Libraries and Community Spaces Manager, Laurinda Thomas, says “It’s exciting (and a bit of a relief to be honest!) to have a decision about what’s next for the Central Library. The building itself is iconic, and there’s an amazing opportunity now to reimagine the space.
People have asked me if I’m disappointed about Council not going for a new building, and I’m honestly not! I’ve always felt that with the right scope we could do something amazing, either with the existing building or with something new.
I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration over the last year and half from libraries that have refitted their buildings or repurposed non-library buildings, and I think we can deliver something really special for Wellington while bringing the library “back home” to Te Ngākau Civic Square.”
TIME LINE FOR WELLINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY WORK
Wellington's central library closed on March 19, 2019 following advice received from engineers that the building may not be safe in the event of an earthquake.
The city's main library shut indefinitely at 8.30pm Tuesday after an engineers' report raised concerns about safety in the event of a major earthquake.
Reserve and return fees suspended. Loan limits for eBooks and eAudio extended
- Longer opening hours for some branch libraries
- Hutt City Libraries extends free membership to Wellington City Library members
- Further due date extension for Central Library items on loan
May 28, 2019 Mayor Justin Lester officially opened Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre at 12 Manners Street. “Manners Street is a great location for the first in our network of replacement library services for the CBD, and a welcoming new space for our service centre customers. At Arapaki, Wellingtonians can browse and borrow items, read papers and magazines and even pay their rates or register their dog all in one place,” Mayor Lester says. WCL are planning for Arapaki to be in use for five years.
Arapaki has roughly 7500 items on the shelves. These include a small children’s collection and a range of fiction, non-fiction and AV items. Library staff are available to answer questions, process library payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through the eLibrary. Free wi-fi, self-service computers and a Council payments desk are also available.
Work also starts on second CBD library, He Matapihi Molesworth Library, as part of a cooperative partnership with National Library of New Zealand.
- Rare books collection relocated to City Archives
- Council’s peer review of engineering advice on the Central Library building completed
- Professor Ken Elwood begins engagement with industry to identify and scope possible remedial engineering options for the Central Library building
- Te Ngākau – Civic Precinct programme gets underway to look at the future of the area including the Central Library building
- Beyond the Page festival held across Wellington City Libraries locations and the wider Wellington region
He Matapihi Molesworth Library opened to the public on Wednesday 9 October 2019 on the ground floor of the National Library at 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington. He Matapihi Molesworth has been developed by the National Library and Wellington City Council as a partnership project and offers a library service and collection which complements the National Library's collection. He Matapihi will stay open at least until the end of 2021. The arrangement will then be reviewed depending on National Library's plans for future use of the site and the Council's decision-making about future central city library services.
Council industry engagement workshops were held to discuss possible remedial options for the Central Library building
- Kanopy Film Festival held in seven Wellington City Libraries locations
- Visitors to Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre and He Matapihi Molesworth Library reaches 225,0000 (200k and 25k respectively)
- Work starts to relocate Central Library collection to Te Pātaka
- Planned meeting in March for Mayor and Councillors to receive engineering scenarios and next steps recommendations for Central Library building and Te Ngākau deferred under the COVID-19 lockdown. Scenarios will be reviewed in light of how COVID-19 will affect the economy and the Council’s future work programme and priorities and presented to Council on 27 May.
- Work on Te Awe Library and Te Pātaka Collection and Distribution Centre resumes with restrictions under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 by 28 April and 4 May respectively
Te Awe Library in Lambton Quay opened on Tuesday 14 July, 2020. You can visit the library from the 29 Brandon Street entrance, or the one at 28 Panama Street, next to the Collective Café. Popular programmes like Baby Rock & Rhyme and pre-school story time are available here, along with other events which may include book clubs and author talks, free movie screenings, creative projects and activities. The Te Awe Library will remain open until it is no longer required to ensure continuity of central library services. The term of the lease is four years.
- Te Pātaka collection accessible
- 28 October Central Library gets strengthening vote