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Buller District Libraries receives funding boost

23 May 2022

Buller District Libraries was awarded $40,000 funding from the New Zealand Libraries in Partnership Programme (NZLPP) last week.

The sum consists out of $30,000 of transitional funding and $10,000 additional hardship support.

These funds will contribute to subscription fees, wages, the purchase of library software, expenses for computers, scanner, printers, photocopiers, and free high-speed internet as well as other essential running costs for the two district libraries. The funding will cover expenses for the next 12-months.

Buller District Council’s manager libraries Nicky Meadowcroft says: “We were thrilled when the National Library of New Zealand announced that we were granted the maximum amount of $30,000.

Receiving the additional $10,000 of hardship payment was a big relief. Combined this money will enable us to offer the current level of library services to the community and ensure we have relief staff available.”

The relief staff will assist reintroducing some of the library services that were reduced over the past six months, and to open the Westport library on Saturdays from mid-June.

The NZLPP was initiated through central government as part of the COVID-19 recovery. The government allocated $58.8 million to be distributed over two to four years to libraries to lead and support the COVID-19 recovery.

Mrs Meadowcroft says: “We have been part of the programme since 2020 when the government announced funding for libraries.”

With the initial program allocation the Buller District Libraries employed two fulltime community engagement librarians for 18-months and one fulltime archive and digital collections librarian.

The Buller District Library also launched a successful digital literacy programme, increased the Reading for Pleasure activities and initiated the digital heritage project.

Ms Meadowcroft says: “With our extra staff over the last 18-months we implemented some amazing programs. We want to retain the range of library services in some capacity and ensure we can reliably deliver our core services.

Due to the financial strain caused by the recent flooding events, there was no room in council’s budget, to fund the gap the withdrawal of the NZLPP funds would leave.”

In March 2022 the National Library announced to make $2 million of unallocated program capital available to public libraries to support the transition out of the program.

“Once I heard about the transitional funding, I applied outlining the difficult financial situation the Buller District Council is in.”

The $10,000 hardship payment acknowledges this challenging financial situation.

Ms Meadowcroft says: “Receiving the money is brilliant for our community, especially since COVID-19 restrictions are easing, and we can start soon our very much missed library events.”


For more information please contact:
Manager libraries
Nicky Meadowcroft