You can’t beat Wellington on a Fines Free day

Wellington City Libraries is fines free from 1 July! Councillors decided to go fines free after strong support in the community consultation on the Annual Plan in April. Most respondents supported this proposal.

This decision means :

  • no overdue fines will be charged from 1 July 2022 onwards
  • we will wipe any unpaid overdue fines on peoples’ library cards as at 30 June 2022.  We’ve waived your library fines goodbye.

We’re looking forward to never having to say “Do you know you have some overdue fines on your card?” ever again!

Here are some answers to questions you might have about these changes:

Why are we removing overdue fines?We want everyone to have fair and easy access to information, reading, and learning through the library.  Fines disproportionately affect those who cannot afford to pay.  For many customers, fines act as a barrier to using our services, and there is no evidence that fines encourage people to bring items back earlier.  Removing fines increases the number of customers able to use our libraries.  The Council approved our new fines free policy in the Annual Plan after community consultation.

Will I still receive notifications about due dates? Yes, you will continue to receive reminders about due dates.

Will I be refunded any fines paid before 1 July?There will be no refunds on fines paid prior to 1 July.

What happens if I lose or don’t return a book?Our existing rules around lost items remain the same. If you have items not returned after 30 days, you will be charged the replacement cost fee and your library card will be blocked until you have paid this fee, or returned the item.

Will I be able to use my library card again after 1 July if there are fines on my card currently?Yes, you will be able to use your library card again from 1 July, if there are no other outstanding fees.

Will all debt (lost and damaged items, holds, etc.) be wiped from 1 July or just fines?No, only current debt relating to overdue fines will be removed on 1 July.  Other fees such as replacement costs, expired reserves fees, interloans fees, or outstanding debt that has previously been referred to a debt collection agency, will remain on your card, and continue to apply.

Exciting New Online Resources

July is the time of year when Wellington City Libraries welcomes new products into our range of online resources.

We’re very happy to announce that soon, you will see some brand new resources over a wide range of subjects and covering many years of great content.

For lovers of science and nature, we are adding the Smithsonian Collection, as well as the latest magazines and archived editions of National Geographic and National Geographic Kids.

Family historians will enjoy an expanded archive of British Historical Newspapers, including more titles and time periods.

And the business world is represented with new access to The Economist Historical Archive 1843-2020.

However, July will also see the end of access to some of our existing products.  With some regret, we are saying good-bye to Lingogo and the Vogue Archive.  Tumblebooks will end, but we hope our young readers will continue to enjoying using Storybox.  Oddizzi is also not being renewed, but we hope that National Geographic Kids will be a great source of education and wonder.

You can learn more about all the online resources available through Wellington City libraries on our website.  All you need is your library card!

Visiting the library under Orange settings

As of Thursday 14 April 2022, all libraries in the Wellington City Libraries’ network remain open under Orange settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, with masks required.

To keep everyone safe please:

  • wear a mask unless you have an exemption
  • follow any guidance from our staff or signs
  • stay home if you’re unwell, or someone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19
  • be kind – library staff are doing their best to offer our full range of services and facilities

At Orange, programming can be run, and we have resumed events and programmes from Tuesday 7 June 2022.

From time to time, we may have to postpone or cancel events if there are staff shortages and we will give as much notice as possible if this happens.

Check the Event Calendar and our social media for any updates.
If you’re unwell, please stay home until you’ve recovered.

Event calendar

The Hive Makerspace at Johnsonville Library in Waitohi has re-opened for visits. They are also accepting Laser cutter and 3D Printing jobs over email. More details on our Makerspace page.

The Hive Makerspace

All library members can continue to access a huge range of online resources via our eLibrary – this includes eBooks, magazines, movies, and online courses.

Answers to frequently asked questions about library services under Orange settings can be found on our COVID faqs.

COVID faqs

If you have any queries, please contact Wellington City Libraries by calling 04 801 4040 during office hours or email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Alternatively, you can message us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Events and opening hours from Tues 7 June

hand showing update sign

hand showing update sign

Kia ora koutou! We are so excited to let you know that this week, from Tuesday 7 June, we’re extending our hours and many of our programmes and events are resuming.

Our “new” normal hours are a bit different from our pre-COVID opening hours — read on to find out more!

You might be aware that since last year, we’ve been running shorter hours across most of our libraries to manage the demands of COVID. This has been especially important during Omicron, as so many of our staff have been unwell with COVID, or have had to isolate as household contacts.

In the last month we’ve been gradually returning to normal staffing levels, and we’re now ready to extend hours at some branches from today, Tuesday 7 June.

Our “new” normal hours are a bit different from our pre-COVID opening hours. We hope you’ll have a chance to check your favourite branches and find new times to visit and borrow!

