Libraries Customer Charter
Wellington City Council is committed to providing a high quality, accessible and predominantly free library service to the people of Wellington.
Wellington City Council funding policy for Libraries is 90% rates funding (public good) and 10% charges (private good).
Gifts are welcome, please contact us for more information.
Please note: Wellington City Libraries does not accept donated material for the Library collection without prior arrangement with the Collection Development Team.
The Wellington City Libraries staff are committed to:
- enabling people to achieve their goals through access to library resources
- promoting and contributing to lifelong learning and enjoyment
- collecting and maintaining general and specialist library collections
- promoting Wellington City Libraries as a community focal point.
Our library is a vibrant destination, connecting with communities to spark imagination and discovery.
Purpose of the Charter
This document sets out useful information about Wellington City Libraries, the nature and standards of service you can expect and the policies which enable everyone to use the libraries to maximum enjoyment and benefit.
What Can You Expect?
The day-to-day management of the library is under the control of the Manager, Libraries.
Customer Service Commitment
- We will honour our obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi through consultation with Tangata Whenua and Taura Here and by the development and implementation of bicultural values
- Staff will be appropriately trained and will provide courteous and helpful service to customers
- We will be efficient in dealing with customer requests for information or service
- All customer information will be kept confidential within the terms of the Privacy Act, 1993 and its amendments
- Customers will receive a response to their letters within three days
- Suggestion forms will be held at each library and on our website for customers to comment on any part of our service. Customers may also recommend titles to be considered for purchase by the libraries
- Consultation will be undertaken according to Wellington City Council's Consultation Policy and Guidelines.
Access to Library Services
Objective: To ensure library buildings meet safety and access standards and to take flexible and innovative approaches to accessing library resources.
- All the libraries will be open for a minimum of six days a week. Actual hours will vary depending on the site
- All buildings will be as safe as possible for customers in accordance with the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and its amendments
- All libraries will have wheelchair access to buildings and to library stock
- People with disabilities will have access to special collections such as talking books
- Long-term housebound customers will be provided with a home delivery service
- With the exception of DVDs children and young adults will be able to borrow from their collections free of charge
- A Wellington City Libraries' card can be used at the Central Library or any branch library
- Computer catalogues will be provided at each site
- An internet site will be maintained offering information about the libraries and access to the catalogue. The site will be regularly updated with access to additional information and to other resources provided
- Access to material held by libraries other than Wellington City Libraries may be made available, for a fee, through the interloan system.
- We will conduct customer and resident surveys and will use the information to improve the service and to assist in establishing priorities
- We will seek opportunities to develop library services in partnership with groups in the community.
Free membership is available to:
- any ratepayer or resident of Wellington City
- members of the Tenths Trust
- the partner and dependants of any ratepayer who is not resident in the city
- students enrolled in pre-school, primary and secondary schools in the Wellington rate paying area
- agents of any Wellington business firm, Kohanga Reo, pre-school or crèche
- seamen who have no shore address, provided their ship calls at Wellington at least once a fortnight
- diplomatic staff with diplomatic status, their partners and families, no matter where they live in the region
- overseas visitors staying in Wellington for more than three months providing they can provide two New Zealand addresses
- past Mayors and Councillors of Wellington City, who served prior to 1990.
Customers not covered by the above provisions will be able to join the library by paying an annual subscription or a per item charge for each item borrowed.
What Do We Expect?
Libraries are here for the use and enjoyment of everyone. We ask that you show consideration to others and honour the following.
- Please comply with all reasonable requests from staff
- The use and/or possession of drugs and alcohol is not allowed
- Lying on any bench, chair, table or floor may create a health and safety hazard
- Wellington City Libraries are smoke free environments
- Guide and other assistance dogs will be permitted in the library: other animals will not
- Unlawful, noisy or offensive behaviour is not appropriate in libraries
- Please leave the library and its contents as you found them so that others can enjoy them
- Any item borrowed from the library should be returned in the time period set by the Manager, Libraries
- Dangerous goods and flammable spirits are not permitted in the library
- Soliciting for donations of money or signatures on any petition or offering any goods for sale are activities that must be conducted outside of libraries
- Bicycles, skateboards, scooters and rollerblades could cause injury to customers and must not be used in libraries
- Customers remain responsible for their personal possessions at all times
- Customers are able to enter or remain in the library outside business hours only with the agreement of staff
- Children are welcome in all libraries but caring for them is not the responsibility of staff
- If any child under 15 acts unreasonably in the library, staff may request that the child and any person in charge of the child leave the library.
