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.

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

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.

New Wellington library space named

The new central city library service being developed in the National Library has been given the name He Matapihi Molesworth Library.

The announcement brings Wellingtonians a step closer to enjoying the new cooperative space on the ground floor of the National Library, which is expected to open later this year. The space is being developed in partnership with Wellington City Council.

He Matapihi means ‘a window’, and the name was put forward by Mana Whenua.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught says the name is well-suited for the space. “A window has a view and a connection between spaces. The name highlights the important relationships between He Matapihi Molesworth’s Aotearoa collection, a new shared area, and the National Library’s He Tohu exhibition and collections. People need to continue to have access to the knowledge that both our libraries contain. School visits to He Tohu will be among those to benefit from the new shared space.”

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says it’s been a great opportunity to work in partnership with the National Library on the development. He says the new space will complement National Library’s collections and gives Wellingtonians access to the new library’s Aotearoa and Māori collection of over 5000 books. “He Matapihi Molesworth will be a welcome addition to Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre which opened earlier this year, and will also give library users another service at the other end of the central city area.”

The new library’s collection, which can be borrowed by members, will range over topics such as Māori and Māori local history, NZ fiction, biography, books in Te Reo, art and architecture, natural history, and general history and social comment. It also offers a children’s section, magazines, access to digital content, free WiFi, public PCs, printing and seating spaces.

Dedicated staff from Wellington City Libraries will provide the new service, answer questions and join up new members.

 

Some of our Central Library magazines have found new homes

A selection of over 70 magazines that you used to find at the Central Library have recently found new homes at some of our branch libraries. View the complete list of the reallocated magazines and their new locations.

These magazines are now available to be borrowed – pop into the library to browse the collection, or you  search our catalogue by title – where you’ll be able to reserve the issue you want for free, to be picked up from the branch you choose.


Lunch Lady has found a new home at Kilbirnie library; a selection of new-to-Karori library magazines.

The libraries where you can find formerly-Central magazines are Brooklyn, Island Bay, Karori, Newtown, Tawa and Wadestown.

Returning your Central Library items

library updateAt the end of April we alerted customers that items loaned from the Central Library had their due dates extended to 19 June. If you have items borrowed from the Central Library, please make sure you return them to any of our 12 libraries so that other library members can enjoy our collections. There are still no fees applicable if you return your items to a branch other than the library you borrowed them from.

Overdue fees will apply if items are not returned or renewed by the due date. We have been sending out courtesy reminders to customers who have items due on that date. If you don’t already receive courtesy reminders, please make sure that your contact details are up to date by emailing us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or talking to library staff.

New co-operative space to open at National Library

A partnership between the National Library and Wellington City Council to develop library services was announced today by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.

The Minister says since Wellington’s Central Library was closed, the National Library has been working with the Council to look at creative ways to deliver complementary services.

“Both share the goal of making sure people have access to knowledge. It’s great there’s going to be a new co-operative space, where some of Wellington’s Central Library services and collection can complement National Library’s open access research collections,” says Minister Martin.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught says the new space will be adjacent to the popular He Tohu exhibition. “National Library school group visitors will be able to use the new ‘bleachers’ mini theatre area for visits to He Tohu.

Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, says Wellingtonians are missing the Central Library and this is one way this special collaboration can enhance library services to customers. “We’re really excited to work together with the National Library for the benefit of Wellingtonians and all New Zealanders. The partnership with the National Library will form a part of the Capital’s replacement library services network,” says Justin Lester.

The new co-operative space is expected to be open in September offering customers a small collection of books and magazines to browse and borrow, access to digital content, free WiFi, and public PCs. A librarian will be on hand to answer questions and join up new members.

Questions and answers for the National Library & WCC Partnership

When will the partnership space open?
It will take some time to fit out and set up the space, but we aim to have it open in September.

How long will the partnership space be open?
This depends on the Council’s eventual decision about the future of the Central Library building and the National Library’s future use plans for the site. It could be several years before we have a Central Library again.  Our initial partnership agreement is until the end of 2021, at which time both parties will review and agree any changes.

