Important update regarding Libby and the OverDrive app

Borrow eBooks, audiobooks & magazines. Libby, the library reading app from OverDrive

Change is coming to OverDrive’s apps in 2022 — with the retirement of the original OverDrive App and its full replacement with the Libby App.

The original OverDrive App will be removed from all App Stores (Google, Microsoft and Apple) in February 2022, but current users will be able to continue using it throughout the year until it is retired completely later in 2022.

We know many users of the original OverDrive app use it for its accessibility features compared to Libby, and we’re happy to report that throughout 2021, OverDrive’s primary focus has been on improving accessibility in Libby. You can read on their website about accessibility improvements for Libby as of December 2021, as well as more improvements coming in January 2022.

We’re in the process of updating our website to support the coming changes, and we will continue to do our best to support your use of OverDrive and Libby throughout this time period. If you have any issues or concerns with either app, please make sure to get in touch:

Email us — enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

New and improved WCL Mini app

We have a brand-new updated version of our WCL Mini app! The new version has a new look, new functionality, and you can add and store multiple family cards.

If you already had the previous app installed, you should be prompted to update to the new version the next time you open it. Otherwise, the new app is available for download now in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store:

Screenshot of WCL Mini on the Google Play StoreWCL Mini - new updated first screen you see

Here’s a quick overview of some of the new app’s features:

  • Add multiple family cards for quick access on the go
  • See what’s on loan and when items are due across all the family cards you’ve added
  • Search the catalogue, check your card and manage your reserves
  • Find your nearest library branch that’s open right now
  • Access our eLibrary apps and read, listen, watch, learn and more!

ComicFest 2021 to be redrawn another day

ComicFest 2021 logo

ComicFest 2021 logo

To keep everyone safe, organisers are cancelling ComicFest 2021 this Saturday (21 August 2021) as Aotearoa is now under Covid-19 Alert level four.

“We are gutted Saturday’s ComicFest is not going ahead, as we had such a fantastic line-up of amazing artists with many sessions fully booked – but people’s wellbeing comes first,” says Sam Orchard, Assistant Curator Cartoons and Comics National Library of New Zealand.

“The good news is thanks to the generous support of our artists and sponsors we have already agreed to bring ComicFest back once we have returned to Alert level 2 or lower – so watch this space!”

“The ComicFest team are working together on future options for this delivering this event. So, keep your cosplay costumes at the ready for when we can get all be together again,” says Wellington City Council’s Manager Libraries and Community Spaces Laurinda Thomas.

“While you’re staying safe at home, you can be inspired and entertained by our amazing artists who have shared their stories on the ComicFest webpage. ”

If you have registered for an event, we will email you to confirm that ComicFest has been cancelled and again when we have a new date for when ComicFest 2021 will return.

ComicFest is run in partnership with Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand and key sponsors Graphic Comics, Gecko Press, Unity Books, and Wellington Zinefest.

ComicFest 2021 is on Saturday 21 August!

ComicFest 2021 logo

ComicFest 2021

Update (18/08): Sorry, we are cancelling this Saturday’s ComicFest 2021 to keep everyone safe with the change in Covid-19 Alert levels. Thanks to our amazing and committed artists and sponsors, we will work together to discuss our future options for the events. While you’re at home, check out the amazing artists who have shared their stories on the ComicFest webpage. Thank you for your understanding. Kia kaha and stay safe!

ComicFest 2021 is on Saturday 21 August at the National Library in Thorndon! Come visit us and hear from our amazing guest artists! ComicFest is a joint venture beween Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand.

ComicFest 2021 website

You can check out our series of interviews with ComicFest guests and panellists and register for events over at our ComicFest website!

Continue reading “ComicFest 2021 is on Saturday 21 August!”

COVID-19: Libraries at Level 2 and closing at 6pm, Wed 23 June

covid19 logo

covid19 logo

Kia ora, our branches are closing early at 6pm tonight so we can prepare them for social distancing when we reopen tomorrow.

From tomorrow, Thursday 24 June, please check in when you arrive, keep 1m apart and keep your visit under 30 mins for everyone’s comfort.

All programmes and events, including the Hive Makerspace are cancelled. Stay safe and kia kaha Wellington.

