150 Celebrating Christchurch City Libraries 1859-2009 RSS feed

Diamond Harbour Library / Te Kete Wānanga o Waipapa

Diamond Harbour has had a long and lively community life and a community run library has been part of that since 1943 when a branch of the Lyttelton Public Library was opened in the golf club pavilion. Books were delivered in a waterproof case on the Diamond Harbour ferry.

When the community hall was opened in 1955 a bookcase housing a base collection of 300 books was installed in the committee room. This collection was augmented by regular exchanges from Lyttelton and from the Country Library Service. The Country Library van delivered books several times a year and was eagerly awaited as the collection became read out.

In the late 1970s Comery Stanley proposed that a purpose built library should be constructed at the rear of the hall. After community fundraising a small group of volunteers constructed a 10 metre long room. The library was fitted out with old shelving and desks from Lyttelton Library which was being refurbished. Volunteers stripped, sanded and polyurethaned the donated wooden shelving, extra books were purchased and the Lyttelton Borough Council donated a new carpet. The library was opened in 1978.

Over the years the library continued to be run by volunteers, with Mary Stapylton-Smith taking a leading role. The library was supported by book collections from Lyttelton Public Library. The Country Library Service van deliveries stopped in the early 1980s, although volunteers could still go to the National Library in Christchurch and bring books back. Donations and volunteer work allowed the library to be expanded to house a larger permanent non fiction collection and the library was able to develop a very well rounded collection.

During the big snow of August 1992 a blocked drain caused the library to be flooded and the carpet ruined. More fundraising ensued to raise the money for a new carpet. Volunteers continued to run the library over the years and this work continues today.

Diamond Harbour LibrarySince Diamond Harbour Library became part of Christchurch City Libraries network in 2006, the volunteers have been assisted by paid library staff. The library offers online access to the catalogue, photocopying and printing services. The little library has seen a huge increase in circulating numbers with the collection boosted by a steady flow of new books and popular titles.

The library is open Tuesdays from 2pm to 7pm, Thursdays from 10am to 2pm, Fridays from 2pm to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 12pm.

Diamond Harbour Library became a part of Christchurch City Libraries network in 2006 when Banks Peninsula District Council and Christchurch City Council amalgamated.

Sources

Competitions

Library travels with my Father

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