I'm sure many of you will know how important local libraries are for our children. To keep up with my 7 year old's reading appetite, we visit the library up to twice a week. If we took out more books once a week, we would just have a child reading them all in one go and not eating, sleeping playing and doing things that children sometimes need to do, to be balanced. We take out 3 books at a time, and try to make them last 2 to 3 days.
To my horror I have just discovered that the Upper Hutt City Council plans to close our branch library. The main reason being to draw people into the city centre 8km away. Also because it is small (3.7% of overall usage and 3.1% of overall costs). The council's 10 year plan aims to improve leisure facilities and make Upper Hutt a place where people will choose to live - I'm not sure how closing down a library meets their aims.
It seems like last week we were fighting Trevor Mallard's attempts to close our small but vibrant school. Now I'm up against the City Council.
If any of you are as passionate about books as I am, and believe in UNESCO's policy that libraries should be acessable to all, please write a note to Upper Hutt city councillors, email@example.com, telling them what is great about your libraries and why libraries need to be close to the people who use them.
If you have any tips on how to fight for our librarie's future, please let me know.
Our library (Manukau City) has a limit of 25 books...we have a card each, but we generally get out around 35 books a week.
My 5 year old son is very anti-reading at present, and anti-library (unless Daddy goes), but I am still trying to go each week. (He only likes to read/have read a book once). They used to think I was returning books for a Kindergarten.
Anyway...why not up-the-ante? Start getting out the maximum-plus, you'll increase the usage ten-fold. It's only small, but it's a start...perhaps you have some friends who could do the same.
Either way, I hope you have some success fighting for your local library. I actually wish I had your guts!
As it is, we have 4 libraries within 20 minutes of us, but I still complain at having to have a toddler on my back, with a box of 40 books, fielding a distractible 5 year old across a busy road/carpark to get to the library..I don't know what we would do without libraries. We have a couple hundred books of our own, but with the read-it-once-and-it's-finished boy, without libraries we would have to have two jobs each to afford all the books!
I should explain that the books my daughter reads are the 300 page variety. They take her about 3 to 4 hours to read. During this time I cannot communicate with her, unless I put my hand on the page she is reading.
Yes I should take out more books each time, but dread having more time with an "absent" child.
Luckily she will read books twice. Sometimes finishing a book and immediately flipping back to the front page.
You mention 4 libraries within 20 minutes. Are they branch libraries? And do you mean walking or driving time. Driving time, means they are about 15 km away. I am really spoilt to be less than 1 km from our branch library. Granted it is very small, with one staff member, but it serves our needs very well.
Terry, what a shame! I'm sure alot of people would be on your side and if I get the chance I will send that letter. I don't know what we would do without our libraries. (We need 2 because I have read all the books in my preferred genres at our local library!) We get out huge stacks every week and always max out our three cards. Like most homeschoolers, we have hundreds of books at home too, which we read over and over, but its still not enough for us!
Just a follow up on what has been happening in Pinehaven, Upper Hutt, with our libraries. The Councillors voted last week to keep the branch library open and review all library services again in 2 years. We are very relieved, especially the children, who love having books so accessible to them.
Thanks for all the encouraging messages.