The new Byron Bay Library will not now be open to the public until next February.
It was originally intended it would open before Christmas but the timing would have required the library service to close altogether over the holiday period. The removal of 30,000 books to the new library is a tricky logistical exercise that couldn’t have been performed in time.
Byron Shire Council property manager Trish Kirkland said the opening had been delayed as the occupation certificate for the new building was not likely to be issued until mid-December.
The relocation of the existing library, and the setting up in the new building, is expected to take approximately three weeks.
‘With the Christmas holiday period being Byron library’s busiest time of year, it made sense to delay the moving of 30,000 books as opposed having the service closed over the holidays.
‘While disappointing, we’ll get past Christmas and open the new library in February,’ she said.
Delays during the construction period have been the result of wet weather. To date, at least 100 construction days have been lost due to rain.
Work remaining to be done includes finalisation of internal fittings and electrical work. On the outside, the front steps and pavement are being completed and the landscaping is due to start in the next couple of weeks.
Located on the corner of Lawson and Middleton Streets in Byron Bay, the new library will meet multiple community needs and provide a lifelong-learning centre.
The library features a designated room for Indigenous research and archival material, along with a community room for use by Bundjalung of Byron Bay–Arakwal People in recognition of the role they played in making the land available for the new library. It has also been designed to incorporate numerous sustainable features, which provide the building with a five-star green environmental rating.