The Karamea War Memorial Library (KWML) is situated on the main street of Karamea and was built by the community in the 1950's. At that time a sympathetic government made pound for pound grants available for communities to erect suitable memorials for those lost to NZ in the Second World War. It has always been used as a community library but initially shared the space with Plunket and then later, St. Johns. Now the library occupies the entire building.
The building has been maintained over the years with regular painting and occasional alterations. The original roof was replaced several years ago and is sound. The committee planned to repaint the building last Summer however on closer inspection decided that there were repairs to the building that needed to be completed before a repaint.
A draft of our most recent Karamea Community Plan edit (March 2020) is attached to this application.
The benefit will be felt by the short and long term subscribers to the library. Karamea is a 200kms return journey from the closest Council owned library in Westport which is a long journey, taking most of a day, however with increasing travel costs this journey has become even less accessible.
The percentage of older retired people residing in the district is steadily increasing (this fact is supported in the last 3 census figures showing a steady percentage increase for the 65 and over age group from 13.9% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2018) and this group are the most enthusiastic supporters and the highest users.
The KWML is also well supported by other age groups in the local community as evidenced by the number of household subscriptions that we currently have. We wish to to continue to offer this vital service to our geographically isolated community
The library is open to the public three times per week. These opening hours are staffed by an entirely volunteer roster of librarians. There is a steady flow of customers using the facility through all of the opening hours. We have 3 levels of subscription and for the past 5 years have had 40-50 active household annual subscriptions. There is also a seasonally changing number of shorter subscriptions to suit personal budgets and needs and for transient workers and longer term staying travellers .
We regularly receive book donations from the public and use this much valued resource to refresh our stock and the interaction this activity creates with the wider community allows us to keep people informed. We recycle unused books through our $1 sales and a free book fridge. These are all well used services and a vital asset to our remote rural community.
The chairperson will manage this project and has access to two offers of volunteered expertise from outside the committee if required.
We will have an open day when the work is completed.
We will advertise this on the local media platforms listed above and ensure that all our funding partners are recognised.
The improvements made to the building with the upgrade will include a new returns box for
greater flexibility and we hope that the repairs, new paint and floor coverings will be inspiring and
create even more community enthusiasm.