Amanda Palmer Ninja Gigs at the Library

amandapalmersWellington Central Library was treated to a very special group of visitors on Monday the 2nd of September. Amanda Palmer and her Ninja Parade stopped by the library ground floor for around 15 minutes to perform three songs on her ukelele. The parade, which started on the waterfront piano, weaved through Wellington’s CBD stopping at Te Papa before making its way up Cuba Street and finishing at the Garrett Street Collective. There were many poignant moments during the parade including a renditions of Radiohead’s Creep in the library (see below) and Leonard Cohen’s (made huge by Jeff Buckley) Hallelujah on Cuba Street.

Footage of inside the library is here (courtesy Scoop, also photo above) :

Plenty of bargains at the May book sale!

book sale Every year thousands of avid readers and music lovers gather at Central Library for the May book sale. Judging by its past popularity, this sale should be no different. Past buyers have used the sale to find the best book deals, to complete their personal collections or just to rummage and find a gem. And the sale helps our libraries by making room for an ever increasing collection.

This sale includes more DVDs and music scores than ever before, along with the usual range of books, CDs and magazines on every topic imaginable. Stock is replenished at regular intervals during the sale ensuring there are always fresh bargains to be found. And they really are bargains – prices start from 50 cents for magazines, with most other items between $1 and $6 and some marked prices.

If you love a bargain, you won’t want to miss it. The book sale starts Tuesday 7 May , at 9.30am, Central Library.

booksale starts 6 May

Your Library needs you !

Your library needs youAre you a regular Wellington City Libraries’ user with an Adult membership card? Can you spare one hour next Tuesday or Wednesday evenings?

Then head to the Central Library and give us your opinion about a new service we are keen to offer: library and writing-related items for sale.

We’ll be meeting in the the Library staff room (situated on the top floor of the Central Library) after 5.30pm with the aim to start at 6pm and finish at 7pm. Light refreshments will be offered and freebies will be gifted to participants.

If you are keen, email our team as soon as possible to let us know. A staff member will be waiting to greet you when you arrive. We value your opinion!

So remember:

  • Tuesday the 30th of April
  • Wednesday the 1st of May
  • Central Library staff room
  • 6pm till 7pm
  • refreshments and freebies

See you there!

Catch that fly – author event

Author and illustrator Amy Burrell will be visiting the Preschool Storytime at Wellington Central Library at 10.30am on Friday 17th August. She will be reading aloud her new book Catch That Fly, doing some drawing with children and even has an activity to take home.

Amy will have copies available of her book to collect if parents wish to pre-purchase it.

Come along, listen to some exciting stories with your children on the cushions and they’ll have heaps of fun.

Free Transit of Venus talk tonight

Transit of Venus

Only one week left to go until we will have the last opportunity in our lifetime to see the Transit of Venus on Wednesday 6 June.   Fingers crossed the weather will be clear and sunny again like it is today for a clear view!

In the meantime join us at Central Library tonight (Wednesday 30 May) for a free talk at 7pm by John Harper (Emeritus Professor of Applied Mathematics, Victoria University) who will bring the story of the Transits of Venus to life in a free talk . Professor Harper will discuss not only what transits are and why they happen, but also why they were considered important enough for expeditions to be sent all over the world to observe them, and New Zealand’s role in previous transits.  Don’t miss out on this great talk – there’s no need to book, just come along and join us on the 2nd (top) floor at Central Library, ready for the talk to begin at 7pm. 

And don’t forget that you can join the Wellington Astronomical Society next Wednesday on the City to Sea Bridge (next to Civic Square) from 9.30am – 2.30pm to view the Transit of Venus as it happens (weather permitting).  It’s so important that you don’t ever look at the sun directly as it will damage your eyes irreparably, but you’ll be able to view the transit safely with the Society, using their equipment.   If the weather prevents any viewing outside on Wednesday the Society will be stationed inside the library on the first floor (by the current Transit of Venus display) and we’ll have live feeds streaming from around the world. 

You can also see displays about the Transit of Venus on the 1st and 2nd floors at Central Library at the moment, including items from our Rare Book Collection such as an original copy of Sydney Parkinson’s journal of Captain Cook’s voyage to Tahiti to specifically observe the 1769 transit (before he then further explored the Pacific, including New Zealand).  And check out our Science popular topic page with links to books and good websites with more information about the Transit of Venus too.

transit of venus image

Repainting at Central Library

Starting from today (Monday 28 March), the Central Library’s exterior walls and columns are being repainted – the first time since it opened 20 years ago. Although some work will be done out of hours, to minimise the time taken to complete this project, work will need to continue during the day.

During one stage, scaffolding will be erected along the Victoria Street side for 7 weeks. Parking outside the library on Victoria Street will not be available during this time, but the basement park in Harris Street will remain open throughout.

On Thursday and Friday 7 and 8 April, access to the Central Library will be through the doors to the left hand side into the foyer from 9.30am-12.00 and 1.30pm-8.30pm. This is so that the area above the entrance can be repainted. Access will be as usual through the main central doors from noon to 1:30pm.

Thank you for your patience.

New Rare Book Display

Huia from Walter Buller's "A History of the Birds of New Zealand"
Huia from Walter Buller's "A History of the Birds of New Zealand"

As part of Heritage Month 2010, in association with the Wellington Region Heritage Promotion Council, a new display has been installed in the display case on the 2nd floor of Central.  Looking at the theme of the Environment, highlights include our copy of Sir Walter Buller’s A History of the Birds of New Zealand and Gideon Mantell’s (the “discoverer” of dinosaurs) paper on the exsistence of the Moa in NZ.  So if you’re passing by the 2nd floor, stop by some time to check out this new display.

Is your compost a load of old rot?

The recent composting seminars held at Newtown and Central libraries were a big hit with many of our customers! The seminars looked at the micro-organism style of composting known as Bokashi in New Zealand. The speakers gave a great presentation on the science behind Bokashi, and how to use it at home for getting rid of unwanted food scraps.

For more information, click the images below to  check out the slides from the seminars! Please note these files are quite big, at over 2MB each.

bokashi presentation effective microorganisms presentation

Returns to Central Library

Next time you return books, DVDs or CDs at Central Library, you’ll notice a difference.  There are now two slots for returns: one for AV items and one for books.  If you’re keen to receive a receipt for your returns, there will soon be a self-return machine.

If you need to talk to a librarian about your card, including paying any overdues, please ask the staff at the  Information or Issues desks.  You can also query your card online at to check what you have on loan or if you have any overdue fees.

The recommendation for this change was contained in the Long Term Council Community Plan which Councillors approved on 30 June 2009.