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No generation gap to enjoying NPDC's libraries

Local News Our Work Lifestyle
PUBLISHED: 7 OCT 2020

You’re never too old or too young to enjoy a good book – with 101 years separating NPDC’s Puke Ariki’s oldest and youngest library card holders!

Avid reader Frances Willets, 101, gets through about seven books a fortnight while five-month-old Willa Sutton got her card when she was just six weeks old.

Frances, a resident at the Molly Ryan Rest Home, stocks up on her novels from Puke Ariki’s Mobile Library every fortnight and her favourites are mysteries and romance from her favourite authors Dannielle Steele and Chris and Gerald Verne.

“I get through about seven books per two weeks and my advice to younger readers is to try and find a genre you like,” says Frances, who joined the NPDC library in the 1990s.

Willa was signed up for a library card by her mum and dad at six weeks old and visits Puke Ariki’s Discover It! at least once a week with mum Emily Nelson to pick up a picture book bag and enjoy the Baby Rhymes story sessions. 

“The staff make us welcome and it’s been great to meet other new mums. Giving children their own library card from a young age has to be beneficial, anything that develops a love of reading early on can only be a good thing,” says Emily.

NPDC General Manager of Community and Customer Services Teresa Turner says Puke Ariki Library and the community libraries in Bell Block, Waitara, Urenui, Inglewood, Ōākura and the Mobile Library cater for all readers whether they are just starting with picture books, bingeing the latest bestseller, accessing the digital library or swotting up on facts from non-fiction tomes.

“Whether you’re one or 101, we’ve got something for you at our libraries. It’s free and so simple to join: just pop in and chat with one of the Library staff and we can sign you up with a card. We’ve got more than 200,000 physical books to choose from, thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks and movies as well,” says Ms Turner.

“Our services have evolved since Frances was a girl but the ethos remains the same; we want residents young or old to enjoy reading and the benefits that brings.”
Come in to any library with two forms of ID to get your card or sign up online to the Digital Library https://onlinereg.kotui.org.nz/forms/2. It only takes five minutes and gives instant access.

Library Card Fast Facts:

  • Anyone living in Taranaki can join the library, it is completely free and there are no age restrictions.
  • Cards can be used at any of our libraries (Puke Ariki, Bell Block, Waitara, Inglewood, Ōākura, Urenui and the Mobile Library).
  • Under 18s should have their own card with no late fees or hold charges.
  • Readers can borrow up to 40 physical items at one time.
  • The card can be used for eBooks and eAudiobooks, electronic newspapers and access to streaming services.
  • If there’s a book that we don’t currently have you can put in a suggestion for us to buy it. 
  • In December 2020 Puke Ariki and the community libraries will be running a ‘Design Our New Library Card’ competition.

Puke Ariki fast facts:

  • It first opened on 15 June 2003 and is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre.
  • Puke Ariki Museum is free entry and open daily 10am – 5pm (closed only for Christmas Day).
  • Puke Ariki has three long-term galleries (Te Takapou Whāriki, Taranaki Naturally and Taranaki Life) and components of these get changed out regularly.
  • There are currently three exhibitions on show – Home Work, Redecorating and Therapeutic Agent.Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre is also housed at the site.