Book Club eBooks now ready to read on Libby

I once facilitated a book group every month on a Friday afternoon at the wonderfully diverse Newtown library involving 8 book-loving, library users. We would discuss the ideas, plots, characters, sense of place and theme of each book like this would be our last, usually over coffee, tea and scones.

Now, that sense of communal engagement can continue on a larger scale with our first collection of always available digital Book Club titles through the eBook and audio-book reading app Libby.

Libby Book Club

We have hundreds of titles to choose from across adult fiction, Aotearoa, nonfiction, kids and teen audiences for discovery by book groups, for community reads, and fiery or friendly discussion. Expect thought-provoking reads across genres like mystery, science fiction, classic literature, poetry and award-winning fiction but also best-selling popular biographies, science and business nonfiction.

Here’s a quick selectors pick of 10 of some of the always available titles ready to read now:

  1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Cotton
  2. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  3. The Bitterroots by C J Box
  4. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  5. Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird
  6. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
  7. Te Koparapara: An Introduction the the Maori World 
  8. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  9. Monster series by Michael Grant
  10. Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh

For even more options try our carefully chosen selection of over 370 classic novels by Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens – an entire pantheon of always available literary classics.

For more information on how to get started with the Libby app, go to our eLibrary page or contact us here for further helpful assistance.

Ancestry database now available at home

Staying at home may mean you are doing some of those things that have been sitting on your ‘To Do’  list for a long time.  If one of those tasks has been to sort through old family photos and papers and that gets you thinking that it’s time to research your family history but sadly the library is closed, then we have great news for you!

With kind permission from the people at Ancestry and Proquest, Wellington City Libraries’ cardholders will be able to access this amazing family history database from their own homes.  Usually, Ancestry is only available using our Library subscription from a library computer, but from now until the 30th April you will be able to have the same free access we can usually provide at the library in the comfort of your own home bubble.

**Update: home access to Ancestry has been extended until 30 June 2020.

Ancestry

Ancestry Library is a research database for genealogists and family history enthusiasts aiding you to trace your family history, with records from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

That includes historical births, deaths and marriages and electoral rolls.

To access the free library Ancestry database go here and login with your card details.  If you don’t have a library card yet you can register online to become a library member.

There are also lots of helpful links and advice on our genealogy page here  and our heritage page here.

Have fun but a word of warning – starting family research and the thrill of the hunt can be quite addictive, so be careful you don’t get lost chasing leads down too many rabbit holes!!

All library branches are closed temporarily

“To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, we have closed all Wellington City Libraries branches temporarily from Sunday 22 March,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “This follows an announcement from the Mayor for Wellington, Andy Foster earlier today.”

Library customers can access a range of online resources at wcl.govt.nz/elibrary. This includes online storytimes, eBooks, newspapers, movies, and online courses.

Explore our eLibrary

All due dates have been extended to 4 May. We will waive any overdues related to the closures. Please keep items at home until our libraries re-open.

Answers to more frequently asked questions can be found on our COVID-19 FAQs page.

If you have any further questions please contact us by email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz, or by messaging us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Central Library’s collection is on the move

The Central Library collection is getting ready for its new home in the Johnsonville Collection and Distribution Centre.  A mix of approximately 400,000 books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers and other reference materials will be carefully packed in order, moved and re-shelved over the coming eight weeks.

“We are pleased to be in the final stages of making the much-loved collection available once again, and we thank our customers for their ongoing support,” says Laurinda Thomas, Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces Manager.

“The Centre in Johnsonville provides both the climatic conditions, space and transport routes needed to manage the collection safely over the long term, until decisions can be made about the future central library services.”

“Although we move thousands of items around our 14 branches every day, this will jump substantially when people are able to order from the CDC. So we are finalising the ordering process and timings so people know what to expect. Towards late April we will advise customers how to order items, and the timings for when they can pick them up from the branch of their choice.”

Over 12,500 items are available in two of the three planned CBD libraries, which opened in May and October last year. Arapaki Library in Manners Street provides a mix of fiction, non-fiction and popular children’s titles. He Mataphi Library within the National Library has over 5,000 items with an Aotearoa and Māori focus.

