Contact Details

Christchurch City Libraries
work PO Box 73045,
Christchurch 8154,
New Zealand.
workp: +64-3-941-7923

Information for Selwyn residents who are users of Christchurch City Libraries

(Information on this page is not up-to-date. See our membership page for current information)

Selwyn Library Draft Strategic Plan 2008-2018

Media release: Selwyn to end subsidised Christchurch City Libraries membership for Paparua residents over the next five years 4 December 2008

Questions and answers - May 2008

Why will I have to pay to use the library?
Because the Selwyn District Council is planning to phase out its subsidy for Selwyn residents to use the Christchurch City Libraries. This is only a proposal at this stage and has not yet been confirmed.
How much will I have to pay to use Christchurch City Libraries?
If you live outside the Christchurch City Council rate paying area, you can join Christchurch City Libraries free of charge, and pay a charge to borrow items. You can choose either to pay $2.50 for each item borrowed (in addition to standard rental charges for adults); or you can choose to pay a six month subscription charge of $50 and then pay the same per item charges as Christchurch City residents.
Anyone under 19 years of age and living in Selwyn, Hurunui or Waimakariri District Council areas is not required to pay the additional non Christchurch City charge - and pays only the standard rental charges.
What’s changed?
Halswell and Hornby libraries were the local libraries for many residents of the former Paparua District Council. When Paparua amalgamated with Selwyn District Council in 1989, Halswell and Hornby libraries became part of the new Christchurch City Council area. Because Selwyn’s own library facilities were not well developed, it agreed to subsidise the use of Christchurch City Libraries by some of its residents.
Since then, Selwyn has developed a professional library operation - with four branches and a mobile service. The Selwyn District Council believes money it is paying now to subsidise its ratepayers use of Christchurch City Libraries could better be put to use in further developing its own libraries.
When will the changes take effect?
The changes are only proposed at this stage and are still subject to consultation. The Selwyn District Councils draft Library Strategic Plan will be finalised after submissions close at the end of May 2008.
Any changes will be phased in by the Selwyn District Council.
In the 2008/2009 financial year the present subsidy will remain but will only be available to those already making use of it.
In the following year (2009/2010), the subsidy will be halved - so that borrowers pay half the out of town users’ charge.
From the beginning of the 2010/2011 financial year there will be no subsidy.
The changes are not reasonable - does it really cost that much just to issue me with a book you already have on your shelves?
The charges represent the full cost of providing the service - including a share of overheads incurred in running the libraries.
Its not fair that we have to pay to use the Christchurch libraries - because we work in Christchurch and never go anywhere near the Selwyn District libraries.
The issue of fairness is one that you need to raise with the Selwyn District Council.
Surely the small number of Selwyn library users doesn’t make much difference to the cost of running a huge organisation like Christchurch City Libraries?
The Christchurch City Libraries exist to provide a service for ratepayers of the Christchurch City Council - who fund its operations. Any additional costs caused by users from outside the area must be met by those users (or subsidised by their council, on their behalf) to avoid unnecessary costs being incurred by Christchurch ratepayers. If the Selwyn District Council stops subsidising Selwyn residents, then they will have to pay for their own use at Christchurch City Libraries.
This cost will stop people using libraries and push them towards other recreation activities - so it will be counterproductive.
This change is not being introduced by the Christchurch City Libraries. If you want to discuss or challenge the removal of the subsidy, then this is something that should be discussed with the Selwyn District Council.
You should have received a letter from the Selwyn District Council outlining the proposed changes.

See the Selwyn Library Draft Strategic Plan 2008-2018.