At MTG we're very excited about the upcoming relocation of the library into the museum.

With library staff needing to vacate their building, which meets only 15 per cent of the earthquake code, it seemed a lovely synergy to incorporate them into what is already a community facility.

Our end of town is becoming known as the cultural precinct, with MTG, the Community Arts Centre, and all the various dealer and artists galleries within a small radius.

It seems a natural fit to bring the library into this mix.


The library will be with us for three to four years while they plan and develop their new long-term location and building.

A reduced library service will operate within the original end of the building, using the Louis Hay doors as an entry point.

It'll be lovely to have this beautiful heritage end of the building open again.

The main entrance of the museum will provide accessibility as a no-stair entry to the library service as well.

And on the subject of accessibility, we're hopeful that the museum entry fee will be removed, making our facility accessible to everyone.

Removing the entry fee so we can truly be a community facility has been a desire of mine since arriving here, so I'm delighted this is now on the table.

We know everyone copes with change differently and this does mean change, with some gallery space repurposed for the library and the library operating a reduced service.

But change also brings opportunity and there are plenty of opportunities with this union.

For the library it's a good cultural fit - we're already a public facility, the building has no earthquake issues, and the spaces don't require significant alterations.

I'm sure library users will enjoy having an air-conditioned space, continuing their relationship with staff and the service they offer, and also contributing to the options for the long-term future library development.

It's possible the library will take the opportunity to try out some new service options over this period to see if they work before building their new facility.

We're hoping library users also enjoy the opportunity to look around the museum when they visit and maybe even find some spots throughout the building to enjoy reading.

For the museum, we're delighted to help and support our colleagues and ensure they move out of an earthquake-prone building as quickly as possible.

We're excited by the prospect of removing our entry fee, getting Wi-Fi throughout the building, and having more of the community enjoy the facility.

With reduced gallery space, we're looking at and rethinking existing spaces throughout the building and our very creative team has already come up with some great ideas to maintain the volume of things to see, experience and enjoy within the building.

There are so many interesting things we can and should be doing that we're excited to have a chance to take a fresh look at things.

Our core services will continue to operate, including education programmes, exhibitions (albeit some of them delivered in different spaces and ways), theatre and venue hire, tours, retail, etc.

With the library and museum together we hope there'll be some great cross-pollination of ideas and programming and Darran, the new library manager, and I are looking forward to working together.

And just think, once the library finds a long-term home, we'll have that large beautiful heritage space back as a gallery for public enjoyment as well.

• Laura Vodanovich is the director of the Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG) Hawke's Bay.