My Account »

Our Collections

There is something for everyone at Hamilton City Libraries. With more than 400,000 items on offer, we provide you with access to a great range of books, DVDs, CDs, archives, magazines and newspapers. Through our website you can borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines as well as searching online newspaper and journal articles.

Borrowable items are issued free to members for 28 days, excluding magazines, CDs, DVDs and best sellers which are issued for 7 days, and eBooks and eAudiobooks which are issued for 14 days. An item normally stays at the library where it was returned until it is borrowed again. This way, new stock moves around the libraries, ensuring that each library has a constantly changing and updated collection.

⦿   Children's collections

For children, in addition to our story and non-fiction books, we have puzzles, DVDs, CDs, magazines, board books for babies, readers, talking books, graphic novels, eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines.

⦿   Magazines

Our magazine collections cover a wide range of titles, from Apollo and Car, to Your Home and Garden. Most magazines are free to borrow and back issues of Pay Magazines become free after four months' use. On Level 3 of the Central Library you'll find a range for browsing in the library. A growing collection of eMagazines is available 24/7 through RBdigital. Ask about our other electronic magazines available in the Libraries and from your home computer or mobile device.

⦿   DVDs and music CDs

The Adult DVD collection ranges from popular blockbuster films, music, art house, TV series, through to practical health, hobby and travel guides. Our CD music collection contains popular genres from rock and jazz to country and easy listening. There is also a large serious music component to meet the educational and recreational needs of classical enthusiasts in opera, orchestral and choral performances.

⦿   eBooks,  eAudiobooks, and eMagazines

We have a growing collection of thousands of free electronic publications. 24/7 access — borrow online, anytime, anywhere — through Wheelers, BorrowBox, and RBdigital.

⦿   Graphic novels

The Adult, Young Adult and Junior Fiction collections also include graphic novels, with over 1600 titles in Young Adult and over 1000 in each of Adult and Junior Fiction collections.

⦿   Kit collection

Think of all the things you could do if you only had a tool kit or a sewing machine. Think of the fantastic party you could throw if you had the means to bake a variety of sumptuous novelty cakes! The kit collection is all about taking the time to learn something new or to dust off an existing skill or maybe even gain a new hobby.

⦿   World Languages

Our World Languages Collection contains over 3000 books for adults and hundreds of children's books in 30+ different languages. The largest collections are Chinese, Korean and Japanese. We have ten magazines in Chinese, Hindi, Tamil and Korean. You can find the World Languages section on Level 2 of Central Library, and in all our community libraries.

⦿   Talking books

Keen on listening to a thrilling novel on your way to the dentist? Keen for an adventure while lying in bed? We offer a large talking book collection which will appeal to many people and particularly those who find it difficult to read traditional books due to sight impairment or other physical limitations. Our libraries stock a substantial range of books on CD and a small number of Playaway 'ready-to-listen' digital audiobooks. You'll also find eAudio, electronic talking books available from BorrowBox.

⦿   Maaori history

We maintain a lending collection of 1000+ titles plus a further 4700+ titles in the Heritage (non lending) collection on Maaori topics

⦿   Heritage

Our heritage collections include archives, oral histories, manuscripts, over 15,000 historic photographs, ephemera and a wide range of books and magazines. The collections focus on Hamilton and the Waikato but also include New Zealand and a limited amount of international material.

⦿   Newspapers

Daily copies of the New Zealand Herald and the Waikato Times, are available at all Hamilton libraries. Level 1 of Central Library also holds the Bay of Plenty Times, The Press, Otago Daily Times. The Hamilton Press is also regularly available.
The Heritage section on Level 3 holds the Waikato Times back to 1872, most of which is on microfilm.

You can also view a huge range of national and international newspapers through PressReader, which can be accessed at any of our libraries, or, if you are a library member and have broadband access, from home.

⦿   Motor manuals

DIY motor, machinery and vehicle repair has been in our blood for generations. It’s part of our heritage – from restoring old cars to getting the Seagull outboard up and running again. The library has an extensive range of manuals to help you undertake the great New Zealand pastime. We have Haynes, Chilton’s, Ellery’s and Gregory’s manuals for car tuning and repair covering most common makes from Austin to Wolseley for older cars and Audi to Volvo for modern vehicles. Truck maintenance is also covered. Several volumes of technical specifications including firing orders, cam belt marks and torque settings supplement make/model manuals. There are also manuals specific to components and systems like brakes, carburettors, transmissions and air-con. For the lower volume models we can assist you to find a manual carrying the information you require if it's engine or gearbox related. For motorcycle enthusiasts, there is a large number of make/model manuals. Small motors are well served with manuals covering motors as diverse as Iron Horse two stroke to Briggs and Stratton four stroke and Tecumseh, Stihl and Jacobsen to mention only a few. In these manuals, chain saws, motor mowers, hedge trimmers and many other small machines are covered for maintenance and repair.

⦿   Music scores

Our music score collection of over 1400 titles covers a broad range including current popular music, classical works, children's music, Christmas carols and folk music. We have scores to help those learning musical instruments and to provide supplementary material for music examinations and school curriculum.

⦿   Zines

The Central Library has a small lending collection of Zines — self-published works of original text and images. These are located on Level 2. The Heritage Zines Collection on Level 3 preserves a sample of locally authored and based works.

Hamilton Libraries