The third and largest of the three CBD libraries, Te Awe will open in May. Te Awe will provide spaces where people can read, study or collaborate. There is also a dedicated space for a children’s collection, parents’ room and the popular Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions.

People will be able to access around 31,000 items which have been tailored to represent the diverse range of subjects which Central Library customers have requested or reserved.

Council staff will be providing advice to the Council on Wednesday 25 March on options for future central library services and the external engineering assessments on the Central Library building. We will share the papers on the Wellington City Council website on 19 March.

Wellington City Libraries’ rare book collection is now housed at the Wellington City Archives at 28 Barker Street.

More information:
Timeline for Wellington Central Library Replacement Services

 

Wellington to have a third new central city library

CBD 3

Wellington is to have a third new central city library, this time in the Harbour City Centre on Brandon Street. Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the Council has finalised a partnership with building owners Cornerstone Partners making the central location possible. He says the Council expects the new library to open early next year. He says the library will be the largest of the Council’s three CBD branches to be developed at around 1400 square metres across a ground and a mezzanine level. A privately operated café will operate on the ground floor next to the library.

The Mayor says that careful planning is underway to make best use of the space for study, relaxation and access to collections and services. “This fantastic location has given the Council an opportunity to develop another fresh and innovative space for Wellingtonians to learn, relax and be inspired.”

Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the planned Brandon Street library will complete the new CBD library network, along with Arapaki Manners Library, and He Matapihi Molesworth Library which is due to open in October.

Councillor Fitzsimons says she’s delighted that the new library will focus on children and families, with a dedicated space for a children’s collection, parents’ room and the very popular Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions. “We’re looking forward to bringing programming for children and families back into the central city as the space will give us the ability to hold regular and one-off events.” She says the new library’s wide-ranging collection will have around 20,000 items, almost tripling the number of items on offer to members in the CBD library network.

New Collection and Distribution Centre
The Council has also found a home for Wellington Central Library’s collection of 400,000 items in Johnsonville. The Mayor says the Council is leasing a 2000 square metre, two storey site at 141 Johnsonville Road and will begin development on a new collection and distribution centre.

He says finding the right site marks a key milestone to making items in the Central Library collection accessible once more following the closure of the Central Library building earlier this year. It will give Wellington City Libraries Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui a new centre to manage the entire network’s collection, as the Central Library previously provided this function.

“We’re extremely pleased with this location. It’s been a challenge to locate a safe and suitable space in Wellington which is large enough and ticks all the boxes. This site has excellent access to major transport routes and the building is structurally strong enough to house the collection, with the correct climatic conditions.”

The Council will use the present Johnsonville Library building as an interim extra warehouse facility, once the new Waitohi Library opens in December. The Mayor says more decisions have yet to be made around the new operating model, “but we’re happy to be in a position to now move ahead.”

Work to get the site ready is expected to take several months and items will be available to library members to request after the collection has been relocated.

Before then, Wellingtonians will see over 30,000 items across the CBD library network become available in the next few months: Arapaki Manners Library has a collection of 8,000 accessible items; He Matapihi Molesworth Library, due to open in October, will add around 5,000 items; and the new Brandon Street library will add another 20,000 items when it opens. Wellington’s 11 branch libraries presently hold around 250,000 items which library members can access.

Further information on the new Brandon Street library

  • Once completed, the new library is expected to be open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am to 5pm and have a 24/7 book returns facility.
  • Items in the collection will include fiction, non-fiction, audio-visual and world languages collections.
  • The new library will have dedicated zones with a variety of seating and spaces for quiet or collaborative work.
  • Popular programmes like Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme and pre-school storytimes are planned to be offered along with other events which could include book clubs and author talks, free movie screenings, creative projects and activities.
  • Customers will have access to the library catalogue and website, and a full range of self service options with staff on hand to help.
  • Public computers, printing and photocopying facilities will be available with free Wi-Fi.

