Wellington to have a third new central city library

Wellington is to have a third new central city library, this time in the Harbour City Centre on Brandon Street. Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the Council has finalised a partnership with building owners Cornerstone Partners making the central location possible. He says the Council expects the new library to open early next year. He says the library will be the largest of the Council’s three CBD branches to be developed at around 1400 square metres across a ground and a mezzanine level. A privately operated café will operate on the ground floor next to the library.

The Mayor says that careful planning is underway to make best use of the space for study, relaxation and access to collections and services. “This fantastic location has given the Council an opportunity to develop another fresh and innovative space for Wellingtonians to learn, relax and be inspired.”

Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the planned Brandon Street library will complete the new CBD library network, along with Arapaki Manners Library, and He Matapihi Molesworth Library which is due to open in October.

Councillor Fitzsimons says she’s delighted that the new library will focus on children and families, with a dedicated space for a children’s collection, parents’ room and the very popular Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions. “We’re looking forward to bringing programming for children and families back into the central city as the space will give us the ability to hold regular and one-off events.” She says the new library’s wide-ranging collection will have around 20,000 items, almost tripling the number of items on offer to members in the CBD library network.

New Collection and Distribution Centre
The Council has also found a home for Wellington Central Library’s collection of 400,000 items in Johnsonville. The Mayor says the Council is leasing a 2000 square metre, two storey site at 141 Johnsonville Road and will begin development on a new collection and distribution centre.

He says finding the right site marks a key milestone to making items in the Central Library collection accessible once more following the closure of the Central Library building earlier this year. It will give Wellington City Libraries Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui a new centre to manage the entire network’s collection, as the Central Library previously provided this function.

“We’re extremely pleased with this location. It’s been a challenge to locate a safe and suitable space in Wellington which is large enough and ticks all the boxes. This site has excellent access to major transport routes and the building is structurally strong enough to house the collection, with the correct climatic conditions.”

The Council will use the present Johnsonville Library building as an interim extra warehouse facility, once the new Waitohi Library opens in December. The Mayor says more decisions have yet to be made around the new operating model, “but we’re happy to be in a position to now move ahead.”

Work to get the site ready is expected to take several months and items will be available to library members to request after the collection has been relocated.

Before then, Wellingtonians will see over 30,000 items across the CBD library network become available in the next few months: Arapaki Manners Library has a collection of 8,000 accessible items; He Matapihi Molesworth Library, due to open in October, will add around 5,000 items; and the new Brandon Street library will add another 20,000 items when it opens. Wellington’s 11 branch libraries presently hold around 250,000 items which library members can access.

Further information on the new Brandon Street library

  • Once completed, the new library is expected to be open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am to 5pm and have a 24/7 book returns facility.
  • Items in the collection will include fiction, non-fiction, audio-visual and world languages collections.
  • The new library will have dedicated zones with a variety of seating and spaces for quiet or collaborative work.
  • Popular programmes like Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme and pre-school storytimes are planned to be offered along with other events which could include book clubs and author talks, free movie screenings, creative projects and activities.
  • Customers will have access to the library catalogue and website, and a full range of self service options with staff on hand to help.
  • Public computers, printing and photocopying facilities will be available with free Wi-Fi.

New Wellington library space named

The new central city library service being developed in the National Library has been given the name He Matapihi Molesworth Library.

The announcement brings Wellingtonians a step closer to enjoying the new cooperative space on the ground floor of the National Library, which is expected to open later this year. The space is being developed in partnership with Wellington City Council.

He Matapihi means ‘a window’, and the name was put forward by Mana Whenua.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught says the name is well-suited for the space. “A window has a view and a connection between spaces. The name highlights the important relationships between He Matapihi Molesworth’s Aotearoa collection, a new shared area, and the National Library’s He Tohu exhibition and collections. People need to continue to have access to the knowledge that both our libraries contain. School visits to He Tohu will be among those to benefit from the new shared space.”

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says it’s been a great opportunity to work in partnership with the National Library on the development. He says the new space will complement National Library’s collections and gives Wellingtonians access to the new library’s Aotearoa and Māori collection of over 5000 books. “He Matapihi Molesworth will be a welcome addition to Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre which opened earlier this year, and will also give library users another service at the other end of the central city area.”

The new library’s collection, which can be borrowed by members, will range over topics such as Māori and Māori local history, NZ fiction, biography, books in Te Reo, art and architecture, natural history, and general history and social comment. It also offers a children’s section, magazines, access to digital content, free WiFi, public PCs, printing and seating spaces.

Dedicated staff from Wellington City Libraries will provide the new service, answer questions and join up new members.