Libraries at Level 2 Information

Wadestown Library temporary closure, 24-27 May

Photo of Wadestown Library exteriorWadestown Library will be closed from Monday 24 May 2021 to Thursday 27 May (inclusive) for heating installation.

The returns chute will also be closed. We encourage our customers to hold on to their items during this time or to return them to another branch library.

You can visit our nearest branches at:

We look forward to welcoming you back from 10am, Friday 28 May 2021.

Thank you for your patience while we complete this upgrade.

Landscapes and places that inspired great art: new art books in May

Need some visual inspiration? The topics of this month’s new art books include: 25 famous and forgotten artistic destinations around the world, contextualised by art historian Susie Hodge, the history of graffiti and street art movements internationally, a guide to block printing, and more. Have a browse and enjoy!

Artistic places / Hodge, Susie
“Explore the landscapes and places that inspired great art: find peace in Monet’s lily-filled garden oasis, climb Mount Fuji on a printmaker’s pilgrimage, sail with Gauguin to the South Pacific to stretch your imagination, or contemplate light and the changing seasons on Chelsea Embankment. Artistic Places is a stunningly illustrated, visionary guide for seekers of beauty, rare tales and cultural riches. Find yourself instantly transported to the places where great artists have sought refuge, found their inspiration and changed the course of art history forever.” (Catalogue)

Art in the streets
“The most comprehensive book to survey the colorful history of graffiti and street art movements internationally. Forty years ago, graffiti in New York evolved from elementary mark-making into an important art form. By the end of the 1980s, it had been documented in books and films that were seen around the world, sparking an international graffiti movement. This original edition, now back in print after several years, considers the rise of New York graffiti and the international scenes it inspired–from Los Angeles to Sao Paulo to Paris to Tokyo.” (Catalogue)

Art sleeves : album covers by artists / Burkeman, DB
“Art Sleeves is a time capsule of visual art and music culture as shown through the most important record covers designed by visual artists and graphic designers in the past forty years. This tightly curated collection of covers chosen includes works with significant cultural impact as well as collaborations that themselves created cultural fascination. The eclectic roster of visual artist-musician collaborations presented spans art and musical genres as well as generations, including Ryan McGinley for Sigur Rós, Kara Walker for Arto Lindsay, Peter Saville for Joy Division, Barbara Kruger for Growing Up Skipper, Jeff Koons for Lady Gaga, Tauba Auerbach for Glasser, and Stanley Donwood for Radiohead, to name a few. From postmodernist paintings and minimalism to collage and photography, as well as New Wave, emo, pop, and punk, the albums chosen present a bright and rich visual and cultural history.” (Catalogue)

House of print : a modern block printer’s take on design, colour and pattern / Mahon, Molly
“The ancient art of block printing has stood the test of time. From the first bolt of inspiration, to the thrilling reveal of the pattern, printmaker Molly Mahon shows you how to develop your own style and turn unique designs into beautiful pieces for the home.” (Catalogue)

Pottery : 20 mindful makes to reconnect head, heart & hands / Davidson, Lucy
“Learn how to create simple, modern makes — all without the need for a wheel or kiln. Featuring basic techniques and simple clay recipes, Lucy Davidson provides ideas for making and decorating 20 playful pottery pieces with clear step-by-step instructions and life-affirming mindful quotes, accompanied by clean photography and contemporary illustrations. From plant hanger pots to tealight holders, festive decorations to serving dishes — there’s plenty to enhance your home and your wellbeing.” (Catalogue)

Ken Done : art, design, life / Bell, Amber Creswell
“At once ad man and artist, designer and entrepreneur, Ken Done has achieved what few others have. His signature style has graced ad campaigns and art cars, magazine covers and doona covers, public spaces and landmark cultural events, but it is his unabating passion for painting that sustains him. For more than forty years, Done has chronicled the Australian way, documenting how it feels to be Australian with an exuberance that is immediately recognisable. Ken Done: Art Design Life documents Done’s expansive art and design practice over four decades and provides a fascinating insight into the artist and his oeuvre.” (Catalogue)

World War II, and NZ literature: New biographies in May

In this month’s new biographies, read about: a World War II codebreaker at Bletchley Park, a celebrated New Zealand plastic surgeon of the same era, and a renowned literary publisher who fled the Nazis and his storied family history.

