Research your Ancestry in August

To celebrate Family History Month, Wellington City Libraries is holding ‘Ancestry in August’, a series of events for anyone interested in learning more about researching their family history.   There are events for those who are just starting out to research family history and also for those who may already have some research experience.

A Public Talk: Wellington Local History Resources
Friday 3rd August, 12:30pm -1:30pm

Come along to the Central Library ground floor and listen to our local history expert, Gábor Tóth, as he gives an overview of some of the lesser known sources available to research ancestors who may have lived in Wellington. This talk is free and you don’t need to book.

An introductory tour:  Genealogy Resources
Friday 10th August, 10:00am – 11:30am

Join Gábor for a tour of the family history resources available at the Central Library.

Learn about how to begin your family history research and the strengths and weaknesses of each resource. The talk will conclude with morning tea, when Gábor will demonstrate some of the online resources and talk about finds he has made. There is no charge for this event but numbers are limited and registration is required.

To register, please either contact the library via email to enquiries@wcl.govt.nz, or via phone at 04 801 4115, or come and speak to a librarian at the 2nd floor enquiries desk, Central Library to reserve your place.

Preserve and research your family history
Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 22nd and Friday 31st
10:00am – 4:00pm

Register to reserve a librarian: for the final three weeks of ‘Ancestry in August’ we have some times that will be available for you to book in with a librarian to help you with family history research. During your appointment you can choose to:

  • Digitise some family documents and photos.
  • Get help with your family search.
  • Discuss your whakapapa research with the Māori Specialist, Ann Reweti.

There is no charge for these appointments but registration is required. To register, please either contact the library via email to enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or via phone at 04 801 4115 or speak to a librarian at the 2nd floor enquiries desk, Central Library.

Short stories at Central are on the move

Bibliomysteries book cover

Short stories at Wellington Central Library are being integrated into the general fiction collection. Authors’ short stories collections have always been a part of the browsing experience amidst the author’s other books on the fiction shelves; the anthologies and compilations are found by their title.

Here are some interesting fiction short story compilations, new and not so new, spanning a variety of subjects, themes, collections, countries and continents.  Closer to home, this year’s Matariki theme Te Ahi Ka – The Home Fires, relates to the title of our first anthology Te Korero Ahi Kā: To speak of the home fires burning. Great for the long winter evenings, these compilations will give readers something new to explore.


Te korero ahi kā : To speak of the home fires burning
Te Korero Ahi Kā: To speak of the home fires burning is an anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, showcasing work from award-winning and emerging members Aotearoa/New Zealand authors, poets, artists of speculative fiction. Here, between the realms of the Sky Father and Earth Mother, hellhounds race, ghosts drift and the taniwha stalks. Home fires drive them back, sparking stories and poems that traverse seconds, eons, and parsecs.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bloody Scotland
“A collection of crime stories set in iconic Scottish structures.” (Catalogue)
Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s international crime writing festival. This year New Zealand writers Fiona Sussman and Paul Cleave distinguished in the Ngaio Marsh awards are taking part.

Cli-fi : Canadian tales of climate change
“With the world facing the greatest global crisis of all time – climate change – personal and political indifference has wrought a series of unfolding complications that are altering our planet, and threatening our very existence. These stories of Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) feature perspectives by culturally diverse Canadian writers of short fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and futurist works, and transcend traditional doomsday stories by inspiring us to overcome the bleak forecasted results of our current indifference.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Best British short stories
Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title. This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere.” (Catalogue)

Australian short stories. No 66.
“After 65 issues of Australian Short Stories from 1982-2000 we are back with a sparkling new collection of stories. In this collection we feature Gillian Mears’ last story. We published Gillian’s first story when she was 23 and followed up with examples of her work for 16 years. There are also new stories by old favourites, Kim Scott, Carmel Bird and Barry Dickins plus a series of stories from writers in the early stages of their careers. Open at the first page and savour Australia.” (Catalogue)

Robots vs fairies
“It’s the ultimate death match between the mechanical and the magical! When the lasers cease firing and the fairy dust settles, who will triumph in these epic battles between the artificial and the supernatural? Choose a side…” (Catalogue)

Bibliomysteries : crime in the world of books and bookstores
“An anthology of specially commissioned stories set in literary venues includes contributions by such writers as Loren D. Estleman, Anne Perry, and Laura Lippman.” (Catalogue)

PEN America best debut short stories. 2017
Poets, Essayists and Novelists America promote literature and freedom of expression.  This collection features twelve authors from publications around the Unites States of America.  An interesting mix, with selection discussed by the editors behind their handpicked choices.


