We’re making some changes

books to loan and renewFrom Sunday 1 July 2012, you might notice some differences when you issue, renew or return items at Wellington City Libraries.

  • The issue period for books is changing to three weeks – and you will soon be able to renew – for free – each item once for another three weeks, if no one else has placed a reserve
  • The standard $1 ‘renewal’ fee on other titles will also no longer be payable – though if you’re renewing an item that has a rental fee you will still need to pay an additional rental fee to keep it for a further loan period.
  • For those listeners of books on CD, an added bonus is that a renewal (with the extra $3 rental fee) will soon give you a further four weeks to finish listening to your books.
  • If you’re an ‘Out of Towner’, the good news is that the $2 rental borrower fee will only be charged when you issue items, not when you renew them.
  • You will have two more days to return your items after the due date, before overdue fees are payable.

Renewing items is easy – you can either renew them online by checking your library card at wcl.govt.nz/card or ask a staff member at your local library.

If you have any questions about these changes and how they’ll affect the items you take out of the library most regularly, please email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or ask at your local library.

34 thoughts on “We’re making some changes”

  1. All the changes are fine by me – on picking up a bookmarker with the broad details the other day from Khandallah, one of my two queries (ability to renew online) was partly answered satisfactorily. Can renewal, either in person or online, be done only on the due date? If it can be done prior, how many days before?

    1. Hi Ken, all items can be renewed as soon as they are issued, just so long as nobody has a reserve on it.

  2. Thanks, Sam – however, clarification needed here.
    Does ‘as soon as they are issued’ mean any time after the initial issue date?

  3. Yes that’s right – and they can be renewed while they’re overdue as well.

  4. I think if you were to lower the reserve fee than many more people would get books out. I like to come pass the library and just pick up my reserves instead of looking around. That said sometimes I do.

    1. Hi Tim. Thank you for your suggestion about lowering reserves fees. We will add that option to the next fees and charges review which will occur later in the year. In the meantime, I’m not sure if this is relevant to your situation – Wellington residents who have Community Services or Leisure Cards are eligible for a 50% discount.

  5. Good changes. I just wish that the central library was open longer on Sundays and on public holidays. Every time I go on Sundays there are heaps of people waiting outside the gate for the library to open. 1pm to 4pm is just not good enough. There is obviously demand for longer hours over the weekend, when most people have time to visit the library.

  6. Hi Simon. Thank you for your suggestion about increasing the weekend opening hours at the Central library. An option to refresh the Central library building and services was included in the Long Term Plan consultation which occurred earlier this year. Few submissions were received in support of this option and therefore the funding has not been approved within 2012-2022 10 year plan, when pitched alongside all of Council’s needs. There are many calls on the city’s resources at the current time given earthquake strengthening and leaky buildings within a global recession. However, we appreciate the customer demand for this and will continue to make recommendations for consideration by residents and ratepayers (including options of closing in evenings to assist with resourcing).

  7. If you order a book will there still be the $1 charge for Leisure Card Holders. Thanks

    1. Hi Jenny. That’s right, the $2 reserve fee still stands and you can still get the 50% discount if you hold a Leisure Card or a Gold Card.

  8. I had three DVD’s due back today 3/7/12. I just renewed them which cost $12 with due date 10/7. However I will return them tomorrow 4/7. Will I have to pay $12 if I return them tomorrow?

    1. Hi Jeanette. If you’re renewing an item that has a rental fee you will still need to pay an additional rental fee to keep it for a further loan period. This rental fee is applied upon renewal, so it does still stand. If you are returning these DVDs today, I would advise you to talk to the staff at the Information desk.

      Luckily this shouldn’t be a problem in the future because of the two day grace period on overdue items originally issued after July 1.

  9. Fantastic changes for the better to bring WCL into line with other libraries I have used. I never bothered renewing books in the past, as 1 week for $1 didn’t seem worth it. I’ll probably use the library more as a result.

  10. Hi Philip. After logging in to check your card, click on “Loans” or “Overdue items” to see the items you want to renew. Then check the box next to the item/s you want to renew and click the tab on the left in the yellow labelled with “Renew items”

    Hope that helps!

  11. Hi Philip
    I loaned a couple of books yesterday and renewed them today. So according to the system I can return the books on the 4th September. What happens if someone reserves these books next week?
    Does it mean I will still have to return the books at the initial due date? So, in other words I still need to check online before the end of this period to see if someone has reserved one or either of them?

  12. Hi Katy. Once you have renewed items they are yours until the due date whether or not someone reserves them.

  13. I have moved from Palmerston North where the library there is brilliant. There is no charge for borrowing the book CDs, why does Wellington now charge $4 each?

