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Christchurch City Council Media Release Friday 24 October 1997

Canterbury Public Library welcomes the Sumner Library


On Saturday 25 October 1997 Sumner Public Library will close its doors for the last time as a voluntary library, re-opening at 11.00 am on Tuesday 28 October 1997 as a Christchurch City Council Library - part of Canterbury Public Library’s network of 11 Community Libraries, the Central Library, 2 Mobile Libraries and a Children’s Library.

When the library re-opens on 28 October, a computer system linking all the libraries in the Canterbury Public Library network will be operating, enabling all issues, returns and membership to be done electronically. The system will give Sumner Library users access to nearly 1,000,000 items through the reserves system.

Sumner Library will operate as a satellite of the Linwood Library with stock moving between the two libraries ensuring Sumner readers have access to a wide range of material.

Photograph opportunity:

11.00 am Tuesday 28 October. The first customer of the new service will be presented with flowers and a book voucher by the Sumner Librarian, Elaine Sides.


Library service to adults in Sumner dates back to 1883 when the library consisted of two cupboards of books in the porch of Sumner School.

In 1952 a children’s section was added to this voluntary adult library and in 1974 Canterbury Public Library took responsibility for the children’s section, employing professional staff to develop and promote library service to the children of Sumner.

An extension to the Children’s Library was opened in 1991, made possible by the fund-raising efforts of the staff of both libraries and the enthusiastic support of the community.

Throughout this time, library service to adults has been provided by a dedicated and often long-serving group of volunteers, generously giving their time to ensure the Sumner community had its own library.

On Tuesday 25 February 1997 a Public Meeting held in the Sumner Community Hall voted to request that the City Council consider integrating the voluntary adult section of the Sumner Library into its network of libraries.

Plans are under-way to modify the existing building to create more space for library use and this work will commence in 1998.


Contact: Sue Sutherland

Libraries Manager, Canterbury Public Library

Telephone 379-6914

Fax 365-1751

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