New look not early best­seller

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

Big changes at Up­per Hutt City Li­brary will take time to set­tle in but are for the bet­ter, man­ager Mar­ion Read says.

A newly laid out li­brary, fea­tur­ing a swap of the chil­dren’s and teens’ area with the pub­lic Ro­tary Lounge and a re­vamp to how adult fic­tion is shelved and ar­ranged, has pro­duced some early crit­i­cism.

Read said she had re­ceived about 20 com­plaints from cus­tomers since the li­brary re-opened re­cently af­ter a week-long clo­sure.

‘‘That’s prob­a­bly to be ex­pected, even af­ter the changes had been widely pub­li­cised and feed­back in­vited on them.

‘‘Many peo­ple visiting in the days af­ter the re­open­ing have been de­lighted but we know there are also cus­tomers that don’t like the changes for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons,’’ Read said.

Li­brary cus­tomer Ge­orgina Bates said the changes ranged from good to ‘‘silly’’.

Read­ing ar­eas were too far from the ac­tual books, the chil­dren’s area was too close to the li­brary en­trance while the ‘‘hig­gledy-pig­gledy’’ fic­tion area meant it needed point­ers and ar­rows on the floor, she said.

Clous­ton Park’s Ann Devlin said, rather than a makeover, the li­brary had ex­pe­ri­enced a takeover.

The shelv­ing is now ‘‘all on an­gles’’ and the li­brary looks crowed and messy.’’

The re­lo­cated Ro­tary Lounge was an ‘‘unin­spir­ing, cold, life­less and down­right dowdy area’’, she said.

Read said the changes were all about mak­ing the best use of avail­able space for all li­brary users.

‘‘[The changes] were well re­searched and based on suc­cess­ful sim­i­lar lay­outs im­ple­mented in li­braries both in New Zealand and over­seas.

The chil­dren’s and teens’ ar­eas were al­ready prov­ing pop­u­lar.

‘‘They are now laid out much bet­ter and of­fer im­proved ac­cess and vis­i­bil­ity,’’ she said.

‘‘The fic­tion lay­out opens up more choices for read­ers with a richer va­ri­ety of au­thors, ti­tles and gen­res they may have pre­vi­ously by­passed.’’

The Ro­tary Lounge of­fered com­ple­men­tary ser­vices and re­sources to­gether and a larger and more flex­i­ble space for group ac­tiv­i­ties, she said.

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