News, Events and Culture

Management level first to change in Palmerston North City Library and Community Services restructure

Friday October 26 2012

95% of staff and the PSA made submissions on the proposal which has been refined, clarified and changes made to the final structure and implementation plan which has been presented to staff yesterday and today.

Palmerston North city librarian and general manager community services, Anthony Lewis says this is the first major restructure of the library in the past 20 years and will help cement together community services with the library as was the intent when they merged.

Overall the number of full time equivalents will drop by 2.05 to 79.25, plus 1.38 staff on government contracts and 4.35 full time equivalent temporary staff.

"We've always said this is not about staff cuts. It is about ensuring Palmerston North City"

Library remains relevant to an increasingly technological world. We have an award winning building now the internal structure will be readied to work with the changing nature of our society while retaining and improving much loved and used services.

The first major change will be in the dissolution of the Management Team and appointment of four strategic managers who will manage Content, Community Engagement, Living Room of the City and Planning and Performance. The positions will be advertised shortly.

In all they will employ nine team leaders who will manage staff.

"Staff have criticised management for a number of years for focussing on managing teams and not leading. The new layer will allow for leadership and help ensure we work across teams to prevent silos from occurring."

The positions of 34 current staff, including the general manager, will remain under the same contract albeit with some new tasks to carry out and outcomes to achieve.

All other positions will be advertised and this is likely to occur in the new year.

Other changes include:

  • Most desks in the Living Room of the City will be removed to allow for greater interaction between staff and customers.
  • Service guides will be up skilled so they can address 80% of customer queries.
  • A reduction in casual staff.
  • A seamless 7 day a week service in the Living Room of the City.
  • The implementation of a self service tracking system purchased as part of a wider consortium with other libraries.
  • The Senior's Librarian and branch librarians will come under the community engagement manager.
  • The Youth Space will come under the Manager Living Room of the City and be staffed by youth development officers.
  • Digital services will be available and provide a 7day service, not just Monday to Friday as is the case now.
  • Branch libraries will become Community libraries and hours of operation will change.
  • Staff education role to help ensure staff adopt new technology.
  • Retention of a courier as opposed to contracting it out.
  • Creation of a meditation or prayer room.

The changes are cost neutral in the first year, however every year there after a quarter of a million dollars in savings will be realised.

Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford says he is proud of how both staff and management continued to provide a professional service throughout this process. "It has been a fair and robust process which allowed staff to have a significant input into the new structure."

"I am confident the restructure will ensure the Library and Community Services will become more flexible and better able to provide the services and support required by the residents of Palmerston North now and in the future."