Which library option is the right fit for Ashburton

The Ashburton District Council is working towards a new Library and Civic Centre for our community that would not only meet our current needs, but also those of future generations. As part of this significant project, we are asking residents what kind of library they think our district needs.

Consultation is now open until Sunday 14 April and it is crucial that people share their thoughts on the proposed options for the Ashburton Library and Civic Centre project.

Those four options are for a joint library and civic centre that would meet our needs (the Council’s preferred option) which would be a $45 million project; a larger library with additional space and features, taking the joint project to $53 million; a smaller library with less features than in the preferred option, which would be $41 million; or a facility that’s built in two different buildings, the new Civic Centre on Baring Square East and a refurbished Library at its current location on Havelock Street ($39 million).

This is a significant project for our district and it needs to be done right. It’s not often that a community is given this opportunity to shape a public facility of this scale, particularly one that will serve future generations.

The features and purpose of libraries has evolved as our society has progressed. New technology as well as changing community needs and expectations have drastically dated those traditional ideas of what a library looks and feels like.

As we’ve seen the advent of computers and the internet change our reliance on physical books and publications for information, communities the world over are reassessing what their public libraries need to provide. We are now in a unique position to do just that.

Imagine a public facility that you could use to film or record music? Or a space that provides a children’s discovery centre, performance area with tiered seating, or a place for teenagers? These are some of the features that are being proposed in the various options up for discussion.

Key details, including the library features, how each option would be paid for and what impact it would have on the levels of service you could expect from the facility, are laid out in the consultation document.

Please take a look through it and consider what you think the Ashburton of tomorrow will look like. What will our community need in its library? What resources would be needed to ensure our community thrives, and continues to attract people here?

Whatever you think, whether you agree or disagree with the Council’s preferred option or with another option, please submit it by 14 April. You can find the Ashburton Library and Civic Centre consultation document online at ItsOurPlace.com or from the Council office, 5 Baring Square West, Ashburton.

Page reviewed: 01 Apr 2019 3:23pm