Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui


Under Alert Level 2, Wellington City Libraries are reopening with slightly reduced hours. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions below. If your query is not included, please email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz and library staff will be happy to help you.

What branches opened under level 2?

As of Tuesday 2 June all 13 branches will have reopened and be running slightly shorter hours.

Arapaki (Manners Street), Cummings Park (Ngaio), Johnsonville, Karori, Kilbirnie, Newtown and Wadestown opened from 14 May.

Brooklyn, Khandallah and Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) reopened on Monday 25 May, followed by Miramar Library on Wednesday 27 May.

He Matapihi (Molesworth) and Island Bay will reopen on Tuesday 2 June.

Opening hours under Alert Level 2:

Queen's Birthday, Monday 1 June: all libraries are closed.

Branch Reopens from Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday
Johnsonville Thursday 14 May 10am - 6pm 10am - 4pm 10am - 4pm from 7 June
Karori Thursday 14 May 10am - 6pm 10am - 4pm Closed
Kilbirnie Thursday 14 May 10am - 6pm 10am - 4pm Closed
Newtown Thursday 14 May 10am - 6pm Closed Sat 16 May
from Sat 23 May
10am - 4pm
Cummings Park
Thursday 14 May 10am - 5:30pm 10am - 12:30pm Closed
Arapaki Manners Monday 18 May 9am - 6pm 10am - 4pm Closed
Wadestown Monday 18 May 10am - 5:30pm Closed Closed
Brooklyn Monday 25 May 10am - 5:30pm Closed Closed
Khandallah Monday 25 May 10am - 5:30pm 10am - 12pm Closed
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Monday 25 May 10am - 5:30pm 10am - 4pm Closed
Miramar Wednesday 27 May 10am - 6pm Closed Closed
He Matapihi Molesworth Tuesday 2 June 9am - 5pm Closed Closed
Island Bay Tuesday 2 June 2pm - 6pm 10am - 12pm Closed

Why didn't all branches reopen at the same time?

We needed to ensure our staff and customers would be able to safely follow the required 2 metres of social distancing, both in the branch and in the closed workspaces. We are also providing additional cleaning of the sites which is why we reduced our opening hours slightly. For some branches the ways the entrances are designed makes it hard for customers to enter, without needing to touch hard surfaces like doors.

Can I return my books through the after hours slots in our libraries?

You can return books using the after hours slots for all branches during opening hours. Please do not return books to He Matapihi Molesworth and Island Bay libraries until Tuesday 2 June when they will reopen.

There is no rush as the due date for all items issued before the lockdown has been extended to 6 July, and we will waive any overdues related to the closures. Please note that items issued since the Level 2 reopening have regular due dates.

Can I return items to any of the closed branches?

No, we have extended the due date for all items issued before the lockdown until 6 July so please keep items at home, unless you're planning on visiting the branches listed in the table above.

What safety measures are in place to protect staff and visitors?

With less people able to visit our libraries than usual, we are asking people to:

  • stay home if they, or anyone in their bubble is unwell
  • keep visits under 30 minutes, and come on your own or in small groups
  • use the hand sanitiser provided
  • follow the 2 metre physical distancing rule
  • sign in when they arrive. This is so we can contact them if someone else who was at the branch around the time they did, becomes unwell. We will keep people details confidential.

What provision have you made for contact tracing?

Contact tracing is one of the key tools in containing potential COVID-19 transmission. The Rippl app will be used for this purpose, alongside paper-based sign-in systems for people who don't have smartphones, or prefer not to use apps.

You can download the app ahead of your visit to the library:

More information about contact tracing at Council facilities and using the Rippl app can be found on wellington.govt.nz.

Are you quarantining items returned to libraries?

We will not be quarantining items recently returned, following best practice guidelines issued by SOLGM (Society of Local Government Managers) and the Head of COVID-19 Response Unit. They were developed after consultation with the Ministry of Health, National Library of New Zealand, PLNZ (Public Libraries New Zealand) and LIANZA (Library and Information Association New Zealand Aotearoa). As the risk of COVID-19 transmission from library returns is very low, we will be removing returned items from borrower accounts and shelving them as they are returned, as is our usual practice.

I have a reserved book waiting for me, how can I collect it?

All reserves that are held at the branches listed as open above can be collected. Reserves held at branches that are still closed will be kept for you until those branches reopen. More information on opening libraries will be provided here on our website, or on our library Twitter account and Facebook pages.

I received a notice that my reserve is ready to pick up from a closed branch?

Unfortunately our reserve notifications can't tell if your pickup branch is open yet. If you received a notice for a reserve held at a branch that is closed, the reserves will be kept in there for you until the branch opens.

When will library events, like storytimes, start again in libraries?

Events will not start again in libraries under Level 2 due to the requirements for physical distancing.

In the meantime, popular programmes, such as storytimes and Baby Rock & Rhyme are streamed live Monday-Saturday on Facebook, and there are recorded storytimes on the Kids pages.

I signed up for a library account while you were closed - will my card still work?

Yes your card number is valid for six months. A library card will be posted out to you soon, please visit one of our libraries when they reopen to extend your membership.

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