Book bus reprieve
The mobile library is likely to stay on the road for at least the next 10 years.
Auckland city councillors have recommended keeping the book bus service, which was under threat from budget cuts.
The community services committee resolved on Wednesday to put $60,000 towards refurbishing the existing bus when needed.
Chairman Paul Goldsmith says the council can’t afford the estimated $650,000 for a replacement.
“The current bus is working fine, it’s been given a clean bill of health by the engineers,” he says.
“In about five years they could refurbish the motor and it would keep going for another five years.”
He says in the meantime officers will look into other means of reaching the elderly community, such as audio books downloaded from the internet.
Avondale Community Board member Catherine Farmer presented a petition to the committee signed by nearly 300 library users in support of the service.
She is pleased with the committee’s decision.
“It’s a heartening response to the petition and it means there’s certainty of the mobile library service for some time yet,” she says.
“I’m sure that the elderly people who signed the petition will be relieved to see that they were listened to.”
Ms Farmer says internetservices will not be accessible by all older people, and the book bus provides a valuable social service.
The committee’s recommendation will be considered at a long-term community plan directionmeeting in November.