Let a librarian set you up with a blind date with a book!

This July, allow your librarians to set you up on a blind date!

Come into the Central Library on Monday July 2nd and grab yourself a secretly wrapped book containing one of our hand chosen suitors.  There will be no blurbs, no covers and no sneak peaking, just a completely blind date.

via GIPHY

These titles have been carefully chosen for you, from a library of mysterious characters, to sweep you off your feet, rescue you from dangers and lead you down roads yet to be travelled! Whether you like a tall dark stranger, the sweet or sexy, uniformed or not, we have something for you! So step outside your comfort zone, and embrace guilty pleasures, who knows you might find a quick fling, a new booklover, or a lasting literary connection!

But get in get quick, there are only so many fish in this sea!

Join us for literary festival Beyond the Page! 7-22 July

After a successful start in 2017, Beyond the Page is back for the July School Holidays.

Last year over 4,000 people attended events in our region’s libraries and galleries. This year tamariki can once again go on an amazing literary and creative journey during the school holidays at hundreds of events around the region at New Zealand’s largest literary festival for children.

Sir Jon Trimmer will be back with Tales from the Ballet, Wellington’s Kings and Queens will be reading hand-picked stories at Rainbow Storytimes, award-winning Kiwi authors and creators (such as Sasha Cotter and Josh Morgan) will share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the next generation of storytellers, the BARK NZ brigade will be bringing their furry friends along, robots will be unleashed, and so much more – there’s something on for all members of the whānau!

Stay tuned for further information releases over the coming weeks. Follow Beyond the Page on Facebook, and check out the beyondthepage.nz website, for up to date information on events near you.

Pan Macmillan titles are moving to OverDrive

From the 28th of June, you’ll be able to issue hundreds of new Pan Macmillan titles through our OverDrive eBook service. eBook titles by authors like David Baldacci, Sue Grafton, Ann Cleeves and Andy Griffiths will be available for the first time on OverDrive.

Borrow eBooks

In the past, we’ve hosted Pan Macmillan eBooks through our other supplier of eBooks, BorrowBox. In response to customer demand though, and in an effort to consolidate our eBook collections, we’ve transferred this content across to OverDrive.

From the 26th of June, Pan Macmillan eBooks will no longer be available through BorrowBox.

There’s plenty of amazing and exclusive eAudio content on BorrowBox, so we still encourage you to check in with BorrowBox for new audiobook titles by authors like Lee Child, James Patterson, Eleanor Catton and Andy Griffiths. We’ll also host a smaller collection of eBooks on BorrowBox into the future.

If you’d like to get started with either our OverDrive or BorrowBox eBook and eAudio collections, go to our eLibrary Help page.

For more information or direct help with this change, please leave us a message with our Technical Support form.

New audio gear for our music equipment lending collection: The Deluge

Libraries are no longer just places to get books. Need a PA system for a party, a speaking engagement, or a wedding? Playing a live or studio gig? Need to do some recording in the field, or hook up some gear to your laptop and make a new album at home? The new Library Music Equipment collection has what you need. We love Wellington music at Wellington City Libraries and we are here to help you make it.

The Deluge is an all-in-one, stand-alone, portable synthesizer, sequencer and sampler designed for the creation, performance and improvisation of electronic music, created by Wellingtonian Rohan Hill, and developed by Synthstrom Audible Limited, a boutique electronics manufacturer from Wellington, and is the latest addition to our Music Equipment Lending Collection.

Our Deluge has been launched with the new 2.0 firmware, which has some exciting new features like Song arranger mode.

Deluge Kit:
Case Contents:
• Synthstrom Audible Deluge
• Instruction booklet
• USB Cable
$50 for 4 days/Overdue charge: $10 per day

Terms and Conditions to borrow this equipment are in place to ensure the safe use of the equipment and its timely return. A library fee ($50) will be payable to borrow for this equipment and borrower discounts (e.g. Community Services Card), do not apply. If the equipment is returned late, overdue fines will be payable ($10 per day).

To make a booking, fill out the Music Equipment form, telling us your details, specify the Deluge Kit (agreeing to the terms and conditions) and a staff member will contact you to confirm your pickup time.

[Note:Those who attended the Deluge workshops we held in May for New Zealand Music Month, were given the opportunity to pre-book a session with the Deluge. As a result it is now booked out until September. Bookings can be made any date after that.]

Celebrating Matariki 2018 at Central Library

Matariki ahunga nui – Matariki, provider of plentiful food

As the month of June rolls upon us, marking the end of the traditional harvesting time, we pause for reflection as the constellation of Matariki will soon reappear in the sky to mark the start of the Māori New Year – a time for remembering the past, reflecting on the present, and gathering hopes for new beginnings. At Wellington Central Library we have organised the following free events and promotions to mark and celebrate Matariki.

