When your library is about to move into another building you need to make a plan, especially for moving the library’s contents and providing access to resources during the project.

Relocating your library

This overview outlines the steps you need to take when your library moves to a new location. Our guide has more information and a template to help you prepare your relocation plan.

Tips for moving your library (docx, 207KB)

  • Your project team and action plan

    You could follow these steps to plan your project.

    1. Form a project planning team

    Your team may include:

    • senior leaders
    • teachers and library staff
    • students, and parents or whānau, and
    • professional consultants working on the project, such as the project manager or an architect.

    2. Make an action plan

    When you make your plan, start by clarifying everyone's roles and responsibilities. You'll also need to think about:

    • reporting and communication processes
    • time frames
    • how often and when the project team will meet.

    3. Establish a budget and identify resources

    Clarify and document:

    • the funding (if any) that's allocated for shifting the library
    • any extra resources you'll need for the library move, including:
      • any temporary location you'll use
      • extra hours you and other staff may need to work
      • new shelving or furniture
      • moving your IT infrastructure.

    4. Prepare your action plan

    Using all the information you've gathered:

    • identify factors that will affect how you set up the new library, for example changes in:
      • year levels, such as moving from Years 9 to 13 to Years 1 to 13
      • your school roll
      • the needs of students, such as ESOL or special education
    • what shelving, furniture, books and other resources need to be moved or disposed of
    • work out how you'll provide access to the library's collection during the project
    • put together a plan for keeping everyone who is affected up-to-date with changes and progress
    • in consultation with staff, students and parents or whānau, develop a shared vision for the new library that aligns with the school’s educational goals.

    Library guiding documents

    5. Track your project against your plan

    At subsequent project planning meetings:

    • check the progress you're making and document any decisions, including any changes to your plan
    • keep tabs on funding allocation and expenditure for the project to ensure availability when required
    • keep all the planning documentation in a project file so it's available for school audit purposes.
  • Your project team and action plan

    You could follow these steps to plan your project.

    1. Form a project planning team

    Your team may include:

    • senior leaders
    • teachers and library staff
    • students, and parents or whānau, and
    • professional consultants working on the project, such as the project manager or an architect.

    2. Make an action plan

    When you make your plan, start by clarifying everyone's roles and responsibilities. You'll also need to think about:

    • reporting and communication processes
    • time frames
    • how often and when the project team will meet.

    3. Establish a budget and identify resources

    Clarify and document:

    • the funding (if any) that's allocated for shifting the library
    • any extra resources you'll need for the library move, including:
      • any temporary location you'll use
      • extra hours you and other staff may need to work
      • new shelving or furniture
      • moving your IT infrastructure.

    4. Prepare your action plan

    Using all the information you've gathered:

    • identify factors that will affect how you set up the new library, for example changes in:
      • year levels, such as moving from Years 9 to 13 to Years 1 to 13
      • your school roll
      • the needs of students, such as ESOL or special education
    • what shelving, furniture, books and other resources need to be moved or disposed of
    • work out how you'll provide access to the library's collection during the project
    • put together a plan for keeping everyone who is affected up-to-date with changes and progress
    • in consultation with staff, students and parents or whānau, develop a shared vision for the new library that aligns with the school’s educational goals.

    Library guiding documents

    5. Track your project against your plan

    At subsequent project planning meetings:

    • check the progress you're making and document any decisions, including any changes to your plan
    • keep tabs on funding allocation and expenditure for the project to ensure availability when required
    • keep all the planning documentation in a project file so it's available for school audit purposes.
  • Options for providing access to collections

    The nature of your school’s building project and associated timelines will determine whether students and staff can continue to access your library’s collections, and the level of services you are able to provide. For example, if you're:

    • building a new library, you may be able to continue operating in your current library until you move to the new library
    • merging with another school, your options will depend on whether your merged 'new' school’s existing library building is to be used, remodelled or a new library built elsewhere within the school
    • using the library as a temporary classroom, you may need to set up a temporary library
    • remodelling the library, continued access to the library’s resources depends on how extensive that renovation is going to be.

    School library mergers

  • Options for providing access to collections

    The nature of your school’s building project and associated timelines will determine whether students and staff can continue to access your library’s collections, and the level of services you are able to provide. For example, if you're:

    • building a new library, you may be able to continue operating in your current library until you move to the new library
    • merging with another school, your options will depend on whether your merged 'new' school’s existing library building is to be used, remodelled or a new library built elsewhere within the school
    • using the library as a temporary classroom, you may need to set up a temporary library
    • remodelling the library, continued access to the library’s resources depends on how extensive that renovation is going to be.

    School library mergers

  • Preparing a communications plan

    You'll need to keep staff, students and other stakeholders informed about when your library is going be out of action. Agree:

    • who is going to undertake this regular communication
    • who else needs to get updates, such as parents and whānau
    • how you'll provide updates, for example using the school newsletter and the library page of the website.

    It's a good idea to plan ahead so you can provide resources likely to be in demand during the project. For example, if you:

    • intend to box the collections in readiness for shifting into a new or temporary library or storage area, arrange for teachers and students to select loans beforehand.
    • are remodelling the library, agree on the range of services you'll make available, for example you may need to set up a temporary library.

    Teachers may be able to fill gaps by using the lending services available from Services to Schools.

    Lending service

  • Preparing a communications plan

    You'll need to keep staff, students and other stakeholders informed about when your library is going be out of action. Agree:

    • who is going to undertake this regular communication
    • who else needs to get updates, such as parents and whānau
    • how you'll provide updates, for example using the school newsletter and the library page of the website.

    It's a good idea to plan ahead so you can provide resources likely to be in demand during the project. For example, if you:

    • intend to box the collections in readiness for shifting into a new or temporary library or storage area, arrange for teachers and students to select loans beforehand.
    • are remodelling the library, agree on the range of services you'll make available, for example you may need to set up a temporary library.

    Teachers may be able to fill gaps by using the lending services available from Services to Schools.

    Lending service

  • Establishing a relocation plan for your collection

    Prepare a relocation plan for packing up, moving and unpacking your library’s contents.

    Our guide includes a template (Library relocation plan on page 5) which sets out the main actions for moving the library and setting up a temporary library.

    Tips for moving your library (docx, 207KB)

    You'll need to identify risks such as insurance cover, and workplace safety. You can find information in:

    • your school's hazard register, or
    • Worksafe's code of practice for manual handling.

    Code of practice for manual handling (pdf)

  • Establishing a relocation plan for your collection

    Prepare a relocation plan for packing up, moving and unpacking your library’s contents.

    Our guide includes a template (Library relocation plan on page 5) which sets out the main actions for moving the library and setting up a temporary library.

    Tips for moving your library (docx, 207KB)

    You'll need to identify risks such as insurance cover, and workplace safety. You can find information in:

    • your school's hazard register, or
    • Worksafe's code of practice for manual handling.

    Code of practice for manual handling (pdf)

  • Getting help and advice

    Contact our Services to Schools’ helpline for free advice on the building project stages. Our help can be particularly valuable at the beginning of the process before any plans have been drafted.

    Phone: 0800 LIB LINE (0800 542 5463)

    You could also get advice from colleagues in other schools who have been through a similar process.

  • Getting help and advice

    Contact our Services to Schools’ helpline for free advice on the building project stages. Our help can be particularly valuable at the beginning of the process before any plans have been drafted.

    Phone: 0800 LIB LINE (0800 542 5463)

    You could also get advice from colleagues in other schools who have been through a similar process.