On the 30th of July 2018, the Rotary Havelock North Youth Committee had their first meeting and Rommie raised the idea of having a kid’s free library.
The idea would be to have a cabinet of some sort where kids could borrow and return or swap books.
The water theme park on Te Mata Rd was investigated but found to be unsuitable for a range of reasons so areas such as The Mackersey Pavillion, the Toy Library, outside the St Lukes Op Shop were looked at.
Other suggestions from the Youth Committee members and Board were investigated such as Wardini Bookshop, and outside the Library.
Dale then held a meeting with Carla Crosbie, the Community Engagement Team Leader at the Hastings Library and Robyn Smith, the Council Social Development Coordinator.
Their suggestion was to put the Kids Book Swap, now name changed to a “Little Free Library”, in an area where there were kids who perhaps did not have easy access to books.
A small reserve in Sefton Street was identified, which had some community conscious
Robyn contacted the Council services to ensure it was OK to dig one hole for a post to mount the cabinet on. However, conditions included needing to engage a contractor to install the cabinet ($??) and he would need to apply for a Corridor Access Request ($400) to allow them to dig in the road reserve.
The contractor would need to access information on existing underground services ($225), then redirecting pedestrians via a Traffic Management Plan ($100) plus an annual license fee of $60. Total: $785 plus!! An effort was made to get these fees waived but to no avail.
Back to the Committee who suggested mounting it on a moveable, concrete base. The Council approved this, so the process started, but we were now into November.
Feedback from the Community was sort and an excellent email from a local resident suggested a site in Lipscombe Cresent, Havelock North, next to the Lipscombe Dairy.
Finally, after many delays, the Little Free Library was installed by Rommie, Dale, and Geoff on the 7th February 2019 next to the Lipscombe Dairy.
Little Free Library Update: 20 hours after we installed the LFL, about 30 books had been borrowed which depleted the supply a bit. Today (14 February) the stock had gone up again so people are returning and/or donating. I added 6 brand new books provided by the library – Dale.