The $7.3m extention to the HB Williams Memorial Library is now open

Gareth and Pam Ball, representing the Ball family, with the statue of the late Murray Ball’s great Footrot Flats' characters Wal and Dog, at the Bright Street entrance to the redeveloped library. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Phillida Eivers, representing the Williams family, unveils the plaque with Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon.
After months in its temporary location in Awapuni Road, the HB Williams Memorial Library is home. The extensions have been completed, the 90,000 books have been returned and yesterday was the official opening.

The extended HB Williams Memorial Library is open — just in time for the school holidays.

The re-opening yesterday came 51 years after the library first opened in April 1967.

A dawn service and private opening ceremony was held earlier yesterday for financial contributors and guests.

The library features an external courtyard with constellation-filled star map, multimedia and youth spaces.

Outdoor features include the statue of Footrot Flats icons Wal and Dog, a tribute to the late Murray Ball.

The Ball family welcomed the bronze-cast statue created by Weta Workshop to its permanent home.

It was on display alongside the Taruheru River near the Rose Gardens since 2016 but was always intended to be on display at the new library.

The extension cost $7.3 million.

Gisborne District Council’s cultural activities manager Pene Walsh is delighted to see the library reopen.

“The new entrance on Bright Street features 4m-tall toki (the adze that creates pathways) designed by artist Derek Lardelli, which feature tools for communicating.

“There is art and meaning on just about every part of the new building.” As well as some council funding, the extension was made possible through funding from the JN Williams family trust, Eastland Community Trust, Eastern and Central Community Trust, NZ Community Trust, bequests from Stanley Green, Hannah Dunlop and Jessie Iris Jeffreys.

For the first week there will be friendly ambassadors on hand to take people around on mini tours.

• Library hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am to 5.30pm, Tuesdays 9am to 8pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 1pm.

The extended HB Williams Memorial Library is open — just in time for the school holidays.

The re-opening yesterday came 51 years after the library first opened in April 1967.

A dawn service and private opening ceremony was held earlier yesterday for financial contributors and guests.

The library features an external courtyard with constellation-filled star map, multimedia and youth spaces.

Outdoor features include the statue of Footrot Flats icons Wal and Dog, a tribute to the late Murray Ball.

The Ball family welcomed the bronze-cast statue created by Weta Workshop to its permanent home.

It was on display alongside the Taruheru River near the Rose Gardens since 2016 but was always intended to be on display at the new library.

The extension cost $7.3 million.

Gisborne District Council’s cultural activities manager Pene Walsh is delighted to see the library reopen.

“The new entrance on Bright Street features 4m-tall toki (the adze that creates pathways) designed by artist Derek Lardelli, which feature tools for communicating.

“There is art and meaning on just about every part of the new building.” As well as some council funding, the extension was made possible through funding from the JN Williams family trust, Eastland Community Trust, Eastern and Central Community Trust, NZ Community Trust, bequests from Stanley Green, Hannah Dunlop and Jessie Iris Jeffreys.

For the first week there will be friendly ambassadors on hand to take people around on mini tours.

• Library hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am to 5.30pm, Tuesdays 9am to 8pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 1pm.

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