The Len Beckett Memorial Library

The Association’s private library is named in honour of Len Beckett (1922-1990), a WW2 veteran and trade unionist who served as President of the Association from 1985-87.

With more than 3500 titles in stock, the Library is thought to be the largest collection of rationalist literature in the Southern Hemisphere.

Library Catalogue

A searchable online catalogue is not yet available, but the entire catalogue may be downloaded as a Zip file in the following formats:

NOTE: You will need Winzip or a similar program to open these compressed files.

Most recent update to catalogue files: 26-Mar-2007.

Information for Library Users

When is the library open?

The library is open to the public at meetings and events. Please contact the office to arrange for the library to be open at other times.

Who can borrow?

Members of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists and the NZ Skeptics can borrow books. Items can be mailed to those outside of Auckland at a small cost to the borrower. Occasionally, the Librarian may approve non-member borrowers using the library for thesis or research purposes. Non-members must provide name, address and telephone number, along with proof of their address and signature ID.

How long for?

Books are issued for two months and may be renewed twice. Renewals may be done by phone, fax, post, email or by visiting the library. Members borrowing by mail may have books for three months. Overdue books will not incur fines, however excessively overdue books will be assumed missing and borrowers will receive an invoice for replacement.

How many?

As many as you wish, but please be considerate.


We prefer that books are returned in person, or returned through the letter slot in the office door. Out-of-town members may post their books back. Damaged books should be returned with a note. Do not attempt to repair the book.

Finding Books

There is a complete catalogue by Title and Subject of lending and reference books in the Library. Please ask the office staff to look on the computer if you can’t find a book. A complete catalogue can be posted out to you on request. Please advise preferences for text size and list type (by Title or Subject or Author). ‘Reference only’ books may not be removed from Rationalist House.


We have local and international journals on Humanism, Atheism, Rationalism, Skepticism, Philosophy and Science. These are available for reading and photocopying at Rationalist House but may not be borrowed.

Articles & Clippings

We have a comprehensive vertical file containing articles on many subjects relevant to our cause. These may be photocopied on the premises but the originals may not be removed. We will also copy and post or fax out documents on request. Users of the library must observe copyright regulations when photocopying.

Photos & Ephemera

We are currently compiling a photo-history of Rationalism in New Zealand. If you have any photos that you think might be relevant, we would be keen to make copies for our archives. Contact the office if you would like to view the photo or pamphlet collection.

Audio tapes and Videotapes

These are available from the office and may be borrowed at a charge of $2.00 per videotape or audiotape to recover costs resulting from wear.

CDs and DVDs

CDs and DVDs are available for one-month borrowing. Lost or damaged CD-ROMs must be paid for in full by the borrower.

Overdue, Lost and Damaged Books

Overdue books will not incur fines, however, a reminder letter will be sent if the book is overdue and borrowing privileges will be withheld until the books are returned. It the books are not returned the borrower will receive an invoice for replacement. Any serious damage requiring replacement of the book(s) must be paid by the person who incurred that damage, accidental or otherwise. Damaged books that are able to be repaired should be returned with a note and will not incur a charge. Borrowers should not attempt to mend them at home with adhesive tape. Writing on books is not acceptable.

Len Who?

The library is named in commemoration of Len Beckett (1922-1990), a trade unionist and former President of the Association. Len was born in England and served in the Royal Marines in the Atlantic, Africa, and Europe during the Second World War. He came to New Zealand in 1949, joined the Rationalist Association in 1972, and spent several years as a Council member, holding the office of President from 1985-87. On his death in 1990, Len bequeathed a sum of money to further the development of the Library.