Long-term spending – Library

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This is the beginning of a project to measure changes in Hamilton’s long term capital projects budgeting. As a starting point, this post looks at the 2000-01 (p91), 2002-12 (p222), and 2004-14 (Vol II p264) Library collection purchase budget, when spending just under $900k was seen as reasonable. In the early 2000s Hamilton’s population was about 120,000. In 2018 it is close to 170,000, which is a nominal 40% increase. Is it fair to increase the 2004 predicted expenditure of $900k by 40% to $1,260k, and would it be fair to add 14 years of inflation (2004 Q2 to 2018 Q2) to the $1,260k, making it now $1,676k (including both population growth of 40% and inflation of 33%)

In year one of the 2006-16 budget, expenditure increased to $1,039. In 2018 money this is $1,292, and adding 34% pop growth provides a total of $1,731k

The 2009-19 budget planned to spend $2,489k in year 2018/19, which in 2018 money is $2,865k

The 2012-22 budget planned to spend $1,519 in 2018/19, which in 2018 dollars would have been $1,618k

In 2018 council approved $1,135k (p58) for Library collection purchases.

‘The libraries are the most visited of all Council facilities, with more than a million visits annually … We only spend $7.74 per head of population [2015], which is less per capita than libraries in all the other major New Zealand cities … Children and young people are major users of the library’ (Hamilton City Libraries strategic plan 2015-2025). In 2018 we averaged 28,200 people per library. With the planned Library in Rototuna village, Hamilton will be back to 24,000 people per Library.

The Library collection purchase budget available to Hamilton’s library staff is very low. Even looking at the budget totals (excluding Rototuna) none of these are close to the level of investment in the early 2000s.

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