Children’s Programmes Returning at Orange!

decorative graphic showing two cute whale and crocodile charactes

decorative graphic showing two cute whale and crocodile charactesKia ora koutou! We are so excited to let you know that next week, from the 7th of June, some of our popular children’s programmes are returning to our libraries! It’s been some time since we have been able to run these events in a consistent way for you all, so we thought we’d lay out the current schedule for you below. We can’t wait to see you there!

With COVID -19 still in the community, please remember that all of these days and times are subject to staff availability, and we may need to change them from time to time. The library’s event calendar will always have the right days and times!

Continue reading “Children’s Programmes Returning at Orange!”

Update on email notifications

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Unfortunately, over the past week there was an outage of our email notifications, which meant they failed to send. While this issue is now resolved, this means that if you have reserves available, or items coming due (or overdue) you won’t have been alerted by email.hand showing update sign

If you have active loans or reserves, please check your library card via the online catalogue or via our WCL Mini app, to see their current status.

We apologise if you were affected by this issue. If you would like to contact library staff about your account, please visit your local branch library, or email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz 

Visiting the library under Red settings

As of Friday 8 April 2022, all libraries in the Wellington City Libraries’ network remain open under Red settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, with masks required.

He Matapihi Library is the only branch to require Covid Vaccine Pass (CVP) when you visit. This is because we are a tenant of the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ). NLNZ are currently consulting with their staff on the CVP requirements.

To keep everyone safe please:

  • wear a mask unless you have an exemption
  • follow any guidance from our staff or signs
  • be kind – library staff are doing their best to offer our full range of services and facilities while managing the required sign in checks.

Our programming is mostly online under Red settings. Please check our Libraries’ event calendar for in-person programming and events as they resume.

Event calendar

The Hive Makerspace at Johnsonville Library in Waitohi has re-opened for visits. They are also accepting Laser cutter and 3D Printing jobs over email. More details on our Makerspace page.

The Hive Makerspace

All library members can continue to access a huge range of online resources via our eLibrary – this includes eBooks, magazines, movies, and online courses.

Answers to frequently asked questions about library services under Red settings can be found on our COVID faqs.

COVID faqs

If you have any queries, please contact Wellington City Libraries by calling 04 801 4040 during office hours or email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Alternatively, you can message us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Charity auction of twelve seats from Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui (Wellington Central Library)

Wellington City Libraries is auctioning twelve seats designed by renowned studio furnituremaker, sculptor and design educator, Carin Wilson for a charity fundraiser (less Dunbar Sloane’s commission).

With the re-strengthening and re-design of Te Matapihi starting in late 2022, we have stored a number of fittings and furniture, including examples of the unique seating Carin Wilson designed for Te Matapihi when it opened in the 1990s. After working with a heritage advisor and Athfield Architects, we will reuse over half of the designer seats in Te Matapihi. We identified four Kura Kowhatu chairs and eight of the plywood chairs which will be put forward for auction with Dunbar Sloane. The first one was in early December 2021 and the second one will open on 22 March. The proceeds (less the auction house’s commission) will be donated to a charity that will be confirmed in late April 2022.

People can bid for their own part of Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui (Central Library) at the Dunbar Sloane website.

Next steps on proposal for removing overdue library fines

You would have heard the great news that we are proposing to remove fines for overdue library items from 1 July 2022 in the upcoming draft Annual Plan. There are a few steps to take before this may become a reality.

Step one – gaining audit approval
We are updating the draft Annual Plan to reflect this change with the updated revenue figures (to remove the current and projected overdue fines) which then goes to external auditors for approval. If they approve the draft 2022/23 Annual Plan we go to step two…asking the public for their views!

Step two – consult with the public
Between Friday 1 April to Monday 2 May we will asking people for their views on the fine removal, and a range of other changes proposed in the draft Annual Plan. We will share information about how you can do this through both the Libraries and Council channels before the consultation process opens.

Step three – Annual Plan is confirmed
We will provide any feedback to Council who will consider this proposal, alongside others and then confirm what will or won’t be included 2022/23 Annual Plan.

If the proposal to remove overdues fines is adopted:

  • no overdue fines would be charged from 1 July 2022 onwards
  • we would wipe any outstanding overdue fines on peoples’ library cards as at 30 June 2022. This would not cover:
    • any debt which has been sent to an external debt collector
    • borrowing fees, such as hiring Bestseller items or DVDs/CDs, which would still apply.
  • we would continue to send reminders to people to return items that are due or overdue.
  • library cards would continue to be blocked once items have been overdue well past the due date.
  • to continue using your card between now and 1 July 2022, please pay any fines, otherwise your card will be blocked according to current criteria (if you owe over $50).

How to have your say on the proposal
We will share information about how you can do this through both our Libraries and Council social media and websites prior to and during the consultation process opening. We expect this will be towards late March as the consultation process runs from  Friday 1 April to Monday 2 May.

If you have any questions in the meantime, you can call us on (04) 801 4040 or email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz.