She wheels a wheelbarrow…

How we love our treasured red barrow with all our pre-loved stock! There’s nothing quite like actually trundling up to people on the beach and asking them if they want a free book. This little initiative can be found around New Brighton Library during the summer, and for the last couple of years was seen doing the rounds at Affirm the Aranui Community Festival with great success.

This is a wholeheartedly positive situation allowing us to talk to people one on one about what they want from their library as well as keep them informed about what they can get in return.  People are constantly amazed by the variety of services we have to offer. In our busy lives we have a tendency to pigeon-hole things we feel we need and use regularly. By talking to people we open up so many more possibilities.  As librarians nothing makes us feel better than opening the doors for people to gain more information and make resources accessible.

Obviously we tailor our approach to individuals. With youth it is all about making them aware of the Library and somehow sparking that interest.  A free book from the wheelbarrow is almost an instant hit. “Something free which I can keep!!  How cool!  What else do you have?” Which then leads on very nicely to asking when they last visited the library. It’s all about starting that thinking process which leads to getting them in the door.

The wonderful thing about our wheelbarrow is that it has no target audience. It really is a random approach thing with the potential for a wide range of questions and conversations. We all have different needs and think in different ways. It’s the old saying that you never judge a book by its cover, the same can be said about the people we talk to over a free book. It’s great some of the conversations we have while helping these people with their literary needs.

Would we change anything about our wheelbarrow? Well, we might make sure the tyre is inflated before taking it out next time, but other than that we’re going to continue using it to reach as many people in our community as we can.

Dan Daly

New Brighton Library

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