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Council adopts Draft Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan

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27 March 2008

New libraries at Aranui and Belfast, a replacement library at Halswell and a review of development options for a new Central Library are proposed under the Draft Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan.

Today's Christchurch City Council meeting adopted the Draft Plan, which provides a framework to plan the future development of the libraries network to meet Christchurch's changing geographic and demographic needs during the next 20 years.

The Draft Plan will be available for public comment and feedback from 14 April to 31 May 2008.

Council Libraries and Information Manager Carolyn Robertson says Belfast and Halswell have been identified in the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS) as areas where there will be significant population growth during the next few years.

The proposed new library at Belfast and replacement facility at Halswell will meet the growing and changing needs of these communities.

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

Mrs Robertson says the Draft Plan also supports an investigation 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 preventing the development of new services that would enhance customer experiences. This restricts the library's ability to fulfil its role as the metropolitan library for the city and the region.

The Draft Plan also proposes:

  • 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.

Mrs Robertson says 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.

However, she says the Draft Plan does place considerable emphasis on partnerships as critical for future development of the network.

Council has limited financial resources for future development and will seek partnership opportunities with other Council service providers and external partners, such as the Ministry of Education and the business sector, to develop the network.

She says it is important to note that priorities within the Plan, when adopted by Council in later 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 three years in time to inform each LTCCP funding round, the projects being considered for funding along with all other priorities for the city.

Copies of the Draft Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan and public Summary document will be available from 14 April to 31 May 2008 at Christchurch City Libraries, Council Service Centres, Civic Offices in Tuam Street and online at

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