Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Search options

Libraries Customer Charter

Printable PDF Version


Wellington City Council is committed to providing a high quality, accessible and predominantly free library service to the people of Wellington.

The Wellington City Libraries are committed to:

  • Enabling people to achieve their goals through access to library resources.
  • Promoting and contributing to lifelong learning and enjoyment.
  • Collecting and maintaining general and specialist library collections.
  • Promoting Wellington City Libraries as a community focal point.

Our Vision

Open for creativity, connection and innovation

Our Mission

To connect our communities to knowledge, wonder and possibilities

Purpose Of The Charter

This document sets out useful information about Wellington City Libraries, the nature and standards of service you can expect and the policies which enable all to use the Libraries to maximum enjoyment and benefit.

What Can You Expect?

The day-to-day management of the library is under the control of the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces.

Customer Service Commitment

Customer Communication

  • We will honour our obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi through consultation with Tangata Whenua and Taura Here and by the development and implementation of bicultural values.
  • Staff will be appropriately trained and will provide courteous and helpful service to customers.
  • We will be efficient in dealing with customer requests for information or service.
  • All customer information will be kept confidential within the terms of the Privacy Act 1993 and its amendments.
  • Customers will receive a response to their letters within three days.
  • Suggestion forms will be held at each library for customers to comment on any part of our service. Customers may also recommend titles to be considered for purchase by the libraries.
  • Consultation will be undertaken according to the Engagement Policy published by Communication and Governance, Wellington City Council.

Access To Library Services

Objective: To ensure library buildings meet safety and access standards and to take flexible and innovative approaches to accessing library resources.

  • All buildings will be as safe as possible for customers in accordance with the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and its amendments.
  • All libraries will have wheelchair access to buildings and to library stock.
  • People with disabilities will have access to special collections e.g. talking books.
  • Long-term housebound customers will be provided with a home delivery service.
  • Children and young adults will be able to borrow from their collections (other than DVDs) free of charge.
  • A Wellington City Libraries' membership card will be able to be used at any Wellington city branch library or our online branch wcl.govt.nz.
  • Online access to searching the library collection will be provided at each site.
  • A library website will be maintained offering information about services and access to the catalogue. The site will be regularly updated with access to additional information and to other resources provided.
  • Access to material held by libraries other than Wellington City libraries may be made available, for a fee, through the interloan system.

Community Liaison

  • We will conduct customer and resident surveys and will use the information to improve the service and to assist in establishing priorities.
  • We will seek opportunities to develop services in partnership with groups in the community.


Free membership is available to:

  • any ratepayer or resident of Wellington City.
  • members of the Tenths Trust.
  • the partner and dependants of any ratepayer who is not resident in the city.
  • students enrolled in pre-school, primary and secondary schools or tertiary institutions in the Wellington ratepaying area.
  • agents of any Wellington business firms, Kohanga Reo, pre-school or creche.
  • seamen who have no shore address, provided their ship calls at Wellington at least once a fortnight.
  • diplomatic staff with diplomatic status, their partners and families, .
  • visitors staying in Wellington for more than three months providing they can provide two New Zealand addresses.
  • past Mayors and Councillors of Wellington City who served prior to 1990.

Customers not covered by the above provisions will be able to join the library by paying an annual subscription or a per item charge for each item borrowed.

Our Safe And Respectful Environment

Libraries are here for the use and enjoyment of everyone. We ask that you show consideration to others and honour the following:

Customer Rights And Responsibilities

All library users have a right to:

  • Service that is courteous and respectful
  • A safe and welcoming environment

When using library services you have a responsibility to:

  • Respect the rights of others
  • Treat staff with courtesy and respect
  • Treat other library users with courtesy and respect
  • Treat library buildings and materials with care

Staff will decide if a given situation is inappropriate.

Failure to honour your responsibilities may result in being asked to leave the library. Serious or repeated incidents will result in being removed and excluded from the library.

