Mystery in the Library
May 7, 2019
A location and name change is not expected to deter mystery fans expected to attend the Wellington City Council and Ngaio Marsh Awards event “Mystery in the Library” on April 13.
The abrupt closure of the Wellington Central Library on March 19 left the event without a location.
Karori Library team leader Karl Gaskin said when the closure was announced there were about 100 people registered as interested in the event. Similar events at the library had gathered crowds of around 150, so it was important the new location was able to seat this many people.
“Karori Writer’s in Conversation” was held at Karori Library on February 28. Plans from this successful event were used to relocate “Mystery in the Library.”
While the Karori Library had free car-parking and a bus stop right outside making it easily accessible for those travelling, Gaskin acknowledged the concentration of fiction events in one area seemed unfair.
“This has been noted and we aim to have fiction events spread across the city in future.”
Ngaio Marsh Awards founder and “Mystery in the Library” organiser Craig Sisterson was pleased with how smoothly the re-location had taken place. Despite Central Library staff having a lot to deal with at the time, they had stayed in touch and helped decide on the new location.
Sisterson’s other concern was the name of the event. Since 2015, and across 40 events, they had used the title “Murder in the Library.” Following the terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, promoting an event with ‘murder’ in the title “seemed inappropriate”.
“I was mulling a name change when I received a couple of emails from authors and librarians involved in this year’s series, expressing similar sentiments. The Ngaio’s have always been about bringing book-lovers together (writers, readers, libraries, bookshops), and we want to continue that,” he said.
All parties involved had been understanding given the circumstances. Panellist Kelly Dennett was still excited about the event, despite the changes.
“I’ve always wanted to be a part of an event that brings readers and writers together and I’m looking forward to meeting the other panellists. It’s a shame we can’t be in the Central Wellington Library but it should be a cosy and fun night in Karori,” she said.