Central Library closure

Wellington’s Central Library building is closed until further notice. The footpath around the library building and the public library car park are also closed.

Entrance to Central Library.

Wellington Central Library building is closed

Update on Central Library from Chief Executive

Given the high public interest in the Central Library building, as well as the broader Civic Precinct, what follows is an update on where we are at with this work and an indication of the process from here.  

The future of the Central Library building is a high priority for the Wellington City Council, but there are no quick nor easy fixes. It’s early days and no decisions can or have been made about the future of the building. 

The immediate focus has been on re-establishing library services in the CBD. We are making good progress on this, and our focus now is to determine what the engineering implications and challenges are, and possible solutions for the Central Library building. These challenges are complex and need to be fully understood before any decisions can be made. 

This update sets out how we plan to move forward and gives a high level outline of next steps.

Despite speculation, the Council is not in discussions with any third party around partnerships or deals relating to the future of the building. It’s much too soon to be having those conversations. 

As the building owner we are focused on our responsibility to get the technical engineering and industry advice we need to inform our decisions about the future of this prominent central city building.

Read the full statement (470KB PDF)

— Kevin Lavery, Chief Executive

Latest on the Central Library building

We’ve made the decision to close the Central Library after receiving advice from engineers that the building has structural vulnerabilities which mean it may not perform well in the event of a significant earthquake. 
Engineering Assessment Memo  (1.9MB PDF)
Aurecon Engineering Assessment  (317KB PDF)
WSP OPUS Peer Review of Assessment (861KB PDF)

The Central Library was one of Wellington City’s busiest buildings, with 3000 visitors a day. We realise this closure will affect many people and we are working hard to minimise disruption. 

The building is not damaged but the vulnerabilities identified using new guidelines from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) are such that we have made the decision to close the building to the public and relocate our staff while next steps are planned.

Public safety is our number one priority.

Information on how to access library services and facilities

For more information go to the Wellington City Libraries website.

To access a broad range of online resources, including eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines, online databases and digitised heritage go to our eLibrary page.

Details about the closure
Wellington Central Library Closure Map  (768KB PDF)
Library Branches by Suburb
Library Opening Hours
Community Centres

Citizens Advice Bureau and Justice of the Peace service desk

These services are now available on the ground floor of Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street.

Citizen Advice Bureau hours are:

  • Monday: 9.30am-5.15pm
  • Tuesday to Thursday: 930am-6.30pm
  • Friday: 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Saturday: 11am-1pm

Justice of the Peace service desk hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 11am-2pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday evening: 5pm-6pm
  • Wednesday evening: 5pm-6.30pm
  • Saturday: 11am-12.30pm

Access to wifi and printing

If you use the library for wifi, internet access or printing, free wifi is available throughout Wellington’s Central Business District. All 11 branch libraries and some of our Community Centres provide wifi, internet PCs and printing facilities. You may wish to contact them directly to check availability.
CBD free wifi

Contacting Wellington City Libraries

Contact our Library team directly via enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or 04 801 4040.

You can also contact the Wellington City i-Site or Council Service Centre with general enquiries.