What can I borrow from this library?
We expect around 7,000 items will be available to browse and borrow. Items will have a New Zealand focus and complement the National Library’s existing collection.

What else can I do there?
Get access to digital content, free WiFi, and public PCs with scanning and printing facilities. A librarian will be on hand to answer questions and join up new members.

How many library staff will work there?
Up to 5 Wellington City Libraries’ staff will be based at the partnership space.

When will other pop-up libraries open?
Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre is set to open on Tuesday 28 May.  Details about other library sites in the CBD network will be available in the coming weeks.

What’s happening with the Central Library building?
At this stage we are awaiting further engineering advice on what the options are for addressing the structural issues with the building.  It is likely there will be a range of options for how we approach this and we don’t know yet if this will include any kind of upgrading or redevelopment beyond the required remedial work.

Library services return to central city on 28 May

A new pop-up library to open on Tuesday 28 May sees library services returning to central Wellington for the first time since the closure of the Central Library in March. The new pop-up library at 12 Manners Street is co-located with the Wellington City Council Service Centre, which is moving from its current location on Wakefield Street.

“After the Central Library closed unexpectedly, we grabbed the opportunity to quickly open a pop-up library alongside our new Service Centre location. Manners Street is the perfect spot for the first in our new network of library services for the CBD,” says Mayor, Justin Lester.

Artist impression of Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre

The pop-up library and service centre is called Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre. Arapaki are ornamental lattice-work, used particularly between carvings around the walls of meeting houses, and are unique because it takes two artists working together to complete every arapaki. The name was gifted to the site by Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika.

“I know how much Wellingtonians are feeling the loss of the Central Library. I want to assure people the Council is working hard to create the right combination of services and locations for pop-ups across the CBD to help fill the gap left behind. Arapaki is just the start.”

Arapaki will be home to roughly 7,500 items on the shelves at any one time. A small children’s collection will feature alongside a range of fiction, non-fiction and AV items, plus internet access computers and some casual seating. Library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

All the services that are currently available at the Service Centre will continue to be available at the new location.  These include free Wi-Fi, self-service computers and a payments desk.

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds Wellington City Council’s community facilities portfolio, says Arapaki will be a busy site, with a high collection turnover.  “I would like to remind borrowers there is no need to wait until Arapaki is open to return items loaned from the Central Library before it closed. They can be returned to any of our branch libraries or the returns box at 101 Wakefield St.”

Arapaki Library and Service Centre will be open for Service Centre business Monday to Friday 8am-5pm with extended hours for the pop-up library which will be open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday -Sunday 9.30am-5pm.

Additional pop-up libraries will be opening in the coming months. Details will be announced as soon as possible and people can keep up to date on this website, and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

What can I borrow from Arapaki?
Arapaki will be home to roughly 7,500 items on the shelves at any one time. A small children’s collection will feature alongside a range of fiction, non-fiction and AV items.

What else can I do there?
Internet access computers and some casual seating will be available. Library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

Can I return items to Arapaki?
Yes. Items borrowed from Arapaki should be returned to Arapaki. Items borrowed from the Central Library before it closed can be returned to Arapaki, to any branch library or to the small returns box at 101 Wakefield Street.

Will you have activities available?
Arapaki is a relatively small space, so we need to plan carefully how we can best use it to provide activities. It is likely that we will review what activities and programmes we can offer once our entire CBD pop-up library network is up and running. Arapaki is just the start.

How many staff will work there?
15 library staff will work at Arapaki.

Why has it taken so long to open?
We’ve worked really hard to get Arapaki up and running as fast as we can. Arapaki is the first of our planned CBD pop-up library network. We’ve been able to set it up so quickly because we already had the site leased for our new Service Centre. We’ve had to make some changes to the space to make into a combined library and Service Centre and this has taken a few weeks.

When will other pop-up libraries open?
Arapaki is just the first in our proposed CBD pop-up library network. We’ll be announcing details of further pop-up locations in the coming months.

What’s happening with the Central Library building?
At this stage we are awaiting further engineering advice on what the options are for addressing the structural issues with the building.  It is likely there will be a range of options for how we approach this and we don’t know yet if this will include any kind of upgrading or redevelopment beyond the required remedial work.