Support for purpose-built library

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 06:25 11/03/2014

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A purpose-built library down by the Taylor River could become a hub for the whole Marlborough community, Friends of the Library chairwoman Elizabeth Winter says.

The Marlborough District Council has agreed to look at a proposal by Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman to investigate building a new library and community centre on land near the river as part of a plan to revitalise the Blenheim central business district.

Mrs Winter said the Friends of the Library committee thought a purpose-built library was a wonderful idea.

The library was too small for its purpose, she said.

"The library is really the hub of the community. If we had a new purpose-built library, we could put so much more into it. It could be so much more user-friendly for the community, making it a hub where people feel at home."

The Friends of the Library hosted authors' nights and quiz evenings, so a dedicated space for that type of thing would be wonderful, she said.

"We need more sitting areas, with comfortable seating for mothers with children, or teenagers doing homework.

"One of the things that have been difficult since new technology is the space for travellers and locals connecting into wi-fi with laptops. There's a wee bit of friction in the library for that sort of thing. A purpose-built library could cater more for the needs."

Mrs Winter said the committee was fully committed to encouraging discussion a new library, particularly a purpose-built one.

"The present building or even a renovated building like the old theatre, we don't think would be the best option."

The civic theatre site was "a vast space", Mrs Winter said, but while it could be adapted, it wouldn't be the best option, she said.

"It is an enclosed space, for one thing. The thing that attracts people into the library is being able to see into it . . .

"It is really quite exciting that the council has decided to do something about the library and that there is so much feedback really. It is seen to be gathering momentum and I hope it will go on."

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- The Marlborough Express

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