Chch South Library's future unknown

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 08:37 10/08/2012
Christchurch South Library

NEAR NEW: The Christchurch South Library and service centre in Colombo St, Beckenham, has closed.

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The fate of the Christchurch South Library remains in limbo as it approaches its third week closed.

The near-new Colombo St library was shut on July 23 after a detailed engineering evaluation revealed the building had four critical structural weaknesses and was well under the threshold of 34 per cent of the new building standard.

Christchurch City Libraries information manager Carolyn Robertson said the council was still in the dark and had been given no time frame on when to expect news back from engineers.

The ''best-case scenario'' was temporary remediation that would allow it to reopen.

''There's no way we want to pull all the collection out of there if that's a possibility,'' she said.

''Everyone from the library floor to the mayor want this building open.''

If temporary remediation was not an option, the council would need to consider the cost of a temporary site, she said.

Business continuance insurance on the Central Library enabled the council to set up the temporary centre in Tuam St, but it did not have a similar policy for other city libraries.

The council had extended the Spreydon Library's hours to 10am to 4pm on Saturday after the South Library closure and it was monitoring the need for Sunday opening hours.

Stock remained on-site at South Library as there was nowhere else to store it.

Robertson said the library closure was ''really very devastating for the community''.

''We feel as sad about it, as they do.''

But there was still no excuse for late book returns as the bins at South Library were still being cleared, she said.

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- The Press

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