  • Please comply with all requests from staff.
  • Unlawful, disruptive, threatening or offensive behaviour is not appropriate in libraries.
  • Behaviour which impedes staff from carrying out their usual duties or which disrupts other customers is not appropriate.
  • Children are welcome in all libraries. For their safety and wellbeing, children under 14 must be accompanied and actively supervised at all times. If children are left without reasonable provision for supervision and care, Libraries staff may contact the Police and/or Oranga Tamariki.
  • If any child acts unreasonably in the library, staff may request that the child and any person in charge of the child leave the library.
  • Please leave the library and its contents as you found them so that others can enjoy them as well.
  • Any item borrowed from the library should be returned in the time period set by the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces.
  • If your actions or behaviour create a health and safety hazard, library staff will ask you to stop, eg leaving power cords on the ground, settling in passageways, lying over tables and chairs etc
  • Library users remain responsible for their personal possessions at all times.
  • Wellington City Libraries are smoke free environments.
  • The use and/or possession of drugs and alcohol is not allowed.
  • Guide and other assistance dogs are welcome in the library: other animals are not.
  • Dangerous goods and flammable spirits are not permitted in the library.
  • Bicycles, skateboards, scooters and rollerblades could cause injury to customers and must not be used in the library.
  • Soliciting for donations of money or signatures on any petition or offering any goods for sale are activities that must be conducted outside of libraries.
  • Library users are able to enter or remain in the library outside business hours only with the agreement of staff.

Library Policies


  • The Council may from time to time set fees for specific library services or cancel all or any of the fees set.
  • Every person signing a membership agreement agrees to pay all fees and damage or replacement costs that are incurred. They also agree to information being passed to debt collection and credit reporting agencies if they default. Wellington City Libraries will pass on any costs (including commissions and/or legal fees) incurred in recovering the money owed.
  • A set fee will be charged for the replacement of lost library cards and the original card will become invalid.
  • Customers who owe money to the library can use library services providing the amount owed does not exceed a set amount as determined by the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces.
  • Items must be returned by the end of business on the due date.
  • If any item is lost, destroyed or returned in a damaged condition the borrower will need to pay for repairing, cleaning or replacing the item or set of items it is part of.
  • Customers will be able to reserve items not currently available. From time to time the library may exclude any item from being available for use and may also impose limits on the number of items that may be reserved or borrowed by a customer at any one time.


  • Membership privileges may be withdrawn if customers have outstanding items or fees.
  • Any customer acting in an unlawful or offensive manner in the library will be excluded or removed from the library by any staff member, security guard or police officer. The Chief Executive Officer of Wellington City Council may exclude that person from the library for an appropriate period.
  • So that we can keep in touch with you, please notify the library of any change of name or contact details.
  • In the event of a library card being lost or stolen, responsibility for items issued on that card remains with the card holder, unless the library has been notified of the loss.
  • Membership privileges apply only to the person named on the library card.


The collection budget, set annually by the Council, will be divided according to current usage, established need and any special projects.

Collection objectives

Wellington City Libraries provides opportunities for creativity, connection and innovation through a collection which enables learning and discovery. The following principles guide selection and management of this collection.

  • Wellington City Libraries provides collections in a range of formats representing the diversity of views suited to our communities and that meet their current and anticipated needs.
  • Wellington City Libraries collects and preserves material unique to Wellington.
  • Wellington City Libraries is committed to freedom and equity of access to information in line with relevant legislation.
  • Wellington City Libraries commits to partnership with Tangata Whenua.
  • Wellington City Libraries provides best value.

If you would like more information about the collection, please see our Collection Policy.


  • Offers of donations need to meet the collection criteria and cannot be accepted without prior arrangement with the Collection Development Team.
  • Second-hand material will not be accepted, except for items of historic significance and titles in foreign languages.
  • Donations, once added to the collection, are managed like all other material and are subject to the same conditions of loan, use and retention.
  • Donations that do not meet the collection criteria will be disposed of at the library's discretion and will not be returned to the donor.

