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Mobile ‘Library to Go’ vans hit the streets

26 November 2012

Mobile ‘Library to Go’ vans hit the streets

In a New Zealand first, Christchurch residents now have greater access to library services, with Christchurch City Libraries introducing two mobile library vans called Library to Go which will service the community, visiting a range of locations and providing a portable social, recreational and learning space from Monday 3 December.

The vans – each fully kitted-out to deliver familiar library services including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and free Wi-Fi – will help fill the gap left in library services after the earthquakes lead to the closure of Bishopdale, Central, Linwood, South and Sumner Libraries. A trailer able to transport additional furniture and equipment will be also available for special events and programmes.

Operating on a weekly schedule that sees them visiting a range of locations across the city, Library to Go will be launched in the New Brighton Christmas Parade on Saturday 1 December and will be in service from Monday 3 December.

Rotary New Zealand sought and received funding for this project after identifying a need in post-quake Christchurch for the more flexible library services the vans provide. One van is funded by Rotary International, and the other through a partnership with Rotary International and the Cotton On Foundation.

With the existing Mobile Library bus marking its final day of service on Sunday 25 November, Libraries and Information Unit Manager Carolyn Robertson says the donation is a timely and welcome addition to the library fleet.

“Because of its size, the existing Mobile Library bus has special parking requirements and finding stops for it has occasionally been a challenge. One of the advantages of the new, smaller mobile library vans is their ability to visit any spot in Christchurch where there’s a need.

“We’re looking at solutions for getting our closed libraries back on-line, but the introduction of Library to Go will definitely take some of the sting out of their loss. These vans aren’t a stop-gap measure – they’re attractive, they’re novel, they’re stacked with features and we’re intending for them to have a long life. They’ll be new favourites for a lot of people.”

Mayor Bob Parker says Library to Go is a huge step towards reducing isolation in certain communities.

“Libraries frequently take on a role as the heart of the community, and to have even one closed is a tangible loss. Library to Go will work as a band-aid of sorts, increasing participation and delivering a world of knowledge. Christchurch is hugely grateful to Rotary and Cotton On for this incredible gift.”

For a schedule of the mobile vans’ stops, please visit www.christchurchcitylibraries.com/Mobiles


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