Library use unaffected by wall work

Bookworms who use the Oamaru Public Library will still have full access to library services when work to remove asbestos from the building's exterior begins in the new year.

Waitaki District Council property manager Dougall McIntyre said asbestos was contained in the pebble-dash face-seal on the library's east front and western wall.

However, Mr McIntyre said the removal of the cladding board should be viewed as ''preventative work'' and there was no immediate danger to library users.

''It has deteriorated over time so that it is in the state now that it needs to be removed.''

He said the council would employ specialists to remove the cladding, but because repair work would take place after-hours, the library would not need to close.

''It is only when it is moved that it is dangerous and can crumble to dust. That's why we have specialists to remove it.

''We are looking at replacement cladding and we anticipate the work will be completed by mid-February.''

The costs of the remedial work are not yet known, but the council approved paying for the work through depreciation funding.

Mr McIntyre said annual maintenance checks would assess whether asbestos was present in other council buildings.

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz