Conditions of Use

These Conditions of Use apply to all library service points operated by Dunedin City Council.


Dunedin City: the area for the time being administered by Dunedin City Council.

Library: includes all the service points operating as part of Dunedin Public Libraries.

Library Services Manager: all actions required to be done by the Library Services Manager under these Conditions of Use may be undertaken by any library employee to whom authority has been delegated for undertaking such action.

Library Materials: materials held within the library and made available to the public for the purpose of reference or loan, and including books, magazines, audiovisual materials, art prints, posters etc.


Dunedin Public Libraries exists to provide the people of our community with access to library materials and services for the purpose of information, education, recreation and culture.


All residents and ratepayers of Dunedin City have the right to use the library and to borrow lending materials, providing they comply with these Conditions of Use.

The Library guarantees the following rights, subject to these Conditions of Use:

  • Any person may enter the library during opening hours and use library materials and facilities.
  • All City residents and ratepayers may join the library.
  • Library members may borrow lending materials available on library shelves.
  • Provision of assistance by library staff to help ensure access to library materials.


Every person using the library has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect. They are entitled to a high standard of service.


The library guarantees that personal details it obtains about individuals as a result of their use of the library will not be disclosed, except where required by law.

In relation to borrower registration, reference/research services, and hospital/housebound services, the following applies:

  • Personal information provided by the customer is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act 2020.
  • The library requires this information so that members can borrow items from Dunedin Public Libraries; or can be provided with reference/research service; or so that the library can provide a service to housebound residents and to patients in Dunedin hospitals and residential homes.
  • The intended recipients of the information are Dunedin Public Libraries and other Dunedin City Council Departments.
  • From time to time the library may use the information provided to distribute information to library members on new and existing collection items or to plan improvements to service.
  • Members have the right to examine the personal information the library holds about them. This can be done at any Library service point across the Network. If any of the information on a member's record is wrong, the library will be happy to correct it. If there is information on a record which a member feels is wrong, but which the library feels is correct, the member has the right to request that a statement of the alterations requested, but not incorporated, be attached to their member record.


The following categories of people may become library members:


Any person, regardless of age, living permanently in Dunedin City. Any person who intends living in Dunedin City for three months or more for the purpose of attending an educational institution, a course of treatment, or holidaying in the City, etc.


Those who pay property rates to the Dunedin City Council regardless of where they reside.


Those who do not qualify under the above conditions may register for a Non-resident family membership on payment of an annual subscription to be determined by the Council from time to time.


Businesses, and corporate bodies that pay property rates to the Dunedin City Council.

Education Institutions

Pre-primary, primary and secondary education institutions in Dunedin City.

Visitors - Reciprocal

Members of other New Zealand public libraries which allow members of Dunedin Public Libraries holidaying in their districts to borrow from their libraries are eligible for temporary membership while in Dunedin City. Proof of membership, such as a library card, is required.

Visitors - Non Reciprocal

Those persons who are in Dunedin City for more than four days but less than three months, and who do not qualify for membership under any of the above clauses, may join the library temporarily on payment of a fee to be determined by the Council from time to time.A proportion of the fee will be refunded provided all material borrowed is returned on time and in good order.

Otago Southland Reciprocal Residents

Any permanent resident of the Otago and Southland regions, which includes the local government authority areas of the Waitaki District Council, Clutha District Council, Gore District Council, Southland District Council, Invercargill City Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Central Otago District Council.


Identification Required

Proof of identification and address verification is required when applying for membership either in person or electronically.

Acceptance of Conditions of Membership Required

When applying to join the Library the person applying for membership, or if under 18 years of age, their guarantor, must indicate their acceptance of the conditions of membership.

One Card Only

No person may have more than one library card for use in the Dunedin Public Libraries, with the following exception.

A non-resident subscription member may be issued with additional cards for members of the family living at the same address as the subscription member.

False Information

Use of false name or address in order to become a library member or to retain library membership is not permitted. Failure to comply will result in cancellation of membership.

Non Transfer of Card

The library card is issued to the person applying for membership and may not be transferred.

