Bookworms keeps library busy

SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 14:02 18/02/2013
Opinion poll

Are you a signed-up member of a library?

Yes, and I use one all the time.

Yes, but I hardly use it

No, but I would like to join

No, I have no intention of joining

Vote Result

Relevant offers

Wairarapa News

Eketahuna to host Hurricanes match Wairarapa pedals new tourism boom Awful season for Wairarapa-Bush Bumper Labour Weekend awaits Masterton East Side project humming Hard pressed to find better olives Wairarapa burglaries up nearly 10 per cent Blindness no barrier to this footy player Ocean waka visit first in 175 years Exciting days for Wairarapa Cricket

Masterton, Porirua and Upper Hutt libraries are experiencing increased usage.

Masterton District Library manager Sandy Green said it was seeing an increase in the number of people visiting and borrowing from the library. Circulation figures were up from 276,167 in 2007-08 to 290,601 in 2011-12. Most library users are over 60, but this was due to an above-average number of over-65s living in the region.

"Fiction reading is an area of growth with many readers saying that poor quality television programming prompts them to read more, " Ms Green said.

Meanwhile,  Wellington Public Libraries has noted a 20 per cent decrease in new enrolments in the past five years.

An increase in the information available online is one of the reasons cited for the drop in user numbers.

Wellington Public Libraries acting manager John Stears said its fall in new borrowers was partly attributed to the fact that memberships used to expire, to allow libraries to check customers' details, but they no longer did so.

In 2007, 2.8 million people entered the library, and in the year to June, that number had dropped to 2.6 million.

Mr Stears said many people used online tools to browse and reserve books, decreasing the need for physical visits to the libraries.

Porirua City Libraries manager Brian Anderson said it was seeing a big increase in the number of online transactions, particularly since it joined its collection with those of Lower Hutt, Kapiti, Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), and Whitireia Libraries through a Smart system.

"Our borrowers are able to access a significantly larger pool of materials - up from 150,000 items that Porirua holds to 500,000 items held by the Smart collaboration. And we are getting very positive feedback from borrowers using the service."

In 2007, it had 2397 new users, compared with 5476 this year. The new users are predominantly aged between 5 and 14, and almost two- thirds are female.

Upper Hutt City Library manager Debbie Duncan said that in the last three years, visits to the library had increased by 14.7 per cent to October 2011, while in the past year they have increased by 11.2 per cent.

The key to keeping the library relevant was to keep up with changes as users demand new technology and services, she said.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content