  14. Hi Jill, here’s an explanation:

    Wellington City Libraries is required to meet the Council’s funding policy targets for the Libraries activity, that is 90% rates funding (public good) and 10% charges (private good.) This means we need to ensure that library income from fees and charges totals 10% of the overall costs. The majority of the Libraries’ revenue generation comes from relatively few sources. We do not charge for most book loans, for example, but we still (overall) have to recover 10% of total costs.

    The fees and charges we have are made within this context. Each library and Council will make different decisions as to what services they provide and the level of fees levied. Each year we request feedback from residents through a Draft Annual Plan process.

    There is one option of listening to audio-books without an issue fee which may be possible for you. We have a growing collection of online books which are available to download and listen for free. These include recently published items still in copyright and not just classics. Items can be used on a number of devices such as a PC, IPOD, or MP3 player. In some cases, the publisher has given permission to burn to a CD. If this is possible it will be indicated in the entry.
    Read more about this service and access it from http://www.wcl.govt.nz/downloads/

  15. About time you stopped being so draconian with over-due fees. I stopped using the library for quite a while there, as missing the due date by 1 or 2 days for childrens books was costing me too much money. Even the video shop had flexibility. Now if children are sick and you cant get to the library on time then you wont be charged an arm and a leg for all their overdue books. It used to be a great disincentive to use the library. We may come back more often now.

  16. I think you need a faster way to alert people books are overdue – why not send out emails the day after rather than five days or later?

  17. Fabulous! These changes (along with the incredibly helpful Library Elf) make using the library seem much friendlier, and funner. A far cry from the letter I got in the mail a year or so ago, informing me that my account had been suspended when I returned a bunch of books late. That letter made me feel like a criminal. Now I don’t have to worry about that happening again unless I’m REALLY naughty. Thanks Wellington Libraries!

  18. Have you checked out the Upper Hutt library recently? It is fantastic! So much going on there every day, very friendly helpful staff, open much longer hours than Wellington and an informative colourful newletter issued each month. Although I use the Wellington Library and like it, there are improvements that could be made to make it more user friendly. For example, why oh why do you lock the returns box during opening hours? This is so unhelpful.

  19. Hi Judy, thanks for your feedback.
    The outer returns slots are closed during Library open hours as we do not have the resources to manage two return points. Inside the Library you will find return slots for your items including a dedicated slot for DVDs and CDs. Along side these you will see our self return point which will issue you a return slip for all items that you return using this machine. This is most helpful in tracking what you have returned.

    I can also appreciate that Sunday is where Upper Hutt has longer hours at their Central Library, and please feel confident that we are keen to open longer hours where funding is available. Just wondering, did you know that we also have newsletters? You can see more about these on the eNewsletters page.

    Hope this is helpful.

  20. Thank you. I have seen the eNewsletters. Maybe the UH one appeals because it is an attractive colourful A5 brochure prominently displayed in several places in the library. The library appears to be much more community minded and I understand that a large City library cannot undertake all the programmes a more local library can. They have a huge variety of speakers and programmes which run every day of the week.
    My comment about the return slot being closed during opening hours is based on the thought that if you have children in the car and don’t want to leave them unattended it is much easier to pop out of the car and put them in the slot – you can keep an eye on the car/children all the time you are returning your items. I don’t feel the “resource” reason is very valid – after all it would be exactly the same number of books being returned and would perhaps require an extra trolley trip every now and again to the main return area? Maybe this is not practical but just mentioning it anyway!

    I do appreciate this “Have your Say” page, it is excellent to actually get a response!

  21. Thank you! This is fantastic change from which I’ve just benefited by renewing & not getting charged for being a day overdue. Phew!
    I agree with previous commenters about the Sunday hours – maybe one of the week nights could be pared back and the savings put towards longer opening on Sunday daytime. It’s an easier time for families in particular to come to the library esp. if they happen to be coming into town anyway.

  22. Quick question, it says you get a 2 day grace period for overdue items. If some reason you cannot return the item for say 4 days after its due. Do you get charged for 2 days overdue or 4 days overdue? And what are the overdue charges on Y/A and adult books?

  23. Hi Lee, in that case you’d get charged for two days of overdues. Becuase of a fault we are working to fix, four days will show up on your record if you check online. Staff will waive the difference when you are next in the library.

    The overdue charges for books on an adult card are 80c per day, books on a YA card 30c per day. A full list of our overdue charges can be viewed here: http://www.wcl.govt.nz/about/borrow/overdues1.html

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