Trustees and Library staff banner image

A $30,000 annual boost for books at our library

Monday 8 August, 2022

There are hundreds of brand-new large-print titles on the shelves of our inner-city library. They were bought with an annual boost of funds from the HB Williams Memorial Library Book Trust.

For the next ten years, the Trust will distribute $30,000 each year to the library to spend on new books and research materials because of a commitment from the HB Williams Memorial Library Book Trust and an “out of the blue” bequest to the Trust from avid reader Keith Redstone.

Ensuring these funds are carefully looked after and distributed is the job of the three Trust members Daryl Keast, Pat Flockhart and original Trustee Pat Seymour. They all volunteer their time and see it as helping the community.

The Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-2031 has locked in the Trust’s annual funding of $20,000 for the next ten years, with one lot already paid out for the financial year ended 30 June 2022. This will be spent on new book titles. In addition to this, when local man and library member Keith Redstone passed away last year he left the Trust $100,000 to be used specifically for reference and research materials. This large sum will be invested and drawn down at $10,000 a year for the next decade to maintain useful research materials, particularly local history of which Mr Redstone was well-versed in.

Tasked with choosing new materials and collections is Principal Librarian Sharon Cornwall, who loves the friendliness of Tairāwhiti after moving here in March last year.

“When we choose the books, we look for content which informs our community, with a mix of fiction and non-fiction, New Zealand material, award-winning titles and a mix of genres for the fiction. We buy almost everything published in te Reo Māori and materials that patrons would otherwise have to travel to main centres to access.

“Having the money from the book trust enables us to update key collections.

“This year it was our large print collection that now has 360 new titles and they’re all able to be borrowed at no charge to our community.”

Trust member Mrs Seymour, also a Gisborne District Councillor, has been a Trustee since 1983.

That was the year Cook County Council’s Chairman Frey Ormerod mooted the idea of a book trust.

Mrs Seymour says she remembers Mr Ormerod identifying that a Trust established specifically to purchase books and resources for the library would reduce the burden for ratepayers into the future.

“The Trust funds additional books and collections and has funded the work on digitising the Photo News.

“Aspects that are important to Gisborne, which may not have been able to happen otherwise.”

Mrs Seymour says over her 39 years on the Trust, it has been flexible with what it buys.

When the new library re-opened in 2018 after a partial rebuild, the Trust gave it a $100,000 grant to kick start books for the new space.

“The Trust is a great safe investment for anyone who wants to leave something to the library.

“That’s how the Trust initially grew, by people making small bequests,” says Mrs Seymour.

Pat Flockhart has been a Trustee for 15 years and Daryl Keast a Trustee for 20 years.

Mr Keast says he enjoys that the Trust carries a bit of heritage from HB Williams’ family, which continues to benefit the library and Gisborne as a whole.

  • Library members can suggest books by completing the suggestion form which sits under the Services tab on the library website, or by completing a physical form at the front desk.

HB Williams Memorial Library Trustees and Library staff

From left are HB Williams Memorial Library Book Trust Trustee Daryl Keast,  Principal Librarian Sharon Cornwall, Trustee Pat Flockhart, Trustee Pat Seymour and Library Service Leader Lois Haddon. Picture by the Gisborne Herald.