A group of primary school pupils have created a petition in the hope Waikato District Council will reverse its decision to cut access to the Hamilton City libraries.
Tamahere Model Country School pupils Titari White, Zion Heke and Ruby Macklow, all 11, are three of the masterminds behind the petition which has been making its way around the Tamahere and Matangi area.
The petition was created two weeks ago after Waikato District Council announced it would axe its $300,000 contribution to Hamilton City Council, which paid for Waikato residents to use Hamilton's libraries, including Hillcrest, Chartwell and the central city library.
Because Tamahere and Matangi residents are Waikato ratepayers, they will have to pay $80 per year each to have access to Hamilton libraries.
"We got ticked off because we think it should be free for everyone," Zion said.
"Other libraries have more knowledge," Ruby said. "Our school library is limited."
Hamilton City libraries have access to Borrow Box which is an app for e-books and audiobooks. The school fears they will lose access to this resource, when students are no longer able to use Hamilton libraries for free.
"This Borrow Box app is really good for children who struggle to read, and they can listen to relevant stories for their age," Tamahere Model Country School teacher Sarah Singleton said.
"Cambridge library does have a selection of audiobooks, but it is limited."
The trio were astounded that their petition had gained such momentum.
"Every signature is a step ahead," Titari said. "We aren't doing this just for ourselves but for everyone."
Hamilton City Councillor Dave Macpherson, a Waikato resident, said the petition was a good thing.
"I think this sort of thing is best to come from the communities affected. I hope it is enough.
"Waikato District Council actually did a survey showing that the great majority of residents from there wanted the library contract to remain," Mr Macpherson said. "But the council went against that."
In October 2017, Waikato District Council began reviewing its library contracts with Hamilton City Council and Waipa District Council. The public were asked to provide their feedback and more than 5000 submissions were received:
■47.4 per cent of them wanted the council to continue negotiating agreements so that residents could access libraries in the neighbouring districts;
■21.4 per cent wanted to cancel the agreements;
■20.3 per cent wanted to cancel the agreements and introduce an e-book collection and mobile library service;
■10.8 per cent wanted Waikato District Council to cancel the agreements and work with the community to get new ideas.
"This was one of many tough decisions that we were forced to make in order to keep rate rises under control," Waikato District Council chief executive officer Gavin Ion said.
The Waikato District Council have said that they are exploring options to collaborate with all the other councils in the Waikato region.
"Please keep in mind that all options are on the table and open for consideration," Waikato District Council customer delivery manager Brian Cathro said.