Wellington librarians

PHOTO: Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Wellington librarians are deeply upset and angry with their employer – the city council – after it voted to sell off half the central library, and cut their collections budget by 40 percent.

The council voted in favour of both measures in a Long-Term Plan committee meeting a fortnight ago.

But neither decision has gone down well with those who it will impact: librarians.

“We’re pretty worried about things, it doesn’t feel good,” a librarian, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a statement.

“We’re quite dissatisfied. It’s interesting that at this point libraries are being treated as a ‘nice to have’.

“Plenty of members of the public think we are vital. The library is a place you’re a citizen, not just a consumer.”

The council was contemplating one of its most expensive budgets ever, and Mayor Andy Foster was looking for where savings could be made.

Billions of dollars worth of investment are being put into water infrastructure, improving resilience, and trying to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.