Kate Edger Information Commons twentieth anniversary 2003-2023

Kate Edger Information Commons 20th anniversary

The Kate Edger Information Commons (KEIC) was described by University News as the “vibrant new heart” of the City Campus when it opened for business twenty years ago on Monday 28 April 2003.1 It was at the time an award-winning and innovative building and a new model for integrated student support service, which influenced similar developments in New Zealand, Australia and China. Appropriately enough, it was named after Kate Edger, herself a pioneer in education. She was the first woman to gain a degree in New Zealand and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a BA. Students working in the KEIC may have stopped to examine a certificate on the wall – Kate Edger’s own degree testamur. The building was officially opened by Helen Clark, Prime Minister at the time, who described it as a stunning building that takes the University Library to a whole new level.2

KEIC was enthusiastically embraced by students who appreciated the flexible study and social spaces study environment. Hester Mountifield, the manager from 2003 to 2009, believes the software environment was one of the primary reasons for its success. “For the first time, students could access the full range of enterprise systems, library resources, the Microsoft Office suite of software and their files on the faculty drives and the new central file storage supplied by IT for the new facility.”

Over the years, KEIC has kept up to date with changes in learning and technology. There has always been strong demand for student study space and KEIC was the first of Libraries and Learning Services to offer 24-hour access. Keeping up with demand hasn’t always been easy and we’ve had to overcome challenges over the years, most recently the cyclone and flooding in February 2023. We’re pleased to say that KEIC is back to 24/7 opening hours.

True to its mission of student support, KEIC now houses many of our services including Career Development and Employability Services (CDES), Te Fale Pouāwhina, Student IT Hub, Disabilities Resource Room, Inclusive Learning and English Language Enrichment (ELE).

Retailers such as the bookshop, campus pharmacy, and all the cafes in this location make it a real hub for student life on the City Campus. Where else would you go to buy a pie, borrow a laptop, and finish an essay at 2 in the morning?

On the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the Kate Edger Information Commons, Tom Owen, Manager Student Hubs and Client Services, said, “We’re so proud to have been part of so many students’ journeys through their university studies. We look forward to doing so for future generations of students, and continuing to enhance the Information Commons as student needs and requirements change over the coming years.”


1More than just a building.’ University of Auckland News, June 2003, p.10.

2Prime minister opens “stunning” building/Name highlights women’s achievements.’ University of Auckland News, September 2003, p.6.