Bathurst Library renovations on track for January 29 re-opening

SHAPING UP: Library manager Patou Clerc inside Bathurst Library, which is undergoing a major renovation. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 010918clibry1
SHAPING UP: Library manager Patou Clerc inside Bathurst Library, which is undergoing a major renovation. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 010918clibry1

BATHURST Library is on track to re-open its door on January 29 after undergoing significant renovations.

The library closed in mid December to allow for the works to take place and already some big changes can be seen.

Library manager Patou Clerc said the project had been “quite well managed” since it began.

“One day we were open and the next day it was dismantled,” she said. 

In recent weeks, new carpet has been laid, there is now new power and data access, the electrical system was “revamped” and new shelves have been moved in. 

“The next challenge is going to be when all the new technology comes in and making sure that is all working properly,” Ms Clerc said. 

The layout and overall look of the library will be very different from what people are used to seeing.

While designing the library, Bathurst Regional Council had to be very conscious of the changing needs of patrons and the community, particularly in regards to technology. 

“This is the first time it has been done in 25 years and the library is very well used, so it was starting to look a bit tired,” Ms Clerc said.

“The way people are using libraries has changed.”

She said libraries are a “third space”, something that is not quite home and not quite work, so the renovations had to make it more appealing to people. 

”We’re making this community lounge room more comfortable for the community,” she said. 

The renovations have also shown some community spirit, with the old shelving, furniture and selected books being donated to Madiba Project, a charity that aims to establish libraries in Sierra Leone. 

DONATION: Director of Madiba Project Mikhail Kallon and library manager Patou Clerc with the container that will be shipped to Sierra Leone, West Africa. Photo:CHRIS SEABROOK. 010918clibry2

DONATION: Director of Madiba Project Mikhail Kallon and library manager Patou Clerc with the container that will be shipped to Sierra Leone, West Africa. Photo:CHRIS SEABROOK. 010918clibry2

A shipping container has been loaded with items with the help of inmates from Bathurst Correctional Centre. 

While the library has been closed, a pop-up library has been in operation at the Australia Fossil and Mineral Museum to offer alternate services. 

The mobile library can also be found parked on Keppel Street several days a week

Any library inquiries can be directed to 6333 6281.