Petition to save mobile library
A weekly visit to the book bus keeps Elva Kirwan well-stocked with reading material.
The 87-year-old is among those petitioning Auckland City Council to keep the mobile library service, which is under threat from budget cuts.
“For older people who are not mobile, books are very heavy to carry,” she says.
“They’ve got to get on a bus and some of them are in walkers.”
Mt Roskill mobile library user Bert Harrison thinks it would be a huge loss if the service were cut. “Too right I do,” he says. “People with transport would be all right, but that’s extra cost on older people with petrol and so on.
“For me, I’d be able to manage, but a lot of people wouldn’t.”
Signatures supporting the service are being collected by Avondale Community Board member Catherine Farmer, who previously worked on the book bus.
“When I worked on the library back in 2000 the same issues were being explored,” she says.
“Some of the ladies I’ve approached to sign the petition remember me from working on the library, so there are long-term users,” she says.
“It disappoints me that our older citizens aren’t considered when it comes to providing services.”
By Friday about 150 signatures had been collected, mostly outside book bus stops.
“There’s been a huge level of interest in signing the petition,” Ms Farmer says.
A report on ways to slash the library’s asset management budget has proposed cutting funds for a replacement vehicle.
The move would mean the end of the service once the existing book bus was no longer useable.
Libraries manager Allison Dobbie told the council’s community services committee last month the bus still had “some life in it”.
The committee led by councillor Paul Goldsmith asked for more information, including alternative ways to reach mobile library users.
The petition was to be presented to the community services committee this morning.
Home delivery: Keen reader Elva Kirwan, left, and Catherine Farmer with the mobile library petition outside the book bus at the Denny Ave pensioner flats.