Everybody trundling

I find it very funny that both Australians and New Zealanders speak English, and yet there are words that I have no idea what they are talking about!! For example ‘trundlers’, the NZ equivalent to a shopping trolley!! Such a classic word 🙂

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Today we visited three different libraries within the Auckland City Library service. First was Tupu youth library at Otara where we met Richie and his staff of children and teen librarians. Tupu is a purpose built library created to meet the needs of the youth in the community, and to provide safe spaces for young people. I really loved this space and idea, and was impressed with the staff and their vision for their service built on community and respect.

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Next up was Botany Library where we met Karen and her staff. Botany library is located in a shopping centre and was built with retail principles in mind. Extended opening hours, purpose built equipment that promotes and displays collections and staff recruited to reflect retail principles of customer service and deliver a high end retail experience.

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Last up was Onehunga Library, where we met Rachel and her team, and were reminded of why we do our job. Onehunga is located in what was traditionally an industrial, lower socio-economic area that is changing into a boutique community. Rachel believes attitudes make a big difference to the service you provide, and has staff greeting community members and spending time with them on the floor. We loved how she encouraged readers advisory using the young people in her library!

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We also witnessed Phillipe – one of the children who use the library everyday – thank Rachel and her staff with flowers and a song for the time spent helping him this year. Alison and I were very moved, and it was a lovely reminder of the importance of libraries in local communities.

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Last up, I saw this recruitment sign, and was very taken by it! What message does it send? Who is their intended audience? What type of people do you think would apply? What skills would they need? Made me wonder about recruiting librarians and what we would put on a poster such as this….

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4 comments on “Everybody trundling

  1. Lol-ing at the trundlers! Is countdown like Woolworths? Same logo, kinda freaky. Having never been there myself, my feeling about NZ public libraries is that they *get* the customer service thing. Well, more than we do in OZ, anyway.

    • Kia ora Jackie, I know! We are learning some great words. What we were so impressed with, particularly at Tupu and Onehunga, was the community spirit so in the evident in the libraries and with the staff. I’m thinking we should get rid of the whole term ‘customer service’. After today I find that really limiting. It suggests to me now a line marked between one side and another. If we aim for ‘community service’ like Richard at Tupu and Rachael at Onehunga then we can really achieve great things.

  2. Great photos and update, Jo and Alison! Thanks for sharing!!

    I’d be interested to hear more about the retail concept in libraries – I know it is not something new but we were discussing it at a recent meeting and a few of us said that library users don’t come into a library expecting to find it the same as a book shop. In fact, I think a lot of our users wouldn’t like that concept. So I think when planning your library layout/concept that you really have to look at your users and what they would like.

    The conversation also dwelved into the fact that we constantly tell ourselves that we have to make our libraries easy to use – well I have always thought that when I go into a new shop, I discover the layout and learn to work with it. I believe that our library users do the same thing. They learn how to use our library – how we are laid out etc. I think it is a process that humans do naturally. Like going to Woolworths or Coles – you learn their layout and often write your shopping lists based on the layout – well ok, I do!!

    So I sometimes think we underestimate our communities and their ability to learn how to use something.

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