The Aotearoa Reference collection is now available

NZ collection sign

Our NZ reference collection can now be requested. These items can be identified in the catalogue as held at the Offsite NZ Collection. We regret the time taken to make this large collection available. Our preparations were interrupted more than once by factors outside our control. We are still working through the process to stock-check all the books that were brought out of the Central Library. As soon as books are checked they will be made available on our online catalogue. If you have a particular request which you can’t find in the catalogue, please let us know, and we will make this a priority.

Please use this email address heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz to make your request and one of our team will retrieve it for you. Don’t forget to let us know your library card number and which branch you would like to view the book at. You will receive two emails, one confirming the request, and the second when the book has arrived at the branch. This is a free request service.

Most books will be available for you to consult for three weeks at the library branch. If you don’t need the books for three weeks, just let the staff in the branch library know and they will return the book for you.

If you need to renew the item for a further 3 weeks, make a request through the same email heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz and the library team will check if there is another customer waiting.

Packing up Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui (Wellington Central Library)

We are excited to have started carefully packing up Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui – Wellington Central Library. Behind the hoardings, the experienced Crown Relocations team has begun the eight-week process of moving the historic fittings into storage for the next four years. This involves carefully removing, labelling, itemising, and wrapping the fixtures following the guidance of our heritage expert. They will also upcycle or recycle standard office furniture, or library equipment that is not going into storage or being used elsewhere within Council.

When?

They will work during the working week (Monday to Friday) and expect to finish by November, unless we experience a delay, such as an increase in Alert level.

How?

The team at Crown Relocation are working to lessen any noise for the neighbouring residents and businesses as much as they can by using the basement to move items out of the library. So please be aware of trucks entering and leaving the basement entrance on Harris Street.

If you’re walking into Te Ngākau Civic Precinct from Victoria Street you’ll see a small hoarding has been put up next to Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui. Behind it is a temporary skip bin where any rubbish or broken equipment is being put. If you happen to be in the Precinct when the bin is being replaced, please follow the signage and instructions of the Crown Relocations staff to keep everyone safe.

What’s next?

Over the coming four years we’re strengthening and modernising Te Matapihi. This includes installing base isolators; expanding levels three and four; designing spaces for our Libraries, City Archives, Council Service Centre, and Capital E to bring back Wellington’s much-loved community living room in the CBD.

From October, we will share regular updates on how the design for Te Matapihi is progressing through our Wellington City Libraries and Council newsletters, social media and websites. So sign up or follow the latest news at www.wellington.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-information

Council News and Information

Kaiārahi Kohikohinga – Māori reference collection is now available

Our Māori reference collection, one of the country’s best collections of Māori books, can now be requested. These can be identified in the catalogue as held at the Offsite Maori Collection, with a location of heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz.

Please use this email address heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz to make your request and one of our team will retrieve it for you. Don’t forget to let us know your library card number and which branch you would like to view the book at. You will receive two emails, one confirming the request, and the second when the book has arrived at the branch. This is a free request service.

Most books will be available for you to consult for three weeks at the library branch. If you don’t need the books for three weeks, just let the staff in the branch library know and they will return the book for you.

If you need to renew the item for a further 3 weeks, make a request through the same email heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz and the library team will check if there is another customer waiting.

Further details about the collection.

Central Library design principles agreed

Wellington City Council has adopted four principles that will guide the design for modernising the Central Library building within the remediation plans.

This includes extending the floor space and working with other organisations to offer people a broader range of services and innovative ways to engage with the collections.

“Wellingtonians were very clear when we consulted last year that we need a highly resilient central library building. Strengthening gives us the opportunity to hugely improve the library’s relationship to Te Ngākau Civic Square and surrounding streets, and to completely rethink its interior,” says Mayor Andy Foster.

“Future proofing the library, providing more space for people, and introducing new services and technology were also overwhelmingly supported by Wellingtonians.

“Today we adopted design principles that will guide the reshaping of the interior library space. These principles will provide much wanted technologies and ways to access the collection, along with new spaces and services for existing and new library users. I am particularly excited to confirm integration of Capital E, our City Archives and City Service Centre into the library, and that it will be an inclusive and more accessible building than before.

“I have no doubt that our Central Library, Te Matapihi, will rapidly become an even more treasured place for all Wellingtonians.”

“We also agreed to a modest (880sq metre) extension to the Level 3 and 4 office space that sits above the library proper. This extension will be net positive in terms of revenue to Council and make the existing office space more useable. We also agreed to making the building a 5-star green building which includes the consideration of a rooftop garden space in the design.”

At today’s meeting the Mayor put forward an amendment for officers to investigate the feasibility of including a Literary Hub within the Central Library which was adopted. This proposal was spoken to in the Public Participation part of the meeting by Claire Mabey of Verb Wellington, and Juliet Blyth of ReadNZ, who spoke on behalf of Te Ha, ReadNZ, Booksellers, Publisher’s Association and Verb Wellington.

The Council’s Libraries Portfolio Lead, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, says working with partners, including Mana Whenua, Capital E, the Council’s Service Centre and Wellington City Archives will uncover the potential for people to connect with the collections and spaces, and offer a broader range of services in innovative ways.

“As well as returning the aspects of the library people value such as spaces to study, connect and read the collection, we are investigating how we may provide new programmes, such as makerspaces. We are working through how this may look, which we plan to share in the coming months.

“One principle which starts today is calling the Central Library by its gifted name Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, which already sits above its entrances. This name, gifted by Te Taura Whiri o te reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) when the building originally opened, reflects the Library’s purpose ‘to open windows on the wide world’.

“Our libraries strive to be places where everyone is welcome and have opportunities to view the world in different ways, and for knowledge to be passed on.”

The design principles were developed through early engagement with Mana Whenua, key stakeholders, and potential partners, and our library teams. They also align to the draft design principles for Te Ngākau Civic Precinct. These were adopted, along with a few amendments, by the Council last Thursday.

The options to extend levels three and four will now be included in the detailed design process which is currently underway. We will share more information on the process and a further detailed Design and Service Level Brief in the coming month.

Background
The Central Library building was closed in March 2019 following an engineering assessment saying the way the floor was designed presented a high level of potential failure in a significant earthquake The Council moved quickly to set up an interim CBD library service at three new branches.
The Council then worked through a process with its consultant engineers to establish the range of options to remediate the Central Library building. Three schemes were scoped that offered low, mid, and high levels of resilience.

Following a Special Consultative Procedure in 2020, Council resolved to progress Option C, high-level remediation through base isolation, to the Long-term Plan (LTP) which is now open for public consultation. In the LTP the public is being asked for their views on how to fund the $187.4m library remediation project, and when the project should take place.

The preferred option includes the Council agreeing to temporarily breach its debt limit of 225% to ensure the library can be refurbished in the original timeframe and remain in public ownership.
The debt level will remain at 225%, and the Council has agreed to accept the breach in the first three years of this plan. This breach will be mitigated by any capital underspend being used for the library project rather than on new projects. Our debt level will be back below the limit by year 4 – 2024/25.

The other two options are to:

  • delay the project for up to three years until it can be funded within the Council’s current debt limit, or,
  • fund the project by increasing rates further.

More information about the options can be found on pages 42 and 43 of the consultation document.

More detail can be found in the Council meeting agenda for Thursday 15 April.

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.