Bibliophiles and bookworms alike will have the chance to sate their desires next Monday when the brand-new Byron Bay Library flings open its doors to the community.
And following that, a community family fun day is planned from 9.30am to 1pm on Saturday February 16.
Activities include storytelling, local Indigenous dancers, Pete the Pirate, face painting, a performance by the Northern Rivers Ballet Company and a sausage sizzle.
‘Over ten years plus in project development, the new Byron Bay Library has been worth waiting for,’ says Byron mayor Simon Richardson. ‘It’s a wonderful space for all ages.’
Mayor Richardson said he expected library memberships to significantly increase as residents are lured by Byron Bay’s newest public space. ‘I can see the new building becoming a strong community hub.’
Construction, which commenced in September 2011, has been designed to incorporate sustainable features, giving the building a five green star environmental rating.
Cr Richardson said the new library is Byron Shire’s first public building to meet the 5-Star Green standard and is a statement of what can be achieved with ecological and sustainable design features.
The ratio was achieved with features including solar-passive design principles with the major window areas facing north and south to provide even and non-glaring natural light to as much of the interior as possible.
The light-coloured steel roof reflects solar radiation and includes thermal insulation and energy-efficient reverse-cycle air-conditioning system for those days when additional cooling or heating is required.
The hot water for the building is solar boosted and, as an added energy-saving feature, the water circulates through the hot end of the air conditioning units, which heats the water and takes heat from the refrigerant, increasing the efficiency of hot-water provision and air-conditioning.
Rainwater runoff from the site and roof is caught in an underground tank and stormwater is stored in other underground tanks for use in the drip-irrigation system and for toilet flushing.
Building materials have been selected with regard to their good environmental qualities and the landscaping uses species that are appropriate for the local environment and have a high degree of draught tolerance.
One of the first events in the library will be when romance author Jennifer St George holds a ‘how to’ workshop to celebrate Library Lovers Day and Valentines Day, on Thursday, February 14 from 4pm.
The Love in the Library chat will cover topics including how to write romance and how to get an e-book published.
Ms St George will also discuss her recent e-book releases The Convenient Bride and Seducing the Secret Heiress.
‘With romance fiction generating over $1.35 billion in sales in 2011 in the US alone, romance writing is big business,’ says Ms St George.