Leys Institute Library closure and FAQs

4 March 2020: Read update about Leys Institute Little Library opening date
31 January 2020: Read update on Leys Institute Library.

19 December 2019

The 114-year old Auckland Council-owned Leys Institute Library will close from 5pm, Friday 20 December until further notice.

The twin buildings are home to the Leys Institute Library and Gymnasium. A recently completed seismic assessment has found structural issues that make the buildings unsafe to occupy in the unlikely event of an earthquake.

Auckland Council’s Ian Maxwell, Director Customer and Community Services, says: “We have taken the necessary decision to close both Leys Institute buildings to ensure the safety of our staff and our customers.

“We know the likelihood of an earthquake in Auckland is very low compared to many other parts of the country. There is no immediate risk to people currently using the buildings. The buildings are considered safe under normal conditions.

“However, the engineering assessment has confirmed that there is a risk to the public in the event of an earthquake and public safety is paramount and must be our foremost priority.

“We’ve been working with our commercial operators, community providers and our staff to ensure a smooth transition of services over the past week and we are continuing to work with our partners on alternative locations.

“The Leys Institute buildings are wonderful examples of Auckland’s heritage and closing buildings that are a cornerstone of local community life is a difficult decision. They have a very long history of serving Aucklanders but unfortunately, it’s time for us to move out for the time being.”

Plans are in place for library services to continue within the local community and the council will work with our community partners and customers on alternative arrangements for the gymnasium and community space.

No library staff jobs will be affected by the buildings closure.

Auckland Council will also be considering options to restore Leys Institute and make it safe and fit for purpose.

For more information visit OurAuckland.

Leys Institute Library closure FAQs

Why is the Leys Institute Library and Gymnasium closing?
A recently completed seismic assessment indicates the buildings would not be safe, in the unlikely event of an earthquake.

When will you open again?
We do not have a date. However, we anticipate remedial building activity may take a number of years. A boutique library service within walking distance of the Leys Institute Library is being planned to be operational from March 2020. 

What options are available in the short term and where can I return items?
You can visit, browse, pick up and return items to any Auckland Library.

For locations and hours please visit the Auckland Libraries website. Auckland Central City Library (2.1km) and Grey Lynn Library (2.8km) are the closest libraries to Leys Institute Library.

Will your regular programmes be held anywhere else?
A: Yes, we anticipate we will be able to deliver many of our regular programmes in alternate premises although these details are not yet confirmed. We will update our website and Facebook page when we know. 

What will happen to the staff?
The team will be working at nearby libraries and supporting the pop-up mobile library service in January and once the boutique service is operational you will see them. There is no risk to library jobs.

I have reserved hold items to pick up, where do I go?  
All holds have been transferred to the Central Library. They can be picked up from Central City Library ground floor.

I can’t get to Central Library to collect my items, what other options do I have?
We can redirect items to another library if you let us know, be aware redirection will take a little time. Call Library Connect on (09) 977 1415 if you have questions about redirection.

I’m worried I will be charged because I can’t get to a library to drop off or pick up?
We will waive any charges incurred as a result of the short notice closure.  Please inform library staff at libraries or let us know over the phone, (09) 977 1415.

I’ve seen a book I want and it says it’s only at the Leys Institute library but it’s closed, how can I get it?
In February we will have the library collections removed and relocated, the item will become available then. 
We will continue to add to these FAQs.

If you have other questions in the meantime, please contact our Library Connect team (09) 977 1415 (call free) or fill out our general enquiries form on our website.


  1. I would like to hear the stories of the displaced librarians at the Leys Institute .They have become my dear friends and to think of this happening to them 6 dats before Christmas is devastating for me .....imagine what it must have been like for them .

    1. Hi there!

      The team are working at nearby libraries and were supporting the pop-up mobile library service in January. Once the boutique service is operational you will see them again. There is no risk to library jobs. Find out more about our interim solutions for Leys here: https://aucklandlibrariesblog.blogspot.com/2020/01/update-on-leys-institute-library.html ^cr

  2. I am most concerned we don’t lose this beautiful building. We have few listed building in Auckland. Does anyone know what’s planned?


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