 

Some of our Central Library magazines have found new homes

A selection of over 70 magazines that you used to find at the Central Library have recently found new homes at some of our branch libraries. View the complete list of the reallocated magazines and their new locations.

These magazines are now available to be borrowed – pop into the library to browse the collection, or you  search our catalogue by title – where you’ll be able to reserve the issue you want for free, to be picked up from the branch you choose.


Lunch Lady has found a new home at Kilbirnie library; a selection of new-to-Karori library magazines.

The libraries where you can find formerly-Central magazines are Brooklyn, Island Bay, Karori, Newtown, Tawa and Wadestown.

Returning your Central Library items

library updateAt the end of April we alerted customers that items loaned from the Central Library had their due dates extended to 19 June. If you have items borrowed from the Central Library, please make sure you return them to any of our 12 libraries so that other library members can enjoy our collections. There are still no fees applicable if you return your items to a branch other than the library you borrowed them from.

Overdue fees will apply if items are not returned or renewed by the due date. We have been sending out courtesy reminders to customers who have items due on that date. If you don’t already receive courtesy reminders, please make sure that your contact details are up to date by emailing us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or talking to library staff.

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.

Library services return to central city on 28 May

A new pop-up library to open on Tuesday 28 May sees library services returning to central Wellington for the first time since the closure of the Central Library in March. The new pop-up library at 12 Manners Street is co-located with the Wellington City Council Service Centre, which is moving from its current location on Wakefield Street.

“After the Central Library closed unexpectedly, we grabbed the opportunity to quickly open a pop-up library alongside our new Service Centre location. Manners Street is the perfect spot for the first in our new network of library services for the CBD,” says Mayor, Justin Lester.

Artist impression of Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre

The pop-up library and service centre is called Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre. Arapaki are ornamental lattice-work, used particularly between carvings around the walls of meeting houses, and are unique because it takes two artists working together to complete every arapaki. The name was gifted to the site by Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika.

“I know how much Wellingtonians are feeling the loss of the Central Library. I want to assure people the Council is working hard to create the right combination of services and locations for pop-ups across the CBD to help fill the gap left behind. Arapaki is just the start.”

Arapaki will be home to roughly 7,500 items on the shelves at any one time. A small children’s collection will feature alongside a range of fiction, non-fiction and AV items, plus internet access computers and some casual seating. Library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

All the services that are currently available at the Service Centre will continue to be available at the new location.  These include free Wi-Fi, self-service computers and a payments desk.

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds Wellington City Council’s community facilities portfolio, says Arapaki will be a busy site, with a high collection turnover.  “I would like to remind borrowers there is no need to wait until Arapaki is open to return items loaned from the Central Library before it closed. They can be returned to any of our branch libraries or the returns box at 101 Wakefield St.”

Arapaki Library and Service Centre will be open for Service Centre business Monday to Friday 8am-5pm with extended hours for the pop-up library which will be open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday -Sunday 9.30am-5pm.

Additional pop-up libraries will be opening in the coming months. Details will be announced as soon as possible and people can keep up to date on this website, and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

What can I borrow from Arapaki?
Arapaki will be home to roughly 7,500 items on the shelves at any one time. A small children’s collection will feature alongside a range of fiction, non-fiction and AV items.

What else can I do there?
Internet access computers and some casual seating will be available. Library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

Can I return items to Arapaki?
Yes. Items borrowed from Arapaki should be returned to Arapaki. Items borrowed from the Central Library before it closed can be returned to Arapaki, to any branch library or to the small returns box at 101 Wakefield Street.

Will you have activities available?
Arapaki is a relatively small space, so we need to plan carefully how we can best use it to provide activities. It is likely that we will review what activities and programmes we can offer once our entire CBD pop-up library network is up and running. Arapaki is just the start.

How many staff will work there?
15 library staff will work at Arapaki.

Why has it taken so long to open?
We’ve worked really hard to get Arapaki up and running as fast as we can. Arapaki is the first of our planned CBD pop-up library network. We’ve been able to set it up so quickly because we already had the site leased for our new Service Centre. We’ve had to make some changes to the space to make into a combined library and Service Centre and this has taken a few weeks.

When will other pop-up libraries open?
Arapaki is just the first in our proposed CBD pop-up library network. We’ll be announcing details of further pop-up locations in the coming months.

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.

 

Longer branch library hours start 15 April

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester today confirmed on-going additional opening hours and days for some branch libraries in response to the closure of the Central Library.

“In the two weeks after the Central Library was closed our branch libraries overall had 9276 more customer visits than when compared to the two weeks before – an increase of 21 percent.”

“During this time, some of our more popular neighbourhood libraries showed significant increases in customer visits, with Karori Library up 21 percent or 3567 more visits. Visits to Wadestown Library went up 20 percent, Brooklyn Library 18 percent and Newtown Library 6 percent.”

