Technology features in library services recommendations

Vanessa van Uden
Vanessa van Uden
Technology features prominently in details of how the Queenstown Lakes District Council could deliver future library services, while a new library in Frankton could also be a possibility.

The council's library taskforce has produced a series of recommendations from its review of the district's library services, to be discussed at two community forums next week.

The library review strategy has three focus areas: improving the effectiveness of current services; expanding digital services to deliver ''a library in every pocket''; and strengthening the library's position as a community hub.

Within the next couple of years, the taskforce recommendations include extending opening hours, introducing a self-check facility in the district's larger libraries and providing an e-book download service and more public computers.

Council consultants Maxwell and Associates in Wellington and Sue Sutherland Consulting in Christchurch have recommended physical integration of customer services with the library where possible, and moving management of the library's core systems to the national Kotui shared library management and resource service.

An integrated membership card with other council services is proposed in the medium term - three to four years - along with a new digital services librarian position, a library cellphone app and loaning electronic readers or tablets to library users.

In five or more years' time, building a new library in Frankton to meet population growth is recommended. It would potentially include a learning centre and cafe.

A trial ''hacker space'' - with technology and tools for people to try out - could be a shared resource for the larger libraries in the long term, while a sponsored vehicle kitted out with Wi-Fi and mobile reading and internet devices could be used to deliver services to areas without libraries, such as Cardrona and Luggate.

Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden said the council wanted to test out the library taskforce's recommendations with the community before they went to the council for final consideration.

''If something significant has been missed, then this is the time to identify that.''

Ms van Uden hoped everyone who had shared their ideas on library services over the past three months would come to hear what had evolved.

The forums will be at the Queenstown Memorial Centre on Wednesday, March 19, starting at 6.30pm, and the Lake Wanaka Centre on Thursday, March 20, starting 6.30pm.

- lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz