Share your views on the Central Library by 5pm, Monday 7 September

Thank you to everyone who has made a submission on the future of the Central Library. If you haven’t had the chance to yet – it’s not too late!

You can make your submission by:

  • completing an online submission form
  • picking up a printed submission form from your nearest library branch
  • downloading a freepost printed submission form under the ‘Document library’. You can
  • post it to us on Monday 7 September and it will be counted
  • or scan and email it to centrallibrarysubmissions@wcc.govt.nz by 5pm, Monday 7 September.

Information to help inform your submission

We’ve put together a Statement of Proposal, which outlines the options; how they were assessed and others which were discarded.

You can pick one of the five proposed options, or provide your own idea, or say if you prefer an option which was not put forward.

We were fortunate to have a range of engaging speakers discuss the role of a Central Library; the potential opportunities for creating stronger spaces, connections and meaning for people who use them and the engineering challenges with the current building. You can watch videos of the three webinars below.

Future of the Central Library consultation

Webinar 1 : Who loves our libraries?

Our guest speakers were:

  • MC — Mayor Andy Foster
  • Claire Mabey, Verb Wellington
  • Ella Flavell, Chair Youth Council
  • Sandra McCallum, General Manager Changemakers

Watch the video here:

Webinar 2 : Spaces for everyone

Our guest speakers were:

  • MC — Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons
  • Anne Goulding, Professor of Information Services Management, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Chris Hay, Manager Tūranga Library & Chair-elect Public Libraries New Zealand Juliet Blyth, Chief Executive Read NZ

Watch the video here:

Webinar 3: Why the Central Library closed and restoring the service to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct

Our guest speaker was Tony Holden, Associate, Senior Structural Engineer Aurecon with Peter Brennan, Manager Property, Wellington City Council.

Watch the video here:

Our consultation website, www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/centrallibrary, provides news, frequently asked questions, links to key documents such as previous engineering documents and assessments.

If you have any questions you can use the “Ask a question” section towards the bottom of the homepage, or email centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz

Thank you for taking the time to shape the future of our Central Library service.

Sign-up to the online Central Library consultation events

Consultation on the Central Library is moving online under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 with three webinar events for the public – and everyone is welcome. “We’ve had a great response so far with over 300 submissions in the first weeks. But we want to hear from more Wellingtonians about their views on the future of the Central Library service to help inform our decisions in late October,” says Mayor Andy Foster.

“Our Library team has been out with the Planning for Growth Tiny House to answer peoples’ questions and share information about the current building and future options. Unfortunately, we had to move the events planned in our library branches to online webinars while we limit the visitor numbers under Alert Level 2,” he adds.

Libraries portfolio holder Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says: “We are lucky to have a number of experts from the literacy, learning, arts, community and engineering sectors who will discuss how library spaces, programming and events can play a key role in influencing how people engage and connect with one another and the library’s collections.

“These panel discussions are a great opportunity to discuss how making the space safe for people to be in, and how this creates new possibilities for how communities use the space over the coming decades. A great example of the new opportunities modern libraries can provide people with can be seen in the dynamic Johnsonville Library, and the welcoming Te Awe Library spaces in Brandon Street.”

The three speaker events are:

Who loves our libraries? 6pm – 7pm, Friday 28 August
Come and join in the discussions with speakers from different community or sector areas, on how the Central Library supported people and communities, and the potential opportunities for creating stronger spaces, connections and meaning for everyone.

Speakers: Claire Mabey, Verb Wellington; Ella Flavell, Chair Youth Council; Sandra McCallum, General Manager Changemakers
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8802363946198864656

Spaces for everyone – 6pm – 7pm, Monday 31 August.
Join in the discussions with library, literature and research experts reimagining how the Central Library building, collections and spaces could reflect the past and create new spaces for everyone.

Speakers: Anne Goulding, Professor of Information Services Management, Victoria University of Wellington; Chris Hay, Manager Tūranga Library & Chair-elect Public Libraries New Zealand; Juliet Blyth, Chief Executive Read NZ
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6748343184596616462

Why the Central Library closed and restoring the service to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct – 12pm – 1pm, Wednesday 2 September
The Central Library building itself isn’t safe to use. Hear about what closed the building and what is involved in making the building safe again for everyone to use.

Speakers: Tony Holden, Associate, Senior Structural Engineer Aurecon with Peter Brennan, Manager Property, Wellington City Council
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6520247298401358608
As well as continuing to visit the CBD and suburbs with the Planning for Growth team information kiosk over the coming weeks, we will also provide some online drop-in sessions where you can ask questions of the project team.

For the latest list of events please go to: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library/widgets/302558/key_dates#132595

How to have your say on the future Central Library service: Complete an online submission form at https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library/

You can also download a copy of the Statement of Proposal and a printed submission form under the ‘Document library’ on the right-hand side of the website. Or you can pick up printed copies from your nearest library branch.

You can provide your views on five options proposed in the Statement of Proposal, or provide your own idea, or say if you prefer an option which was not put forward.
Submissions close at 5pm, Monday 7 September 2020.

Share your views on the future of the Central Library

Monday 27 July marks the start of a six-week public consultation to gather Wellingtonians’ views on restoring the Central Library service in the heart of the city.

“We know how frustrating the closure of the Central Library building is, which is why we sped up the decision-making as quickly as the Local Government Act allowed us to,” says Mayor Andy Foster.

“We are looking forward to hearing Wellingtonians views and we also want to bring life back to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.”“The building itself is deemed unsafe for people to be in, and there are several ways to remedy this, which also creates new possibilities in how we create the space to meet the changing needs of our growing modern city.”

“The Central Library has been treasured by generations of Wellingtonians as a special place in the heart of our city,” said Libraries Portfolio holder Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons.
“I encourage all Wellingtonians, young and old to have a say about the future of the Library. We need to hear your questions, your views and your aspirations for our Central Library so we can make a good decision that will be well supported by residents.”

“The Statement of Proposal outlines five options for retaining a Central Library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct,” says Councillor Iona Pannett, Portfolio Leader for Resilient Buildings. “Three remediate the existing building to a low, mid, or high level and two more suggest building a new library on either the existing site or another site within Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.”

“It also discusses other options which have been discarded, as they were not practicable. We are keen to understand what options you prefer, and the factors behind your decision, or whether you prefer another option.”

Sign up at https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library to stay-up-to-date with the latest news, find out when events are happening near you and read the Statement of Proposal on the Future of Central Library Consultation. Paper copies of both documents will be available at all library branches from Monday 27 July.

Everyone is invited to complete a submission form between Monday 27 July and 5pm, Monday 7 September. The public are also welcome to make their submission in person to the Strategy and Policy Committee on Wednesday 22 September. To do this, select this option in your submission form.

Central Library fiction available to reserve

“We are excited to announce our Wellington City Libraries customers can begin reserving fiction books online from the Central Library collection through our new Collection and Distribution Centre (CDC),” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager.

“Once items are reserved through the catalogue they will be delivered to the library branch the customer has chosen. This should take between one to three working days. Our teams will continue to help people find items and place reserves for them where they need it.”

“People can reserve titles from the fiction collection for adult readers at catalogue.wcl.govt.nz. We will add the young adults and children’s fiction over the coming weeks, followed by the non-fiction titles. After that, we’ll work through the reference collections and how we can make these accessible. We’ll keep customers updated as more parts of the collection become available.”

“It’s been mammoth job to find a space with the right climatic conditions and strength to house the more than 350,000 items which remained at the Central Library after taking out the 60,000 items that are available at our three interim CBD libraries. While we opened two of the interim branches last year – Arapaki Manners Library and He Matapihi Library – our plans to open the third library and the CDC in May were delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown. So we are excited the collection is now accessible, and we are opening Te Awe Library at 9:30am, Tuesday 14 July. We’d very much like to thank our customers for their patience and support over the past fifteen months.”

How library customers can reserve items:

In the New Catalogue (catalogue.wcl.govt.nz), look for items held at the “Off-site Storage” location, and select Place Reserve as you do for other items:

The Collection and Distribution Centre in Johnsonville and the library teams based there, manage the distribution of the thousands of new and current library items which are borrowed from, or returned to our 14 library branches every day. The Centre is closed to the public.

Te Awe Library to open Tuesday 14 July

Wellington City Council is pleased to announce the third and largest interim library in the CBD, Te Awe Library (meaning White Feathers), will open to the public from 9.30am, Tuesday 14 July.

“We are delighted to announce we are opening Te Awe Library with a dawn ceremony this coming Tuesday,” says Mayor Andy Foster. “Te Awe Library is the largest of the three, interim CBD libraries we designed for people to use while decisions on the Central Library service are made, and subsequent physical works undertaken.