“After the Central Library closed, we acted quickly to relocate some of our Central Library staff out to our branch libraries to respond to the increased customer demand.  So I’m very pleased that with the continued support of our staff we’re able to add 31 opening hours per week across the branch library network. We think we have achieved a good match of customer demand with the right increased hours at the right locations, but this will be closely monitored over the coming weeks,” the Mayor said.

New hours will be in place from Monday 15 April at the following libraries:

  • Brooklyn Library – Wednesdays from 10am to 5.30pm (additional 3 hours)
  • Johnsonville Library – Wednesdays from 9.30am to 8pm (additional 2.5 hours)
  • Karori Library – Tuesdays from 9.30am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 3 hours)
  • Miramar Library – Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 5 hours)
  • Newtown Library – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays from 10am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 7.5 hours)
  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library – Saturdays 9.30am to 5pm (additional 1.5 hours)
  • Wadestown Library – Wednesdays from 10am to 5.30pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 8.5 hours)

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds Wellington City Council’s community facilities portfolio, says the first pop-up in Manners Street is due to open in late May, with other library pop-ups opening throughout the year. “The new hours may gradually reduce over time as the CBD library network pop-ups are opened,” she said.

Further details of the locations and services available at the library pop-ups will be announced in the coming weeks. Services are likely to include selections of popular and new items, reserve pick up service, returns, wifi and internet access. Library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

It is anticipated the pop-up service hours will include evenings and weekends.

First pop-up library service for CBD in Manners Street

Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, today announced the return of library services to the CBD with a new pop-up space set to open in Manners Street. “Manners Street is an ideal location to provide convenient services right in the heart of our city. I am thrilled we have been able to quickly secure this site for the first in what will be a network of library services across the CBD.”

“The new library services pop-up will share 12 Manners Street with the Council service centre that was already planned for the site. It will be great for people to have access to a range of services under the one roof. Both services will open in late May,” said Mr Lester.

At the pop-up, customers will be able to browse and borrow a range of popular and new items, pick up reserves, and return books and other library resources. Self-service options will be available and library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

Free WiFi and some printing, photocopying and internet access facilities will also be available. It is anticipated the pop-up service hours will include late nights and weekends.

“Work to set up the pop up service is already underway. There are lots of moving parts to manage – first we need to complete a fit out, set up our IT infrastructure, select which parts of our collection will be available, and work with our staff.”

“We know Wellingtonians want more access to library services in the CBD and this will take some time. Since the closure of the Central Library, in addition to locating suitable pop up spaces, we’re also working to find innovative ways we can partner with other providers to quickly offer other services like internet access, printing, WiFi, and research services at CBD locations,” said Mr Lester.

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds the community facilities portfolio, says Council has also increased capacity in our branch network of 11 community libraries.

“Central Library staff are being relocated throughout our branches, to provide additional hands on deck as well as increased opening hours at some libraries,” she said.

The Manners Street pop-up is just the first in what will be a network of library services residents can access across a range of CBD locations. Details of other pop up locations and services will be announced in the coming weeks.

Temporary extended hours this fortnight

With the Central Library closure, we’ve had a lot of interest in extending our branch hours. While we’re still considering future options, we have temporarily extended some library branch hours for the next fortnight — details below.

Thank you so much for all the support we’ve been receiving over the past two weeks — we’ve had some lovely messages from our customers, and we’re missing you all very much!

We’ll keep you posted here and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts with any service updates.

Karori Library

Tuesday 2 April, till 8pm
Tuesday 9 April, till 8pm

Brooklyn Library

Wednesday 3 April, opening early at 10am (closing as usual at 5.30pm)

Johnsonville Library

Wednesday 3 April, till 8pm
Wednesday 10 April, till 8pm

Saturday 6 April

This Saturday (6 April) some of our library branches will also be open extended hours:

Brooklyn Library, 10am – 2pm
Johnsonville Library, 9am – 5pm
Karori Library, 9am – 5pm
Kilbirnie Library 10am – 5pm
Newtown Library, 10am – 5pm

The Library service point at 101 Wakefield St will also be open this Saturday from 9am – 1pm.

Temporary extended branch hours for this Saturday!

Tomorrow, Saturday 30 March,  some of our library branches will be running extended Saturday hours:

Brooklyn will extend to 10am – 2pm
Johnsonville will extend to 9am – 5pm
Karori will extend to 9am – 5pm
Kilbirnie will extend to 10am – 5pm
Newtown will extend to 10am – 5pm

The Central library service point at 101 Wakefield St will also be open tomorrow from 9am – 1pm.