Tauranga's new library is expected to be built within three years, the council has announced.

Tauranga City Council has announced today it will open a newly built, future-proofed central library in Willow Street in 2022.

Tauranga Mayor and councillors considered submissions as part of the Long Term Plan deliberations this month. The plan will be on June 28 and work will begin immediately to design the new library.

City Transformation Committee chair Larry Baldock said a new central library would support a vibrant, safe, successful city centre.


"I am thrilled that we have committed to a new central library that is going to a special place for people to meet, learn and connect in the heart of the city," Baldock said.

"Thanks to the support from many people across the community who have shared their views through our consultation. The community voice for investment in a library, built to last, is loud and clear."

The current central library has a long history of building issues, such as water infiltration, air conditioning and service malfunction. The current library also has no room to accommodate the growing population. Technical assessments determined that repairing the building was not a financially prudent option.

The council stated in a press release this afternoon the new library's purpose would be to:
•be a recreation and cultural attraction that contributes to a vibrant city centre
•be a community hub for learning, innovation and connection
•share the stories of Tauranga: past, present and future in its Heritage Centre and Archive.

Tauranga Libraries manager Joanna Thomas said the 'community hub' model adopted reflected the trend that libraries offered more than books.

"In this digital era, a strong emphasis is on providing a wide range of services from homework programmes, to CV support, to computer and internet access, all encouraging civic participation. Libraries are a place for our people," she said.

In community feedback, 61.2 per cent of respondents supported investing in a future-proof central library. They also considered other priorities and capped the council's contribution to the project at $35m. Council will be looking to raise external funding in addition to this contribution.

The statement said council staff would continue to identify potential savings while keeping true to the aspirations of the community. The new library is expected to be operational in 2022, with the current central library continuing to provide services to the community until the new facility is open.