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Public 'closes the book' on library hour cuts

Tomas Rice
Turanga Central Library
Tūranga Library may close an hour earlier than currently if a cost-saving proposal is adopted.  Christchurch City Council (Supplied)

Proposed closing hour changes to Christchurch libraries haven't gone down well with the public.

As part of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan (LTP), the Christchurch City Council is looking to close libraries earlier.

Tūranga would close at 7pm rather than the current 8pm. Aranui Library and Matuku Takotako in Sumner would close on Sundays. All other large libraries would close at 6pm.

Council chief executive Dawn Baxendale said the proposal was based on analysis of the public's use of the libraries. It was a cost-cutting measure with minimal impact. 

Public submissions show opposition to the proposal. Of the 389 submissions to the draft LTP in relation to libraries, about 300 were opposed with 165 specifically displeased about the changes to opening hours.

"Should the proposal be adopted, staff will work through implementing these changes in the early stages of the next financial year," said Carolyn Robertson, Council Head of Libraries and Information.