Behind the scenes at Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

The new library, community centre and museum Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre opens tomorrow Saturday 19 August 2017. After the opening ceremony, Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre will be open from 3pm to 4.30pm. You can explore this new facility, and borrow items from the library collection.

Today we had a look around this newest Ōtautahi community space just before it opens, and were totally wow-ed. We’re sure you will be too. Here are some of our highlights:


Artwork - Matuku Takotako: Sumner CentreMatuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

These artworks were designed by Fayne Robinson (Ngai Tahu), Christchurch and refer to the surrounding landscape, cultural narrative …
Information on the art in Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Rubbing tiles

Take along a piece of paper and crayons or pencils – you can take rubbings off a series of rubbing tiles throughout the building.
Rubbing tile - Matuku Takotako: Sumner CentreRubbing tile - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre


A pakohe (argylite) touchstone carries the design of the landscape through the plinth and up onto the stone, which is also reflected in the mural, to ground it to its location.
Touchstone - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Fab fresh collection

There’s a lot of pretty new stuff on the pretty new shelves. Looks sharp!

Books on shelves - Matuku Takotako: Sumner CentreKids/Tamariki - Matuku Takotako: Sumner CentreBooks on shelves - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Old into New

Roll of honour
Roll of honour - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Masonry from the old building in the entrance.
Masonry from old building - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Indoor/outdoor flow

There are views galore, and an outdoor auditorium.
Outside auditorium - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Colours and stripes

Bus timetable

Enjoy a relaxing time at the library AND know when it is time to catch your bus.
Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

Unisex loos

Unisex toilet sign

View our pics of construction.

Have your say about library events and programmes

preschool-sessionsWe are reviewing our schedule of public programmes and events and would love to hear from customers (and potential customers) about which activities you’d like to see prioritised.

Have your say! We welcome any suggestions.

If you’d rather do a paper version, fill one out at your library and pop it in the survey box. You can also download the survey [PDF] and drop the printed copy off. (consultation closes 12 Feb)


Ngā Rorohiko (electric brains) and more Te Reo Māori in the library

Kia ora. Here are some resources to help you find what library things are called in Māori.

Te reo Maori cards

Bicultural signage at Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga O-Ōtautahi has the library-related word or phrase in English, with an MP3 sample of it in te reo Māori, and a more descriptive explanation of the meaning.

For example:

Computers Descriptive: Electric brains Ngā Rorohiko Ngā Ro-ro-hi-ko
Self Issue Descriptive: It is for you to despatch Māu e Tuku Mā-u e Tu-ku

For more library words in te reo, try Bilingual signs list from He Puna: a Maori language resource for librarians compiled by Hinureina Mangan & Chris Szekely. This useful resource compiles words, subjects, and terms from libraries all around Aotearoa – from Abstracts “kupu arahi” to the Young Adult section “te wāhanga ki te hunga taiohi“.

I can see the following coming in handy:

  • take aronui – hot topics
  • pukapuka hou – new books

All our libraries have names in Te Reo Māori, and you can borrow your books on the Māu e Tuku in Te Reo Māori.

Te Reo Māori self checkout

Go to our Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori post for more information on Māori Language Week.

Help! I’m not sure when my books are due

Cover of SpotI’m sure all of us have had an ooh-er moment when we can’t remember when our library items are due back. However, fear not, for there are a number of ways to keep track of you and your family’s borrowing.

One way is to refer to the receipt that can be printed out when you borrow items. Some people like to stick these to the fridge so they are easy to find – or use them as a bookmark. But small pieces of paper can easily be misplaced!

Another way is to log into the ‘my account‘ feature on our website – not only can you see due dates you can also place holds and do lots of other cool stuff. Not sure of your pin/password? Contact us and we can easily get you set up. (BTW, your pin/password will also let you access our awesome eResources.)

Not near a computer? If you are in the area drop into a library or else give us a ring on 03-941-7923 – we’re always delighted to hear from you. Check out our contact us page for further details.

Additionally, if we have your up-to-date email address we will automatically drop you a courtesy email three days before your items are due. It’s a great way to get a heads up.

For further hints and tips about finding due dates and information about third party services, like Library Elf, take a look at our page all about managing your account.

Innovative collaboration and a Living wall

A great project between members of the Library Programme Design and Delivery team in collaboration with Department of Conservation and Fab Lab in Christchurch meant we could utilise our 3D printer to produce and contribute panels to the “Living Wall” project.

Elizabeth Guthrey from DOC.
Elizabeth Guthrey from DOC.

Various community groups and organisations such as local schools and businesses that have access to 3D printers have been asked to contribute panels to this wall. It will eventually be planted up with native plants and situated on the corner of Cashel and High Street in Christchurch’s central city.

