A Vibrant and Relevant LibraryBy District Libraries Manager Leeann Morgan
Last week I was asked to write a brief paragraph for the Council’s staff website about what the Kāpiti Coast District Libraries and Arts team does.
Words raced through my head. I know what we do. I know why we do it. And I have seen the wonderful benefits of having a strong, vibrant and relevant library and arts service in our community. So where to begin?
Even before I became a librarian, I loved libraries. Fifteen years ago I might have told you that the essence of a library was books. Lots of books lined up on shelves with military precision using Mr. Dewey as the commander-in-chief. Silence. Quiet rooms that no one said boo in. Hushed whispers. The odd hint of laughter, but never the crinkle of a chippie packet or the slurp of a contraband drink. And the arts? Fifteen years ago that would have been easy. Paintings, the odd sculpture. Musty music scores overflowing from wooden trays. Galleries and exhibitions – but never in a library.
The reality of our libraries and arts team today is a world away from where we were. The mere fact that we are discussing libraries and arts together shows how far we have come. Our libraries are more than hardback novels lining wooden shelves. E-books, the internet, computers, DVDs, compact discs, online databases, magazines and newspapers – the list goes on and on. And then there are our librarians. We care about our community. We select resources based on what our community needs. We listen to what our community tells us, find solutions to the queries we receive and always try to exceed our customers expectations. Our library and arts staff work together to showcase local artists and their work, we develop and present programmes that combine artistic and literary activities. We support and encourage art in our community in all shapes and forms.
So what did I say our libraries and arts team does?
“We are experts in providing access to the world’s information, ideas and entertainment.
We enable a lifetime of learning, engagement and possibility for everyone.
Our greatest passion is creating connections that help, grow, inspire and change.”
I am proud to be leading a team of talented people that are creating a better future for our community.