Recently I have come to realise that I can’t go on holiday without visiting a library in the area that I am staying. What can I say, I’m drawn to them. I find it’s always a useful experience to see what is going on in different libraries.
I’ve just come back from a few weeks in New Zealand and my library of choice on this trip was Wellington Central Library, one of the Wellington City Libraries.
One thing that I was immediately impressed with was the use of space. It is fairly open plan but the choice and placement of furniture creates natural zoning. This is especially evident on the ground floor where there’s a multimedia area, comfortable reading lounge and childrens space all interspersed with the library collections, issue and enquiry desks. It sounds cluttered but it really doesn’t feel that way. It defintely had an atmosphere that made me want to stay all day.
The second thing that jumped out at me was the signage, and in particular the Path Finder navigation leaflets covering a range of topics including Searching the Catalogue, My Library, Business Information and Government Statistics. These were prominently displayed on stands around the entrance to the library, the catalogue PCs and staff desks. Crucially they were also placed in relevant positions on shelves.
The last thing I want to comment on was attempts to engage different user communities. This poster in particular stood out to me:
So, if you happen to find yourself in central Wellington with some time to spare, I’d thoroughly recommend a visit. And if you can extend that visit to include a Flat White and an Afghan in Clark’s Cafe (situated on Floor 1) you definitely won’t be disappointed.