Wāipa libraries in demand

Patronage at Waipā’s two libraries is on the up with 553 new users signed up in the first quarter of the year taking the number of patrons in Te Awamutu to 15,438 and 20,640 in Cambridge.

Statistics were released to the council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee last week.

From January 1 to March 31, Cambridge Library issued 70,680 books compared to Te Awamutu’s 38,537.

Children/teen books were the most popular at both libraries.

The libraries’ fixed computers now have free internet access to assist people with digital literacy and to help job seekers. The council secured funding from the New Zealand National Library Partnership Fund to provide the browsing service until June 30 next year and since its introduction on March 1, it was well utilised, said community services manager Sally Sheedy.

“Unfortunately, at the same time as providing this free service, computers within both libraries have not been working to expected levels. Council’s IT department are investigating solutions around the issues being experienced,” she said.

The Cambridge lending figures are likely to be used by Cambridge Community Board members when they make their submission to the council’s Long Term Plan this month. One of the board’s seven submissions to the plan is for a new public library in Cambridge.

The others are to improve use of the Fergusson (Low Level) Bridge, close Empire Street as a pedestrian-only area, support building a network of cycling routes, full implementation of the Lake Te Koo Utu concept plan, ensure good connections to the proposed Cambridge destination playground and for council to partner with a community organisation or group to develop a resource recovery centre.

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