Also included this month are a biography of Robin Hyde, as well as Gabriel Byrne’s autobiography, and essayist Fiona Murphy’s memoir which explores her experience of being deaf. Have a browse!

Mavis Batey : Bletchley codebreaker, writer, garden historian, conservationist / Stone, Jean
“When World War II was declared, Mavis Batey, previously studying German Romanticism, abandoned her studies to do her duty for her country. At Bletchley Park, Britain’s best kept secret, she became one of the first women codebreakers, a pioneer and a star, breaking codes vital to bringing peace. Mavis Batey, a unique biography, delves into the life of one of Britain’s best female codebreakers.” (Catalogue)

The shape of sound : a memoir / Murphy, Fiona
“Fiona Murphy is an award winning poet and essayist whose new memoir The Shape of Sound explores her experience of being deaf. She was in her first year of school when a hearing test confirmed she was profoundly deaf in her left ear. She has limited hearing in her other ear and has recently learned she will eventually lose her hearing completely.” (Summary drawn from Radio NZ’s article and interview with Fiona Murphy about The Shape of Sound)

Walking with ghosts : a memoir / Byrne, Gabriel
“In vivid, melodic prose, Gabriel revisits his childhood in Ireland, a world that has long since been renovated by time, and juxtaposes these memories with scenes from later years, in which he develops and occupies that strange identity of movie star. Impressionistic and sensual, Byrne’s visions of home, of boyhood and adolescence, are gracefully interspersed with jump-cuts to pointedly unglamorous scenes from his life as he becomes an actor, as he becomes celebrated, as he becomes forever recognizable. Byrne is interested in exploring the pathos in what it means to be famous, in what it means to be praised when everything you’ve learned tells you that are not worthy of praise.” (Publisher description) Also available as an eBook

Shining land : looking for Robin Hyde / Morris, Paula
“Looking for Robin Hyde brings together award-winning novelist Paula Morris and distinguished photographer Haru Sameshima. It is the second in the korero series of picture books edited by Lloyd Jones, written and made for grown-ups, and designed to showcase leading New Zealand writers and artists working together in a collaborative and dynamic way. In Shining Land Morris and Sameshima focus on the New Zealand journalist, poet, fiction writer and war correspondent Robin Hyde, exploring three locations important to her difficult life and ground-breaking work. This beautifully considered small book richly rewards the reader and stretches the notion of what the book can do.”–Publishers’ website.” (Catalogue)

Perfection : the life and times of Sir William Manchester / Brown, Earle
“Hailing from small beginnings in rural Waimate, Sir William Manchester became a battalion medical officer with the New Zealand Army in the United Kingdom during World War II. Selected in 1941 to train as a plastic surgeon, serendipitously under the supervision of the great pioneers Gillies, McIndoe, Mowlem and Barron – all New Zealanders – he excelled in this evolving surgical craft…This biography is based on the extensive archives left by Sir William, the authors’ research into his achievements and their personal knowledge of him, working with his as a trainee and colleague.” (Catalogue) Listen to an interview on Radio NZ with the authors

Endpapers : a family story of books, war, escape, and home / Wolff, Alexander
Endpapers excavates the extraordinary histories of the author’s grandfather and father: the renowned publisher Kurt Wolff, and his son Niko, who fought in the Wehrmacht during World War II before coming to America. Kurt Wolff was born in Bonn into a highly cultured German-Jewish family. Always bookish, Kurt became a publisher at twenty-three, setting up his own firm and publishing Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, Karl Kraus, and many other authors whose books would soon be burned by the Nazis. Fleeing Germany in 1933, a day after the Reichstag fire, Kurt and his second wife, Helen, sought refuge in France, Italy, and ultimately New York, where in a small Greenwich Village apartment they founded Pantheon Books. Pantheon would soon take its own place in literary history with the publication of Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago, and as the conduit that brought major European works to the States. But Kurt’s taciturn son Niko, offspring of his first marriage to Elisabeth Merck, was left behind in Germany, where despite his Jewish heritage he served the Nazis on two fronts. As Alexander Wolff visits dusty archives and meets distant relatives, he discovers secrets that never made it to the land of fresh starts, including the connection between Hitler and the family pharmaceutical firm E. Merck, and the story of a half-brother Niko never knew. ” (Catalogue)

Read and listen to te reo Māori stories with Lingogo

Lingogo is an app that lets you read and listen to Māori stories, and it’s free to access through your library membership! It’s great for both beginner and intermediate learners of te reo Māori, and every story has native speaker audio attached for those who prefer to listen.

