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TARARUA DISTRICT LIBRARY IS ONE LIBRARY comprised of four community libraries. For a short time the Tararua District Library was run by a Trust, but reverted back to council funding in 2003.
The original privately funded library was a small wooden house in Allardice Street South, situated where the skate bowl now is. Then Andrew Carnegie used his fortune to build 2,507 libraries globally – 18 of these were built in NZ. Mr Carnegie donated £2000 to build a Carnegie Library in Allardice Street (next door to the original library) which opened 27 May 1908. By 1984, the Carnegie building had become too small, so the library moved into part of the current council building in Gordon Street. The Carnegie Library is now a youth centre.
In 1994, the council needed more space, so the library moved into a purpose built library in Station Street.
Built by the Jaques Bros in 1963, this building housed both Borough Council Chambers and Library, and is situated on the corner of Kiwi and Main Streets.
It is no longer the Council Chambers (the Service Centre is over the road), but there is a town hall attached to the rear.
Eketahuna Library was originally in the Borough Council building on Main Street. It used to occupy a fairly small area at the rear while the large front room was a newspaper reading room. This building has since been demolished.
In 1994 the Library was moved to its present position on the corner of Bridge and Main Streets, in what had first been Eketahuna County Council Office, and then the Tararua District Council Office.
In 2002 walls were removed, to become the Community Library and Council Service Centre.
In 1879, a public meeting was held to apply for money for a school library but it was decided instead to form a Public Library. A school room was to be the library with custodians taking care of the books. This room was also used for public meetings and church services. In 1883, a grant of ten pounds was received. The first honourable Librarian was William G Crawford, and the library was open Tuesday and Friday afternoons. In 1886, funds were low because only half of the 100 subscribers had paid their subscriptions (nine pounds five shillings). The custodian Miss Jackson was paid two pounds two shillings.
In 1887, a reading room with two living rooms was opened in Ormond Street. This became the residence of Mrs Grayland.
In 1903 a resolution was passed asking the Borough Council to take over the Library. In 2013, the library was amalgamated with the Council service centre, to become the Community Library & Service Centre.