2019 has been an unprecedented year for Wellington City Libraries, a real year of highs and lows.
The closure of the Central Library in March 2019 affected both our customers and staff deeply, and underscored how valued the Central Library was to us all.
The closure set in motion a huge chain of events, which is still in progress. This included opening two new CBD Libraries, Arapaki and He Matapihi, with a third CBD library on its way in 2020. Although Arapaki is only 250sqm, it’s had over 225,000 visitors since it opened in May. We’ve also started the fit out of Te Pātaka in Johnsonville, where we’ll be relocating all our Central Library collections and making them available to request. We’re excited to get these up and running.
We’re delighted about the opening of Waitohi, the new Community Hub in Johnsonville, which includes the new Johnsonville Library. Waitohi opened on Saturday 14th December, and is a beautiful facility which connects the Johnsonville Library, Keith Spry Pool, Waitohi Kindergarten, Johnsonville Community Centre and Common Ground Café. Sam who is the owner of Common Ground café also used to run Clarks in the Central Library, and it’s lovely to be able to welcome him back into our facilities.
Throughout the year, we’ve run all kinds of programmes and events, such as He Timotimo, Eavesdropping Underwater, Chinese Language Week, Ozobots vs Minotaurs, and Beyond the Page, to name just a few. We’ve had a wonderful response to our events in 2019 and we’re looking forward to bringing you lots of new events in 2020.
I would like to end my message with a huge thank you to all our customers. Your support during what has been a difficult and busy time for all the Library staff and your positive response to the new libraries we’ve been opening in the CBD and in the hub at Waitohi has been so heartening for all of us. Our sincere thanks to you all.
Kia pai ngā hararei (have a happy holiday)!