Reading packs a mystery

Fancy a mystery read?

Hamilton City Libraries staff are bundling up handfuls of books in specified genres and wrapping them up in brown paper with a view to encourage readers to give something new a read.

Meg Bryant, circulation services manager at Garden Place Library, said 26 "Pick a Pack" bundles had been issued in the last six weeks, with bundles in the mystery genre being the most popular.

"The packs are placed at the libraries' front counter, so they can be picked up quickly. They're wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, so the readers don't know what they will be getting."

"Pick a Pack" bundles are also available in adventure, Christian, Christmas, general fiction, graphic novel, historical, romance and sci-fi/fantasy genres.

The Hunger Games was the most popular book in the overall fiction category over the summer, with 35 loans, while Bear Grylls' autobiography Mud, Sweat and Tears topped the adult non-fiction category with 16 loans.

Hamilton City Libraries is also issuing a series of new library cards with 12 new designs featuring images from across the city such as the Carnegie Library, which was on Victoria St, Fairfield Bridge, the Ting Pavilion in the Chinese Scholar's Garden at Hamilton Gardens, Maori designs which feature in the Garden Place Library, and Honu, the libraries' tortoise mascot.

"The new cards are funky, attractive and exciting, and several feature our well-known orange tag design, continuing our brand," Mrs Bryant said. "Many of the designs stem from ideas put forward by our staff."

Existing library card holders can replace their cards with the new design for $3 and new library customers can select the card design of their choice at no cost.

Meanwhile, a six-week children's reading programme called E C READ'N (Eastern and Central Reading Encouragement and Development Network) programme, involving 220 children aged five to 12 from across the city, finished last week.

Participants were encouraged to share their thoughts on books they had taken home with library staff and were rewarded for their work with small gifts.

"Children have been very enthusiastic, our staff are getting some great feedback from them," Mrs Bryant said.

"We're keen to engage a sponsor to help fund this programme next summer."

Waikato Times