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.