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Thousands of legal books return home

23 November 2017

Books being moved back into the Wellington Law Library

It’s been three days of disruption, but the New Zealand Law Society Library staff in Wellington have finally been able to welcome back the last of several thousand books.

About 80-90,000 books had to be removed and placed into temporary storage and the library closed following the devastating magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake on 14 November 2016.

The librarians in the Wellington Law Library

Six weeks ago about 50,000 of the specialist books were brought back to the library, within the High Court on Molesworth Street. This week removal men from Freear Philip brought back the remaining books from the specialist document management facility in Porirua where they have been for the last year.

Law librarian Robin Anderson says it is hasn’t been easy as the removal men have gone about their work. “When they bring in the shelves in and take them out, that’s very noisy,” he says.

The workmen stack the books on the shelves but Robin and fellow librarians Julie Kirkland, Nicola Stedman and Julie Matthews then have to “tidy them up”, putting them in the correct order.

Bookshelves at the Wellington Law Library

“It’s very good to have all the books back. But it is a bit like moving house, with all the boxes going into the wrong rooms,” he says.

He expects much of December and January to be taken up with putting books into their correct places.

While all the Australian and New Zealand journals and the text books are roughly in order, the English, Scottish, Irish and older superseded text books need to be rearranged.

The New Zealand Gazette and the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives remain in Porirua for now. Mr Anderson says the library doesn’t have the space for them at the moment, but a lot of them are already available online.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019