Step in­side new-look River­ton Li­brary

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith

JUST seven weeks after it closed for re­fur­bish­ments, River­ton Li­brary is once again open to the pub­lic with a fresh feel.

The City of Can­ning’s flag­ship li­brary has un­der­gone a $1 mil­lion makeover to cel­e­brate its 21st an­niver­sary, with an em­pha­sis on be­ing more than a li­brary.

The re­de­vel­op­ments are part of the City of Can­ning’s push to turn the River­ton Leisure­plex area into a vi­brant com­mu­nity hub.

An open atrium, adorned with desks and plush couches, greets vis­i­tors and pro­vides them ac­cess to the ra­dio fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion do-it-your­self re­turns and loan­ing sys­tem.

Sep­a­rated by the atrium, the adults and kids sec­tions op­er­ate as in­de­pen­dent zones, yet due to the li­brary’s open­ness feel as if they are just a stone’s throw away.

A spe­cial quiet zone at the far end is de­signed to fil­ter out all out­side noise, with sound-proof cu­bi­cles and charg­ing sta­tions set to pro­vide the per­fect study en­vi­ron­ment.

A stu­dio with a 3D printer and con­fer­ence room pro­vides the per­fect space for work­shops and will en­able the com­mu­nity and busi­nesses to net­work.

City of Can­ning com­mu­nity learn­ing man­ager Sue Parora said com­fort had been a key fo­cus of the li­brary rede­vel­op­ment.

“The open space, the light­ing and the zones will al­low com­mu­ni­ties to place them­selves where they feel most com­fort­able. That’s ex­actly what we en­vi­sioned,” she said.

“We have a lot of stu­dents who come in here, also a lot of elderly who like to sit and read the news­pa­per. They will have that dis­con­nect from where the chil­dren’s spa­ces are.”

Ex­ec­u­tive man­ager of en­rich­ing Sarah McQuade said the open lay­out would en­able li­brar­i­ans to in­ter­act with vis­i­tors and build a more per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Free­ing our staff up from be­ing be­hind a ma­jor counter means they are re­ally mov­ing in that space and ac­tu­ally get­ting out and talk­ing to the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“Li­braries around the world are tra­di­tion­ally known as a safe space.

“We want it to be safe but we want it to be invit­ing and we want peo­ple to come in and en­gage with the new op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Dr McQuade said they wanted the li­brary to be more than a build­ing full of books.

“You can ac­cess so many services, pro­grams and sup­port through li­braries,” she said.­mu­ni­ d487240

The re­fur­bished River­ton Li­brary. Pic­ture: David Baylis

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