Leading research shows that reading and listening for pleasure is hands-down the most efficient way to acquire a new language, so download the app to enjoy great stories and immerse yourself in te reo Māori!

To get started:

  1. Download the Lingogo app to your Apple or Android phone or tablet from the Google Play Store (Lingogo) or Apple App Store (Lingogo)
  2. Choose ‘Wellington Libraries’ and enter your library barcode number to log in and access the Lingogo collection
  3. Once logged in with your library barcode number, browse and explore beginner and intermediate-level stories in te reo Māori.
  4. Tap sentences for the English translation and tap the headphones icon to hear the sentences read aloud in te reo Māori.
  5. For an eAudiobook experience, read the story to the end and tap the ‘Extra for experts’ button to listen to the full story in te reo Māori.

Is it afternoon tea time yet? New cookbooks this month

There’s lots to whet your appetite in the new cookbooks this month — from tea and cake combinations, to how to cook everything gluten-free, to homemade Italian sweets. Have a browse and enjoy!

For more of the latest cookbooks and other new non-fiction (and more), visit our What’s New page.


Tea & cake : perfect pairings for brews and bakes / Franklin, Liz
“A celebration of teas – black, white, green, flowering and more – and the perfect cakes to pair with them. What better way to make the best of your fine tea than to pair it with the perfect cake, designed both to complement and enhance the experience and enjoyment? Pairings such as Japan’s Gyokuro tea with Fudgy Dark Chocolate and Almond Cakes or White Tea with Buttery Carrot and Orange Cake are just an example of the myriad combinations that prove to be a match made in heaven.” (Catalogue)

How to make anything gluten free : over 100 recipes for everything from home comforts to fakeaways, cakes to dessert, brunch to bread / Excell, Becky
“Are you avoiding gluten but yearn for fresh bread, all your favourite takeaways or a naan bread with your curry? And for your sweet tooth do you crave jam doughnuts, bakery-style cookies and classic cakes? How to Make Anything Gluten-Free is the first cookbook that shows you how to unlock all the food you truly miss eating – but nothing tastes or looks gluten-free. Becky Excell has spent years developing delicious dishes and sharing them with her followers on Instagram. She is here to show you that a gluten-free life can be exciting and easy, without having to miss out on your favorite foods ever again.” (Catalogue)

Vegan boards : 50 gorgeous plant-based snack, meal, and dessert boards for all occasions / Kasbee, Kate
“The 50 plant-based boards and platters in Vegan Boards are incredibly beautiful to the eye and deliciously tempting to the palate. Finally, a book of beautiful food board ideas for snacks, parties, and family meals that fit your plant-based diet. Serving artfully arranged foods on boards or platters is extremely popular, but until now, all the books on the subject have been full of meats, cheeses, and other animal products. Vegan Boards is the first book to make this trend accessible to people who follow an entirely plant-based diet. The results are delectable-and gorgeous to behold.” (Publisher description)

Torta della nonna : a collection of the best homemade Italian sweets / Davies, Emiko
“Take your sweet tooth on a tour of Italy with this collection of sixty much-loved sweets recipes. Recipes include sweet Italian breakfasts (including Lemon and ricotta cake, Italian brioche croissants, and Little custard and quince jam pies); classic treats from nonna’s oven (Hazelnut cake, Chocolate and amaretti flan, Stuffed peaches); snacks (Rosemary and sultana buns, Sweet breadsticks, Strawberries and wine); biscuits (Red crown biscuits, Almond biscotti, Polenta biscuits); and more.” (Catalogue)

Chinese takeaway in 5 : 80 of your favourite dishes using only five ingredients / Wan, Kwoklyn
“Kwoklyn Wan’s mega-popular Chinese Takeaway is back, but this time using only five ingredients! Alongside a basic store cupboard of five essentials – salt, pepper, soy sauce, sugar and oil – you can make a feast of easy dishes using the bare minimum. All your favourites are here – from Tom Yum Soup to Prawn Toast, Sweet Chilli Salmon and Lemon Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork Balls or Beef in Oyster Sauce, Aubergine Fritters and Chilli Ginger Crispy Tofun.” (Catalogue)

Grab a bargain at this weekend’s book sale!

