Stock up before library move, readers urged

Published: 9 November 2023

Book worms are being encouraged to fill their bags with books before the Ashburton Library closes for three weeks on Sunday 26 November ahead of its move into a new building.

Library Manager Jill Watson said library users might like to borrow a few more books than usual and any issued this month would not be due back until 10 January. The new building opens on 18 December.

“We know the move is going to cause some disruption for library users, but we’re really excited about the new space we’re going to and all the new activities that will be available.”

The new library is over twice the size of the current building and includes community meeting spaces, a performance space, makerspace, a learning lab with computers, and a sound studio.

The makerspace includes new equipment like a vinyl cutter, laser cutter and craft cutter. There will also be standard and heavy-duty sewing machines, and an overlocker.

Computers in the learning lab will be equipped with headsets, controllers and games, and in the children’s and young adult library there will be a PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch.

The library’s move to the new civic and library building, Te Whare Whakatere, is a big logistical exercise involving relocating over 60,000 books.

Ms Watson said the free public Wi-Fi would still be available outside the old building during the three-week closure.

“We’ve decided to keep the free Wi-Fi available because we know some people rely on that connection. You’ll need to be parked or seated nearby the building to connect.”

For those with a library membership, the library’s digital resources will still be available during the shutdown, with a big selection of e-books, audiobooks, music, videos and more.

Ms Watson said last weekend’s heavy rain had caused flooding issues in the building, and the library was closed on Sunday so things could be dried out.

“We are really looking forward to being in the new building, where we won’t have to worry about leaks.”

The library will be closed for three weeks from 4pm, Sunday 26 November, before reopening in the new building at 8.30am on Monday 18 December.

The library’s new hours will be:

  • Monday 8.30am-6pm
  • Tuesday – Thursday 8.30am-8pm
  • Friday 8.30am-6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm

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