Changes Bring Better Services

General News | 07/28/2010

The amalgamation of Auckland Councils into one new entity on November 1 will see the merger of many systems and services.

Among them are the region’s libraries, one of the most utilised and valued services any Council provides.

From November 1, residents will be able to use their library card at any of the 55 libraries and 4 mobile libraries in the new Auckland Council region, from Wellsford to Waiheke to Waiuku. In addition there will be a number of small rural libraries operated by volunteers but with resources and other support provided by the new Council.

The amalgamation of libraries – known as the "My Card" project- makes it the largest group in Australasia, giving Aucklanders access to around 3.5 million items, including CDs, DVDs, language collections and audio books as well as on-line information and databases.

As is the case currently, there will be no joining or membership fees for residents of the Auckland region. Loan periods for some items will increase from one to two weeks and there will be no charges on overdue items borrowed by children or teens.

"This means people will be able to borrow items anywhere, and return them anywhere. It is just one of the examples of Council services being easier to access," says Mark Ford, executive chairman of the Auckland Transition Agency, which is managing the amalgamation of existing Councils.

He also points to other improvements, including a network of more than 20 offices across the region, providing face to face customer service.

In addition, Bank of New Zealand will provide the Auckland Council with comprehensive transactional services and over-the counter services.

The New Zealand Post PostShop network will also provide some over-the-counter bill payment services (such as rates and water payments).

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Executive Chairman of the Auckland Transition Agency Mark Ford (left), Mary Forbes, Team Leader, New Lynn and Titirangi Libraries and Local Government Minister Hon Rodney Hide were on hand when eight-year-old Nikitha Nibu joined a library for the first time. Nikitha signed up at her local New Lynn library and under the new “My Card’ scheme will be able to borrow and return items from any library in the region.