Tablets are free to borrow!

Tablet

Customers are able to borrow iPad minis for free for three weeks! Adult customers have been able to borrow iPad minis at the price of $5 per 3 weeks for a couple of years now – but from 15 August, the iPads have become free to borrow. So you now can take the opportunity to get connected with family and friends, read the most recent eBooks and eAudio (Libby and Borrowbox) and magazines (RBdigital), or update your computer skills with any one of the thousands of courses available (Lynda.com).

Tablets are able to be borrowed at the following libraries : Miramar, Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, Island Bay, Mervyn Kemp (Tawa), Johnsonville, Khandallah and Karori.

Please make a booking if you would like a free introduction to the library’s eResources, and a staff member will contact you to confirm your tablet pickup time. Alternatively, ask one of our staff at the libraries above about borrowing a tablet, and if a tablet is available you will be able to borrow it immediately.
(Please note: tablets cannot be renewed and must be returned to the issuing branch.) 

Online movie streaming now at Wellington City Libraries

Two streaming platforms — Kanopy and Beamafilm — are available for you to watch a huge selection of indie and world movies, film festival favourites, award-winning documentaries, classic cinema and kids movies!

On our website, you can access both of these streaming platforms from our eLibrary homepage.

You’ll find some introductory information below — plus both the Kanopy and Beamafilm websites have comprehensive help pages if you need more information.)

About Kanopy

Access Kanopy

What is Kanopy? What kind of movies does it have?

Kanopy is a streaming platform that focuses on thoughtful entertainment, including some of the world’s best cinema.  They offer over 30,000 movies, with new titles added every month.

It will also give you access to Kanopy Kids, for kids’ content, and The Great Courses collection for lectures from top scholars around the world.

Who can access it?

It’s available to Wellington City adult residents, ratepayers and workers — access it with your library membership. Not a member? Find about more about joining.

How many movies can I watch?

You’ll get 6 movie credits per month, which means you’ll be able to watch 6 movies for free, and those credits will reset at the beginning of each month.

(Every movie you start watching with Kanopy counts against your play credits, with the exception of Kanopy Kids content and The Great Courses collection.)

How do I use it?

To watch movies:

  • Visit either wcl.kanopy.com, or go through our eLibrary homepage and choose ‘Kanopy’
  • Create a Kanopy account — you’ll be prompted to select your library (Wellington City Libraries), and confirm your library card details (your PIN/password for your library card is your last name) – then away you go!

Films can be streamed from any internet connected device including computers, phones or tablets and on TV’s via Chromecast, AppleTV or HDMI.  There’s also an app for Android and IOS devices.

Beamafilm

Access Beamafilm

What is Beamafilm? What kind of films does it have?

Beamafilm is a streaming platform that has a curated collection of international movies and documentaries, with a strong Australasian focus.  They have over 500 movies to choose from and new titles are added regularly.

Who can access it?

It’s available to anyone who holds a Wellington City Libraries’ adult membership card (any adult membership card type). Just login using your library card details, then create a Beamafilm account to start watching movies.

Not a member? Find about more about joining

How many movies can I watch?

Unlimited! There are no monthly limits on how many films you can watch.

How do I access it?

Unlike Kanopy, with Beamafilm you’ll need to authenticate that you’re a Wellington City Libraries borrower every time you access the site:

  • Visit our eLibrary home page and click on Beamafilm, or visit wellingtoncitylibraries.beamafilm.com. Enter your library card number to confirm you’re a member of Wellington City Libraries
  • Create your Beamafilm account or log in to your existing Beamafilm account and start watching

Films can also be streamed from any internet connected device including computers, phones or tablets and on TV’s via Chromecast, AppleTV or HDMI.

New co-operative space to open at National Library

A partnership between the National Library and Wellington City Council to develop library services was announced today by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.

The Minister says since Wellington’s Central Library was closed, the National Library has been working with the Council to look at creative ways to deliver complementary services.

