A member of the public has emailed Auckland's mayor asking "what the council will do" about rough sleepers outside the city's central library.

But a library manager says there have been no issues with streeties sleeping outside the CBD building, and the library welcomes anyone through its doors.

In an email to Mayor Phil Goff, sent to the Herald, the man said he had seen "15 streeties sleeping with their heads against the library wall, thus blocking the pavement - including immediately next to the staff entrance".

The man said a number of staff were "apprehensively approaching the staff entrance - and several female staffers elected to linger so that they would enter the staff door in a group".


"I regularly walk past the library and there are always some streeties either sleeping or generally lingering. This makes it very unpleasant for ratepayers.

"Please advise what the council will do with this [sic]."

However, central library team leader Rhi Munro said the homeless were part of the library's user group, just like anyone else in the community.

Sometimes there were streeties hanging around the staff entrance of the building, but Munro said he was not aware of any incidents where staff felt uncomfortable.

"We haven't had any internal complaints from staff that we have issue with this," he said.

Munro added that security guards were present when staff opened the building in the morning, and were available to move people on if need be.

During opening hours, the Central City Library offered a reading programme for the homeless with help from City Mission.

"The library is a public space and we welcome everyone through our doors. We treat everyone equally and they are part of our community."


A similar message was sent at a Library and Information Association of New Zealand (LIANZ) conference in Christchurch last September.

Librarians were encouraged to help house homeless people during the day, a prospect which caused concern for at least one librarian at the time, who asked the Herald not to be named.

However LIANZ executive director Joanna Matthew said libraries had to adapt and work with communities to meet their information needs.

Where a community had a significant number of homeless people there was an obligation to develop services for that portion of the community.