Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

About Island Bay Library

Our library and community

Island Bay Library - 1953

History of the library

Island Bay Library, built in 1954, was extended and renovated in 1998. This small "boutique" library serves Island Bay, Owhiro Bay, Houghton Bay and surrounding areas. Our building has recently undergone redecoration with a new interior and exterior paint job and new carpet inside. Outside, a paved area beneath a landmark pohutukawa tree provides a pleasant shady area for people to sit and read on sunny days.

About Island Bay

Island Bay is one of the oldest settled areas in Wellington. Known to Māori as Tapu-te-Ranga, the area has a long tradition of Maori settlement. In the 1800s, Island Bay was a weekend resort for some city residents, and in the early 1900s a small Italian fishing community developed here. Today, there are people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. Island Bay Library - today

The community has four primary schools, 5 preschools, the Tapu Te Ranga Marae, several rest homes, six churches, a medical centre, and some vibrant cafes and shops. Island Bay Community Centre (137 the Parade, ph. 383 7464) is an important contact point and local information hub for the community. Its spacious, well equipped facilities are available for hire 7 days a week. Tucked away behind the Island Bay shops, the centre provides a sunny, comfortable spot for parties, meetings and gatherings. The local Plunket rooms are adjacent to the library, with a Toy Library held there on Saturday mornings from 9.30-11.30 am.

For more information about the community have a look at the Island Bay page in our Heritage section.

Māori branch name : Tapu Te Ranga

The Māori branch name for Island Bay Library is Tapu Te Ranga. This island was the site of a small pa, a refuge of Ngati Ira following the Te Ati Awa invasion of Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara. Find out more on our Māori branch names page.

Our library team

Island Bay Library interior - 1953

Our staff at Island Bay also work at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Miramar, and Newtown Branch Libraries (rotating on a day-to-day basis). They have a wide variety of interests such as travel, sewing retro-flavoured kids clothes, scuba-diving, jewellery-making, fine arts painting, yoga, homeopathy, organic vegetables, film, ambient music, and more!

Services we offer

Apart from regular library services such as answering enquiries and issuing and returning library items, the library hosts popular preschool storytimes and holiday programmes - for more details of these see our What's On page.

Internet access is also available via two services:

Island Bay Library - today

  • free access to selected sites including reference websites and newspapers online, plus New Zealand government, education and other organisations' websites.
  • email, search engines (eg. Google) and other general Internet access is available via the "paid internet service''. Minimum access time is 15 minutes ($1.50), with 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minute time codes also available for purchase. If you do not use all of your time during a session at the computer, you can use up the remaining minutes at any WCL branch within the code's validity (usually 30 days).
  • fax, b&w self-service photocopying and printing from the internet or flashdrive are available. Photocopies and printouts are 20c per A4 sheet.
The library also has a collection of Island Bay local history files, copies of local newspapers such as The Dominion Post, Cook Strait News, Wellingtonian and Capital Times, and Wellington bus timetables.

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