The Nelson Public Library building has served different functions over the course of its history, but it has remained in use on Hardy Street for over 100 years.
The building was erected in 1911 and was opened in 1912, with the public library on the ground floor and the museum on the second floor.
By the 1970s the library was too small and old to serve the growing population of nelson, and the building declined in its use.
In 1990 the new public library was opened and was named after Elma Turner a former Councillor and activist for a new library.
Since 1991 the building was used by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology as their Fisheries School.