Tauranga Library Celebrates 150 years

Tauranga Library Celebrates 150 years
Hilary Beaton
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Tauranga Library Celebrates 150 years

Sowing the seeds of future generations!

150 years ago, the pakeha settlement of Tauranga numbered less than 250 households, road transport was powered by horse or donkey, and the few roads that weren’t dirt were made of white pipi shell. 

The public library in Tauranga predated the newspaper, the fire station and even the first brewery.  The Tauranga Library’s central branch started in Harrington Street and occupied two other buildings on Willow Street before moving to its present location.  Tauranga City libraries now have four locations throughout the city, including a new mobile library.

Community Services General Manager Gareth Wallis says whereas 2021 marks a significant historic milestone for the Tauranga Library, it’s also the start of a new chapter, as the Willow Street library redevelopment is being consulted on through the draft Long-term Plan.

“While still issuing over a million books each year and being a source for local research, technology and information access, today’s libraries foster a sense of belonging and connection.

Libraries are a place of diverse events and activities where different generations and people from all avenues of life can gather. The evolution into community hubs means the new design needs to be multipurpose and incorporate communal spaces, as well as being a place for learning,” adds Mr Wallis.

To mark the 150-year milestone, the Seeds of our Library exhibition will be at Willow Street branch until 8 June and includes library minute books from 1871 to 1897 and a catalogue of library Photo: archives in digital form on Pae Korokī - Tauranga Archives Online. For more information, visit https://library.tauranga.govt.nz.


Photo: Baby waits for mother in Tauranga Public Library 1961 (Supplied by Tauranga Library, photographer unknown.)

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