Young readers make use of the Dargaville Library’s Chromebook digital devices; a new facet of information sharing

Record season for library

by Andy Bryenton

The recent school holidays have proven popular with Dargaville Library patrons, who delivered the biggest numbers yet seen by the town’s centre for learning, reading and information.

Librarians report figures of more than 500 patrons a day using the full range of library services, at the only district library facility funded and staffed by Kaipara District Council. Such volumes of patronage have never before been recorded and were consistent for all of late July.

Library manager Lisa Salter says that many factors were likely contributors to the busy two week period, chiefly the school holidays and inclement weather for outdoor pursuits, but also initiatives such as the implementation of 16 new Chrome operating system-based devices to expand the library’s online capacity.

Strong interest among young people for reading is also a factor, with a recent promotion to encourage engagement with books by pizza chain Hell receiving an enthusiastic response. Another factor in the popularity of the library may be the reimagining of the library as a more inclusive space.

Gone is the image of the silent and strict book repository of yesteryear, say today’s library staff.

Along with the satisfaction of reaching a record number of readers and patrons come challenges with delivering a good experience for all. The librarians agree that they have more information at their disposal than ever, and clever ways to access it, but demand, as the library enjoys a popularity surge, should not be allowed to outstrip supply of space and resources.