Library's new chapter preparing for big reveal

Published: 11 January 2024

New Ashburton Library staff Jay and Ben can't wait to show their community all the cutting-edge library features when it opens to the public later this month.

The pair have joined the entire library team moving books and other resources to the new Library and Civic Centre, Te Whare Whakatere, on Baring Square East. Jay and Ben have a special interest in the creative spaces and recording studio and have been unpacking new equipment and familiarising themselves with it.

Library manager Jill Watson said the move was progressing well and excitement levels were high among staff.

"We're all just really looking forward to welcoming our community into this new space. There are some lovely reading nooks, and a lot of new equipment to try out."

Jay is in charge of the library's digital programmes and will be looking after the Makerspace and the Learning Lab.

The maker space is a large room on the ground floor which will have things like Lego, sewing machines and a vinyl printer. The learning lab has 20 computers loaded with design software and games, like Minecraft and Rocket League.

Ben will look after the recording studio, where people can record music or podcasts, making use of the computers, keyboards and guitars that are also available.

Jill said the new creative spaces would be available for the community to use, and staff would be on hand to help them.

"We're there to help residents of all ages and abilities to use the new equipment in the library, Te Kete Tuhinga, so we hope people will ask lots of questions and give things a try."

The last of the books have been transferred and staff have been organising these onto new shelves, and creating appealing spaces to read or watch the world go by.

The library is on track to open Monday 22 January. The whole building will be blessed at a 7am ceremony on 19 January, and admin staff are expected to move in on 29 January.

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