Plans to revive Friends of the Library

Waitaki district libraries manager Philip van Zijl and deputy libraries and community services manager Jean Rivett are working to re-establish a Friends of the Library group in Waitaki. Photo: Daniel Birchfield
Waitaki district libraries manager Philip van Zijl and deputy libraries and community services manager Jean Rivett are working to re-establish a Friends of the Library group in Waitaki. Photo: Daniel Birchfield
Plans are under way to establish a new Friends of the Library group for the Waitaki District.

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

Now that had been completed and was working well, Waitaki district libraries manager Philip van Zijl said the time was right to re-establish the group.

Mr van Zijl, alongside deputy library and community services manager Jean Rivett, were seeking expressions of interest from people keen on forming a steering committee to formally establish the group.

That committee will then draw up a constitution and invite membership applications.

Mr van Zijl said once established, probably by the end of June, the group would support and advocate for libraries in the district and their activities.

''It's now time to start focusing on re-establishing it and we are looking at it as an incorporated society, so that will mean we can apply for funding from various sources.''

That would include funding for special projects and programmes at the library, securing speakers, and the expansion of branch libraries in smaller towns, such as Hampden.

Its particular, the focus will 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.

Ms Rivett said the group would also act as the direct link between the libraries and their communities.

''The library is a social hub and the friends could be the social connection and the community connection.''

People interested in becoming part of the steering group were encouraged to contact Mr van Zijl or Ms Rivett at the library on 433-0851.

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz

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