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 just 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-capabilities 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 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 allow librarians to interact with visitors and establish 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.
“We are catering to such a diverse community here, libraries around the world are traditionally known as safe space, we want it to be safe but we want it to be inviting and we want people to come in here and engage with the new opportunities.”
Dr McQuade said they wanted the library to embrace the community hub concept and be more than just a building full of books.
“Libraries, when you look at them being more than just books, really do have that capacity to change someone’s world,” she said.
“You can access so many services, programs and support through libraries and that’s really what we want to champion and celebrate and say we can help people on their journey.”