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Christchurch City Libraries
work PO Box 73045,
Christchurch 8154,
New Zealand.
workp: +64-3-941-7923

Newsletter March 27 2008

Cover - click to view PDFWelcome

The Draft Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan was today adopted by Council for public comment. The Plan, which provides a city-wide framework to guide the future development of our libraries network to better meet Christchurch’s changing geographic and demographic needs, will be available for public comment from 14 April to 31 May 2008.

The documents – Full Plan and Public Summary – are currently being finalised for printing. As a key stakeholder, you will be sent a copy of the Full Plan when it is available in the next two weeks.

Under the Draft Plan, it is proposed to build two new libraries – one at Aranui and one at Belfast – and a replacement library at Halswell. Belfast and Halswell are identified in the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy as the areas where the greatest population growth is forecast in the next few years. The new libraries are proposed to meet this growing demand and changing community needs.

Meanwhile, Aranui is an area of the city where there is a recognised gap in the library network. This is also an area where a library/learning centre has been considered important for some time to stimulate lifelong learning and leisure activities within the community.

The Draft Plan also proposes:

  • A review of development options for a new Central Library in time for consideration for funding as part of the 2012-2022 Long Term Council Community Plan. The size of the current Central Library is restricting the development of new services that would enhance customer experiences. This limits the library’s ability to fulfil its role as the metropolitan library for the city and region.
  • A review of the location of Bishopdale Library within the retail precinct. The current building will require major work within the next decade.
  • At Shirley, Council will look to optimise partnership opportunities to redevelop and upgrade the facility.
  • An evaluation of the future role of Redwood Library following the opening of a new library at Belfast.
  • Exploring partnership opportunities to develop Hornby Library in line with the UDS and South West Area Plan.
  • Continuation of the Mobile Library service to fill network gaps in the areas where a library building is not sustainable, as well as investigating self-help delivery options, such as library kiosks.
  • Introduction of a seven-day service and addition of a café at Fendalton Library. This would bring the library’s operation in line with the city’s other large suburban libraries.
  • A review of Council’s contribution to the city’s 10 voluntary libraries. The asset condition of these buildings is variable. An assessment of the current and future customer use, access, volunteer support and efficiency of building use is needed.
  • An evaluation of Little River Library, with consideration being given to a non-building based service.

While Christchurch City has a proud history of investing in libraries – the city having a network of 19 facilities which provide a customer-driven, value-for-money and technologically advanced service for residents and ratepayers – the Draft Plan places consideration emphasis on partnerships as critical for the future development of the libraries network. These would be with other Council service providers or external stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Education and retail developers.

Council has limited financial resources for future development and will seek partnership opportunities to ensure development of the network and that future libraries are built in accessible locations for the community.

It is important to note that priorities in the Plan, when adopted by Council in late July – after considering all public comment and feedback – will not guarantee a facility will be upgraded, redeveloped or built. The Plan will be reviewed every thee years in time to inform each LTCCP funding round, the projects being considered for funding along with all other priorities for the city.

I look forward to sending you a copy of the Draft Plan within the next two weeks and receiving your valuable input to help develop the final Christchurch Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan.


Carolyn Robertson
Christchurch City Libraries Manager