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A guided tour of Turanga was offered to Friends of the Library today.  Although I’ve already paid several visits I knew there was more to explore and was pleased to take advantage of this occasion.  I hadn’t previously realised that each floor is colour coded, with walls and furniture to match, and a featured bird.  The birds are in the order of height in which they would be found in the forest.  Level Four, Creativity, is blue and features the kereru (I didn’t think to take a photo there).

Level Three, Discovery, is purple and features the tui

Level Two, Identity, is red and features the kakapo

No food or drink is permitted on Level Two because it holds some of our most valuable and culturally significant collections and we want to protect them for current and future generations.  On every other level you can consume if you wish.

Level One, Community, is orange and features the titi.

One aspect I hadn’t noticed before is the mirrored dressup area for children on Level One.

Dressups on Level One

The Ground Floor, Connection, is green and features the pukeko

We were shown the sorting room on the ground floor.  All the books go automatically through a machine which sorts them according to their bar codes.  A librarian then puts each lot into a trolley for delivery to the appropriate level or branch library.

Sorting the returned books

I noted on the upper levels there were often two or three copies of the same book, and a whole shelf of Mills and Boon.  One shelf in the sorting room held books which were ‘borrower’s own’, i.e. they’d been returned to the library but didn’t belong there.

Our tour group was guided by Emma.  I learned much more about the library, and enjoyed some peeks behind the scenes.  Afterwards we had afternoon tea in the Spark Meeting Room.

‘This library holds much more than books
there’s new things everywhere one looks.’

 

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Turanga, our new central library, is wonderful!  We started at the top (Level 4), where there are two roof gardens as well as all the adult fiction.  You get a great view of the Cathedral and the Square.  For those who don’t want to climb stairs there are lifts.

Cathedral from Library

Cathedral Square from top of Library

On Level 3, where non-fiction is housed, we found a Knit’n’Yarn group which meets every Tuesday morning and Thursday evening.

Knit’n’Yarn

The Family History section on Level 2 looked most enticing.

Family history section

On every level there are quiet rooms, toilets, drinking fountains, lockers, and public computers, all free to use.  The computers on the higher levels are available for an hour, while the ones on the ground floor are for 15 minutes only.   It was good to see Imagination Station in their new home on Level 1, where the children’s books are.  This is an area where kids can play with immeasurable amounts of Lego.

Imagination Station

On the same level there’s a tree sculpture with room for small ones to climb inside.

Tree sculpture

I liked the sentinel on the staircase – one of many artworks.  This figure was created by Fayne Robinson, who carved the taonga I was given when I left Volunteering Canterbury.

Tawhaki on his journey in search of knowledge

There’s an Espresso Bar on Level 1 but they serve drinks only in cardboard cups, so we went to the main cafe on the ground floor for our lunch.  Service was good, and we sat by the window where we could watch progress on the Convention Centre, and see Little Andromeda.

Foundation Cafe

The cafe was busy and bound to be a popular addition to the central city.   Some people have complained that there is little parking close to Turanga, but in fact there’s plenty within a couple of blocks (and one mobility park outside on Gloucester Street).  I hope people will take buses, or walk as we did.

‘Turanga is the place to go
for everything you’d like to know.’

 

 

 

 

 

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