Public Internet Access

  • Each library site will have at least one public internet computer and customers may print on a charge per page basis.
  • Customers will be able to access the Internet and read and send email on computers located at each library, on a charge per use basis.
  • Microsoft Office products including Word and Excel will be available for use on free public internet computers.
  • To access subscription databases customers must be registered members of Wellington City Libraries. Agent card holders may not access the databases.
  • USB drives may be used on the public internet computers.
  • All customers must agree to an acceptable use statement (agreeing not to access material that is unacceptable, such as pornography, nor to use it to harass people via email or conduct any illegal business, nor copy licensed or copyrighted software, or gain access to a resource to which the user is not entitled) before commencing each internet session. Wellington City Libraries will not take responsibility for the material accessed. In the event of unacceptable material being accessed, that customer's access to library services may be withdrawn for a period to be determined by the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces.
  • Customers must abide by the terms and conditions they agree to when using subscription databases.


  • Notice boards and display spaces are provided in each library.
  • Space will be reserved for materials about Wellington City Libraries and other services of Wellington City Council.
  • Displays are accepted at the discretion of the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces or his/her delegated representative. If a request to exhibit any material is declined, the person seeking to display the material will have the reasons for the decision explained to them. If this explanation is not satisfactory, the Wellington City Council complaints procedure may be used, and this will be explained to the person concerned.

Overarching Principles

  • Balance in the displays provided, so that over time no one viewpoint or subject is over-represented.
  • Displays or presentations will be of a non-partisan, educational, cultural, recreational nature or information on the city, government or local community topics. When appropriate, the Library will display a disclaimer to make clear that the views expressed are not those of the Library or the Wellington City Council.
  • Priority will be given to events for specific dates (over regular recurring events).
  • Priority will be given to activities which are local to the site.
  • The following specific items will not be accepted for display: petitions, advertisements for personal services or items for sale, job listings or requests for donations.
  • Although the Library collection does not avoid contentious topics, in view that children and other vulnerable persons will be viewing displays, a higher standard of suitability including location will be applied.

Commercial Activities

  • Displays of commercial products and services may be displayed where there is an identifiable benefit to the Library or where there is a formal partnership in place between the Library and the displaying organisation.
  • While every attempt will be made to display materials in a timely manner, the Library cannot guarantee that space will be available.

Religious Activities

  • Material for events organised by religious organisations will generally be displayed.
  • Material issued by religious organisations, which has the primary objective of encouraging people to join a particular faith, will not be displayed.

Political Activities

  • Political displays that are designed to inform the community will be accepted provided they are either non-partisan or pan-partisan.
  • Material that seeks primarily to advocate an action, lobby the community or government, solicit members, raise funds or sell services or merchandise will not be accepted.
  • Material on individual candidates may not be distributed or displayed.

Representational Activities

  • Information regarding surgeries for Members of Parliament and Wellington City Councillors and meetings of the Council and its Committees will be displayed.


  • Material to be displayed must meet minimum standards of literacy, including grammar and spelling, and format, in line with Wellington City Libraries' Presentation Guidelines. In addition material must not be defamatory or incite people to break the law. All material displayed must indicate the name of the responsible group or individual with a contact address or phone number.
  • The Library cannot be responsible for the loss, defacement or return of materials and reserves the right to dispose of materials as it sees fit. Defaced material will be removed from display.
  • The Library does not let permanent display space. The length of time a display is up is at the discretion of the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces or her/his delegated representative.
  • Where there is agreement to display large amounts of material there will be the understanding that the displaying organisation will provide suitable facilities.
  • All organisations mounting displays must agree to observe the provisions below:
  • All egress will be kept clear while erecting and dismantling displays and during the exhibition period.
  • Display boards will be fixed securely and safety cones used during erection of large displays.
  • Any hazard - potential or active - that is identified must be reported immediately to Library Staff.

Telling Us What You Think

We are interested in your comments on the service we provide. Both praise and criticism help us to improve. We will take all complaints seriously, and will impartially examine the issue and provide reasons for the decisions we make.

  • Customers should raise any issues in the first instance with staff .
  • Issues not resolved may be put in writing to the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces.
  • Any issues so received will be responded to within 3 days of receipt.

How To Contact Us

Our street address in the CBD

29B Brandon Street, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

Our postal address

P.O. Box 1992, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

Our email address


Our website


Our telephone number

+64 4 801 4040

Further Information

Further information and advice about matters covered in the Libraries Customer Charter may be obtained from any library.

The Libraries Customer Charter will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is up-to-date.

Our libraries I Joining I Borrowing