- The Council may from time to time set fees for specific library services or cancel all or any of the fees set
- Every person signing a membership agreement agrees to pay all overdue fees and damage or replacement costs that are incurred. They also agree to information being passed to debt collection and credit reporting agencies if they default
- A set fee will be charged for the replacement of lost library cards and the original card will become invalid
- Customers who owe money to the library can use library services providing the amount owed does not exceed a set amount as determined by the Manager, Libraries
- Items should be returned by the end of business on the due date
- When returning items after the due date, a 2 day grace period will apply. The overdue fee covers the whole period the item was retained beyond 2 days after the due date
- If any item is lost, destroyed or returned in a damaged condition the borrower will need to pay for repairing, cleaning or replacing the item or set of items it is part of
- Customers will be able to reserve items not currently available. From time to time the library may exclude any item from being available for use and may also impose limits on the number of items that may be reserved or borrowed by a customer at any one time.
- Membership privileges may be withdrawn if customers have outstanding items, costs or fees.
- Any customer acting in an unlawful or offensive manner in the library will be excluded or removed from the library by any staff member, security guard or police officer. The Chief Executive Officer of Wellington City Council may exclude that person from the library for an appropriate period.
- So that we can keep in touch with our customers, please notify the library of any change of name or contact details.
- In the event of a library card being lost or stolen, responsibility for items issued on that card remains with the card holder, unless the library has been notified of the loss.
- Membership privileges apply only to the person named on the library card. The card must be produced in order to borrow items.
- Customers who have not used their library membership for a period of two years will be required to resubmit all registration details to reactivate their membership.
Collection Content Criteria
The collection budget, set annually by the Council, will be divided according to current usage, established need and any special projects.
We will provide materials that:
- meet the information and recreational demand of the community
- may be accessed by our customers in a variety of ways
- are generally available for use outside the library.
- We will seek regular feedback from customers on the arrangement, content and usefulness of our resources through surveys, complaints and suggestion forms, and customer comments.
- We will identify the specific needs of Maori customers through surveys, complaints and suggestion forms, and meeting with Maori groups. We will design services to meet those needs.
- We will be aware of the needs of other ethnic, special interest and special needs customers in provision of materials.
- We will provide material which represents or documents the culture, history or creative output of the local region and reflects the cultural diversity of the population. This will mean representing a wide diversity of views, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority, and including catering for the special needs of those whose library usage is limited because of vision, language or reading disabilities.
- Relevance to the local community will be a significant acquisition criterion. This will be determined by the nature of library usage of the topic or author, as well as analysis of expressed demand potential by customers.
- Collection purchases will be in print or electronic formats.
- Material may be purchased as part of a revenue earning collection such as bestsellers, according to specific guidelines and performance measures.
- Local Wellington regional material and Maori collections will be purchased comprehensively.
- We will not be limited to providing material for borrowing purposes only. Some material may not be appropriate for lending or keeping on the open shelves. This material will be held at a desk and may include ready reference or restricted lending material.
- Items purchased may be regularly transferred between sites in order to optimise usage and access.
- Where customers' requests fall outside these guidelines, we will access other libraries or information sources. Donations and Gifts Policy
- Gifts/donations will be subjected to the same collection content criteria as are applied to other library material in accordance with Wellington City Libraries' Collection Development Policy.
- Gifts/donations may include all forms of print and non-print materials compatible with the existing collections, with the exception of used audio visual material.
- Letters of acknowledgement will be given to donors, in person, at the time they gift/donate materials.
- Gifts/donations accepted by Wellington City Libraries will be located in the most appropriate subject area and location, as deemed by the selector.
- Significant gifts may be acknowledged by the insertion of a bookplate, at the discretion of the appropriate selector.
- The donor may not attach any conditions to the material being gifted/donated such as a condition that an item be held in a particular location in the library system.
- Gifted/donated material will not be returned to the donor.
- Wellington City Council regulations do not allow for the purchase of materials from individuals who are not preferred suppliers to Wellington City Libraries. Promotional material, however, will be accepted.
- Sales representatives wishing to sell commercially produced material should approach the Collection Development Team on their own behalf.
- On occasion, Wellington City Libraries is sent unsolicited items accompanied by a pro-forma invoice. These items will not be accepted by Wellington City Libraries and will be returned to the sender.
- Wellington City Libraries reserves the right to accept and dispose of any gift through discard, transfer, exchange or sale.
