30 Aug 2018

Library staff are making a move on Christchurch’s new central library, Tūranga, filling the shelves with tens of thousands of books from five different sources.

About 180,000 books will make the shift in just three weeks – being transferred from the now closed Manchester Street and Peterborough Street temporary libraries and three storage sites.

A worker pushes a trolley full of books into place at Turanga.

The massive task of stocking Tūranga's book shelves is under way.

All items are expected to be packed and then stacked by 17 September.

Tūranga – on the corner of Gloucester Street and Colombo Street in Cathedral Square – will open to the public on Friday, 12 October. In all, 4.4 kilometres of shelving have gone into the new central library, and three-quarters of each shelf will be full of books.

The $92.7 million five-storey building will be the flagship for the Christchurch City Libraries network, supporting 19 community, digital, and mobile libraries, and welcoming an expected 3000 visitors each day.

Christchurch City Council Central Library Establishment Manager Erica Rankin says the collection move is “going beautifully”.

“We have pulled the Tūranga collection together from multiple sites, including the temporary libraries and three storage sites – one a recent home to our heritage items,” Ms Rankin says.

Council staff have overseen the operation, with a 20-strong team from Crown Relocations utilising custom-made trollies to shift the books.

“We can do 70 trolley loads within a day,” Ms Rankin says.

“With the Central Library Manchester move, we shifted half the items in one day.”

In all, 42,000 items are coming from Manchester Street, 61,000 from Peterborough Street and 63,000 from one central storage site. Five pallets of items will be ferried from a second warehouse and 16 pallets from the third storage site.

“Everything is lining up nicely – from shelf or storage to a stunning new setting for our wonderful and expansive collection.”

Tūranga will be open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (the Ground Floor will open at 8am), and 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.