Future of the Central Library consultation

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Future of the Central Library Consultation

The Central Library has been our city’s living room and a vital part of our vibrant inner city for decades. The building itself isn’t safe to use. There are several ways to make it safe for people to be in, which also brings new possibilities in using the space. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set up the central library to continue to support Wellington's diverse communities for at least the next 50 years.

Before decisions can be made on the future Central Library in October 2020 - we need to know what you think!

We have developed a Statement of Proposal (SOP) outlining the issues with the building, the practicable options available and the factors they were assessed against to help you make your decision. We will also running events at our libraries; the Planning for Growth information kiosk and online - so register for the latest news.

What are the options being proposed?
The Statement of Proposal outlines five options for retaining a central library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

The Statement of Proposal also includes options which were discarded, with the reasons why.

Why does the proposal suggest modernising the library?
While the priority is on re-establishing a Central Library, we also are responsible for ensuring the new service can meet the needs of Wellington’s future generations. While providing access to books and other physical and digital collections will continue to be a core service, we can also offer people access new technologies, spaces and services which support life-long learning, connection and community.

How were the five proposed options decided and others discarded?
Each of the options were assessed against a range of factors. They included the building's resilience and safety; how it could support a modern library service over the next 50 or more years; the costs and timeframes; how it connects and enlivens Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and how it may affect the environment.

How can I share my views?

Fill out the online submission below, or download and print the PDF version and post it into the Council for free.

We would like to know what option you prefer, and what factors you valued most in making your decision. Or you can provide an alternative option.

You have until 5pm, Monday 7 September to share your views with us.

Why did we close the Central Library?
New guidelines for concrete buildings, which were developed by the engineering community and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) found the Central Library structure and floor system design posed a high level of potential failure in a significant earthquake, and met 15-20 percent of the National Building Standard. On that basis, the Council’s Chief Executive closed the building to the public on 19 March 2019.

The Central Library has been our city’s living room and a vital part of our vibrant inner city for decades. The building itself isn’t safe to use. There are several ways to make it safe for people to be in, which also brings new possibilities in using the space. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set up the central library to continue to support Wellington's diverse communities for at least the next 50 years.

Before decisions can be made on the future Central Library in October 2020 - we need to know what you think!

We have developed a Statement of Proposal (SOP) outlining the issues with the building, the practicable options available and the factors they were assessed against to help you make your decision. We will also running events at our libraries; the Planning for Growth information kiosk and online - so register for the latest news.

What are the options being proposed?
The Statement of Proposal outlines five options for retaining a central library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

The Statement of Proposal also includes options which were discarded, with the reasons why.

Why does the proposal suggest modernising the library?
While the priority is on re-establishing a Central Library, we also are responsible for ensuring the new service can meet the needs of Wellington’s future generations. While providing access to books and other physical and digital collections will continue to be a core service, we can also offer people access new technologies, spaces and services which support life-long learning, connection and community.

How were the five proposed options decided and others discarded?
Each of the options were assessed against a range of factors. They included the building's resilience and safety; how it could support a modern library service over the next 50 or more years; the costs and timeframes; how it connects and enlivens Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and how it may affect the environment.

How can I share my views?

Fill out the online submission below, or download and print the PDF version and post it into the Council for free.

We would like to know what option you prefer, and what factors you valued most in making your decision. Or you can provide an alternative option.

You have until 5pm, Monday 7 September to share your views with us.

Why did we close the Central Library?
New guidelines for concrete buildings, which were developed by the engineering community and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) found the Central Library structure and floor system design posed a high level of potential failure in a significant earthquake, and met 15-20 percent of the National Building Standard. On that basis, the Council’s Chief Executive closed the building to the public on 19 March 2019.

Please enter your question about the options for the Future of the Central Library Consultation here. We monitor the site from 8:30am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and we aim to respond to you within the next working day. 

You may also want to check the list of FAQs on the right hand side of this web page. 

Questions and answers

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    Kia ora, Can you please share the full options analysis for the Central Library building? I think the consultation doc does a great job at giving high-level information, but I would like more detail to inform my submission. Thank you.

    Anna_ Asked 6 days ago


    Kia ora,

    thank you for your question. on the Lets Talk consultation page, you will find on the right hand side a section called Links to engineering reports, cost assessments and Council Papers. These documents will provide you with the full option analysis for the Central Library Building.

    Please feel free to contact us again if we can help in any way.

    regards

    Andrea


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    Has the been consideration to making the current decentralised model (several locations around the CBD) permanent? I have noticed my use of electronic resources - e-books, audio books, press reader etc means less need to visit a building.

    Julienz Asked 8 days ago

    Kia ora, 

    Thank you for your question. We did consider keeping the interim network but did not put this option forward for a number of reasons, including: 

    • The current interim network wouldn’t support Wellington’s predicted population growth
    • We have had a Central Library in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct since the early 1900s and it has always played a key role in bringing people into the area and wider CBD
    • We would still need to consult about how the building can be used in the future.

    While the use of e-resources continues to grow, the library spaces are also in growing demand as they provide people with access to wi-fi, pcs and new technologies such as makerspaces; events, classes and exhibitions; and spaces to study, read and connect with others, such as volunteer tutors and students. 

    You can read more about the options not put forward on in page 17 of the Statement of Proposal.

