Posted by: bluesyemre | November 12, 2018

Doors open to Christchurch’s new central #library, Tūranga

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A woman finds a quiet place to read away from the buzz of the opening.

Thousands have poured through the doors of Christchurch’s newly opened central library, Tūranga, and they seemed impressed by the $92 million building.

A library spokeswoman said more than 2500 people visited Tūranga within the first 90 minutes of its opening.

The library holds more than 180,000 printed items – 160,000 of which are books – and a range of technology features including a controversial $1.245 million touchscreen wall.

Debbie Scott said the beautiful new building was “exactly what the city needs”.

READ MORE:
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“What a great place for kids to come and get into books and craft and Lego.

“Integrated play with books is always a winner … It gets them off the tv and off the devices and being creative.”

Scott, who was there with her children, said they used libraries all the time so the new library would be a great asset to them.

Staff are expecting nearly every resident to visit the new library over the next few weeks, visitors were told at its opening ceremony.

The Christchurch City Council expects an average of 3000 people to use the library each day.

The library’s five floors will feature new technology, from a studio for media, music and video film-making, 3D printing, laser and vinyl cutting and even robotics, around which the library will offer education programmes.

Play areas include a slide and Lego areas.

About 1000 people applied for 45 available library assistant jobs in the lead up to the opening. The building employs 108 people, many on a part-time basis.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the library’s opening was “an incredible milestone”.

The touchscreen discovery wall is a seven-metre “hugely elaborate smart TV” on the ground floor. It will provide an interactive 3D montage of the city’s geography, history and its environment.

The bad weather did not stop a good crowd from heading to the new library.
IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF
The bad weather did not stop a good crowd from heading to the new library.

Earlier, the council refused to release the price of the touchwall, only doing so after a five-month battle that involved the Ombudsman and Attorney-General. The Taxpayers Union, who originally asked for the cost, labelled the council “the most secretive in the country”.

Dalziel said she thought the touchscreen, designed to fit within the project’s budget, was worth the cost.

“It is a lot of money, I’m not underestimating that, but I think in the scheme of the whole design of the library and how it will be utilised by people who visit here … I think it will be seen to be an enormously beneficial feature.”

The five-level building has a large open space in the middle.
IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF
The five-level building has a large open space in the middle.

Others shared her enthusiasm for the high-tech feature. Carol Guise said the “amazing” wall was expensive but thinking long-term, it was money well spent.

Kris Wehipeihana said the touchwall was “a really great way to highlight collections and the history of this area”. She said it was important for communities to be able to see and interact with their history, and if this was only done in text people would not get the full benefit of it.

Council bosses hoped Tūranga, with its Māori-inspired design and golden aluminium fins that glinted in the sunlight, would become a focal point for the city, a library of the 21st century.

The striking $92 million library holds more than 180,000 printed items.
IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF
The striking $92 million library holds more than 180,000 printed items.

Roof terraces and balconies face areas of importance to iwi – Maukatere/Mt Grey to the north, Aoraki/Mt Cook to the west and the Banks Peninsula to the south. The golden aluminium fins around the building reflect the shape of native harakeke flax.

Central city resident Marjorie Manthei said when the gold cladding went on the library was “like a beacon”.

“It is beautiful so hopefully it will the worth the money.”

Eva, 9, got a new library card on the opening day of the new facility.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF
Eva, 9, got a new library card on the opening day of the new facility.

Tūranga, Christchurch's new central library, is open for business.
DAVID WALKER/STUFF
Tūranga, Christchurch’s new central library, is open for business.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/107797392/doors-open-to-christchurchs-new-central-library-tranga


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