Excitement builds for move to new library

Published: 20 December 2023

The new makerspace under construction - it will have a vinyl printer and cutter, laser cutter and various sewing machines and overlockers.

There’s just over a week left to grab your holiday reads for the beach or bach, as staff at the library make final preparations for the big move to Te Whare Whakatere, the new library and civic centre.

The library will be closed from 4pm, Sunday 31 December until it reopens in the new facility on Monday 22 January.

Inside the new building, the focus has shifted from placing bricks to placing books. The fiction and non-fiction areas on the first floor have shelving installed, and specialist equipment is starting to appear in the makerspace, performance space and sound studio.

Library Manager Jill Watson says the new library has been eagerly awaited, and staff are seeing a real buzz in the community about the opening.

“It will be great to be in a nice, new building that’s dry and undamaged, but more importantly with over twice the floorspace of our old library, it will have so much more to offer our growing district.”

Jill says the building has plenty of room for reading and studying as well as more spaces for the community to gather, play, learn and create.

“While our services have evolved over the years and technology has changed the way that people access information, the library’s function as a community hub is as important as ever."

One exciting addition will be the makerspace, equipped a vinyl printer and cutter, laser cutter, craft cutter, and various standard and heavy-duty sewing machines and overlockers. Access will be free, but crafters will need to pay for any consumables they use.

Jill says moving the library’s collection of over 60,000 books, magazines and other items will be completed relatively quickly, with the rest of the three-week closure dedicated to training staff and setting up the new facility.

Books issued before the closure won’t be due back until the new library opens on 22 January, and the library’s range of eBooks, eAudio and digital resources will be available 24/7 on the library website.

To find out more about the move or to browse the library’s digital catalogue, visit ashburtonlibrary.co.nz

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