The shelves are filled and doors are open at the new Napier Library, which was officially unveiled in its temporary home at the Hawke's Bay MTG this morning.

Napier residents, City Councillors, and staff from the MTG, Library, and council were among those gathered in the Century Theatre Foyer and welcomed to the facility by Napier Mayor Bill Dalton.

The ceremony was the culmination of months of hard work from library, MTG, and council staff, he said.

Read more: Excitement builds ahead of Napier Library opening
Local Focus: End of an era for Napier Library


The library closed in December, as it had to move from its former Station St premises after the building, and the neighbouring council building, were found to be earthquake prone.

It now occupies several rooms at the back of the MTG, which was previously used by the museum as archive, and storage space.

This morning Mr Dalton told the crowd the library team had worked "incredibly hard", and surpassed expectations of how much of the collection could be housed in the new space.

"We thought we were only going to get about 25,000 items into this space, but the team have worked so hard and diligently that they've actually got just on 40,000 items.

"We are really pleased to be able to have all the elements of a library covered. As well as having thousands of books to choose from, we have a research and heritage section any library would be proud of."

Applause was heard when he assured the crowd it was a "temporary" home.

Susan Wylie, one of the first to use the self-checkout machine, Napier City Library. Photo / Warren Buckland
Susan Wylie, one of the first to use the self-checkout machine, Napier City Library. Photo / Warren Buckland

After a blessing, the crowd was ushered into the first library room which houses computers, a study area, research books, and a service desk.

An octagonal vestibule leads off into a non-fiction area, and the larger fiction room - complete with a children's section, and seating area.

If a book was not available at the MTG site, it could be retrieved from either the Taradale library, or from the retrievable storage location in the CBD. Reservation fees have been removed.

The transition has also included improving the accessibility of the site - a ramp has been built outside the foyer, parking improved, and bus routes altered.

Opening hours of the Library, and MTG have been extended to align better between the two facilities, and the MTG's entry fee has been removed.