The Librarian’s Holiday

Lyttelton LibraryThese days  I’m a migrant, like many of my fellow librarians. I’ve spent the last year  working around the city’s libraries. Now I find myself in one of the smaller libraries, with  one of the best lunchroom views ever.

I had never set foot in the Lyttelton Library until I chose it as my place of work and refuge back in mid December when my own library, Fendalton, closed for repairs. It’s a curious shade of pink stucco, with cubes and portholes and quirkiness all part of it’s design. I can sit in the lunchroom and look at the hills, or across the port with all its busyness  to the other side of the harbour.

On sunny days, everything shines, the sea looks glorious and everyone is out on the main street – locals, visitors and sailors from all over the world. Even on gloomy and rain soaked days, the hills provide a place for the clouds to hang out, roll around on and generally look impressive.

I’m finding Lyttelton Library  is a wonderful example of a community library in the truest sense. In a small library you can really get to know your customers. In shaky times the library has remained a steadfast community refuge.

The way Lyttelton looks has changed forever. While I hear  many sad stories, community members are supporting one another, pulling together and looking to the future. The Farmer’s Market is thriving, as is Project Lyttelton, an initiative to build a strong community.

Lyttelton  Library visitI’ve helped a Ukranian sailor Skype to his family half a world away, given daily information to tourists and dealt with an injured seagull that plopped down outside our door.

Relationships are encouraged with customers, stopping to pass the time of day to build those ties within a close knit community. This is something I’ll take back to my busy bustling library when my ‘summer holiday’ at Lyttelton comes to a close.

Every day I drive through the Lyttelton Tunnel to work. I have loved this tunnel since I was a small child. I emerge each morning to a whole new world, like going on holiday. The weather can be completely different, the seagulls are wheeling in the sky and it’s just lovely.