    People are welcome to submit an option which wasn't put forward in the Statement of Proposal. To do this: 

    1. go to the Submission Form 
    2. At the question "There are several different options to deliver a functional Central Library building. Which of these is your preferred option?" tick the option “None of the above, I prefer an alternative” 
    3. Select one of the options in the following question, or write down your own idea.

    Please let me know if you need anything else. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    Are the per ratepayer cost figures per annual or per 35 years?

    andrew514 Asked 9 days ago

    Kia ora,


    Thank you for your question. The average costs to ratepayer provided in the Statement of Proposal are for the approximate life of the building, which is different for each option. So for example Option A the rate increase of $38.70-$46.30 is every year for the estimated 35 years of building life; Option B is for 42 years; Option C is for 50 years; and Options D and E are for 64 years.

    Please let me know if you need any more detail. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

     

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    Is the option C going to fix the known air-contitioning issues and the ceiling leaking problems? Is that included on the cost presented for option C? Thanks Iuri

    Iuri Asked 9 days ago

    Kia ora Iuri, 

    Thank you for your question. All options proposed, including C include estimated costs for replacing the building services such as the air-conditioning. The fixes would also repair the ceiling leaks. 

    Let me know if you need more details. 

    Ngā mihi nui, Debbie

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    Would either of the new builds be to the same specifications as option C?

    Lizzy Asked 8 days ago

    Kia ora Lizzy, 

    Thank you for your question. 

    The new builds under Options D and E would be the same size building as the existing Central Library (as in Options A B and C). The approach to earthquake strengthening will be different as a new build allows for different approaches. A new building presents a blank canvas creating an opportunity to reimagine and design a multipurpose Central Library and facility for current and future users. 

    Please get in touch if you have more questions. 

    Ngā mihi

    Debbie


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    Why not bust the building down, completely flatten it and operate a quality 24-hour courier service that delivers items to people's homes or pick up locations? Has such an operating model been costed? Compared to the construction + operating costs of a remediated / new library? I think on top of the town hall, st james, convention centre, snow leopards at the zoo the costs in the proposal are just too high for ratepayers!

    Andrew514 Asked 8 days ago

    Kia ora, 

    Thank you for sending in your question. Along with the three interim CBD branches we set up, we have a new Collection and Distribution Centre (CDC) in Johnsonville which is being used to house and deliver the remaining 370,00 items from Central Library collection.  Since July customers have been able to reserve fiction books from the CDC through the online library catalogue for free. Items are then sent to the library branch of the customers’ choice for pick up. We are now adding the non-fiction titles to the catalogue, before we move onto how we can make the reference collections accessible.

    However, as well as providing access to a diverse library collection for people to read or borrow, libraries provide services and spaces for the public. This includes access to learning (baby and children development programmes, ESOL classes, etc) technologies (such as wi-fi and computers for study or work), civic services (such as council meetings, service centre); spaces for events, exhibitions or where people can study, research or carry out their work, or deliver face-to-face volunteer services such as adult reading.  So we want to hear everyone's views on the future of Central Library building and the services, as it does serve a diverse range of needs. 

    You are welcome to submit an option which wasn't put forward in the Statement of Proposal. To do this: 

    1. go to the Submission Form 
    2. At the question "There are several different options to deliver a functional Central Library building. Which of these is your preferred option?" tick the option “None of the above, I prefer an alternative” 
    3. Select one of the options in the following question, or write down your own idea.

    Please get in touch if you have need more information.  

    Ngā mihi, Debbie



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    An interesting suggestion which would save millions of dollars is to use the National Archives building when Archives moves out. Could you comment on whether this is a realistic option eg in terms of size of building

    Patricia Laurenson Asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for that suggestion, we will consider it alone with other suggestions, if it is found to have support.

     

    People are welcome to submit an option which wasn’t put forward in the Statement of Proposal. To do this:

    1. Go to the Submission Form<https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library/survey_tools/submission-future-of-the-central-library-consultation>

    2. At the question : “ There are several different options to deliver a functional Central Library building. Which of these is your preferred option?” tick the option “none of the above, I prefer an alternative”

    3. Select one of the options in the following question, or write down your own idea, suggestion.

    Please get in touch if you have any more questions

    Nga mihi

    Andrea

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    Why weren’t other sites beyond Te Ngakau investigated? Given the reality of climate change and the mega costs of building, it would seem the investment of time up front to check other sites would be worth while

    Patricia Laurenson Asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    As we said in the SOP we didn't explore a non Te Ngākau Civic Precinct site , despite the potential benefit of this option to better address the impact of climate change, as there were too many unknowns to adequately describe and evaluate it. For example, the potential sites need to be known to be costed, and by not knowing the site and its condition it makes it difficult to assess key factors such as timeframes, costs or accessibility to transport.. 

    People are welcome to submit an option which wasn’t put forward in the Statement of Proposal. To do this:

    1. Go to the Submission Form<https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library/survey_tools/submission-future-of-the-central-library-consultation>

    2. At the question : “ There are several different options to deliver a functional Central Library building. Which of these is your preferred option?” tick the option “none of the above, I prefer an alternative”

    3. Select one of the options in the following question, or write down your own idea, suggestion.

    Please get in touch if you have any more questions

    Nga mihi

    Andrea