Friends of Library group reforming

Waitaki district deputy libraries and community services manager Jean Rivett is working to re...
Waitaki district deputy libraries and community services manager Jean Rivett is working to re-establish a Friends of the Library group in Waitaki. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
The reformation of a Friends of the Library group for the Waitaki district continues to gain momentum.

The original group that had served Oamaru for several years was wound up in 2017, when the Oamaru Public Library was closed for March of that year and fitted with automated technology and its layout changed.

Now that had been completeda group to support and advocate for the district's several libraries was needed, deputy library and community services manager Jean Rivett said.

At a meeting last week an initial steering committee was formed with a view to drafting a constitution.

That meeting followed a meeting on June 7, attended by about 20 people, after expressions of interest were sought from mid-April through to the end of May.

Ms Rivett said the goal was now to register the group officially, so it would be able to apply for funding to supplement Waitaki District Council funding for libraries.

"What they really want is to make this an incorporated society ... That will permit them to apply for additional funding.

"It's early days, but I am feeling very positive."

In particular, the group's focus would be on support for senior citizens and learning; support for Maori and Pasifika people and people of other ethnicities; expanding the library's home services in collaboration with the district's rest-homes; and digital learning programmes.

Funds raised would be used for special projects and programmes at the library, securing speakers and the expansion of branch libraries in smaller towns, such as Hampden, Ms Rivett said.

The group would also act as the direct link between the libraries and their communities.

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