“Everyone will find something to enjoy in our new oasis in the city among the more than 20,000 items including fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, CD and vinyl, as well as the many popular events and programmes our libraries are known for. It will also bring additional life to this part of the Golden Mile.”

Community Well-Being portfolio lead Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says Te Awe Library is going to be great for children and young people.

“There is a large space, dedicated for them to read, play, and take part in popular programmes and events like Baby Rock and Rhyme, Storytimes, and Lego Sundays. Baby Rock and Rhyme is a Wellington institution loved by babies and parents alike. I know families have been really missing it, many will breathe a sigh of relief with its return to the central city,” says Councillor Fitzsimons.

The team of specialist librarians have carefully selected the more than 20,000 items in the collection to reflect the interests of customers and added new or related themes to help further exploration, says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager.

“People will find plenty of seating and quiet zones to study, read, or for groups to gather and chill. There are also spaces and meeting rooms where we’ll run a range of events for everyone, such as movie nights.

“Music lovers and aficionados will enjoy a strong CD and vinyl collection, including many hard to find or stream albums, plus most of New Zealand’s Flying Nun releases. Our music specialists have highlighted seminal or must-hear albums from around the world using new, blue ‘Essential listening’ stickers.

“We all know how important good coffee is for Wellingtonians, so we’re also excited to have Corey and the Collective Café team as neighbours, which will open beside the library on Wednesday 15 July. Everyone will be able to enjoy a hot drink, including Peoples’ coffee, or choose something tasty from their range of organic, free-range food while reading a magazine or finding the latest books.”

After the opening ceremony, Te Awe Library will welcome the public from 9.30am, Tuesday 14 July. This branch’s normal opening hours will run from 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

We will swap the central city weekend hours from Arapaki Manners Library to our larger Te Awe Library. So from Monday 13 July, Arapaki Manners Library will be open between 8am – 7pm, Monday to Friday and closed on weekends.

Te Awe Library can be accessed via either 29 Brandon Street or Panama Street next to the Collective Café.

There are return slots at both entrances, and the one in Panama Street is open after-hours.

Map of our 3 CBD Branch locations

Update on future Central Library services

This afternoon the Mayor Andy Foster, Deputy Mayor Sarah Free, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons and Councillor Iona Pannett shared a paper going to Council that outlines a range of scenarios available to strengthen and refurbish the Central Library, and options to accommodate the Central Library services. It also seeks Council approval to kick off a broad public engagement process to seeks people’s views on what that value and expect from a modern 21st century library.

This is a significant investment for Wellington and ratepayers. The estimated costs to strengthen the building range from $36m to $133m, plus approximately $40m for upgrading the building’s support services and systems, like the lifts, air-conditioning. The building’s interior will also need to be upgraded as it has not changed since it opened in 1991. This is predicted to cost between $20-30m.

“Libraries at their heart are spaces for people,” says Laurinda Thomas, Manager Libraries and Community Spaces. “This is why we are keen to talk to people throughout late June and August about what they want and expect from a redeveloped Central Library Service. Peoples’ views will help us design the different zones where people can go to find quiet spaces, interact with others or learn; join events and programmes, and ensure they are accessible and welcoming to everyone. This will be used to develop a design concept which will be which will be put out for public consultation as part of the Long Term Plan process.”

“We are also closer to the Central Library collection being available again, and opening the third and largest interim library in the CBD. Work on Te Awe Library in Brandon Street and the new Collection and Distribution Centre in Johnsonville were originally to have opened this week. This has been delayed as work stopped on 25 March under the Covid-19 lockdown. Our contractors and staff were able to begin work again under Alert Level 3 so we expect both services to be available in July.”

“The Central Library collection has also resumed its move to the new Collection and Distribution Centre. Once this is complete, library customers will be able to browse the collections virtually, alongside the current library catalogue (with staff assistance where required), and order items to pick up from the library branch of their choice. We know our customers miss the variety of the Central Library resources, so it was unfortunate to experience the delay in making this happen due to the lockdown. We appreciate everyone’s patience and will share more information about using the new collection around the end of June.”

You can read the media release and the links to the Council paper on the Wellington City Council website.

Central Library’s collection is on the move

The Central Library collection is getting ready for its new home in the Johnsonville Collection and Distribution Centre.  A mix of approximately 400,000 books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers and other reference materials will be carefully packed in order, moved and re-shelved over the coming eight weeks.

“We are pleased to be in the final stages of making the much-loved collection available once again, and we thank our customers for their ongoing support,” says Laurinda Thomas, Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces Manager.

