Library facelift starts September

Facelift: The makeover of Havelock North Library starts in September.

The date has been set for the makeover of the Havelock North Library.

The final plans for the revamp have been completed and the first of the work is due to start on September 4.

The project means the library will have to be closed for a week from September 4 and for three weeks from October 2. At all times books will be able to be returned using the 24 hour returns slot. In between the closed times, the library will be open with as many services as possible available (including returns, issuing holds, internet and Wi-Fi access).

The new plans will see much of the large ‘back office’ space incorporated into the public space. The amount of office space was typical of the era in which the library was first built near 40 years ago, but not necessary in the 21st century with computers lessening the amount of administration room required.

The resulting layout will be a “much more inviting, user-friendly modern space for all of our library users”, said Hastings District councillor Malcolm Dixon, chairman of Council’s social and cultural development committee.

“Our libraries are much-loved and well-used by our residents and we need to ensure they meet current community needs as well as into the future; 2020 and beyond. A great deal of thought and planning goes into them to make sure they stand the test of time,” he said.

The new layout would include meeting rooms, relaxed reading areas and spaces for activities, said Hastings District Council facilities manager Alison Banks.

It would also see the main entrance more to a more central position along the front wall, which would also free up inside space.

It had been hoped the work would be carried out last year, however a decision to replace the elderly expensive-to-run air conditioning system and planning to enable the library to be open as much as possible during the project had pushed that out to this year.

Urgent repairs to replace leaking skylights were completed early in the process to protect the building and the books while the final plans for the upgrade were drawn up.

As with the previously completed revamps of the Hastings War Memorial Library and the Flaxmere Library, the Havelock North makeover includes redecoration. The colours will be from a softer palette than used in the Hastings and Flaxmere libraries, with tones to match the rimu trim in the Len Hoogerbrug and Paris Magdalinos-designed building. This will be the first ‘major’ work done on the 37-year-old building since Paris Magdalinos designed an extension which was completed in August 1998.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-December. In the meantime the Hastings and Flaxmere libraries remain open and welcome all users. For opening hours of those two facilities see: www.hastingslibraries.co.nz/sections/library-hours