“Both share the goal of making sure people have access to knowledge. It’s great there’s going to be a new co-operative space, where some of Wellington’s Central Library services and collection can complement National Library’s open access research collections,” says Minister Martin.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught says the new space will be adjacent to the popular He Tohu exhibition. “National Library school group visitors will be able to use the new ‘bleachers’ mini theatre area for visits to He Tohu.

Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, says Wellingtonians are missing the Central Library and this is one way this special collaboration can enhance library services to customers. “We’re really excited to work together with the National Library for the benefit of Wellingtonians and all New Zealanders. The partnership with the National Library will form a part of the Capital’s replacement library services network,” says Justin Lester.

The new co-operative space is expected to be open in September offering customers a small collection of books and magazines to browse and borrow, access to digital content, free WiFi, and public PCs. A librarian will be on hand to answer questions and join up new members.

Questions and answers for the National Library & WCC Partnership

When will the partnership space open?
It will take some time to fit out and set up the space, but we aim to have it open in September.

How long will the partnership space be open?
This depends on the Council’s eventual decision about the future of the Central Library building and the National Library’s future use plans for the site. It could be several years before we have a Central Library again.  Our initial partnership agreement is until the end of 2021, at which time both parties will review and agree any changes.

What can I borrow from this library?
We expect around 7,000 items will be available to browse and borrow. Items will have a New Zealand focus and complement the National Library’s existing collection.

What else can I do there?
Get access to digital content, free WiFi, and public PCs with scanning and printing facilities. A librarian will be on hand to answer questions and join up new members.

How many library staff will work there?
Up to 5 Wellington City Libraries’ staff will be based at the partnership space.

When will other pop-up libraries open?
Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre is set to open on Tuesday 28 May.  Details about other library sites in the CBD network will be available in the coming weeks.

What’s happening with the Central Library building?
At this stage we are awaiting further engineering advice on what the options are for addressing the structural issues with the building.  It is likely there will be a range of options for how we approach this and we don’t know yet if this will include any kind of upgrading or redevelopment beyond the required remedial work.

Longer branch library hours start 15 April

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester today confirmed on-going additional opening hours and days for some branch libraries in response to the closure of the Central Library.

“In the two weeks after the Central Library was closed our branch libraries overall had 9276 more customer visits than when compared to the two weeks before – an increase of 21 percent.”

“During this time, some of our more popular neighbourhood libraries showed significant increases in customer visits, with Karori Library up 21 percent or 3567 more visits. Visits to Wadestown Library went up 20 percent, Brooklyn Library 18 percent and Newtown Library 6 percent.”

“After the Central Library closed, we acted quickly to relocate some of our Central Library staff out to our branch libraries to respond to the increased customer demand.  So I’m very pleased that with the continued support of our staff we’re able to add 31 opening hours per week across the branch library network. We think we have achieved a good match of customer demand with the right increased hours at the right locations, but this will be closely monitored over the coming weeks,” the Mayor said.

New hours will be in place from Monday 15 April at the following libraries:

  • Brooklyn Library – Wednesdays from 10am to 5.30pm (additional 3 hours)
  • Johnsonville Library – Wednesdays from 9.30am to 8pm (additional 2.5 hours)
  • Karori Library – Tuesdays from 9.30am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 3 hours)
  • Miramar Library – Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 5 hours)
  • Newtown Library – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays from 10am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 7.5 hours)
  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library – Saturdays 9.30am to 5pm (additional 1.5 hours)
  • Wadestown Library – Wednesdays from 10am to 5.30pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm (additional 8.5 hours)

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds Wellington City Council’s community facilities portfolio, says the first pop-up in Manners Street is due to open in late May, with other library pop-ups opening throughout the year. “The new hours may gradually reduce over time as the CBD library network pop-ups are opened,” she said.

Further details of the locations and services available at the library pop-ups will be announced in the coming weeks. Services are likely to include selections of popular and new items, reserve pick up service, returns, wifi and internet access. Library staff will be on hand to answer questions, process payments, register new customers, and provide support and advice on the wide range of online content available through our eLibrary.

It is anticipated the pop-up service hours will include evenings and weekends.