Your library card

What you need to know about your library card.

Using your library card

  • Anything borrowed on your card will be issued to your record.
  • The membership number on your library card and your password / PIN give you access to our eResources.
  • Your library card can be used at all libraries in the Christchurch City Libraries network.
  • You can load money onto your membership account using Pharos to pay for copying, printing, and other library services and products.
  • Take your card with you on holiday as it allows you to borrow from most public libraries in New Zealand.

Looking after your library card

  • Money owed for charges or lost or damaged stock will stay on your record until paid.
  • If your library account is not used for two years, it is deleted from our records. This is necessary to keep up-to-date statistics for strategic planning and budgeting.
  • Take care of your card.
  • Do not let others use it.
  • Report its loss or theft immediately so that we can stop other people using it.
  • You are liable for replacing materials borrowed with your card until it is reported lost or stolen.
  • There will be a charge for replacement cards.

Loading money on your account

You can pay for copying, printing and paying for internet access with Pharos. Credit can be transferred from your library card or e-services card to your Pharos account. You can load money on your account at any library location; please ask a staff member at the main desk.

If you do not qualify to be a member of Christchurch City Libraries you can request a Pharos visitor account.

Keep your account details safe so that other people cannot use your credit.

Library cards

He taonga tuku iho
Tukua kia rere tō wairua, ki nga taumata
Nōu te ao.

This heritage is yours
(so) let your spirit [imagination] soar to the heights,
 (for) the world is yours to explore.


Sustainable Membership Card Design

Tirohanga Whānui - Overview

The four cards are produced on a robust 700gsm card and have stunning new designs produced in partnership between Ngā Ratonga Māori and CCC Marketing.

The three key elements of the card design:

  1. Digital first and Waste Minimisation
  2. Sustainable and Biodegradable Card Material
  3. Te Ao Māori design

The cards were co-designed by Māori Library Services and Marketing leading into Libraries Matariki campaign. A month long celebration based on an annual changing theme aligned to the specific stars of the cluster we are celebrating. The theme of 2022 “Toitū ngā mahinga kai a Matariki – Sustainable, natural resources of Matariki” celebrating the growing stars Tupuārangi (things that grow in trees and bushes, like fruit and also birds; Tupuānuku (things that grow in the soil) and Ururangi (things associated with the wind).

Like all the stars of the Matariki cluster, they are closely associated with health, wellbeing and our natural environment, thus tying in nicely with the sustainability focus of the whole project.

It was therefore it was agreed that the design elements would incorporate aspects that reflect all nine stars of Matariki and their respective associations. This also extends these natural and sustainable threads through Matariki representing the connection between people and the environment.

Ko ngā Āhuatanga Hoahoa – Design elements

Te Karere – Translation of wording

Māori messaging is a call to action from Libraries to our community to come and physically discover something through exploring, examining our collection, resources and services.

Tōmene = (verb) to explore thoroughly, inspect, have a good look
Mai = (particle) directional, indicates direction towards the speaker

Ngā Whakaahua – Patterns

The patterns are derived from traditional tukutuku panels, ornamental lattice work that adorn wharenui, carved meeting houses throughout Aotearoa.

This weaving style originates from a series of binding and knotting techniques which Māori brought with them from the Pacific. Once in Aotearoa, these techniques were adapted to weaving for adornment of their structures, capturing stories of where they came from, how they got here and reflective of their new environment. Tūranga has a set made by master weavers and the community which were then gifted to Christchurch City Libraries.

This pattern is based on the Poutama, “a stepped pattern… symbolising genealogies and also various levels of learning.” It symbolises the owners desire to attain more knowledge and learning in their life’s journey.
The colours are linked to the celestial stars of Matariki – Pōhutukawa, Hiwa-i-te-Rangi and Matariki (the mother), who are considered our guardian stars, Te Kāhui Kumanu o Matariki that nurture and care for us, helping us to achieve our learning aspirations.


While this pattern is based on Roimata, “formed with stitches that fall vertically like… tears”.  It also links to another weaving pattern tātai whakaheke which refers to an intergenerational activity such as the passing of knowledge.

The colours are associated with the water stars of Matariki – Waitī, Waitā and Waipunarangi, who we consider as Te Kātao o Matariki, the water stars of Matariki, reminding us of how knowledge flows from one source to another.


This pattern is based on Waewae Pākura, foot prints of the swamp hen (Pākura is a Kāi Tahu word for Pukeko). It symbolises our life journey to obtain knowledge, It acknowledges the journey many of our customers have made to live here in Aotearoa.

The colours correlate to the growing and wind stars of Matariki – Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi and Ururangi, that we refer to as ngā mahinga kai a Matariki, the sustainable natural resources of Matariki. This design is reminder to not only care for our environment but also to continue to cultivate our knowledge.


This pattern is based on Whakapuareare, to make holey. It is a kupenga, net style weave which links to the narrative of Taramainuku who is connected to the stars of Matariki as he uses a kupenga to catch those who have passed on to be released into the sky as stars at the rise of Matariki. It also acknowledges the only going gathering of knowledge and the linking of the past to the future through the present.

The colours are a culmination of all the values of the Matariki star cluster, embracing difference, diversity and encouraging acceptance.

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