Our collections

With more than 400,000 physical lending and reference items on offer, we provide you with access to a great range of books, DVDs, archives, magazines, and newspapers. 

Borrowable items are issued free to members for 28 days, excluding magazines, DVDs and best sellers which are issued for 7 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.


Man looking at magazinesOur 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.



The Adult DVD collection ranges from popular blockbuster films, music, art house, TV series, through to practical health, hobby and travel guides.


Graphic novels

The Adult, Young Adult and Junior Fiction collections also include graphic novels, with over 1,600 titles in Young Adult and over 1,000 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

Woman reading Chinese magazineOur World Languages Collection contains over 3,000 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.


Tangata Whenua/Maaori history

We maintain a lending collection of 1,000+ titles plus a further 4,700+ titles in the Heritage (non-lending) collection on Maaori topics.



EphemeraOur 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.



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 are on microfilm. 


Motor manuals

The library has an extensive range of manuals to help you undertake machinery and vehicle repair. 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. 


Music scores

Man looking at music scoreOur 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.



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.