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Pop-up Library to expand as repairs completed on schedule: Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council is delighted to announce the Elma Turner Pop-up Library will extend into the Maitai River side of the building on Wednesday 25 January.

To allow library staff to prepare for the opening, the Pop-up will be closed in the morning and open from 1pm.

“The extension is the result of weeks of hard work over the holiday period from engineers, builders and Council staff,” says Nelson Mayor Nick Smith, who leads the Library Reopening Taskforce.

“With the ceiling grid and ceiling tiles now braced and secured, library staff and contractors have moved 240 shelves and 8,000 books into the newly strengthened space.

“This extension opening is an important step to getting the building fully reopened. The safety of staff and the public is Council’s top priority. This is a place where everyone in the community, including families, children and seniors, spend a lot of time, and it’s essential we make sure these repairs are done to a high standard.

“It is a real confidence booster to have this major stage of strengthening work done on time and on budget, but the more complex structural work on the southern end of the building is still ahead of us. The Taskforce will continue to work with Council staff and our contractors to get this work completed so we can return to full service and full capacity.”

There will now be two entrances into the Pop-up Library – the existing one by the Pop-up Playground into the Children’s Area, and a second one accessible from the Library carpark directly into the extension. Signs will be posted directing people to both entrances.

Contractors have installed a ramp up to the new entrance adjacent to the Library carpark, with a wider turning platform to increase access for people with wheelchairs and mobility scooters. It may still be difficult to fit large mobility scooters inside, and we have a wheelchair available for customers who need to leave their scooters outside.

The additional space means we can make more books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers and other items available on the floor for you to enjoy. We are also able to increase the number of computers and study spaces available for members of the public.

Many of our much-missed library programmes will also return:

  • The Children’s library will return to its normal space in the area next to the playground, and we will be able to resume our Small Times and after-school activities.
  • More library programmes will be back, including our Library Knitters, Bookchat, STEM Writers, Shared Reading, Tea & Tales and author talks. You can see a schedule of these programmes on our events calendar.
  • The Activity Room will be available for community group bookings during our opening hours. You can fill out a booking form through our website.

Although work on the Pop-up Library Extension is now complete, strengthening work is ongoing in other areas of the building, and the Pop-up may still be a little noisy while this work takes place. We do have headphones available for tamariki to wear and the Stoke and Nightingale Memorial Libraries will be open as normal.

“Staff are so excited to welcome Whakatū Nelson back into this section of Elma Turner Library,” says Manager Libraries Sarina Barron.

“Thank you so much for your patience and support as we complete this important strengthening work. We really appreciate the love the community has shown this small-but-mighty Pop-up. Huge thanks are also due to the hardworking staff and contractors who have been putting in long hours behind the scenes to get the building open as quickly as possible.”

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