  • Emerging Winter Food Traditions
    Our first event is about food preservation and fermentation which fits so well with Matariki as the time following harvest.
  • An introduction to whakapapa research resources
    The next event is a look at resources for researching whakapapa and some examples of how these resources can be used, this again fits with the ideas of whānau coming together at Matariki.
  • He Taonga te Reo – What’s in a name?
    A presentation on the intricacies of naming places in today’s democratic society :  he kōrero by Neavin Broughton
  • #MatarikiMash
    In the lead up to Matariki we will also be running our twitter word play promotion “Matariki Mash” from 11 June where we invite you to play along by creating a story that uses the four selected Māori words for the day (don’t forget the hashtag #matarikimash).

Here are some more details about these events.

Monday 18 June
Central Library – Ground Floor, 12.30 pm
Emerging winter food traditions

Matariki poster 1 - Emerging Winter Food Traditions

For this korero we have invited Kelda Hains and Lois Daish who will engage in a structured conversation on themes that include the popular and trending topics of preservation and fermentation.

Lois Daish is a well-known local writer of cook books and you can read about her influence on the Wellington hospitality scene here and her appointment to Life Membership of New Zealand Guild of Food Writers here and in a food blog here.

Many of us carry a memory of her food column published by the New Zealand Listener and I’m sure there are many of us who have collected these recipes into folders and books that are now sitting alongside the cookbook collection at home. Luckily many of these recipes have also been gathered together in her cook book A Good Year – available at Wellington City Libraries and spanning her 23 years with the Listener.

When Lois was presented her life membership award Lauraine Jacobs, described her as someone who “has always cooked and written with sincerity and simplicity and empowered people to cook well every day.”

Lois was also a hands-on restauranter, with cafes at venues in Wellington from 1980s onwards. It was Lois who first gave our other presenter Kelda Hains her first opportunity to work in a restaurant, in her Brooklyn Bar and Grill in the 1990s. Since then, Kelda, in partnership with two others has spent 20 years at the Nikau Café, where she has honed her culinary skills and developed a deep fundamental belief in supporting local growers and their fresh produce to form a basic and essential basis for all her cooking. Her book Nikau Café is also available at Wellington City Libraries.

Kelda and her business partners have expanded their business interest to a new café in Aro Street called Rita where the kaupapa of fresh produce is embodied in her set menu dining. Through her experiments with traditional bottling/preserving she has evolved a passion for preserving by fermentation: beginning with sauerkraut and expanding to kohlrabi, celeriac, Korean kimchi, chick peas and koji rice. While this topic is a little fearsome for some of us, during this presentation Kelda will demonstrate her fascination with this process and you can read more about her love of these processes here.

Tuesday 19 June
Central Library – Second Floor, 12.30 pm
An introduction to whakapapa research resources

Matariki poster 2 - Whakapapa

Library staff will demonstrate the world of online and published resources that are available for whakapapa research at your public library.
Nau mai, haere mai. Come, sample our Land Court Minute Book indexes and bound minute book volumes (Wellington, 20 volumes, or microfilms covering a wider geographic area), our in-house database of Māori births, deaths (1913-1961) and marriages (1911-1952), and hidden treasures through online access to NLNZ’s PapersPast, Te Ao Hou, AtoJsonline, Donald McLean letters, Maorilandonline, and many other sources.

Friday 22 June
Central Library – CYA area, 12.30 pm
What’s in a name?


Neavin Broughton will discuss processes and meanings behind the selection of Te Reo Māori names for Civic Square, a sea walkway, the city wards, and other prominent features of the city.
It is exciting to peel back the layers of history of places and objects that our eyes flick over ever so casually, without our stopping to ask: the ‘what’ or the‘why’ -of the stories behind those names.

Saturday 23 June
Central Library – 2-3 pm

Performance and Interactive Family Singing with The Manawa Ora Children Community Choir

The Manawa Ora Children Community Choir is a group of young singers that gathers weekly to learn music from around the world. In this ensemble, children are accepted, celebrated and empowered, as they learn to sing in parts and in different languages. They then share their love of music with the broader Wellington community by singing at rest homes and community events. Join the choir and director, Lala Simpson, on Saturday, June 23rd from 2 – 3 PM for an interactive performance and workshop at the Wellington Central Library! Children, parents, and grandparents are all welcome!

Starting Monday 11 June
Twitter wordplay with #MatarikiMash

Matariki Mash
We invite you to test your imagination and your skill with language and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for 4 weeks as part of the Matariki celebrations.

