Khandallah celebrates library milestone
READERS of Khandallah came together to celebrate their library’s diamond jubilee on Sunday morning.
The celebration comes just months after a successful fight to retain the library’s opening hours.
A petition of 723 names showing strong disapproval from locals made the Wellington City Council change its mind about closing Khandallah Library every morning. The council backed down in June this year.
However, budget cuts still include a proposal to close Khandallah and other small branch libraries at 5pm every weekday.
To celebrate the jubilee, about 250 people gathered to mark the occasion with the planting of a myrtle tree, speeches, face painting, brass band and a tea party.
The library’s poetry tree display had works written by students from local schools such as Cashmere, Khandallah Primary and St Benedict’s.
Gabor Toth from Central Library revealed the only known footage of the August 27, 1953 opening of Khandallah Library, found in WCC archives.
This video clip and a display of the early days of the library will be able to be seen at Khandallah Library for the next few weeks.
The library is a lot lighter than when it first opened, and now has a great view, former Khandallah librarian Dorothy Mitchell said.
“Otherwise it’s exactly the same.”
Mrs Mitchell was a librarian at Khandallah from 1976 -1982 and has worked at Onslow College library.
“The best thing about a public library [as opposed to a school one] is that people want to be there. They choose to go.”
Khandallah Cornerstone Resources Centre president Jeanette Brunton said the library was the heart of their community and more than just a ‘tradable commodity’.
The Council’s draft annual plan says Khandallah is the only small library to open five mornings a week.
There was a public debate, entitled Are Libraries Worth Saving, yesterday at 5.30pm.
Since June, Save Khandallah Library Facebook page has become a community page and semi-official site for the library.