New co-operative space to open at National Library

A partnership between the National Library and Wellington City Council to develop library services was announced today by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.

The Minister says since Wellington’s Central Library was closed, the National Library has been working with the Council to look at creative ways to deliver complementary services.

“Both share the goal of making sure people have access to knowledge. It’s great there’s going to be a new co-operative space, where some of Wellington’s Central Library services and collection can complement National Library’s open access research collections,” says Minister Martin.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught says the new space will be adjacent to the popular He Tohu exhibition. “National Library school group visitors will be able to use the new ‘bleachers’ mini theatre area for visits to He Tohu.

Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, says Wellingtonians are missing the Central Library and this is one way this special collaboration can enhance library services to customers. “We’re really excited to work together with the National Library for the benefit of Wellingtonians and all New Zealanders. The partnership with the National Library will form a part of the Capital’s replacement library services network,” says Justin Lester.

The new co-operative space is expected to be open in September offering customers a small collection of books and magazines to browse and borrow, access to digital content, free WiFi, and public PCs. A librarian will be on hand to answer questions and join up new members.

Questions and answers for the National Library & WCC Partnership

When will the partnership space open?
It will take some time to fit out and set up the space, but we aim to have it open in September.

How long will the partnership space be open?
This depends on the Council’s eventual decision about the future of the Central Library building and the National Library’s future use plans for the site. It could be several years before we have a Central Library again.  Our initial partnership agreement is until the end of 2021, at which time both parties will review and agree any changes.

What can I borrow from this library?
We expect around 7,000 items will be available to browse and borrow. Items will have a New Zealand focus and complement the National Library’s existing collection.

What else can I do there?
Get access to digital content, free WiFi, and public PCs with scanning and printing facilities. A librarian will be on hand to answer questions and join up new members.

How many library staff will work there?
Up to 5 Wellington City Libraries’ staff will be based at the partnership space.

When will other pop-up libraries open?
Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre is set to open on Tuesday 28 May.  Details about other library sites in the CBD network will be available in the coming weeks.

What’s happening with the Central Library building?
At this stage we are awaiting further engineering advice on what the options are for addressing the structural issues with the building.  It is likely there will be a range of options for how we approach this and we don’t know yet if this will include any kind of upgrading or redevelopment beyond the required remedial work.

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