MetLib 2014 : Intrepid Libraries

2014-05-15 15.04.23-2What do librarians enjoy doing at conferences even more than networking with other librarians? Visiting libraries of course and Metlib has given ample opportunities for that. I could hardly contain myself as, reminiscent of a school trip, with much excited chattering and a sense of anticipation of what was to come we clambered aboard our bus on a glorious Auckland day, We set off on a trip that would see us visit libraries at Botany and Mt Roskill, Tupu  – Auckland’s dedicated youth library – as well as the Marae at Unitec.

Highlights for this self confessed architecture junkie had to be the Botany Library with its elements of industrial chic. It is a space that delivers on so many levels and a forerunner in its day of RFID and incorporating a retail model in a mall setting. It features some stunning design elements such as the amazingly lit seating in the YA area.

As if this wasn’t feast enough for the senses, Thursday afternoon saw us on the ferry bound for Waiheke to visit the new library there. Unfortunately  due to construction difficulties the building is somewhat behind schedule and is not yet complete. However we were allowed to wander through and it promises to be another stunning building in Auckland City Libraries retinue.

The architect explained that the premise of the building is that the library is gathered under a sheltering canopy of trees. Light wells in the space are filtered through a patterned layer to mimic the lighting of an exterior grove of pohutakawa. A beautiful exterior amphitheatre lies north – accessible through almost an entire wall of glass doors and the library itself is accessed through a courtyard shared with additional spaces including a small gallery and a piano museum.

New Zealand really does do great libraries.

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