2 November 2018
Whanganui District Library will open Whanganui’s first suburban self-service library in Whanganui East on 23 January, 2019, in partnership with the Whanganui Advocacy and Support Trust (WAST) community centre.
The new Hakeke Street Library will be situated at 65 Hakeke Street, in part of the former New Zealand Railways complex that also houses Love and Learn Care and Education. There will be a collection of around 2,000 adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction books, with a focus on the most popular titles, and free wifi internet access will be available.
The library will be self-service, but WAST staff will be able to provide basic assistance for library members during opening hours (9.00am – 1.00pm weekdays, except Wednesdays).
Whanganui District Council Libraries & Community Manager Pete Gray feels strongly that “No one should be excluded from the library by distance or cost and through this partnership the library will build deeper connections into our community.
“As far as we know, the suburban self-service library is a new model for New Zealand.”
On 10 September this year the Whanganui District Library removed the 50c charge for borrowing adult fiction books and magazines, as well as the $1 charge for requests and holds, bringing it into line with libraries around the world.
Visitors to the Hakeke Street Library will be able to check books out and back in and pay any overdue charges by eftpos at the self-service machine. A touchscreen PC will enable them to log in to their library accounts, search for and reserve books (which can be delivered for pick up at Hakeke Street) and join the library if they aren’t already a member. Library membership is free.
The Hakeke Street Library will be serviced by the mobile library, with the collection being regularly refreshed.
This is the first of several self-service libraries planned for the city. Whanganui District Library would like to hear from any organisations who are interested in hosting a self-service library in other suburbs.
Mr Gray says, “We want the community to feel it’s their space and look after it. It’s not a Council space; rather, it’s the Council putting something into a space that is there for the community.”
Caption: Libraries and Community Manager Pete Gray and WAST founding trustee Marie Butturini at the Hakeke Street premises.