According to Cr Michael Scott, “The Library will be relocating to the site currently occupied by the Artel Gallery.” He acknowledged, “The down side is the loss of long-time local arts and business identity Maude Heath… at least she is not moving far, as Artel is relocating to new premises in Otaki, so her beautiful shop, is at least not lost to the coast arts community,” he said.

Library services have been being delivered inside the Mahara Gallery over the last few weeks. “This could never have been a long term solution,” notes Michael Scott.

“Over the coming weeks we will see the current Artel space transformed into a warm, welcoming, purpose designed library space” said Cr Michael Scott. “The western facing outlook in particular, which will ultimately open out onto the newly renovated town centre, I suspect will be well used as the winter months descend on us,” he said.

“The location will offer a welcoming space to sit and read. It will be a warm and welcoming haven for young and old who have been putting up with curtailed library services since the main building was shut by council,” said Cr Scott. “I acknowledge it’s a further temporary solution, but council has heard the concerns of the retailers and the wider community about the need for library services to be retained inside Mahara place.”

It’s not a particularly big space, of course, maybe 50 m², but better than nothing. —Eds