Celebrating Tūranga

I can’t speak for anyone else, but it sometimes seemed that the opening day for Tūranga would never arrive. And then it did!

Tūranga exterior shot
Tūranga, Southbase Construction, 18 September 2018.
File reference: New-Central-2018-09-18-028
Photo by Pam Carmichael Photography.

And what a day. You couldn’t have picked a less pleasant date, weather-wise, if you’d tried. Driving rain, occasional hail, and bitter cold – appalling weather for a library opening… and still our beloved, loyal customers came in their thousands.

I’ve pulled together all the media I could find relating to Tūranga opening in this post, along with some of the messages of support and celebration we’ve received via social media – it’s been a great time to be part of Christchurch City Libraries, feeling the aroha from people all over the city and further afield.

In the news


Opening day

Social Media

Monitoring library social media the last couple of weeks has been a) a lot busier than usual but b) a delight, as people discover Tūranga and share their joy and amazement online. Below is just a selection of the great feedback we’ve had from library lovers.


Outside the main media outlets, other organisations, customers and visitors have their own thoughts and reflections.

Tūranga, the new Christchurch central library opens in New Zealand from SHL Architects on Vimeo. Timelapse video across the whole of opening day, 12 October 2018.

Video of the opening ceremony, 12 October 2018.

Ngā toi o Tūranga‘, video from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, posted 17 October 2018. Includes short interviews with artists whose work features in Tūranga and discusses the cultural narrative of the buildng.

Video made by a family visiting Tūranga for the first time. Posted 16 October 2018.

If you’ve found any other news items, photos, or videos that should be included in this Tūranga roundup please let us know in the comments and we’ll add them in!

Pizza tastes better than broccoli

So last week I went to the amazing Webstock conference in Wellington. I have gone to this most years and always there seem to be a few themes that seem to creep into many of the talks given. Because usually many of the speakers are American its not uncommon for the ‘themes’ to be heavily influenced by whatever is going on over there, but this is valuable because many of the trends we see in the US eventually make their way here as well. This year a major ‘theme’ that I picked up on is that the news media is broken.

Clay Johnson @cjoh talked about “industrialised ignorance” where a highly politicised media is based on affirming the reader in their existing beliefs, not in informing them. One of the stunning examples he gave was that of the leaked AOL document, The AOL Way, available as slides over on the Business Insider website. It demonstrates how every click that we make reinforces the demand for more of that type of content and therefore is an ethical choice. He showed how today ignorance is caused by the consumption of information, not by its lack, and recommends that we all go on an Information Diet, become a conscious consumer, shift our focus to the local and focus on producing quality content ourselves.

Miranda Mulligan @mirandamulligan was equally critical about the news media although more from a design perspective. She says that journalism is important for democracy but that too few journalists understand the current mediums. They need to understand how the Internet works, not to become developers, but to understand how their content will be consumed. She’s worked in the news media for years trying to teach them but it hasn’t worked so now is trying to get web designers to be journalists as she sees them as being “uniquely positioned to have global view on how the business works”.

Meanwhile Robin Sloan is a media inventor and writer. We have his book book cover Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, but his talk wasn’t about that. Rather he discussed some of the inventions of the past: printing and the development of italic script, movies and Edison’s rotating ‘black maria’ studio (one of his early ‘movies’ featured cats boxing) and his own invention of a new type of media, the ‘tap essay’ available in the Tapestry app for iOS.

I thought that all of these sessions were very interesting as they demonstrated how different sectors are handling the tremendous changes that have been occurring in information format and delivery over the past decade. I think that there’s a message there for librarians too, like journalists our job is still being transformed by the internet and we need to understand how it works, not just at a surface level, in order to be able to help our customers. Karen McGrane talked about throwing away any idea of there being a ‘primary’ medium and focusing on the content and that’s part of this too. Finally we need to become more mindful consumers of information so that we can better assist and teach our customers – if we all need to be on an information diet maybe librarians need to learn to be information dieticians.

No Dewey, all face out displays, 6ft alligator!

There is no-one like Sallyheroes for grabbing your attention. Sally is Sally Pewhirangi, a saviour for time poor librarians who want to try and keep up with what’s happening in the library world. Sally casts a lively eye over a vast range of library professional resources and alerts us via Twitter  and her blog Finding Heroes to interesting articles and news.

Subscribe to her blog or follow her on Twitter and you will be informed and entertained.

And the reference to “no Dewey, all face out displays, 6ft alligator” – it’s about  Lakeshore Library in New Orleans that has rebuilt from ruin to portacom to shiny new library following Hurricane Katrina. I’m sure the story will resonate with many Christchurch librarians.

Thankfully the 6ft alligator is a statue only.