A GIANT facelift to transform a 43-year-old Launceston building into a modern learning environment and accessible public space for a 2015 world is almost complete.
The old Civic Square library will soon be a $2.1 million state-of-the-art LINC site for greater Launceston.
The state government-funded redevelopment will see a cafe installed, increased access to Tasmanian heritage information, easier access to computer technology and a change in approach to service delivery.
Launceston LINC manager Garry Conroy-Cooper said the interior overhaul is in response to a shift in the way communities use libraries.
"It is the prime social gathering for this region with at our lowest point 320,000 people a year visiting this building and that is expected to increase," he said
"Aurora Stadium only has about 70,000 visitations and QVMAG only has 128,000.
"The demand for information whether it's physical in a book, magazine or newspaper, our digitised images, heritage material, through our YouTube channels or Facebook - the choices are massive these days so we have had to design our interior space to address that.
"We have increased the public space from 50 per cent of the building to 75 per cent and brought all the information stuff together to create a one-stop spot.
"We know that our engagement with children is increasing so we needed to expand those areas."
Mr Conroy-Cooper said the redevelopment has been about making it easier for clients in a time-poor society and addressing the fact technology is mobile.
He said the building had been future proofed to factor in unpredictable changes in technology.
"We have also ensured Wi-Fi is installed throughout the entire building and installed technology device bars where people can charge their device," he said.
"What we have found is that there is a slow movement where clients are moving from our technology to their own technology but bringing it with them into here.
"We have also considerably reduced the number of size service points in the building and changing our service model from being slightly reactive to a client coming up to ask us for stuff to where the staff will roam the floors and actually go up to clients in an intuitive way."
Mr Conroy-Cooper said there was a limited number of public meeting spaces within the Launceston CBD and that light wells had been created to bring light into the building.
He said LINC was also conscious of the economic and social impacts it had in Launceston.
"From an economic aspect, the impact of an organisation like this is about $9 million a year," he said.
"Sometimes people don't think of libraries and LINCs as having an economic impact but if we are assisting with writing, reading and how to apply for jobs then we are improving lives.
"We have done this on a strict budget so we have been quite innovative in how we used that money efficiently.
"For example we have used the existing ceiling but we pixilated them by painting all the individual panels. It turns a boring white ceiling into something a little more interesting."
The building and services will be split across three levels with each boasting a sole purpose - access, discover and learn - fitting in with LINC Tasmania's tagline.
Level 1 - access floor
The first level has been opened up to Civic Square to allow people to see in and out to engage and capture the reported 4000 people that walk through the public space each day.
A cafe has been installed with the option to serve into Civic Square once developments under the Launceston City Council's City Heart Project are complete.
Mr Conroy-Cooper said all the ground floor's seating had been placed around near all the windows, with seating in the entire building increased by 600 per cent.
"The reason being is that people actually use LINCs as a social space, not just for the things that are in it but to meet friends and socialise," he said.
"We still have books and book collections on the ground floor but they will be moved to the back so the whole social engagement can take place.
"We have also put in a room for breastfeeding parents, because we have a massive area for the kids and it has increased in size as it is a growing client base for us."
Launceston LINC's junior programs such as the Rock and Rhythm and storytelling would take place on level one, separate from the fiction, large print and audio books at the other end of the building.
Along with all children's collections, items placed on hold and home library services.
Level 2 - discover floor
All non-fiction books and traditional reference material such as the Tasmanian reference collection can be found on level two.
The discover floor will also feature continuous artistic displays and cabinets showcasing items from the LINC's historic collection.
Mr Conroy-Cooper said LINC was bringing out many collection items, which had been previously stored away from public view.
"We've also created a large young adult space because perhaps we haven't paid them as much attention as we have done in the past as we needed to," he said.
"This area will be incredibly groovy with egg chairs with cushions and modular plastic furniture.
"Even a LINC in the 21st century requires quiet spaces so we have incorporated nooks and crannies for people to just chill-out.
"There will be a quiet research area with tables and chairs so people can undertake research and record it on their own devices, but have a quiet place to look an manuscripts and some of our more fragile Tasmanian collection stuff."
Level 3 - learn floor
Mr Conroy-Cooper said level three had changed the most in terms of increasing the public space with numerous meeting spaces available for hire during and after business hours.
It is also where technology training space and volunteer tutor programs can be found.
"These rooms are also fitted with art gallery systems as well so that an artist, who can't afford to engage with a gallery but wanted to do a pop-up exhibition, can hire a room.
"We have also been very mindful of accessibility, there are lifts and different pieces of furniture for people of different heights, sizes and mobility."
The only room not to be altered during the renovations is the Phil Leonard Room, named after the building's inaugural manager.
Mr Conroy-Cooper said its 19th century furniture would return and clients would be able to look through glass doors to see in, but there would be no public access.
He also said LINC's Victorian gold framed art would be exhibited on the third level's walls.