 2009) states that the purpose of local government is
to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future
It also states that
If a local authority or a council-controlled organisation provides a library for public use, the residents in that district or region are entitled to join the library free of charge.

We urge the Government to ensure that it remains a requirement of local government to be responsible for the social and cultural wellbeing of its community, and to provide free public access to community facilities. We reject any changes to the Local Government Act that allows any local governing body to commercialise such facilities.

For further comment contact NZSA President, Tony Simpson, 04 384 3180 or 04 471 9488 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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12 years 11 months ago #284284 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Library membership fees?
Oh, and you bet we share a card!

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12 years 11 months ago #284295 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Library membership fees?
Library membership is free here. Fiction books cost something for adults but non-fiction is free. CDs and DVDs have a fee, too. I only read non-fiction so I don't pay anything.

Libraries are so important for poorer people and they do use it, especially for their kids. It would be such a shame if this was sacrificed.

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12 years 11 months ago #284304 by moonshiner
Replied by moonshiner on topic Library membership fees?
Of course all you Kaitaiarians have to pay library membership fees. How else do you think FNDC paid for our big flash Kerikeri jobbie!


~

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen. ~Tommy Smothers

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12 years 11 months ago #284331 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Library membership fees?
We don't have a library run by our district council within cooee, so we get free membership of Hamilton's - which we really use heaps.

I know when my mum was a councillor up TCDC a while back there were already fights going on up there with some communities facing losing their libraries...all I can say is, keep your ears to the ground and fight for your local ones and fight membership fees. Libraries are a common good for all the community.

In the coming months/years I have a horrible suspicion that libraries will be considered outside council core work areas for those who hold the controls on such things - and by that I don't mean the councils themselves but those who seek to 'reorganise' them. I remember not that long ago one influential reorganiser commenting that libraries weren't important as there are bookstores for that sort of thing :(

Isla, I trust you will be questioning your council further...??

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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12 years 11 months ago #284336 by drifter
Replied by drifter on topic Library membership fees?
I know here in BOP people get confused over the library charging a members fee. It happens when they live in the Western Bay District Council area and join the Tauranga City Council Library (or more usually one of it's small rural branches). If they joined the WBDC Library it would be free.
Clear as mud?[;)]

Strange how much you've got to know, Before you know how little you know.

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