Harry Potter casts a spell over the capital’s readers

The magic of words continue to delight the capital even while our libraries are closed. The use of our online resources is growing, with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone one of the top five eBooks and eAudiobooks downloaded during lockdown.

“It’s not surprising Harry Potter is in the top five, as these stories appeal to young people and adults alike,” says Laurinda Thomas, Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “The number of people reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks has jumped by over thirty percent compared to 2019.”

“Over the past weeks we welcomed the biggest increase in new members, with 436 new people registering online – double the average weekly joining rate of 215. Plus we updated the details for 377 existing members so they can access the online resources. Now we’re focused on delivering new content; activities and events to stay engaged, educated or entertained during lockdown.”

“In the film streaming world, Little Ted’s Big Adventure is most popular so far on Kanopy, but this was followed closely by recent and classic movies, and documentaries – so there is definitely something for everyone.”

”This week we launched the #StayAtHome Film Festival, where our librarians will promote a selection of films on different genres every few days. People can watch the films for free using our Kanopy or Beamafilm subscriptions through their library card. The Festival opens with Marilyn’s picks for women in sport on the Library website.

“Marilyn will also be running tutorials for people who are using the lockdown to develop new work skills from courses available on Lynda.com. She’ll post a new blog with tips and links to free courses every few days on our website.”

“We’re also providing some of our popular branch services via Facebook, such as the Facebook Storytime sessions which are seeing between 1500 to 2500 views that are often shared far and wide!”

“We encourage more people to find what latest books, films, activities and eResources are available by visiting our website or  following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.”

The huge popularity of these online services demonstrates the value of the Wellington City Libraries in the capital, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“The library teams have been quick to adapt to the current lockdown situation, and have been incredibly resourceful, imaginative, and collaborative in providing content for everyone in every bubble. Not only are they engaging with their pre-existing audience, but they are building a new one too.”

To join Wellington City Libraries online complete the WCL online form at wcl.govt.nz/join

Membership is open to all Wellington residents, students and people currently staying or working in the city.

Other new activities and events include:

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