Manukau Ward Councillor Fa’anana Efeso Collins loves his local library – and he reckons you should too.
Collins, who has always been a big fan of his local library, says that as a dad it is also now a place he can share his love for books and learning with his daughter.
Together they update their collection of books to read, play games and puzzles, and, thanks to the extensive language collections, he can ensure his daughter can also read and listen to engaging books in Samoan.
“Our local, like all the libraries across the ward, provide so much for our community. On top of the regularly updated book collections, they provide book clubs, computer classes, author talks, crafts and games for kids. There’s essentially something for everyone, and most of those services are completely free.”
Libraries are a key feature in the local board plans for both Māngere-Ōtāhuhu and Ōtara-Papatoetoe because of the strategic value they hold within their communities.
Libraries provide value for money
But even if you’re not a regular user of your local library, Collins says the libraries provide a huge benefit from the perspective of providing ratepayers ‘value for money’.
“Given the huge amount of important community services that are provided, largely for free, it’s important we don’t take them for granted,” he says.
“Our libraries are places that empower many on their educational pursuits, or help people into work or just give some a place to relax that’s warm and welcoming. These are all vital services which ensure our communities are safer, healthier and more connected which in the long run benefits us all.”