EVANS Head residents can look forward a bigger, brighter, and truly modernised library experience, with the $880,000 upgrade of the Evans Head Library set to get underway in the second week of January.
Council allocated $480,000 towards the upgrade in the 2020-2021 budget, with an additional $400,000 provided by a Public Library Infrastructure Grant.
Last night’s Council meeting approved Casino-based Bennett & Robertson Constructions as the preferred tenderer.
In order for construction activities to be undertaken safely, the Library and Evans Head Customer Service Centre will be relocating to the Evans Head Visitor Information Centre on Kirkland Court for the duration of the project.
The Evans Head Library is a popular service, with 77 per cent of residents registered as members. Last year it received 19,000 visits and 21,000 loans.
According to Manager Regional Library Gary Ellem, the refurbishment will give residents improved access to a modern and well-resourced library that will continue to grow with the community.
Mr Ellem said the renovation would triple the size of the Library, allowing a greater number of users to move more freely throughout the building.
He said feedback from Library members showed they wanted more space to spread out, and the new design would allow them to do just that.
He said the interior would be gutted, with the removal of support beams, a loft, and internal walls to make way for a modern, light-filled, open plan space.
“Our libraries are no longer just a place to borrow books, they have become bustling community hubs offering a range of services and entertainment for local residents and visitors,” Mr Ellem said.
“This project will include a reconfigured floor plan and a complete refurbishment inside and out to help ensure the Library is a vibrant space for people of all ages to enjoy.”
Another exciting and unique element of the upgrade will be the addition a shaded courtyard area, complete with seating and architect-designed landscaping to create an outdoor option for Library users, in keeping with the outdoor lifestyle which Evans Head residents cherish.
“The upgraded Library is expected to open by July next year, and we can’t wait for all Library users to experience the finished product,” Mr Ellem said.
The Library and the Evans Head Customer Service Centre will open from their temporary location on Monday 11 January, with opening hours from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 12pm.
A pop-up Library will be available from the Visitor Information Centre from Boxing Day, where anyone is free to pick up books without formally borrowing them.
Members can also access the eLibrary collection on their mobile devices, or from home.
Residents are reminded that regular deliveries to those members in Casino, Kyogle and Evans Head who are housebound are continuing.