Wednesday 12 January 2011


Over the weekend, Wellington's CBD was very subdued; it's always like that over the summer holiday period. The busiest place in town - to my gratification - seemed to be the public library.

If I got one thing out of working at the National Library, it was a renewed appreciation for public libraries. It's a cold person who doesn't like libraries, but it's not until you get into the sector a little that you appreciate just how much the people who run these places care.

Of course, this care is expressed in different ways, and funded to different extents. New Zealand libraries range from the architecturally exquisite to the shabbily run-down; the service ranges from brilliant to indifferent.

With the creation of the Auckland supercity, Auckland City Council now has 55 branch libraries. Wendy, a keen Auckland reader, has started the new year with a new mission, the Auckland Libraries Super Tour, visiting one of the libraries and reviewing it each week. She's kicked off with her local, Albany Village Library, and will cover ground from Wellsford to Waiuku.

I'm interested to see what Wendy's tour unearths. I imagine she'll be eagerly followed (perhaps even feted) by Auckland's librarians, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a invitation to the LIANZA conference in her future.

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