Public Internet Access
- Each library site will have at least one public internet terminal and customers may print on a charge per page basis.
- Customers will be able to surf the World Wide Web (www) and read and send email, if they use www email on selected terminals located throughout the library network on a charge per use basis.
- To access subscription databases customers must be registered members of Wellington City Libraries. Agent card holders may not access the databases.
- The use of floppy discs and CD-ROMs in the computers and downloading from the web will not be possible.
- All customers must sign an acceptable use statement (agreeing not to access material that is unacceptable, such as pornography, nor to use it to harass people via email or conduct any illegal business) before purchasing an internet session. Wellington City Libraries will not take responsibility for the material accessed. In the event of unacceptable material being accessed, that customer's access to library services may be withdrawn for a period to be determined by the Manager, Libraries.
- Customers must abide by the terms and conditions they agree to when using subscription databases.
- Parents or guardians of children aged 15 years and under should sign on behalf of their children. Although children may sign the form, parents or guardians must still accept responsibility for ensuring their children use the internet in a legal and responsible manner.
- Notice boards and display spaces are provided in each library.
- Displays are accepted at the discretion of the Manager, Libraries or his/her delegated representative. If a request to exhibit any material is declined, the person seeking to display the material will have the reasons for the decision explained to them. If this explanation is not satisfactory, the Wellington City Council complaints procedure may be used, and this will be explained to the person concerned.
- Displays should reflect a benefit to the community as a whole. Every effort will be made to ensure a balance in the displays provided, so that over time no one viewpoint or subject is over-represented. The library will, as appropriate, seek material from organisations for display in order to ensure balance is maintained.
- Material to be displayed must meet minimum standards of literacy, including grammar and spelling, and format, in line with Wellington City Libraries' Presentation Guidelines. In addition material must not be defamatory or incite people to break the law. All material displayed must indicate the name of the responsible group or individual with a contact address or phone number.
- The library cannot be responsible for the loss, defacement or return of materials and reserves the right to dispose of materials as it sees fit. Defaced material will be removed from display.
- Where space is limited priority will be given to material about Wellington City Libraries and other services of Wellington City Council. Events for specific dates will have preference over regular recurring events.
- All other material for display should be of an educational, cultural, recreational or philanthropic nature or supply non-partisan information on the city, Government and/or local community. When appropriate, the library will display a disclaimer to make clear that the views expressed are not those of the Library or the Wellington City Council.
- The following specific items will not be accepted for display: petitions, advertisements for personal services, items for sale, or job listings.
- Where there is agreement to display large amounts of material there will be the understanding that the displaying organisation will provide suitable facilities.
- The library does not let permanent display space. The length of time a display is up is at the discretion of the Manager, Libraries or her/his delegated representative.
- All organisations mounting displays must agree to observe the provisions of the Libraries' Occupational Health and Safety Plan.
- Displays of commercial products and services may be displayed where there is an identifiable benefit to the library or where there is a formal partnership in place between the library and the displaying organisation.
- Wellington community newspapers - newspapers produced by for-profit organisations but distributed free of charge, with or without advertising, that contain news and feature articles relevant to their community are accepted for distribution.
- In facilities where there is a suitable area, profit-making organisations may hire display space for a fee.
- Material for events organised by religious organisations will generally be displayed.
- Material issued by religious organisations, which has the primary objective of encouraging people to join a particular faith, will not be displayed.
- Political party displays that are designed to inform the community will be accepted from the official announcement of an election date until the day before polling.
- Material that seeks solely to advocate an action, solicit members, request donations, raise funds or sell merchandise will not be accepted.
- Material on individual candidates may not be distributed or displayed.
- Information regarding consultation times for Members of Parliament and Wellington City Councillors and meetings of the Council and its Committees will be displayed.
Telling us what you think
We are interested in your comments on the service we provide. Both praise and criticism help us to improve. We will take all complaints seriously, will impartially examine the issue and provide reasons for the decisions we make.
- Customers should raise any issues in the first instance with staff.
- Issues not resolved may be put in writing to the Manager, Libraries.
- Any issues so received will be responded to within three days of receipt.
Any significant changes to the policies under which the library operates will be with the full approval of the Council.
Further information and advice about matters covered in the Libraries Customer Charter may be obtained from the Central Library or any of the branch libraries.
The Libraries Customer Charter will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is up to date.
The Libraries Customer Charter was published by Wellington City Council in September 2005.
Copyright Wellington City Council.
(Page last updated 23 February 2012)