Our Librarians are local heroes!
Public Libraries respond to a state of emergency.
Last month was certainly one for the record books and our hearts go out to our PLNZ whanau in the those districts that were devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Many library staff around the motu continue to be involved in Council’s emergency response either in the IMT (incident management teams) or out in the community doing welfare checks, staffing CDCs (civil defence centres) or other work.
At one meeting, where two librarians were in attendance, they received a round of applause.
Hastings Public Library has tents on its front lawn (accommodation for those who have come to assist with the response) as well as plenty of cars in the carpark (free wifi access for those without). The library is open Thursday, 23rd Feb, daily between 12-4pm only. This is all that the library can safely staff with so many having been temporarily deployed elsewhere.
Napier's Library Van has been in the community with team members helping to get information out there, as well as providing access to supplies, charging phones and devices, and supplying internet access and printing.
Napier Central library has power, and staff are hoping to get limited library services back running in the coming weeks but are unable to do this until power is restored to staff homes.
In Gisborne, when the APNK (Aotearoa Public Network) went back online providing a stable connection to the internet, the library opened to an appreciative crowd who had come in to use the library Starlink service
Water and EFTPOS access continue to be huge issues for these districts. However, the library has been there for their community through it all.
If anyone is wanting to help, financial donations and volunteering locally tend to be the most useful type of donation.