‘Cool’, ‘flash’ and ‘fancy’ – New library a hit with visitors

FIRST: Ashburton bookworms (from left) Damien Cavendish, Jeni Wiggins and Judith Smart wait for the library to open on Monday.
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Really cool, pretty flash, fancy, magic, marvellous, brilliant and amazing are among words Ashburton residents used to describe their new town library, Te Kete Tuhinga, when it opened on Monday.

The automatic doors of the main entrance to the Te Whare Whakatere building facing Baring Square swept open just as the town clock finished chiming 8.30am.

Four borrowers who were waiting with their books walked in. They were Damien Cavendish, Jeni Wiggins, Judith Smart and Leonie Hurrell.

The library in the $62 million building has opened prior to the building’s completion, due by Monday when the district council will begin operating from the site.

First to borrow books from the library was Jeni. Her choices were The Paua Tower by Coral Atkinson and Kiss of the Wolf Spider by Sharianne Bailey.

The keen reader was a little overwhelmed being the centre of attention, although grateful when mayor Neil Brown presented her with a prize of a kanuka seedling and certificate.

‘‘I didn’t come in to get all these photos!’’ she said.

The first library visitor to borrow books, Jeni Wiggins, with mayor Neil Brown.

Leonie said, after looking around the library, she could not wait to bring her granddaughter there. ‘‘I won’t get her out of the place. I think it’s magic,’’ she said.

Ashburton 12-year-old Amelia Brockhurst was with her two sisters Libby, 10, and Charlotte, 8, as they filled up a basket in the children’s section. ‘‘It looks good with the old bit still kept in it,’’ Amelia said, referring to the historic former Pioneer Hall having been incorporated into the children’s library. ‘‘It’s really cool,’’ she said about the library generally. ‘‘Fancy,’’ was the word Charlotte used. Eight-year-old Lochlann Veint, at the Lego table, had similar praise. ‘‘Ten out of ten,’’ he said, while his mother added ‘‘It’s pretty flash’’.

Cousins Dixie Smith, 7, and Thomas Copland, 3, of Ashburton, make their selections in the children’s section.
 Ashburton sisters (from left) Libby, 10, Amelia, 12, and Charlotte, 8, Brockhurst, begin to fill their basket with books in the children’s section.
 Liz Reed of Ashburton said the new library facility was ‘‘fantastic’’.
Technical librarian Phoebe Wang helps Ashburton resident Nikau-Robin Schimanski-Cootes update her library card.
Hannah Wakelin and her mum Joanne were among book borrowers on the library’s opening day.
Eight-year-old Lochlann Veint and his fiveyear-old sister Lucy have fun at the Lego table. 
“It’s marvellous,” says Ash Watters of Ashburton to library manager Jill Watson of the new library facility.
 Craig and Deborah Halliday take a look across Baring Square from the library’s upper level.