Responsibility for Library Materials Borrowed

Library staff will assume that the person presenting the card has the right to use it. The person to whom the card was registered is responsible for all library materials issued on that card and for any fees or charges, which arise from its use. Children and young people under 18 years of age require a parent or guardian or other adult to be responsible for library materials borrowed by them.

Loss of Library Card

Loss of a library card should be reported promptly. Until the library is notified of the loss, the responsibilities in 'Responsibility for Library Materials Borrowed' clause apply.

Changes to Registered Information

The library must be notified of any changes to the information, which was entered on the application for membership. This includes a change of address, a change of name, etc.


Library Cards

Members must produce their library card in order to borrow library items or use any other services requiring the Library membership card.

Number of Items

The number of items which can be borrowed by an individual borrower at one time or the total number of items an individual borrower may have on loan at any one time is 30 items.

Library staff may at their discretion limit the number of items on the same subject, which may be borrowed at one time.

Reference Only Materials

Reference Only materials are not available for lending, except at the discretion of the Library Services Manager.

Loan Period

According to the type of material, library materials may be borrowed for a period of time determined by the Library Services Manager from time to time. Library materials retained for longer than the loan period may be subject to a charge.

There is a maximum loan period for all library materials after which the item is considered lost.

Returning Library Materials

Library materials may be returned to any Library or Bookbus in Dunedin City.


Retention of borrowed items beyond the period of extended loan, or the return of items which have been damaged, may result in a charge for the replacement value of the item borrowed, plus a fee for costs incurred.

In some cases the replacement value may be charged at a standardised rate, to minimise administration costs.

Loss of Borrowing Rights

Failure to return library items by due date and failure to pay all charges and fees as specified above may result in temporary loss of borrowing rights.

Maximum Amount of Debt

The Library sets a standard maximum amount for which a member is able to be in debt to the library. The amount may be reviewed by the Library Services Manager from time to time.

Borrowing rights may be suspended until the amount owed is within the determined limit. The Library reserves the right to pass on any costs related to debt collection to the member. Collection agencies may levy additional charges.


Library items are the property of Dunedin City Council. Failure to have items properly issued is considered theft, and may be treated as theft.

Institutions/Volunteer Libraries

Library materials can be issued to organisations registered as members of Dunedin Public Libraries. These organisations are responsible in all respects for these library materials, but may lend these items to their members or clients.

The library materials remain the property of Dunedin City Council, and organisations will be liable for replacing items which are lost or damaged.


The library offers a range of services and materials for which a charge is made as a condition of their use. The level of any Library fees and charges will be determined by Council.


  • The library endeavours to provide a safe environment for everybody. Library customers are expected to behave in a manner which does not endanger themselves or anyone else, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
  • All persons visiting Dunedin Public Library service points must comply with staff requests.
  • For safety reasons parents and caregivers are expected to ensure that children in their care are properly supervised at all times. The library takes no responsibility for unaccompanied children. Leaving children under the age of 14 years without reasonable supervision and care is an offence under the Summary Offences Act 1981 amended.
  • Any behaviour which endangers, disturbs, interferes with, or is inconsiderate of, any other person's use of the library, or is likely to cause damage to library property, is unacceptable. Verbal abuse of library customers and staff is also unacceptable. The Library Services Manager may issue a Trespass Order to any person who violates acceptable standard of behaviour in the Library.
  • Consumption of alcohol or the use of non-prescribed drugs is prohibited. Food and drink may be consumed in areas legitimately provided for this purpose.
  • Smoking and vaping in the library are prohibited.
  • The resources of Dunedin Public Libraries are owned by Dunedin City Council on behalf of the ratepayers of Dunedin City. The Library Services Manager is responsible for ensuring that these assets are maintained and available for the public good. Damage to library materials or to any other library property is therefore treated seriously and will result in penalties to fairly compensate the Library for damage or loss.
  • No animals are permitted on library premises, except those accompanying people with disabilities, or with the express permission of the Library Services Manager


Failure to observe the above Conditions of Use may result in temporary or long term suspension of membership and borrowing rights, and/or exclusion from Library premises, or penalties under the law as appropriate.


The Conditions of Use should be read in conjunction with the Dunedin City Consolidated By-Laws 1991, in particular Clause 1.16 - Access to Council Property, and 1.6 - Offences and Breaches.

Conditions effective from 18 May 2011.