|6 September 1999|
Brightons Library Outstanding Success
New Brightons library is an outstanding success after just five weeks - but is already congested.
The Christchurch City Councils libraries manager, Sue Sutherland, told the community services committee yesterday that the library, opened in July, has been "an outstanding success and experienced unprecedented use."
In five and a half weeks more than 100,000 people have visited it, it has issued 51,000 items, and signed up 859 new members.
"By comparison, the Shirley Library, the busiest in Christchurch, registered 151 new members in August, issued 48,234 items, and had 26,660 visitors," Mrs Sutherland said.
She said asked the committee to support a proposal to extend into the vacant first-floor space to provide a café and to extend seating and a browsing area.
The matter will next be considered by the projects and property committee.
Mrs Sutherland said if the volume of business continued at the New Brighton Library the number of projected visitors for the year would exceed one million.
Crs Sally Thompson and Barry Corbett were concerned about the provision of a café, which they thought should be provided by private enterprise. Cr Barbara Stewart and Cr Thompson thought it was too early to make decisions on expansion, including a café.
The committee chairwoman, Cr Carole Anderton, said libraries overseas provided coffee and she predicted that the use of the library would increase in summer.
Cr Ishwar Ganda believed a café should be placed in the central library.
Mrs Sutherland said the council would face costs of about $53,000 to furnish the vacant space, as well as operating costs of up to $70,000 a year. Revenue would offset the operating costs, she said.
Sue Sutherland, Libraries manager 372 7851