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Community survey indicates need for new library
June 1st, 2016
[by David Armstrong]
A wealth of feedback and ideas for improvement has come out of the Community Board's online survey about the future of Motueka's library.
The survey ran for three weeks and drew 242 responses (although two of them were found to be duplicates). Another 15 people did the survey in hard copy format. (See our earlier story.)
The main aim of the survey was to gauge more accurately the opinions of Motueka residents about whether libraries were a community "need" or "what", and what they thought of a new library here.
As well as the numerical results, a great deal of information and opinion was gathered about how the Motueka library (the existing one as well as a new version) could be improved.
Standing out ahead of all other suggestions was the plea to make a separate space for visitors using the free Wi-Fi facility, away from traditional library services.
Summarising the survey data into groups "for" and "against" each of the 12 questions (the remaining percentages represented "no opinions" or "neutrals"), here were the rounded results:
* Are you happy to wait this long (until the early 2020s) for a new library? No = 81%, Yes = 11%
* Should TDC bring the timetable for a new library forward by two years and start planning work next year? Yes = 89%. No = 8%
* Does Motueka need a bigger, more modern library? Yes = 80%, Want = 14%, No = 6%
* Would you like to see a new library two years earlier even if it meant a slight increase in district-wide rates? Yes = 80%, No = 19%
* Do you think deferring a new library for four years will save ratepayers money in the end? Yes/Maybe = 10%, No/Probably not = 82%
* If a new library is built in Motueka, would you like it to be part of a community hub with other facilities? Yes = 84%, No = 12%
* Decks Reserve has previously been indicated, by Council and the Community Board, as the preferred option for a new library complex. Do you in agree with this option, or prefer the existing leasehold library site in Pah Street? Decks Reserve = 45%, Present site = 22%, Don't mind = 29%
* Do you think libraries will become more important for communities such as Motueka in coming years? Yes = 86%, No = 14%
Eighty-three percent of the respondents lived within the Motueka ward and a further 11% lived elsewhere in the Tasman District.
Ninety percent of respondents used the Motueka library at least a few times a year, with 42% saying their usage was at least once a week. Sixty-five percent said they would use the library more often if it was "more spacious with meeting areas".
The survey also asked what factors they thought were important when choosing the location of a library and community hub. The most common answers included ample car parking nearby, central proximity, not on leasehold land, and inexpensive construction.
When asked what other facilities (as well as a library) would be good to have in a community hub, by far the most common answer was a separate area for Internet users and particularly tourists.
Also thought important extras by many were meeting spaces and rooms for things like art and craft demonstrations, clubs meeting and socialising without disrupting the use of the library by people researching and reading.
Several thought that the community hub should include a toy library; others would like to see a youth centre or area; and facilities for a Citizens Advice service and other social services such as Plunket were also suggested.
Quiet spaces for studying was also considered important.
Those indicating they used the present library were asked for why. Of the 122 responses, most were enthusiastic about the conventional services such as borrowing books, DVDs and magazines, while many attend for workshops and talks. A number of parents wrote about the value of taking their children to the library.
The survey was commissioned by the Motueka Community Board with the support of Vision Motueka. It followed a discussion on Facebook run by Vision Motueka asking for opinions about the library, which drew many comments.
You can read the full (unedited) results by downloading these documents:
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