Central and transitional – Christchurch City Libraries in the central city since 2011

Christchurch’s Central Library in Gloucester Street closed after the earthquake on 22 February 2011. As we move towards opening Tūranga – your new central library – on Friday 12 October 2018, here is a look at the temporary town libraries we’ve operated since 2011:

Central South City Library

South City Shopping Centre, 555 Colombo Street 
Opened on 8 July 2011
Closed 15 July 2012

Preparing for opening
Preparing for opening. Central South City Library, July 2011. Flickr CCL-2011-07-08-Central-South-City-DSC00091

Central South City Library was a 136 square metre retail space in the South City Mall, on Colombo Street. The library was situated next to the only supermarket open in the area at the time (New World), adjacent to the food court and across from Paper Plus. People enjoyed the convenience of shopping and using the library. In the one year the library was open, 162,830 people came through the doors.

Central Library Peterborough

91 Peterborough Street
Opened on 19 December 2011
Scheduled to close from 5pm Sunday 26 August 2018

Christmas Market at Central Library Peterborough
Christmas Market. Sunday 8 December 2013. Flickr 2013-12-08-IMG_1042

Central Library Peterborough is a 1,250 square metre building. It was one of the first businesses to open in the area after the February 2011 earthquake, and it provided a good reason for people to come into town and provided library services to the local community. The first 12 months saw 305,800 visitors through the door. It was the venue for Christchurch Art Gallery outer spaces exhibitions. Since then, it has been a popular community library with lots of events and activities for whānau.

Central Library Tuam

121 Tuam Street
Opened on 23 July 2012
Closed Friday 1 November 2013

Front
Central Library Tuam opening day – Monday 23 July 2012. Flickr CCL-2012-07-23-IMG_5564

Central Library Tuam occupied a space of approximately 1,000 square metres next to the main public transport hub. Escarto the coffee cart operated in front of the library. The other end of the building housed the CCC Central Rebuild service, and the Christchurch Art Gallery shop.

Central Library Manchester

36 Manchester Street
Central Library Manchester opened 20 January 2014
Scheduled to close from 5pm Saturday 18 August 2018

Central Library Manchester
Central Library Manchester. Friday 17 January 2014. Flickr 2014-01-17-IMG_1591

Central Library Manchester has been the location for important resources like the Aotearoa New Zealand collection, local history and genealogical resources, Ngā Pounamu Māori and the Ngāi Tahu Collection / Ngā Rākau Teitei e Iwa.


Town library timeline 2011-

  • Central Library (Gloucester Street) closed 22 February 2011.
  • Central South City Library opened 8 July 2011
  • Central Library Peterborough opened 19 December 2011
  • Central South City Library closed 15 July 2012
  • Central Library Tuam opened 23 July 2012
  • Central Library Tuam closed 1 November 2013
  • Central Library Manchester opened 20 January 2014
  • Central Library demolition. September and October 2014
  • Groundworks begin on the new Central Library site. 22 February 2016
  • Central Library Manchester scheduled to close from 5pm Saturday 18 August 2018.
  • Central Library Peterborough scheduled to close from 5pm Sunday 26 August 2018.
  • Tūranga scheduled to open Friday 12 October 2018.

Information on our temporary libraries

Your history, my history, our history

The Penguin History of New ZealandWhen you emigrate, it takes time to get your histories all in a row.

First up all you are aware of is loss, the huge gaping and unfillable loss of who you were. It takes all your energy just to keep your head above water. At least that was how it was for me.

But then I rallied and joined the library where one of the first books ever issued to me was Michael King’s The Penguin History of New Zealand. Feeling very virtuous I carried it back on the bus to Brooklands. There I took it on little jaunts from room to room and finally bussed it back (unread) a month later. It was too much too soon. I pulled in my horns.

Time passed and I started to look out for books that related to my interests: art, architecture and the stories of women. Beautiful books drew me in and fed my soul. Books like: Māori Architecture by Dierdre Brown; books about New Zealand Art, and A History of New Zealand Women by Barbara Brookes. I am unapologetic about the fact that sometimes I just looked at the pictures. I had a lot of catching up to do.

Cover of Maori Architecture Cover of a A history of New Zealand women Cover of Mauri Ora

Then, just recently, I came upon my best New Zealand book thus far – Mauri Ora: Wisdom From the Māori World by Peter Alsop. This is a lovely book to look at, a satisfying book to hold and a profound book to read.

Fiona and chalkboard at Central Library ManchesterAt much the same time as I was reading this book, I arrived at Central Library Manchester one day to work. On the sandwich board outside the library (see the photo at right with Fiona – its creator) was a te reo quotation with its English translation. I could almost understand the reo and I was enchanted by its translation – so appropriate for the library in question.

A small group of us stood outside the library looking at the quotes on the board. We had an engaging conversation about language and place and thought. Like planets, I felt all my histories line up and I was finally (albeit briefly) at peace. A quote from the Mauri Ora book says it all:

Ko te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata;

ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tīna

(Seek out distant horizons and cherish those you attain.)

Winter Reading Challenge

I know it’s hard to get excited about winter when there’s ice on the inside of your windows, but here’s something that should take your mind off your frozen toes!

Central Library Manchester and Central Library Peterborough are holding a joint Winter Reading Challenge which will run from now until the 20th of September this year. To be eligible to win some great prizes all you need to do is complete one line of winter reading challenges in any direction on your Winter Bingo card. Some challenges include:

  • Read a book set somewhere cold
  • Finish a winter craft project
  • Binge-watch a season of a TV show
  • Check out a winter issue of a magazine on Zinio
  • Read a book that makes you shiver

Pick up and drop off your completed line or square to either Central Library Peterborough or Manchester and be in to win!

Central Library Manchester – coming soon

Photo of Central Library ManchesterOur new temporary Central Library Manchester is scheduled to open Monday 20 January 2014.

It is on the corner of Manchester and Allen Street – close to Moorhouse Avenue. It may also be the only library in New Zealand with a view of a Harley-Davidson shop.

There will be a bit of a collection shuffle as part of this move. Ngā Pounamu Māori and Ngāi Tahu collections at Central Library Peterborough will be unavailable from Monday 13 January to Sunday 19 January 2014 inclusive. Family History, microfilm and microfiche collections at Central Library Peterborough will be unavailable from Thursday 16 January to Sunday 19 January 2014 inclusive. These collections will be available at Central Library Manchester when it opens.

Central Library Manchester will be the place to go for researchers, especially those needing our Māori and Family History resources.