Physical media at the library

For many years the library boasted a large and seemingly ever-expanding collection of music CDs, and movie/TV DVDs. These days, due to a decline in the amount of physical media being produced, the supply is slowing to a trickle. We must also be aware of our place in the supply chain: we’re at the end, far away from the biggest producers. Companies that import CDs and DVDs for distribution in Aotearoa now bring in a smaller number of items each month. As sales decline in the shops, the range of choice for the library to purchase grows ever smaller, because we aren’t allowed to buy them from overseas like individuals can.

Library discs which are damaged or lost are basically impossible to replace, so the collection shrinks from year to year.

There is still demand for physical media among the people who use the library. So we hold onto these plastic discs because they still have value in our community. After all, it’s no good saying you can stream all that stuff if people don’t have a computer/internet connection/spare cash to subscribe.

CDs and DVDs are – at time of writing – free to issue from the library, and can be reserved and returned at any library location.

Another way in which we help fill the gap is by providing free internet access on our PCs. You can jump on with a guest pass, or use your library card to access them. If you want to see what Justin Hawkins thinks of a King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard music video, you can do that at the library.

From now on you will see music, movies and cultural performances on the big screen in the Sound & Vision area (Central Library, Mezzanine Floor). If you’re part of a group that has video footage to share, please get in touch! As long as you have the rights to the soundtrack (and any music included), and permission from any people appearing in the footage, it can be played on the screen and help you reach a wider audience. Contact us to enquire about this initiative.

Finally, work is beginning on a local music database, to help people discover new music. This database will house short features on local bands, with links to the artists’ own sites, so that anyone interested goes right to the source. If you’d like your band to be featured, please contact Initially this content will be found on the library’s blog, but as it grows it may split off into its own entity.

The methods of delivery of music and movies might change over time, but the library will change to adapt, so that you can still see and hear the things you enjoy.