Library services return to Central City and Council Service Centre moves too

6 May 2019

A new pop-up library to open on Tuesday 28 May will see library services returning to central Wellington for the first time since the closure of the Central Library in March 2019.

Artist impression of Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre

Artist impression of Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre

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A new pop-up library to open on Tuesday 28 May will see library services returning to central Wellington for the first time since the closure of the Central Library in March 2019.

The new pop-up library at 12 Manners Street is co-located with the Wellington City Council Service Centre, which will be 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.

The pop-up library and Service Centre space will be 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 Manners Library and Service Centre will be open for Service Centre business Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, with extended hours for the pop-up library, which will be open Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat-Sun 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 at wcl.govt.nz, 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.