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Central City Library Lighter And Brighter

19 APRIL 2001

Renovations to the Central City Library to improve the layout of the building and make it easier to use will start next week.

Planned by Architecture Warren and Mahoney, the original designers of the building, the alterations will involve opening up the interior to provide more space for displays, comfortable seating, new computers and study areas. Christchurch City Libraries has commissioned the alterations in response to changing customer needs. "Customers are staying longer, spending more time browsing and using the computers," says Cathy Thompson, Central City Library Manager.

"By opening up the building, we will be able to display our collections more effectively, improve visibility and access, and provide a more vibrant environment for our customers."

The changes will take place in three phases, starting on Monday 23 April with a planned completion date of Friday 29 June.

The first phase involves combining the entrance and exit, which are currently separate, plus removing workrooms to create more public space. "The renovations will make the building far easier to use," says Cathy Thompson. "Despite having tried different signage methods, customers frequently confuse the entrance and exit, so a combined doorway will be a great improvement. Customers can also expect to receive more efficient service with three major functions - issues, inquires and membership - being relocated to just one service point."

Customers coming into the foyer will get an immediate sense of space, light and airiness. Having more space to display collections will help them find what they are looking for more quickly, and it will be far easier for elderly, disabled and sight impaired customers to move between the shelves.


The building's layout will be more consistent and straightforward with, for example, lounge areas being located in the same place on all floors, making the most of the building's river views.


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