Te Ngākau Civic Square will be transformed into a giant Outdoor Reading Room stocked with decommissioned library books that readers are free to take home.
The five-week-long celebration of books will be open from 10am to 3pm Wednesday to Saturday. The first scheduled day is Wednesday 12 February, the last day will be Saturday 14 March. All days are weather dependent.
The Civic Square’s artificial turf will be reconstructed into the Outdoor Reading Room using 24 bean bags, shelves of books, outdoor umbrellas, café style tables and chairs, stools and a large kids activity table. The furniture will be a mix or red, orange, yellow, green and blue, taking inspiration from the City Gallery’s Yayoi Kusama installation in 2009.
We have provided a stock of decommissioned library books which will be regularly replenished as readers find gems to take home.
Some book-related events will also be held at the Outdoor Reading Room. These include readings from local authors involved with the New Zealand Festival, and children’s reading sessions with Wellington City Libraries.
Free daily copies of The Dominion Post, back copies of Capital magazine, Salient student magazine, as well as crayons and colouring cards will also be available.
WellingtonNZ General Manager Anna Calver says the Outdoor Reading Room will help bring vibrancy back to Civic Square.
“We expect it to be popular with a wide range of people from parents taking their children and lunchtime workers, through to those missing the Central Library and visitors to Wellington.
“The Outdoor Reading Room is the perfect place to grab a book and relax in the heart of Wellington. It also provides the opportunity for booklovers to check out the nearby galleries, cafes and shops.”
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says the Outdoor Reading Room is a very welcome event.
“Te Ngākau literally means the ‘heart’ and events like this keep the heartbeat of Civic Square alive. The Outdoor Reading Room will bring people back to the area to enjoy a novel pop-up library.
“Civic Square is an important location for people to mix and mingle and I know people are pining for the Central Library. We’ve worked hard on the three other city libraries and expect some decisions on the Central Library in coming months.
“But right now, all we have to do is hope Wellington’s weather is kind and then it’s time to slap on the sunscreen and get down to Te Ngākau Civic Square.”
The Te Ngākau Civic Square Outdoor Reading Room is a joint initiative between WellingtonNZ, Wellington City Council and Wellington City Libraries.
The event will be staffed by WellingtonNZ.