The new library in Wellington’s CBD, Te Awe Library opened on 14 July 2020. It is a great space and provides much needed facilitates when the Central City Library is closed.
My first reaction when visiting was to notice its modern, comfortable and convenient nature. There is good access for people with disabilities, and a parents’ sitting room also. Additionally, the accompanying cafe will be great for business professionals in the area.
When asked how it was going, Jane Brooker of Libraries and Community Spaces for Wellington City Council said “We’ve had lots of positive feedback from people who are surprised at how big the space is, and the size of the collection held here. There have been lots of comments about how lovely the fit-out is too, and the interior architect has done a great job designing things in keeping in with the heritage building.”
It is a great space for different groups of people, and the areas have been curated for this purpose. There are places to study or work, in particular, a quiet area upstairs with free wi-fi. While I was there, I also saw a school visit and children using spaces on the ground floor. Weekly events such as lego time, have been popular among parents. In a clever design, the study and children’s areas are spaced apart.
There is a great array of books with more than 20,000 items. Jane mentioned that there has been an even spread of children’s, adult fiction and adult non-fiction as the most popular books borrowed. She also said that people are looking at magazines too, as they have a wide selection available.
Jane also mentioned the potential of having an events space, where film nights and children’s programmes can be hosted.
It is in a good location in the CBD, but a fair distance from the Central City Library and Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre. It would be easy to see it staying open alongside the Central City Library, especially since the latter houses 370,000 items.
The Libraries and Community Spaces Team also have things that they wish to do in the future. Jane spoke of this thus “we are hoping to run a lot more events and programmes now that we are more settled into the new space, focusing on things that fit with our central city location and clientele.”
These aspects and more are why this library will become a wonderful space for the community, and a visit is highly recommended.
- Charlotte Dippie is a VUW intern at Read NZ