from the Kapiti Independent News website

Ian-LittleworthKāpiti’s Chief Librarian has directly contradicted political claims that huge numbers of library books are lying unused in cartons and many new books are about to go into storage.

The claims were made in a comment in KIN on 15 September by Mayoral candidate Jackie Elliott.

She said: ‘As it is there are 20,000 books unpacked in storage here and 18,000 from this current years order still to arrive and go into storage because of temporarily reduced shelf space.’

The facts

However, when Libraries’ manager Ian Littleworth was asked by KIN how many brand-new books are still in cartons at each library, he replied:

“All new books go straight to the relevant library to be added to the shelf collections. There are no new items still in cartons.”

KIN observes that this directly contradicts one of the key claims by Cr Elliott, who supports the KCDC decision to cut the books and materials budget by almost half (a $192,000 reduction). So her claim that 18,000 new books could go into storage is false.

Mouldy books total

KIN next asked the chief Librarian: How many mouldy books are still in storage or being treated?

Mr Littleworth replied: “All items removed from the Waikanae Library have been thoroughly decontaminated.

“There is no mould or mould spores present on these books. Approximately 24,000 items remain in storage at this point.”

Where will the budget cuts bite?

KIN also asked ‘what book and materials categories will be affected, and by how much, in the year ahead, if the budget cuts remain in force?’

The Libraries manager replied:

“To ensure that we continue to provide items across all the areas of the collection we have reduced the budgets in each area (fiction, nonfiction, children, young adult etc.) by similar amounts.

“What has changed as a result of the budget for this year is the focus of what we actually buy in each area.

“Priority is being given to the purchase of popular, high demand items.”