Topic: A timeline Tauranga City Libraries

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In 2006, Tauranga City libraries celebrated 100 years.

 In 1906, the Bay of Plenty Times announced the first Tauranga Public Library. At the time of writing this, we have 5 branches spread across Tauranga City, offering the public access to over 320,000 items. In 2006 a number of posters were created for display across the various libraries. These had newspaper articles and other ephemra. For example...


The PDFs below are the larger, original posters compiled for 100 Years of Tauranga City Libraries in 2006, showing people, events and milestones for each Library.  Much of the information was gathered from Tauranga Library’s New Zealand Room, well worth a look for Local History.

100 Years - Tauranga Library (320kb pdf)

100 Years - Mount Library (1mb pdf)

100 Years - Greerton Library (1.54mb pdf)

100 Years - Papamoa Library (1mb pdf)

100 Years - Mobile Library (2mb pdf)

100 Years - Children’s Library (1mb pdf)

100 Years - Interest (2.5mb pdf)

Library Timeline

1867 Public Library first suggested at the very beginning of settlement in the newly surveyed military township.
1871 Government grant for lots 164 and 165, at the corner of Spring and Durham Sts, but considered "too far from the populated area."
1871 Books were purchased immediately, housed in a room in James Bodell's home on Cameron Road.
1871 The annual subscription 1 guinea, estimated cost of building a Library was 197 pounds.
1871 The first Librarian was Mr Walmsley, he was paid 4 shillings a week.
1873 Reading room and Library completed.
1877 84 subscribers, 133 volumes of general reading, 18 volumes of bound magazines added during the year, 2760 issues of books and magazines.
1881 Fire destroyed first building in Harington Street, but the books were somehow saved.
1884 Suggestions that the Library needed a catalogue.
1887 First attempt to establish a branch Library at Katikati (unsuccessful).
1901 Reading Room opened free every day from 9am to 4pm with 25 different newspapers available.
1906 Bay of Plenty Times announces "Tauranga Public Library."
1921 Library closed so a Catalogue could be opened.
1923 Announced the Catalogue was completed.
1925 Plans for new Library building, alterations to existing Library.
1929 New Library refused.
1929 Children's Room announced.
1929 New Library to go ahead.
1930 New building erected on the west side of Willow Street near corner of Wharf Street.
1930 Mayor of Tauranga, Mr BC Robbins, opened the new municipal offices. The Library was housed upstairs until 1959. First book issued to the Mayor.
1934 Library overcomes its sickly financial situation.
1940 Attempts to have a new Library built in the 1940s in Grey Street failed.
1942 Miss Priscilla Taylor trained Librarian employed as Librarian - "Let the people of Tauranga realise that a full Library is their right, let them demand that right, and let them get it."
1944 New building discussed.
1948 All children in the Borough allowed to join Library for free, 150 pounds per year spent on children's books, Reading Room converted to new section opened on 5th October, 350 children registered in the first two weeks.
1948 Talk of New Zealand Room begins.
1950 Public call for historical documents for New Zealand Room.
1951 Library interest wanes after Miss Taylor's resignation - Mr Kealy, patron of the NZ Library Association, said, "The cost of a good Library service for Tauranga per head of population was roughly equal to that of two visits to the pictures, one box of chocolates, and two ice creams a year."
1952 ID cards introduced.
1962 Mobile service was suggested as an alternative to Greerton branch.
1963 After Greerton became part of the Borough, council agreed to trial a branch Library a shop was rented on Chadwick Road, this was a great success.
1963 Bernard Sladden Collection came under the control of the New Zealand Public Libraries.
1963 Mount Maunganui Library opened.
1963 New Municipal building opened.
1968 Possibility of an Otumoetai branch rejected.
1968 Mobile Library had two suburban pick ups these were introduced at Matua Dairy and Brookfield Stationery shop.
1972 Library gained use of the whole of the Willow Street building, when Council moved into the Civic Administration building. Made use of part of the Town Hall for the Bernard Sladden Library and the Local History Collection.
1974 A Junior Library was created on the second floor of the Tauranga Library.
1974 A young adult's section was introduced.
1974 A hired vehicle began working in Brookfield as the first Mobile Library.
1974 Mobile Library service so popular, a "Seuss Hoose" van and caravan were purchased, and the run extended.
1975 Greerton branch transferred to Greerton Road.
1979 Mobile Library caravan replaced by a large van.
1981 Mr Napier became the City Librarian with a staff of 28.
1982 Services offered included book delivery to old people's homes, large print books, books on cassettes, and art prints.
1984 Newspaper Section started.
1987 Greerton Library extended.
1988 Library moved into temporary premises within the partly completed building to allow demolition of the old structure.
1989 Library moved into its final position in the Civic Complex, and reopened.
1989 Local government amalgamation combined the libraries of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga District Council.
1999 Mount Library renovated.
2006 New Papamoa Library and Community Centre opened.
2008 Tauranga Library refurbished.
2009 Greerton Library extended.

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A timeline Tauranga City Libraries


Year:1906 and 2006
City:Tauranga