“The Centre in Johnsonville provides both the climatic conditions, space and transport routes needed to manage the collection safely over the long term, until decisions can be made about the future central library services.”

“Although we move thousands of items around our 14 branches every day, this will jump substantially when people are able to order from the CDC. So we are finalising the ordering process and timings so people know what to expect. Towards late April we will advise customers how to order items, and the timings for when they can pick them up from the branch of their choice.”

Over 12,500 items are available in two of the three planned CBD libraries, which opened in May and October last year. Arapaki Library in Manners Street provides a mix of fiction, non-fiction and popular children’s titles. He Mataphi Library within the National Library has over 5,000 items with an Aotearoa and Māori focus.

The third and largest of the three CBD libraries, Te Awe will open in May. Te Awe will provide spaces where people can read, study or collaborate. There is also a dedicated space for a children’s collection, parents’ room and the popular Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions.

People will be able to access around 31,000 items which have been tailored to represent the diverse range of subjects which Central Library customers have requested or reserved.

Council staff will be providing advice to the Council on Wednesday 25 March on options for future central library services and the external engineering assessments on the Central Library building. We will share the papers on the Wellington City Council website on 19 March.

Wellington City Libraries’ rare book collection is now housed at the Wellington City Archives at 28 Barker Street.

More information:
Timeline for Wellington Central Library Replacement Services

 

Naming of our newest CBD library caps off busy year for library services

CBD 3

Wellington’s third CBD library has been gifted the name Te Awe (meaning white feathers or plumes) which caps off an eventful but productive year for the city’s library service, says Mayor Andy Foster.

The Mayor says 2019 was extremely busy for staff with the closure of the Central Library building, the opening of two new central city libraries and the Johnsonville Library at Waitohi, and the design and planning of Te Awe Library in Brandon Street. The new collection and distribution centre, which has been named Te Pātaka – a storehouse, is also under construction in Johnsonville and will house the Central Library’s collection of over 400,000 items.

“I’m proud of the many major milestones we have achieved in only nine months since the Central Library closure in March. As well as opening three new libraries, staff have delivered the popular ComicFest and Beyond the Page events, held the Kanopy Film Festival and expanded the digital collections that members can access.

“A new artwork and hoarding has been installed around the Central Library as we begin to look at options for the future of central city library services. This is part of Council’s Te Ngākau programme where staff are considering the future development of the Civic Precinct as a whole, including the Central Library building.” Council staff will be reporting to the Mayor and Councillors on this in March 2020.

“We know that libraries play a key role in the social infrastructure of our communities. They’re crucial to our city both in terms of providing access to a range of collections and programmes which inform, entertain and educate, but also in providing our communities a place to meet, talk and grow.”

Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says Te Awe Library is planned to open by May, which will give contractors time to fit out the space.

“We’re working closely with our architects to ensure the design makes best use of the space available and is fit for purpose as the largest new CBD library. The building has undergone significant structural strengthening and the new library space is currently a blank canvas so the fit out will take some months to complete.”

Councillor Fitzsimons says work on Te Pātaka is also well underway and staff expect to begin relocating items in the Central Library collection as soon as February 2020. Items may become available to library members to request as early as April 2020 by which time most items will have been relocated.

More information:
Central city library services FAQs
Timeline for Wellington Central Library Replacement Services

New artwork surrounding Central Library celebrates life of Jacquie Baxter

And only sea is the title of a new artwork on the hoarding surrounding Wellington Central Library, designed by Mata Aho Collective in collaboration with Andre Te Hira. The artwork celebrates the civic and literary life of poet J.C. Sturm, also known as Jacquie Baxter. Baxter worked as a librarian at the Central Library for over twenty years. She was one of the first Māori women to complete an undergraduate degree, the first Māori woman to attain an MA in Philosophy, and also one of the first Māori women to appear in print.

New artwork being installed at Central Library

The artists chose to render one of her poems On the building site for a new library (published 1996), as the work references the construction of the Central Library and also Wellington city’s land reclamation where Civic Square was once underwater. The artwork acknowledges the civic location and literary connection, tells a story about the history of the land and people – connects to the area’s Māori heritage and geography, and celebrates the importance of libraries to our cities as places of learning, refuge and relaxation.

The new artwork provides vibrancy to the area as the long term future of the building and Te Ngākau — Civic Precinct is worked through. There will be a blessing for the new artwork on Sunday 15 December.

To find out more about Jacquie’s life, library staff have compiled a biography, shown below.