New library ready to hit the road
Taranaki's library on wheels will be back in service next week, carrying more than 1000 books.
The library is fitting out its brand new book bus ready to begin operations on Tuesday.
The former mobile library bus was retired last year and a boutique library in a van has been carrying a reduced selection of books.
"I think it's going to be great," Puke Ariki manager Kelvin Day said.
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"This is why we're here. We're here to deliver great service."
He said the mobile library was "a really important aspect" of Puke Ariki's suite of services.
The new bus is "much more colourful" and should also be "incredibly reliable", Day said.
"It's a winner all around."
The bus carries a wide selection of titles and people can also order books online and have them delivered by the mobile library.
Day said while the bus is smaller and may carry fewer books than its predecessor, the quality of content hadn't changed.
The bus has an urban and rural route, and travels as far north as Tongapoutu and as far south as Ratapiko.
The library was not successful in securing funding from the TSB Community Trust, so the funds came from within the New Plymouth District Council.
The bus will also advertise temporary exhibitions that are currently on at Puke Ariki museum.
Day said feedback on the service had always been very positive.
"They are very appreciative that the service is offered.
"Not all our users are that mobile anymore so this makes sure they can continue utilising our resources and enjoy reading or taking a DVD out.
"We certainly get a lot of kids using it as well."
Mobile librarian Gordon Ross said the service is "really important".
"I think it's great. [It] keeps us out there in the community."
He said they often park at a school in a tiny rural town and "everyone comes down", not just the school kids.
Based on book checkouts and renewals, up to 4000 people use the service in a month.
"Generally everyone that was on [the bus] all took something off," Day said.