Wellington City Libraries is having its first big sale of withdrawn books, magazines, CDs and DVDs since 2019 and there will be bargains galore for everyone!

The sale will be at the Ngaio Town Hall (1 Ottawa Rd – map) on:

  • Friday 29th Jan, 10am to 6pm
  • Saturday 30th Jan, 10am to 4pm
  • Sunday 31st Jan, 10am to 4pm
As at each previous sale, stock will be replenished each day of the event –  ensuring there are always fresh bargains to be found. With prices mainly around 50c and $1, you really don’t want to miss out.

Come and find some treasures!

Johnsonville Library’s birthday celebration this Saturday

Come celebrate Waitohi Hub and the new Johnsonville Library’s first birthday — tomorrow, Saturday 12 December, from 10am-3pm! There’ll be events, activities for all ages, competitions, prizes and giveaways too!

What: Rā Whānau Waitohi
Where: Waitohi Hub, 34 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville
When: Saturday, 12 December, from 10am – 3pm

Rā Whānau Waitohi Facebook Event

Key events

10am ‘Have a Hit’ at the tennis courts
11am Celebrate with cake with MP Greg O’Conner and Councillor Jill Day
12pm Egg and spoon, sack races and more family fun at the park
1pm Whānau Tug-O-War at the park
2pm Storytime in the park

Come along to festive family storytimes!

Meri Kirihimete, Pōneke! It’s that time of year again! The festive season is right around the corner, which means that our libraries are getting themselves all ready to provide storytimes most merry and mirthful for your jollification. So, why not grab the family, jump in your fuzziest pyjamas (or cheeriest Christmas costume) and head on down to your local library to join in on the fun?

Continue reading “Come along to festive family storytimes!”

Share your views on the Central Library by 5pm, Monday 7 September

Thank you to everyone who has made a submission on the future of the Central Library. If you haven’t had the chance to yet – it’s not too late!

You can make your submission by:

  • completing an online submission form
  • picking up a printed submission form from your nearest library branch
  • downloading a freepost printed submission form under the ‘Document library’. You can
  • post it to us on Monday 7 September and it will be counted
  • or scan and email it to centrallibrarysubmissions@wcc.govt.nz by 5pm, Monday 7 September.

Information to help inform your submission

We’ve put together a Statement of Proposal, which outlines the options; how they were assessed and others which were discarded.

You can pick one of the five proposed options, or provide your own idea, or say if you prefer an option which was not put forward.

We were fortunate to have a range of engaging speakers discuss the role of a Central Library; the potential opportunities for creating stronger spaces, connections and meaning for people who use them and the engineering challenges with the current building. You can watch videos of the three webinars below.

Future of the Central Library consultation

Webinar 1 : Who loves our libraries?

Our guest speakers were:

  • MC — Mayor Andy Foster
  • Claire Mabey, Verb Wellington
  • Ella Flavell, Chair Youth Council
  • Sandra McCallum, General Manager Changemakers

Watch the video here:

Webinar 2 : Spaces for everyone

Our guest speakers were:

  • MC — Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons
  • Anne Goulding, Professor of Information Services Management, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Chris Hay, Manager Tūranga Library & Chair-elect Public Libraries New Zealand Juliet Blyth, Chief Executive Read NZ

Watch the video here:

Webinar 3: Why the Central Library closed and restoring the service to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct

Our guest speaker was Tony Holden, Associate, Senior Structural Engineer Aurecon with Peter Brennan, Manager Property, Wellington City Council.

Watch the video here:

Our consultation website, www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/centrallibrary, provides news, frequently asked questions, links to key documents such as previous engineering documents and assessments.

If you have any questions you can use the “Ask a question” section towards the bottom of the homepage, or email centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz

Thank you for taking the time to shape the future of our Central Library service.