‘Red dot packs’ arrive at library

Dunedin City Library manager Kathy Aloniu (right) and library youth services supervisor Lynn Vare...
Dunedin City Library manager Kathy Aloniu (right) and library youth services supervisor Lynn Vare display the discreet ‘‘red dot packs’’available to women in need at Dunedin Public Libraries. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
Dunedin Public Libraries are stepping up with discreet support for women in need of urgent period supplies with a new "red dot pack" scheme.

Running with support from Dignity New Zealand, the initiative ensures library desks are stocked with the packs — a simple brown envelope containing a couple of period protection items.

The red dot packs were the brainchild of Dunedin City Library youth services supervisor Lynn Vare, who had heard that Dignity was offering period products to schools, businesses and community organisations.

"As we see a broad range of people here at the library, and we are located in the centre of town, it seemed like it would be useful to offer them here," Ms Vare said.

"As women, we are aware that people get ‘caught short’ from time to time, and this is a simple way we can help."

Posters on library toilet doors proclaim "Got your period? We’ve got you covered", and customers need only approach the nearest desk and ask for a red dot pack.

"The packs are plain and nondescript, and customers don’t have to ask specifically for period products — so it is discreet," Ms Vare said.

City Library manager Kathy Aloniu said it was unlikely that the red dot packs would be requested very often, but they would be on-hand if needed.

"It comes at no cost to us, and is a good way to support women of all ages and backgrounds," she said.

Ms Aloniu said Dunedin Public Libraries were busier than ever in the lead-up to Christmas, with decorated trees up, Christmas carols starting, and the Summer Reading Programme under way.

"We have a lot of Christmas-related activities going on — it’s a nice time of year at the library.

"People get excited about their reading, as they look forward to chilling out over the holidays."

Librarians are also pleased that Dunedin City Council recently approved "fine-free" lending for youth — meaning there will be no overdue fees charged to children up to 17-years-old.

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