12 Nov 2018

Tūranga has attracted more than 95,000 visitors in its first month and its early popularity is meeting high expectations.

The central library on the edge of Cathedral Square opened just over four weeks ago on 12 October.

Tūranga Manager Chris Hay says Christchurch residents are really appreciating having another drawcard in the central city. 

children play with lego in a large room

Tūranga is proving a major drawcard for the central city.

“It’s not just about accessing library books and collections, it’s about different forms of learning, and it’s also just a really appealing destination. Tūranga is helping to bring people back into the central city, which is one of the key aims of this as an anchor project. The Community floor, Hapori, on level 1, has been particularly popular with families.”

Foot traffic numbers collected by Christchurch City Council staff show 95,561 people have explored the library in its first month of operation, an average of 3185 each day.

The busiest single day so far was on Sunday 21 October (Labour Weekend) when 5718 people checked out the new building.

In the past four weeks there have been 57,202 items issued and 9521 renewals.

The library’s Discovery Wall, a digital touch wall on the ground floor which allows users to swipe through a virtual world of photos, videos and information, has been used for 2.8 million individual touches and to send 750 postcards.

Mr Hay says the wall has been a huge attraction. “It’s something unique, it’s an entry point into our heritage photo and video collections, and people are enjoying having a play and making some discoveries about the city.”

The $92 million five-level centre was described by Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel as marking the return of the city’s “cultural and community heart” when it opened last month.

As well as housing more than 180,000 items, Tūranga holds a music studio, video editing suite, 3D printing, robotics, exhibition spaces, a conference room, café, TSB Space community arena and a children's play area.

Before the library opened it was predicted that it would attract about 3000 visitors a day. 

Christchurch’s former central library was demolished after being damaged in the February 2011 earthquake. It was the largest and busiest library in the South Island with nearly one million visitors each year.

* Tūranga will be open this Friday, Show Day, from 10am until 5pm and over the weekend.