How does Matariki Mash work? We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each Monday and Wednesday morning on Twitter (you can follow us at @wcl_library) and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.

Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea.

New Zealand Book Council

Wellingtonian author Pip Adam wins top NZ fiction prize!

Local Wellingtonian author Pip Adam has won the top fiction prize at the Ockham NZ Book Awards with her fantastic novel The New Animals. Published in 2017, this is Pip’s second novel. The award win includes a $50,000 cash prize and has been won previously by Catherine Chidgey, Eleanor Catton, Emily Perkins and other fantastic writers.

In November we interviewed Pip about The New Animals, so make sure to give the blog post a read if you haven’t already. We have the book in our collection in both print and ebook formats, so be sure to reserve it now!

Syndetics book coverThe new animals / Pip Adam.
“Carla, Sharon and Duey have worked in fashion for longer than they care to remember, for them, there’s nothing new under the sun. They’re Generation X: tired, cynical and sick of being used. Tommy, Cal and Kurt are Millenials, they’ve come from nowhere, but with their monied families behind them they’re ready to remake fashion. They represent the new sincere, the anti-irony. Both generations are searching for a way out, an alternative to their messed-up reality. Pip Adam’s new novel walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene, intergenerational tension and modern life with an unflinching eye. From the the wreckage and waste of the 21st century, new animals must emerge.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Pip Adam's The New Animals

A huge congratulations to Joy Cowley!

A huge congratulations to author Joy Cowley, who was awarded the Order of New Zealand yesterday at Government House ❤

Our libraries have been very fortunate to have Joy at our events on occasion, and we send her all our very best wishes and a rowdy and heartfelt round of applause from all our librarians here!

Congratulations Joy!

You can browse Joy’s many books for children and adults on our library catalogue. Some favourites are below:

Book Jacket for: Snake and lizardSnake and lizard / Cowley, Joy
“Snake and Lizard are a lovable, foolish pair. They are always arguing, embarking on unlikely enterprises and telling one another hotly contested tales. But none of this behaviour lessens their affection for one another. The International Youth Library has awarded this book with a White Raven, a prize given to 250 notable childrens books published internationally each year.” (Catalogue)

Book Jacket for: The silent oneThe silent one / Cowley, Joy
“The Silent One is Jonasi, sent from the sea as a baby to grow up in an isolated Pacific village. Separated from the villagers by his silence and their prejudices, Jonasi finds solace in his underwater world where he develops a special relationship with a huge white turtle. However, the superstitious villagers see both Jonasi and the turtle as evil spirits. A series of natural disasters and a struggle for leadership within the village sweep Jonasi toward his strange destiny.” (Children’s Bookshop)

Book Jacket for: Mrs. Wishy-Washy's farmMrs. Wishy-Washy’s farm / Cowley, Joy
“Mrs Wishy-Washy is at it again, rubbing and scrubbing all the animals on the farm. But this time they are not standing for it. Duck, cow and pig run away to the big city – but they get lost. Maybe Mrs Wishy-Washy and her farm aren’t so bad after all.” (Catalogue)

Book Jacket for: Helper and helper : Snake and LizardHelper and helper : Snake and Lizard / Cowley, Joy
“We should have a new sign, said Lizard. Exactly what I was thinking! cried Snake. A huge sign at the entrance of our burrow! Snake and Lizard, Helper and Helper. Big help one egg. Little help one beetle. Lizard lifted his chin in defiance. ‘Lizard and Snake! Lizard and Snake! “My dear friend, we can’t have that. Creatures are used to Snake and Lizard. They’ll think Lizard and Snake is a new partnership.” (Catalogue)

A reminder about RBdigital & Zinio for Libraries change

A reminder that the Zinio for Libraries app will be replaced by RBdigital tomorrow (April 17 2018). Your login will remain the same and you won’t lose titles you’ve already checked out.

Have you tried the new RBdigital app? It’s available to download from your app store and is the new app for reading our Zinio (now-renamed RBdigital) magazine collection.  It has some great features — see our previous blog post.

If you open your existing Zinio for Libraries app, you will be prompted to download the new app, or depending on your device, visit your app store from these links: iOS | Google Play. Alternatively, search for “RBdigital” in the app store, if you’re not reading this on your device.

Originally, RBDigital planned to stop access to Zinio to Libraries in 2017, but to give library patrons more time to make the switch, they extended the changeover period.

Download the new app and have a look round. There is a basic, but comprehensive help feature inside the app to get you started, or click on the image below for a quick guide to getting started.