Elizabeth Guthrey (the project leader pictured above) explains that urban green walls and roofs provide habitats for plants and animals, supporting nature in our city. They create shelter, shade and cool cityscapes for a more liveable urban environment for people. The proven positive effects on people’s wellbeing mean green spaces are a must-have in urban regeneration. This particular wall is tipped to be around 20 metres long and remain in place for around two years or more. The picture below provides an indication of how the wall may look when complete.

From the PDD team’s perspective, it is great to get involved in initiatives that contribute to our city’s regeneration and it has certainly been a fantastic trial for our little Makerbot 3D printer – which so far hasn’t missed a beat.


South Learning Centre

“As long as the story is moving”: Margaret Mahy 21 March 1936 – 23 July 2012

Margaret Mahy displays

Two years ago, we lost “word witch” Margaret Mahy – a famous Canterbury local and a much loved children’s author.

Cover of The ChangeoverWhat better way to remember her legacy than with words. There is a session The Changeover: 30 Years On at the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival on Saturday 30 August 2014. Join Stuart McKenzie, co-writer and producer of the forthcoming Changeover movie, and young adult writers Elizabeth Knox and Karen Healey, as they discuss with children’s literature specialist Bill Nagelkerke the importance of this great teen novel and its ongoing relevance.

Words are also for consumption. Search our catalogue for books by Margaret Mahy.

Margaret used to be a children’s librarian at Christchurch City Libraries and our Margaret Mahy pages are full of ideas about writing as well as info on Margaret and her stories:

If the ideas don’t come I go for a walk, listen to music, do a bit of gardening, but I have so much work, it is always easy to go onto something else for a while. If it is urgent I make something happen, even if I am not particularly satisfied with the level of invention, because I think as long as the story is moving something is going to happen, and so far I have been lucky.

We are also lucky to have online the poem Down the back of the chair, and The word-eater written by Margaret Mahy, and illustrated by Bob Kerr. You might recognise the setting of the Central Library in Gloucester Street.

The Word-eater - written by Margaret Mahy; Illustrated by Bob Kerr

More Margaret

The new Halswell Library and Community Facility takes shape

Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck
Deputy Mayor, Vicki Buck, breaking ground at the site of the new Halswell Library and Community Facility

Construction of the Halswell Library and Community Facility – a new community hub incorporating a library, outdoor pool, meeting spaces and a customer service desk – begins on Monday 14 July 2014.

On Friday 11 July, Deputy Mayor and Riccarton–Wigram Councillor Vicki Buck broke ground on the project, at a Whakawatea (blessing) and sod-turning event with the help of some local children. It was good to see the event so well attended and shows the value the local community places on the new facility.

We now look forward to the opening of the Halswell Library and Community  Facility.



Dancing at the library: School holiday fun at Aranui Library

Aranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library’s holiday activities started off with a couple of spontaneous bursts of creativity making Christmas cards using old book covers, and scrap paper.

Next on the agenda was Josh‟s big plan to hold stencil art workshops to coincide with the Rise Art Exhibition happening throughout the city. We held these every week which helped build enthusiasm and momentum for our trip to the museum at the end of the holidays.

Ebony created a quiz, the answers to which could be found all around the library. 1) It would be something to do while waiting in the computer queue and 2) it would require the participants to walk around and explore the library. Ebony challenged the kids to an Xbox Dance Central game and if she won, they’d do the quiz.

This segues quite neatly into the next phase of our holiday activity programme which was our Dance Central competition on the Xbox Kinect. The idea behind this was that we would give a prize to the person with the highest score at the end of the holidays. This particular activity required very little input from staff apart from when they felt we needed a challenge as well. Nicole and Ebony donated their dancing prowess to the cause.

Throughout all this we kept 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles going; two Wasgijs and two normal ones.

All our activities attracted roughly equal numbers of both boys and girls and gave us plenty of opportunities to spend quality time and bond with our youth customers.

Yay Aranui it was fun for all of us!!
Aranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library holiday activities

South Learning Centre – Intergenerational Learning

This is a fantastic learning opportunity covering generations. E-book Club children became experts to share their knowledge and learning with some older adults. A little daunting for the older adults perhaps, but they took it all in their stride, and discovered how adaptable the younger generations are with technology. They shared OverDrive Library app and had lots of fun sharing TumbleBook Library. As a thank you gesture, the children shared their hand-made pop-up cards.


Back to the future – Librarians in 1982 and 2013

Canterbury Public Library staff outside the new library building on the corner of Gloucester Street and Oxford Terrace [1982]
Canterbury Public Library staff outside the new library building on the corner of Gloucester Street and Oxford Terrace 1982
Christchurch City Libraries staff reenact the 1982 shot on their final visit to the Central Library on Gloucester Street. And a few of the same staff are present in both shots.

Central Library staff

Staff group on escalator, Central LibraryCentral Library

And a flashback to our smocky past.
Librarians looking at display of early English Children’s books

Librarians in smocks - Shush 2.0

See more photos from our farewell to Central Library on our Flickr.

We’d love you to share your Central Library memories too.