Ruapehu libraries having a hectic winter
Ruapehu’s libraries are having a busy winter thanks to a jump in new members, increasing demand for computer services and the popularity of the children’s reading and activity programs.
Community Librarian Fiona Thomas said that it was fantastic to see the libraries as a hive of activity and reinforced the important role they have in supporting community well-being.
“Over August the libraries gained 63 new members with a number of them being retirees moving into the District escaping the higher cost of living in the big cities,” she said.
“The children’s Winter Warmers reading program was extremely well attended with 35 children receiving prize incentives.”
“This was the first time we have held a reading programme over winter and its success mirrored the success of the summer holiday program which has grown in popularity every year.”
“The demands on the libraries digital services such as free computer access and WIFI also continues to grow all the time,” said Mrs. Thomas.
“Free internet access has been available in Ruapehu’s three libraries since 2009 thanks to the ‘Aotearoa People’s Network’ (APN) a government collaboration through its national Digital Strategy, the National Library and the Public Libraries of New Zealand.
“The APN programme has the objective of providing digital opportunities for New Zealanders and ensuring that they are in a position to benefit from the digital revolution happening around the world.”
Mrs. Thomas added that the escalating digital needs of New Zealanders and the role of public libraries in meeting these needs was the subject of a national hui attended by Ruapehu with Public Libraries of New Zealand and APN representatives recently.
“Council believes that our libraries have a very important part to play in ensuring that all Ruapehu residents have equal access to computers and the internet.”
“Anyone driving past one of the libraries over the weekend will see people sitting outside taking advantage of the free WIFI which highlights the demand in our communities from people who would otherwise not have internet access.”