Library tourists

South LibraryTwo very keen punters in Auckland have been inspired by the new supercity and its sudden abundance of libraries to visit every one of the 55 libraries and blog about them. Phew and hats off to Latitude of Libraries and Auckland Libraries Super Tour 2011. It is early days yet but I did enjoy the visit to New Lynn Library describing some beautiful pieces of Crown Lynn on display,  including thoughtful writing and interesting book titles. Neither blogger is a librarian or works for Auckland City Council.

Here in Christchurch we operate on a more modest scale but I got to thinking about being a library tourist. With 22 libraries could we do speed touring? – all the libraries in one day. Or themes – most scenic trip – New Brighton to Sumner to Lyttelton to Little River and Akaroa  (with a side ferry trip to Diamond Harbour). Or newest libraries (visiting Upper Riccarton, South and Parklands would see you criss-crossing the city) , small but perfectly formed (Little River, Akaroa, Diamond Harbour, Redwood) and so on…

Have you ever been a library tourist? Any recommendations?

9 thoughts on “Library tourists

  1. Roberta Smith 27 January 2011 / 11:53 am

    Maybe the Christchurch Network Library Assistant team should be renamed The Library Tourist Team! What you have suggested here is what we do and love every day. Lucky us. Moving around as we do has expanded my knowledge of libraries, Christchurch and nearby coffee shops. Great idea Marion, I am all for it!

  2. jane 27 January 2011 / 2:11 pm

    I have been inclined to frequent the newer libraries over the last few years (cafes being an obvious drawcard). However I have a real fondness for the older libraries in our Network and especially enjoy Redwood. There’s something about the unusual shape of the building and seeing the trees waving through the high up windows. (not to mention the wonderful staff or course!)

  3. robyn 27 January 2011 / 2:58 pm

    South is my local and as Jane says it does have a cafe, so that’s the one I visit the most, even though I work at large and lovely Central. And very nice South is too. Also the view at New Brighton must be the best from any libray in the world. Whenever I’m in another city I always go to the library, which probably makes me a bit tragic. This has lead to some interesting experiences, from being told off in the Victoria and Albert Museum Library, to watching homeless people wash in the water feature outside the Seattle Public Library, to using free wi-fi with some very unusual seat mates in King’s Cross, Sydney. Then there’s Westport, Wellington, Devonport, Dunedin…I highly recommend visting the local library next time you’re in a new place and I’d love to hear about some highlights of library tourism.

  4. Marion 27 January 2011 / 4:28 pm

    I often visit libraries when I’m in a new place too Robyn. One of the most unusual I;ve been to was Casa de las conchas in Salamanca.
    It was the public library and within the beautiful building they had done clever things with glass walls to create a modern space.

  5. Roberta Smith 27 January 2011 / 5:01 pm

    I always visit libraries in South Africa where there are some wonderful signs on the walls. In Durban Public Library there are signs inbetween the stacks saying: “No sleeping on the floor”,in violation of it there was a young man sitting right underneath it just beginning to doze off. And just to make life very hard for themselves they also have signs saying “Switch off all Mobile phones.” Can you imagine!

  6. Claire Gummer 29 January 2011 / 12:17 pm

    You may operate on ‘a more modest scale’ but your blog is WONDERFUL. I have linked to it, and a librarian friend (and great public library enthusiast) in Canada was mightily impressed when she looked at what you do.

    Thanks for mentioning A Latitude of Libraries. It’s very tempting to make my library tour a fulltime job!

  7. Tom 30 January 2011 / 3:02 pm

    Like Roberta I spend all day every day visiting the different libraries in Christchurch. I recently had to go from Parklands to Fendalton in one day and found that Innes Road runs like a direct train line almost door to door. It goes past some lovely tree-lined avenues, a few beautiful parks so typical of the Garden City and gave me a chance to gawp at some fantastic (and expensive) old villas. Who’d have guessed that commuting to work could be fun?

    • robertafsmith 1 February 2011 / 8:50 am

      Innes Road is great – just not early in the morning on school days. On one of those trips I glanced up at the second floor of one of the villas and saw a little westie sitting at the window on a tiny doggie settee, surveying all the clogged up traffic. It made my day.

  8. Susan 1 February 2011 / 11:59 am

    When I first moved to New Zealand it was fantastic to be working around the libraries. It was a great way to get to know the city, the different libraries and the staff. Trying to go everywhere by bike like I was used to in Holland was sometimes slightly challenging though 😉

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