How not to attract readers

Dear Editor,

It’s school holidays and a trip to the main section of the Nelson Public library in Apia has left me horrified.

The collection of books is not only old, it is unattractively presented. There were stacks of unshelved books on many tables just sitting there. Everything was dusty and dirty and looked as though purchases were made in the last millennium.

Staff just sat behind their desks adding to the general state of despair. Perhaps they could get out and dust and arrange one shelf a day in a bid to make the place more inviting?

Why would anyone want to go there? The answer, judging by the emptiness of the area is, they don’t.

With no computers in sight and a “do not disturb us’ vibe coming from staff, the card catalogue was the place to search and find books.

Like the books themselves, the index cards are old, dusty and dog-eared – a disgrace.

Are the Chief Librarian and staff computer-literate or are computers kept behind locked doors for other purposes?   

So much for encouraging reading, learning, literacy!

Especially amongst those potential readers of our country who can’t afford to buy books.

Where are the holiday programmes that are the norm for libraries around the world?

Why could a story telling/reading roster not be arranged for an hour each day/week where children could browse, read or listen to a story being read?

In a welcome contrast, the Pacific collection house upstairs is well lit, light and airy and welcoming. The books are all shelved and the books while old, are not dusty, nor do they look neglected. 

If that part of the library is on the right track, what reason is there for the main section to be in such dire need of attention?  



Disappointed Reader 

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