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

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

Central Library Tuam is closing on Friday 1 November

FrontOur Central Library Tuam is closing for good in under a fortnight. It closes its doors on 6 pm, 1 November 2013 to make way for the new Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.

In late January 2014, Central Library Manchester will open at 36 Manchester Street (on the corner of Allen Street). In the meantime, our wonderful Central Library Peterborough is still open.

Things to know

  • Books borrowed from Central Library Tuam can be returned to any city library.
  • From 1 November holds previously placed for pick up at Central Library Tuam will be available from Central Library Peterborough (91 Peterborough Street). You can change your holds pickup location in the catalogue too.

What will be at Central Library Manchester?

When it opens in late January, it will house the following collections:

  • Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Nga Pounamu Maori
  • Local Government (historical agendas, minutes)

Family History resources currently split between the Central Libraries Tuam and Peterborough will be consolidated at Central Library Manchester. They include electoral rolls, microfiche newspaper files, and telephone and business directories.

Central Library Manchester will also offer:

  • General fiction, nonfiction, best sellers and biographies
  • Large print and talking books
  • Graphic novels
  • Young adult titles
  • 80 Magazine titles
  • Newspapers (primarily NZ titles)

Due to limited space at Central Library Manchester there will be no children’s section (Central Library Peterborough will have an extended children’s area ).

The DVD and CD collections will be reduced.

What will be at Central Library Peterborough?

Central Library Peterborough
Much of the current collection at Peterborough Street will remain unchanged. It will also offer:

  • World languages and ESOL material will now include Asian language items previously at Central Library Tuam.
  • Music scores
  • Extended Children’s collection
  • Extended CD collection.

Motor vehicle manuals will be held in storage but can be requested for use at Peterborough.

New Central Library

The two temporary inner city libraries will continue to service the inner city until a new Central Library is built. Sited in Gloucester Street with a Cathedral Square frontage it is due to open in 2016/2017 and the Christchurch City Council will give residents an opportunity to have a say about the services they would like it to deliver.

Old stuff at Central Library Tuam

Aotearoa New Zealand collectionThere’s nothing like opening a new library. There’s a lot of excitement round here at the moment as opening day for the brand-new Aranui Library draws near (this Saturday! 11am! woo!).

And we’re not jealous here at Tuam Street, not at all.  They have a beautiful, brand-new, architecturally designed, art- and light- filled facility, with water features, rolling parkland, and oh-so-shiny brand new books, movies, magazines …

It’s not a competition, we tell ourselves.  After all, we love our post-industrial, dystopian-chic-themed electrical warehouse makeover.  We love that the bus exchange is right next door.  We love that we are in the heart of the city, where big things are happening every day.  We love the Re:Start mall, and the Escarto coffee cart, and Ballantynes.

We love having so much of the old Central library’s stock here, and working in tandem with Central Library Peterborough library we provide access to family history, newspapers, magazines, motor manuals, the law collection and all the expertise that Central used to offer.  We love that our shelves are full, not just with the latest shiniest bestsellers, but also with Wodehouse and Woolf and Austen and Ballard, with Salinger and Verne and Kerouac.

We also love the Aotearoa New Zealand Collection. We tried really hard to fit it all in here, but even with the best of intentions we are only able to offer a ‘representative sample’.  The rest of it is safely stored off-site, but it’s only a hold request away.  What’s here, at Central Library Tuam, is distracting enough.

Stepping into the ANZC area is a bit like opening a packet of pineapple lumps.  You think to yourself, I’ll just have one.  Maybe two.  And then before you know it, you’ve eaten an entire packet spent a whole hour browsing the shelves, and people are wondering where on earth you’ve got to.

I went down the rabbit hole this morning, and in just a short 15 minute browse came up with these gems:

  • A 1963 edition of Just Cooking, Thanks (being a dissertation on New Zealand seafood), by Noel Holmes. Mmm, tentacles.
  • A 1942 book called Medical Advice from a Backblock Hospital (a bit afraid to read this one in case it involved biting on a bullet while someone sawed off a leg)
  • A delicious wee gem called Bits and Pieces by Gran, ZB Personality.  I LOVE this book!  A quick flick through offered everything from sage words – “Indulging in fits of bad temper shortens life”;  to recipes – mix equal parts minced ham, beetroot and gherkin to make a savoury spread for biscuits; to must-have outdoorsy advice – find here a “good mixture for waterproofing a tent” that you can mix up in the kitchen.
  • Rosemary Rees’ 1933 travel diary, called New Zealand Holiday, in which she notes the large numbers of “young, fine, splendid men pouring into the country.”

Also on the shelves, reference copies of Consumer magazine and the Listener, lots and lots of books by New Zealand novelists and poets, and the gripping, relentlessly paced Ocean Outfall Handbook (A Manual for the Planning, Investigation, Design and Monitoring of Ocean Outfalls to Comply with Water Quality Management Objectives).

There IS a fine print clause with ANZC material – none of it can be borrowed, and you can’t bring your tea and sandwiches in with you, but you can (and should) come and browse, sit for a while, and discover all the hidden treasure that awaits.

We may not be the newest shiniest library on the block, but just remember this:  sometimes, old stuff is good stuff.

So long from Central South City Library, and thanks …

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been at the mall for over a year!  Seems like only last week that we were moving into South City to set up our wee library, and now we are counting the sleeps till the brand new big shiny Tuam branch opens. Monday 23 July will be the big opening day down at Tuam Street, but Central South City Library will be closing this Sunday 15 July to give us time to pack up properly.

It’s been a great year down here – we’ve got used to working in a ‘small but perfectly formed’ space; made friends with the supermarket staff and the yummy sushi people; built a solid core of regular and committed computer users who arrive every morning at 9am on the dot; had so many great conversations with customers about books and libraries and snow and quakes and all things ChurChur; got to know all our lovely Sumner and Redcliffs customers who arrive on the shuttle each week; become a regular part of so many people’s lives …

Central South City Library Central South City Library opening day
We will be very sad to leave, and we know that you guys will miss us being here (because you’ve told us!) Come and say goodbye until Sunday, and then we can all count the sleeps together until Tuam Street opens, and we will see you there on Monday the 23rd!