The Auckland Public Library is the Central City Library and the premier of 17 public libraries and one mobile library operated by Auckland City Council. It devolved from the Auckland Mechanics’ Institute, which the City Council took over in September 1980. Its collection along with that of the Library of the Old Auckland Provincial Council were all included in the Auckland Free Public Library. In 1887 some 8,000 books were donated by Sir George Grey (1812-98), twice Governor of New Zealand (1845-53 & 1861-68), a great respecter of the Maori, who induced the leading chiefs to write down accounts of their traditions, legends and customs. His donation doubled the existing collection of books. These were all housed in a building on the corner of Wellesley and Coburg Streets (now the Auckland Art Gallery). The present building was opened on Lorne Street in 1971.
This location was previously a tributary to the Wairhorptiu Stream looked after by resident Maori.
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