Library seeks readers

2015-11-03 06:00
 New hours may be on the cards for the Kloof Street Library in a bid to boost membership numbers. PHOTO: nicole mccain

New hours may be on the cards for the Kloof Street Library in a bid to boost membership numbers. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Kloof Street Library is looking to encourage more visitors.

The facility is in the process of carrying out a survey to get residents’ opinions on new hours, in a bid to increase the number of feet coming through the door.

Membership at the library is falling due to a lack of parking around the facility, a recent report by the City’s library and information services found.

The report cites a lack of nearby parking as one of the reasons the membership numbers dropped in the third quarter of the last financial year – from 92 in the previous year to 52.

The circulation numbers at the library dropped from 11 300 to 10 450.

The library is now considering changing the opening hours and swopping Wednesday afternoons (when the library is closed) with Friday afternoons (when there is higher traffic congestion in the area and accessibility is more difficult), explains Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects.

“Increasing the number of library members is important and, to this end, the Kloof Street Library is planning a membership drive at the nearby Palmhof shopping centre in early January,” she says.

The reality is that, at present, there is very little that can be done to create more parking, as there simply isn’t additional space nearby, Walker explains.

“While parking in the area is limited, private car usage is not the only means of accessing the library. Many residents in the area walk to the library or use public transport. There is a MyCiti bus stop very close to the library, about three shops away,” she says.

Another initiative to encourage membership is the tea garden on Fridays, which is run by the Friends of the Library, Walker says.

“The modern public library is more than just a space where residents join the library and take out materials on their cards. The Kloof Street Library is utilised by a number of elderly people living in the area who walk to the library to socialise and read newspapers. Young mothers love to bring their little ones to this library and sit on the couch and read to them. Students and pupils also use the library to study,” she says.

“It is a well-loved library for those in the community who make use of it. It has a unique atmosphere which even strangers who visit the library remark on.”

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