Christchurch's new central library officially opens

Christchurch's $92 million dollar central city library has officially opened to the public.

Thousands took a tour of Tūranga, experiencing what is being hailed as the most innovative library in the Southern Hemisphere.

Shoulder-to-shoulder people lined up, waiting. At the finish line the ribbon was cut and huge numbers of Cantabrians raced to get a glimpse of their new library. 

Tucked inside each floor, 160,000 books share the space with the latest innovations.

3D printers, laser scanners, there's even a place to record your own music and make podcasts and videos for YouTube.

Head of Christchurch Council Libraries, Carolyn Robertson said there was a big wish list of what they wanted.

"We really wanted to be at the edge of what could be possible so that was challenging ourselves."

Taking two-and-a-half years to build, Tūranga replaces the previous central library damaged beyond repair in the earthquakes.

The name tūranga comes from the te reo word meaning foundation or site.

Gone are the days of having to line up to borrow a library book. Now it's as easy and signing in and scanning your item to take it away.

There's also $1 million touch screen, something you would expect in a city rebuilding with the future in mind.

"I just think it's quite an aspirational statement for Christchurch for who they want to be and what people find important here," says Christchurch resident Jessica Bazzaelli.

Three-thousand people are expected through the doors every day, all adding another chapter in the story of Christchurch's rebuild.