You can't judge a book by its cover but Armidale Regional Council is hoping a refurbishment, inside and out, of the Armidale War Memorial Library might encourage more people through the doors.
A number of adjustments will be made to the library's layout and facade to make the space more welcoming, comfortable and capable of hosting programs.
It comes after community consultation in 2019 revealed that library users wanted to change spaces, furniture or the layout of the Armidale library to provide greater flexibility, and this week Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced a $166,000 State Government grant for the project.
Initially, the large circulation desk at the front entrance will be replaced with a smaller modular unit on wheels, which can be reconfigured or moved depending on the library's changing needs.
Five bays of fixed timber shelving, closest to the library entrance, will be replaced with purpose built library shelving to compliment the modern aesthetic.
Fixed magazine shelving will be changed to mobile purpose built units that can be moved around within the new space.
Externally, timber panelling and additional signage will be installed around the main entrance door to make the library more noticeable from Rusden Street.
By freeing up the front area of the library a 'community living room' will be created and filled with loose seating and furniture for the enjoyment of patrons.
"The new Armidale War Memorial Library is a fantastic facility which, for the past four years, has connected the community with a world of information and ideas," Mr Marshall said.
"In order to expand that great work, council will make a number of changes to its internal layout, to create more space where library staff can hold programs and events for large groups.
Mayor Ian Tiley said the changes would assist council's plan to develop a regional library that incorporated arts, cultural spaces, community gatherings and education services.
"This funding will allow for the creation of more open spaces and a community living room to accommodate a variety of programs, events and exhibitions, which was also identified as what the community would like us to do more of at the library," Cr Tiley said.
"Council will keep this strong community engagement going with a follow up survey planned for 12 months after the conclusion of the project.
"I believe immediately following these changes the library will experience an increase in visitor numbers and resource circulation, with the collection becoming more engaging and accessible."
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