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New Council Library Wins Award

New Council Library Wins Award

Manukau City Council's library in Mangere East has received national recognition by winning a national award in the 2003 Property Council of New Zealand Building Awards.

Mangere East library in Massey Road was opened in November last year. It is the second of the Council's libraries to win a design award recently. The other is the Dawson Rd-Tupu library in Otara which has a strong hi-tech theme and puts as much emphasis on computers as on books. It is the country's first youth library.

In choosing Mangere East as winner of a Merit award in the Education and Arts category, the judges noted the extensive community input into the design and planning. "The project has been very successful and enjoys high user satisfaction, probably as a result of the extensive community consultation process which was initially undertaken with a wide range of diverse cultural groups. The library boasts extensive input from local artists that reflects Manukau City and its people."

The project was managed by Octa Associates Limited and constructed by Hawkins Construction Limited.

The building has a strong Pacific theme, reflecting the cultural makeup of the surrounding community and its specific learning needs. It is architecturally striking and has quickly become a prominent feature in the community. The layout includes study areas, IT facilities and an outdoor reading courtyard.

Another feature is the artwork which was conceived as an integral part of planning from the beginning. Four of Manukau's leading artists worked with the architect and project team and created artworks specifically.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says "Mangere East Library is wonderful building that the entire community can take pride in. It is a credit to the many people who worked so hard on the planning. It also reflects the new philosophy we have embraced for our libraries - promoting lifelong learning, and introduction of user-friendly IT."

Mangere East will also soon have a "learning centre". These are areas which expand the current range of services using computer-based information technology with features such as the Internet, and make learning more flexible. The first was recently introduced at Papatoetoe Library.

Sir Barry says, "Increasingly, people are turning to a computer screen rather than books to get their information and to communicate, both young and old. That is why this technology a now a major focus in our libraries. Many groups in the city already look to their local library for training in basic IT."

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