Rangiora St in Castlecliff Whanganui just keeps getting busier and brighter and now a new self-service library hub has joined the mix.

Opened by deputy mayor Jenny Duncan on Saturday, the library project has been driven by James Barron of Castlecliff NZ who has formed a partnership between Whanganui District Library in association with Progress Castlecliff.

James Barron (far right) has driven the project for the Castlecliff Library which was opened by deputy mayor Jenny Duncan on Saturday. Photo / Lewis Gardner
James Barron (far right) has driven the project for the Castlecliff Library which was opened by deputy mayor Jenny Duncan on Saturday. Photo / Lewis Gardner

Barron said he did not have much of a voice left on Sunday after doing a lot of talking to visitors at the opening but managed to say how "chuffed" he was to see his vision realised.

"It was great to see people signing up for library memberships and hear them say how much they look forward to borrowing books."

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The Rangiora St Library will become the second self-service library in Whanganui, joining the Hakeke St Library which opened in Whanganui East in January.

"The mobile library bus was reaching the end of its life after serving the community for many years and this facility will serve as a meeting place and hub as well as a book lending service."

The former school prefab will house not only a library but a hair and beauty salon when SBB-Soul, Body, Beauty begin operating in the building.

"They are just finalising their sign-offs at the moment but people will be able to borrow books and have their hair done in one spot."

Barron said the first couple of weeks will be about getting the basics up and running but he hopes the community will come forward with plenty of proposals for utilising the space as a hub for varied activities.

The building already looks at home in the environment having been decorated with murals by Dan Mills whose work graces neighbouring buildings and the site is also home to Cliffy - the driftwood triceratops sculpture created by Jack Marsden-Mayer.

An outdoor area has seating and a deck as well as a Heartsaver AED defibrillator located in a cabinet on the outside wall so it can be accessed at any time.

Whanganui District Library has provided a collection of more than 1000 books and Barron says it will be adapted to demand.

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"There may be a big demand for bodice rippers for instance or we might need to increase the collection of children's books.

"Part of the fun will be finding out what readers want most."

The library will have a self-service checkout system and be staffed by volunteer librarians.

It will be open during the same hours as the salon which are 9am to 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

Whanganui District Library staff will be on site this week to help get the new library up and running.

For more information see the Castlecliff Library Facebook page.