Hi from New Zealand!!!
Well I’ve now just about completed two weeks at my new library job in New Zealand and I’m loving it!! The work is different, challenging, and interesting. I work with a super group of librarians. I’m learning about Maori culture and terminology. And I get to be a source of North American knowledge – for example, “what is Elmer’s?” me “it’s glue. School glue”; “Is Canada different from the US?” “You bet it is!”
I highly recommend for people to step outside of their community, and see how things are done in a different place in the world. A visit to public libraries are one way to see this. I’ve visited three different public library systems so far. Auckland Public Library was great – free wifi, good services for visitors. Wellington Public Library was huge and very modern looking – with a cafe on the entrance! But they limit services and borrowing privileges for visitors. And no internet. Lower Hutt City public library is where I’ve joined. Very accommodating to visitors and have an excellent collection. The only difference to the libraries back home is the charges. New books for short term loan are given a charge – say $4. DVDs and CDs are also charged (unless you can find a free one). The advantage to paying a small fee is that the library has an amazing collection – and that it is probably better maintained than those where borrowing is free and hence people may not take as good a care.
Just a short note from Windy Wellington (and it is awfully windy here – dress warmly if you are ever here!)