COVID-19 Update – Libraries at Level 2

“Under Alert level 2 all libraries will remain open for normal hours, with a few changes to keep everyone safe and able to use our spaces,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “This includes encouraging everyone to follow the social distancing, use hand sanitiser and wear masks.”

Continue reading “COVID-19 Update – Libraries at Level 2”

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.

Book Club eBooks now ready to read on Libby

I once facilitated a book group every month on a Friday afternoon at the wonderfully diverse Newtown library involving 8 book-loving, library users. We would discuss the ideas, plots, characters, sense of place and theme of each book like this would be our last, usually over coffee, tea and scones.

Now, that sense of communal engagement can continue on a larger scale with our first collection of always available digital Book Club titles through the eBook and audio-book reading app Libby.

Libby Book Club

We have hundreds of titles to choose from across adult fiction, Aotearoa, nonfiction, kids and teen audiences for discovery by book groups, for community reads, and fiery or friendly discussion. Expect thought-provoking reads across genres like mystery, science fiction, classic literature, poetry and award-winning fiction but also best-selling popular biographies, science and business nonfiction.

Here’s a quick selectors pick of 10 of some of the always available titles ready to read now:

  1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Cotton
  2. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  3. The Bitterroots by C J Box
  4. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  5. Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird
  6. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
  7. Te Koparapara: An Introduction the the Maori World 
  8. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  9. Monster series by Michael Grant
  10. Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh

For even more options try our carefully chosen selection of over 370 classic novels by Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens – an entire pantheon of always available literary classics.

For more information on how to get started with the Libby app, go to our eLibrary page or contact us here for further helpful assistance.

Ancestry database now available at home

Staying at home may mean you are doing some of those things that have been sitting on your ‘To Do’  list for a long time.  If one of those tasks has been to sort through old family photos and papers and that gets you thinking that it’s time to research your family history but sadly the library is closed, then we have great news for you!

With kind permission from the people at Ancestry and Proquest, Wellington City Libraries’ cardholders will be able to access this amazing family history database from their own homes.  Usually, Ancestry is only available using our Library subscription from a library computer, but from now until the 30th April you will be able to have the same free access we can usually provide at the library in the comfort of your own home bubble.

**Update: home access to Ancestry has been extended until 31 August 2020.

Ancestry

Ancestry Library is a research database for genealogists and family history enthusiasts aiding you to trace your family history, with records from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

That includes historical births, deaths and marriages and electoral rolls.

To access the free library Ancestry database go here and login with your card details.  If you don’t have a library card yet you can register online to become a library member.

There are also lots of helpful links and advice on our genealogy page here  and our heritage page here.

Have fun but a word of warning – starting family research and the thrill of the hunt can be quite addictive, so be careful you don’t get lost chasing leads down too many rabbit holes!!

All library branches are closed temporarily

“To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, we have closed all Wellington City Libraries branches temporarily from Sunday 22 March,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “This follows an announcement from the Mayor for Wellington, Andy Foster earlier today.”

Library customers can access a range of online resources at wcl.govt.nz/elibrary. This includes online storytimes, eBooks, newspapers, movies, and online courses.

Explore our eLibrary

All due dates have been extended to 4 May. We will waive any overdues related to the closures. Please keep items at home until our libraries re-open.

Answers to more frequently asked questions can be found on our COVID-19 FAQs page.

If you have any further questions please contact us by email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz, or by messaging us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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

 

Wellington to have a third new central city library

CBD 3

Wellington is to have a third new central city library, this time in the Harbour City Centre on Brandon Street. Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the Council has finalised a partnership with building owners Cornerstone Partners making the central location possible. He says the Council expects the new library to open early next year. He says the library will be the largest of the Council’s three CBD branches to be developed at around 1400 square metres across a ground and a mezzanine level. A privately operated café will operate on the ground floor next to the library.

The Mayor says that careful planning is underway to make best use of the space for study, relaxation and access to collections and services. “This fantastic location has given the Council an opportunity to develop another fresh and innovative space for Wellingtonians to learn, relax and be inspired.”

Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the planned Brandon Street library will complete the new CBD library network, along with Arapaki Manners Library, and He Matapihi Molesworth Library which is due to open in October.

Councillor Fitzsimons says she’s delighted that the new library will focus on children and families, with a dedicated space for a children’s collection, parents’ room and the very popular Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions. “We’re looking forward to bringing programming for children and families back into the central city as the space will give us the ability to hold regular and one-off events.” She says the new library’s wide-ranging collection will have around 20,000 items, almost tripling the number of items on offer to members in the CBD library network.

New Collection and Distribution Centre
The Council has also found a home for Wellington Central Library’s collection of 400,000 items in Johnsonville. The Mayor says the Council is leasing a 2000 square metre, two storey site at 141 Johnsonville Road and will begin development on a new collection and distribution centre.

He says finding the right site marks a key milestone to making items in the Central Library collection accessible once more following the closure of the Central Library building earlier this year. It will give Wellington City Libraries Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui a new centre to manage the entire network’s collection, as the Central Library previously provided this function.

“We’re extremely pleased with this location. It’s been a challenge to locate a safe and suitable space in Wellington which is large enough and ticks all the boxes. This site has excellent access to major transport routes and the building is structurally strong enough to house the collection, with the correct climatic conditions.”

The Council will use the present Johnsonville Library building as an interim extra warehouse facility, once the new Waitohi Library opens in December. The Mayor says more decisions have yet to be made around the new operating model, “but we’re happy to be in a position to now move ahead.”

Work to get the site ready is expected to take several months and items will be available to library members to request after the collection has been relocated.

Before then, Wellingtonians will see over 30,000 items across the CBD library network become available in the next few months: Arapaki Manners Library has a collection of 8,000 accessible items; He Matapihi Molesworth Library, due to open in October, will add around 5,000 items; and the new Brandon Street library will add another 20,000 items when it opens. Wellington’s 11 branch libraries presently hold around 250,000 items which library members can access.

Further information on the new Brandon Street library

  • Once completed, the new library is expected to be open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am to 5pm and have a 24/7 book returns facility.
  • Items in the collection will include fiction, non-fiction, audio-visual and world languages collections.
  • The new library will have dedicated zones with a variety of seating and spaces for quiet or collaborative work.
  • Popular programmes like Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme and pre-school storytimes are planned to be offered along with other events which could include book clubs and author talks, free movie screenings, creative projects and activities.
  • Customers will have access to the library catalogue and website, and a full range of self service options with staff on hand to help.
  • Public computers, printing and photocopying facilities will be available with free Wi-Fi.

Tablets are free to borrow!

Tablet

Customers are able to borrow iPad minis for free for three weeks! Adult customers have been able to borrow iPad minis at the price of $5 per 3 weeks for a couple of years now – but from 15 August 2019, the iPads have become free to borrow. So you now can take the opportunity to get connected with family and friends, read the most recent eBooks and eAudio (Libby and Borrowbox) and magazines (RBdigital), or update your computer skills with any one of the thousands of courses available (Lynda.com).

Tablets are able to be borrowed at the following libraries : Te Awe, Miramar, Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, Island Bay, Mervyn Kemp (Tawa), Johnsonville, Khandallah, Cummings Park (Ngaio) and Karori.

Please make a booking if you would like a free introduction to the library’s eResources, and a staff member will contact you to confirm your tablet pickup time. Alternatively, ask one of our staff at the libraries above about borrowing a tablet, and if a tablet is available you will be able to borrow it immediately.
(Please note: tablets cannot be renewed and must be returned to the issuing branch.)