Wellington's book collection growing at the same rate despite closure of Central Library
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/113087230/-

2019-06-11 21:51:19

Books, books, everywhere, but nowhere to put the 350,000 in the Central Library.

Wellington City Libraries has confirmed it is still buying "roughly the same quantity" of new library items as it was before the closure of the city's Central Library.

It comes as the search continues for a permanent storage space for the hundreds of thousands of items currently housed in the earthquake-prone building.

Wellington City Council (WCC) communications and engagement principal advisor Rachael Bowie said incoming titles had been redirected to branch libraries.

Buying priorities would be revisited as the council received feedback on demand at new Manners St pop-up Arapaki, and when the rest of the CBD pop-up "network" was "up and running".

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said he had "full confidence" in community networks manager Steven McArthur and library and community spaces manager Laurinda Thomas to effectively manage the libraries and its collection.

Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said the council was committed to "ongoing investment in books".

"We don't have any concerns around the storage of additional material coming in.

"We're continuing to develop the collection in the usual way. Taking the usual approach to retiring books will [also] continue."

There was limited access to the Central Library for specific people under certain safety conditions, so the new items could be stored in there if necessary, though it wasn't preferable.

"Ideally they'd be kept in the branches or the pop-ups, to be available for people to check out."

Books and other items such as CDs, DVDs, newspapers and magazines were mostly all still held in the Central Library where, Lester said on Monday, it was "the safest place for them".

Council spokesperson Richard MacLean said part of that was security, which included lights, as well as climate control.

The building management system was programmed to turn lights on between 8am and 5pm on weekdays, he said.

"This is because council staff and contractors still need to access the building, and libraries staff are accessing the collection to retrieve items."

As that work wound down, there would be further changes to the building's lighting "as appropriate".

The cost of electricity for the first month after the closure, March 20 to 30 April 2019 had been $6444.

The cost for the corresponding period in 2018 was $13,771, according to MacLean.

When the library closed on March 19 the mayor and chief executive Kevin Lavery had said a cordon, including a pedestrian pathway, would be constructed around parts of the building.

MacLean said that was still in the mix, as was a plan to display artwork on temporary hoardings on the Victoria St side.

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