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Sue Thomson Casey Memorial Library carpet replacement project a success

10 Jun 2024

The Sue Thomson Casey Memorial Library’s carpet replacement project has finished on time, thanks to the incredible efforts of the contractors and library staff involved. 

The carpet replacement was a massive task - all of the library shelving and 25,000 books were packed up and moved to make way for the new carpet. Once the new carpet was laid, everything then had to be reinstated back in its original position.  

Behind the scenes, library staff also moved the contents of their offices, along with those of the meeting, computer and history rooms so the new carpet could be installed right throughout the building. 

Manager Customer Experience Shelley Jope and Library Manager Nicky Meadowcroft say: “When the carpet was pulled up, it was very much apparent that it had well and truly reached the end of its life. The underlay was disintegrating, all of edges were fraying, and there was widespread soiling throughout. 

The new carpet means we now have a much cleaner, safer, more welcoming space for our library users which should last us another 15-20 years.” 

The industrial carpet that was chosen incorporates a scattered design pattern, which is much better at hiding ‘sins’ than the previous plain carpet. The blue, grey and black tiles are quite busy, but are well-suited to a community building with high foot traffic. 

Carpet tiles have been used, instead of larger pieces from a roll – this means they will be much easier to replace in the future, if an area gets damaged or soiled as the tiles can be replaced individually. 

The staff are thrilled with the new carpet, as it has freshened up the entire space, almost making it look like a brand-new library.  

“We particularly love the children’s area. The carpet layers have incorporated a fun detail as a surprise, which I am sure will delight children and families for years to come” says Mrs Jope. 

The carpet replacement project budget was $141,000, with the work identified in the 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan and confirmed in the 2023-2024 Annual Plan. 

While the library was closed, staff were working behind the scenes, assisting with the move and completing their usual ‘back-room’ work. Staff also travelled to Reefton to assist at the Inangahua County library. 

The project had strong backing from the community, with other organisations lending a hand to ensure continuity of services. We are very thankful for the great community spirit. 

One of the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK) computers was set up at Buller REAP during the closure for the public to use, and the regular newspapers were on display at the NBS Theatre.  

The theatre also accommodated some our events, with Tuesday Club and a very successful author talk, “Crimes on the Coast”. A sales table was set up in the library foyer during the day, with FREE books, also providing a sheltered place for customers to access the Wi-Fi.  

The opportunity to make a few tweaks to the layout in the library was also taken, with some of the display shelving swapping places. If we want to open up the central part of the library for an event, the shelving on wheels can now be easily pushed out of the way to make room.   

The library fulfils many roles, so creating multi-purpose spaces will be beneficial in the future. 


For further information please contact: 
Manager Customer Experience
Shelley Jope