The Council owns and manages 12 branch libraries.

Students studying in the library.

Studying in the library

Wellington’s first public library opened in 1841, and while some leather-bound tomes remain on the shelves today, the days when libraries just offered books are long gone.

Wellington City Libraries are working towards making as much information available as possible. You can search the libraries’ online catalogues including books, DVDs and CDs 24 hours a day, check your library card, view lists of new items and find information on popular topics.

The recommended online resources at help library members to search authoritative databases and thousands of New Zealand and international newspaper and magazine articles on many topics.

Closure of the Central Library

The Wellington Central Library will be closed from 8.30pm Tuesday 19 March 2019. We’ve made the decision to close the Central Library building and public car park after receiving advice from engineers. They have raised concerns about the building in the event of a significant earthquake.
Central Library closure

Services and facilities

The library holds a substantial collection of reference, New Zealand and government information, and the libraries’ largest selection of books, CDs and DVDs.

As well as a frequently updated selection of books, magazines and audiovisual material, all libraries provide:

  • free access to thousands of selected internet sites useful for information or research
  • interloan and house-bound services
  • a children’s area
  • membership services
  • a user-pays internet service for general internet use such as search engines and email.
    Internet access on library PCs - Wellington City Libraries

Library programmes

Our branch network offers a range of special programmes and events, including children’s storytime, baby rock ‘n’ rhyme and school holiday activities. Please check out our events calendar for locations and times.


Wellington City library membership is free to all residents. People who live outside the city are welcome in the libraries, but need to apply for Out of Towner or Annual Subscription membership to borrow library material.
Joining - Wellington City Libraries 


Wellington's branch libraries are community focal points, providing knowledge facilities and resources in a welcoming environment.
Branches - Wellington City Libraries