Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

New chapter for Greerton as library opens to readers

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FUN DAY: Hundreds of people went to the new Greerton Library at the opening celebrations.
FUN DAY: Hundreds of people went to the new Greerton Library at the opening celebrations.

The Greerton community turned a new page into the 21st century as the new library opened its doors to the public.

As soon as the ribbon was cut at the opening ceremony yesterday hundreds of people poured into the building, eager and excited to check out the state-of-the-art facility which boasted 10,000 more books, 16 computers, iPads and free internet.

Yesterday was a long-awaited day for the community.

The use of a library keeps changing, libraries manager Jill Best said, so the new building was bigger, lighter and built for the 21st century.

"The children's shelves are on wheels so we can push them out of the way if we have a class visit or popular activity."

It had computers, free Wi-Fi, and a full-time tutor to help visitors get the best out of the internet and new equipment like the iPads and e-readers, she said.

"It will be open all weekend 9.30am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday so it's going to be a great place to bring the family where you don't have to spend any money."

Children's programmes would continue, as well as adult programmes including budgeting, home heating, travel and how to publish your own book, Ms Best said.

Shelley Wu, library supervisor, had worked at the library for 16 years - through the uncertainty of two extensions and two relocations.

She said the main thing she noticed was that the library was not just about books anymore.

"It's more about a community space, people come here to meet together and learn things and use technology."

She said the new library was "beautiful" and she was proud to be involved with it.

"I think the people will love it."

Hundreds of people with big smiles and armfuls of books filled the aisles of the library all day, including Sarah Taylor and her two children. Living in the Kaimai Range, Greerton Library was their local library.

"It's incredible. All these new resources, the new books. It's nice to have a lot more space," she said.

Ms Taylor and her son James, 1, and daughter Olivia, 4, were making themselves comfortable in the children's section, near a life-size teddybear and puzzles.

The opening celebration included a waiata by the library staff.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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