Book lend­ing for 135 years in Tu­rua


‘‘The li­brary is run by a great group of vol­un­teers who love their jobs within the li­brary.’’

Imag­ine in this day and age hav­ing to cross a plank of wood over a deep drain to bor­row a book to read.

This is what patrons of the ear­li­est pub­lic li­brary in Tu­rua had to do 135 years ago when its first li­brary opened in 1882.

Then, it was just a one-room build­ing op­po­site the one there to­day.

In this day of dig­i­tal books and in­for­ma­tion at your fin­ger­tips on­line, the folk who keep the Tu­rua Li­brary go­ing, vol­un­tar­ily, do all they can to en­cour­age peo­ple along to see what they have to of­fer.

Li­brary stal­wart Lyn Sta­ples said they were de­vel­op­ing a room ded­i­cated to New Zealand books, both fic­tion and non-fic­tion.

‘‘When the li­brary first opened they re­lied on books do­nated by fam­i­lies of the area. Nowa­days the Hau­raki District Coun­cil gives us an an­nual grant which al­lows us to pur­chase up-to-date books,’’ she said.

In the 1970s and 1980s a mo­bile van from the Na­tional Li­brary Ser­vice came around reg­u­larly and ex­changed books so there was al­ways some­thing new to be found by mem­bers.

Sta­ples said the li­brary is run by a great group of vol­un­teers who love their jobs within the li­brary.

‘‘Ali­son Kid­die, who has been a vol­un­teer here for 39 years, still drives over from Thames ev­ery Tues­day morn­ing to do her li­brary duty. She has seen many changes in the way Tu­rua read­ers get their books,’’ she said.

There is a good se­lec­tion of fic­tion and non-fic­tion books, au­to­bi­og­ra­phys and chil­dren’s books, as well as a good se­lec­tion of jig­saw puz­zles, to be bor­rowed.

Tu­rua Li­brary, sit­u­ated in the front of the com­mu­nity hall, is open ev­ery Tues­day from 11am to 12pm and from 7pm to 8pm, by a ded­i­cated group of vol­un­teers.

Sta­ples said they want to en­cour­age peo­ple new to the are to join the li­brary.

‘‘Come along and see what we have to of­fer.’’.


Lyn Sta­ples, left, Joy Robin­son and Lor­raine Cleve­land with books from 1874 to the present day and the min­utes of the li­brary from 1882.

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