Beloved library getting an upgrade

Transforming East Coast Bays Library to continue to put community at its heart.

Last Updated : 05 Mar 2021
Beloved library getting an upgrade 1
The main entrance and library area.
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The new event and meeting space at East Coast Bays Library

East Coast Bays Library is one of the busiest across Tāmaki Makaurau with more than 1.5 million visits in the last five years. All the foot traffic has meant the library is now in need of maintenance so it can keep serving the community well.

Auckland Councillor for Albany Ward John Watson says it is great that the library is well-loved by the community.

"The East Coast Bays library really is a major focal point for the entire community, many of whom are obviously avid readers.  Unfortunately, it also means that this year we need to temporarily close it for planned building maintenance and refurbishment.”

The library will close on Friday 12 March 2021 for the planned maintenance and refurbishment, expected to take up to 5 months. A temporary library will also open at the East Coast Bays Community Centre, 2 Glen Road, Browns Bay.

Key areas of work include a reconfiguration of the main entrance areas to enhance your experience in the library; improving and expanding space for both the fiction and children’s collections; and both upgrading the existing public toilet facilities and increasing the number of public toilets.

In addition, a new dedicated space for community programmes and events will be built within the building.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Chair Gary Brown says, “We're so pleased that this very busy library is getting a much-needed upgrade. Our Bays community will enjoy using the new dedicated space that is being built for community programmes and events.”

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The new event and meeting space at East Coast Bays Library

Auckland Council’s Head of Community Libraries for Central, North and West, Darryl Soljan says with the library needing to close for maintenance, it was the perfect time to do some refurbishment as well.

“We wanted to ensure we didn’t just focus on maintenance but to make sure the library was future-proofed to reduce the impact on those who love to visit the library.”

“The need to close for maintenance means we can refurbish and include new areas that are going to enhance what the library can provide the community.”

He says that plans have been put in place to reduce the impact on the East Coast Bays community as much as possible.

“We are opening a temporary library services area in the East Coast Bays Community Centre to help people still access services that the library normally offers.”

Book lovers will be able to pick up requests and return books at the temporary library in the community centre across the village green from the library building. Also available will be public computers, printing services and free WiFi.  Most programmes and events the library normally runs will also be provided from the temporary location.

But it won’t end there according to Darryl.

“We have organised the mobile library to be onsite on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for bibliophiles of all ages to come and peruse their book options. Book lovers can also borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from the comfort of their own home. These will support and enhance everything that is being offered in our temporary location during our normal opening hours.”

Councillor Watson says that keeping a library service running during the renovation work is great.

“I’m delighted that while the maintenance and refurbishment are occurring, our community’s love of books is still being encouraged, especially for young people and families.”

He is also looking forward to when the library is re-opened.

“It is going to look amazing and anyone who walks into the library is going to feel welcome and relaxed. I’m confident that the refurbishing work will enhance our amazing library and help keep it one of the most visited across the region.”

The maintenance is part of Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) and is supported by Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.

Updates on the maintenance progress and when the library will be re-opened can be found on the East Coast Bays Library Facebook page or by contacting the Te Māpuna Library Connect team via the Auckland Libraries website.

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