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Thames Library

There was a presentation by Chief Librarian  Linda Hayfield on the proposed introduction of a new all-encompassing National Library sponsored management system called Kotui. It certainly sounds as if it will achieve major improvements in the manner in which staff and clients are able to access data and information that has been absent in the past. This is being done together with 27 other libraries and is claimed to be "cost-neutral" with the present system. This is yet to be proven, but an update is well overdue in order to keep up with the electronic revolution taking place within the industry. It is only moot whether this move is too little, too late.

The only really interesting aspect of the ensuing discussion was an outburst from Cr Hoadley regarding the apparent inability of all the District libraries to operate co-operatively. Most people who have lived here longer than two years will be aware of the long held desire in Coromandel, and Whangamata to operate independently, and with as little assistance from Thames 'head office' as possible.

There is 'history' here, and nothing Wyn Hoadley says is going to change this situation one whit. Linda Hayfield admitted to extreme frustration, but offered the view that co-operation was  "improving". The pig-headedness in Whangamata in particular is due to the strongly held view that they can run things much more efficiently with volunteer management and labour. They are probably right, but they certainly miss out on professional input for what it is worth. Anyway that is their concern. All the other libraries co-operate.

Of greater concern is the strong rumour circulating regarding the intention of the Chief Executive to turn the libraries into self-funding 'trusts'. At the moment Thames Library receives $84 a year from all rate-payers - an imposition that is resented by many, but it is probably true to say that the members constitute a majority, and they have proven in the past their willingness to fight in the trenches to retain the Library in its present form, and with its present funding. 

A hundred or so of these, mainly elderly and female accumulated in the Council Chamber can be quite intimidating. Those members of the Community Board who don't use the Library, and appear proud to admit it, will find out for themselves if they take any steps that may disadvantage these people - many of whom believe that the Library is the only demand that they put on Council, is their pride and joy, and Linda their hero. They make up a substantial voting bloc.




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Reader Comments (4)

Dont get to worked up Bill I can honestly say that Libraries along with their patrons are going the same way as the dinasor and Kodac film companies.
The advent of ebooks is seeing to that and while some may scoff watch this space.
There is a whole generation already among us who will never walk in to a library and be told to quiten down. They have thier world under thier arms with thier e books.
The world is a changing and we better keep up so dont go wasting time energy and money on something that is already dead but doesnt know it yet
John Morrissey

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morrissey

J - you are probably right, but I think it will take a little longer than you anticipate. I brought one of the first Kindle's into the country - I bought it the first day it was released in the US, and I use it every day, but I still borrow from the library as books, especially new releases still cost no less than $20 through Amazon.
Anyway, I am not advocating on this John - simply observing. I don't think many of the CB members use either e-books, or the library - they probably use Carson's!

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Mr. Morrissey shows an utter lack of understanding of the modern day library. Perhaps his experience is limited to his local Coromandel facility as the days of being shushed in a library or them being merely about books are long gone.

Emma Davidson

May 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Davidson

In reply to Emma

My tounge in cheek reference to being told to shush in libraries was certainly not directed at any particular institution.
Rest in peace tho Emma Bill is right libraries are safe for a while but the day is a coming as it does for most things. Ask the horse that used to pull the cart
John Morrissey

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morrissey

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