“Under Alert level 2 all libraries will remain open for normal hours, with a few changes to keep everyone safe and able to use our spaces,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “This includes encouraging everyone to follow the social distancing, use hand sanitiser and wear masks.”
As the lockdown started in March, Wellington City Libraries welcomed over 1,110 new members, a 300% increase compared to 2019.
The number of people using eResources remained high throughout, averaging 10,000 eBooks issued and 5,000 reserves per week. Audiobooks averaged over 5,000 issues and 2,000 reserves per week.
Compared to early March 2019 the average number of ebooks issued was around 6,000, with 1,800 reserves. Audiobooks for the same time last year sat around 3,000 issues and 1,000 reserves.
“With Miramar Library opening 27 May, and Island Bay and He Matapihi opening 2 June, all 13 branches will have reopened – but with Level 2 restrictions there is still a lot of online activity going on,” says Laurinda Thomas, Wellington City Council’s Libraries and Community Spaces Manager.
“We are not running any face-to-face group activities under Alert Level 2, and our hours are a bit different from normal, so check our website before you visit. In the meantime, we are streaming our popular programmes such as Storytimes and Baby Rock & Rhyme, live on Facebook from Mondays to Saturdays, and the recorded Storytimes are available on the Kids pages of our website.
“We are currently planning for Alert Level 1, and we’re hoping that will see the return of many of our much loved programmes like Baby Rock & Rhyme to our libraries.”
Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ was one of the most popular adult eBook and Audiobook over the past two months, and the Harry Potter series remained the most popular Audiobook for children, including the foreign language editions – although Horrid Henry was taking over from Harry in the eBooks stakes.
Such high levels of engagement with our library services during lockdown is reassuring for Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, Portfolio Leader for Libraries.
There has been a library in Wellington for over a hundred years and the record use by residents during the lockdown shows the huge value and trust Wellingtonians place in library services today. We are so lucky to have such committed staff running our city’s libraries.
“The libraries of 2020 are not just about books – it’s audio, visual, historic, futuristic, online, offline, and for public events. Now that our branches are reopening, they’re also demonstrating what an important public space they are for residents as well.”
To meet the required social distancing for staff and customers Wellington City Libraries have introduced a number of systems to adhere to the Alert Level 2 guidelines, says Mayor Andy Foster.
“We know everyone loves our libraries, but we ask visitors to limit their time to 30 minutes to let everyone have a chance to pop in while we’re still operating under Level 2 guidelines.
The Rippl app is in place too, so make sure you register through that or manually while we continue to use contact tracing systems for the health and safety of our staff and customers.”
Top 10 from Kanopy (April)
1 Ex Libris
2 The Dressmaker
3 The Phone Call
6 Stash Short Film Festival: Comedy
7 Bobbie the Bear
8 The Trip to Spain
9 Bauhaus: The Face of the 20th Century
10 I Am Not Your Negro
Top 5 from Beamafilm (April)
1 Catherine The Great
2 Un Village Francais
3 Book Club
4 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
5 The Name of The Rose
Top 10 Adult and Children ebooks and audio (April)
|ADULT EBOOKS||ADULT AUDIO BOOKS|
|This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay||Becoming by Michelle Obama|
|Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Series, Book 24 by Lee Child||The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson|
|The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward Burger||The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho|
|Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty||Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist|
|The Dutch House by Ann Patchett||Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry|
|Normal People by Sally Rooney||Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell|
|Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour by Neil DeGrasse Tyson||Miss Marple’s Final Cases by Agatha Christie|
|The Testaments: The Handmaid’s Tale Series, Book 2 by Margaret Atwood||The Alice Network by Kate Quinn|
|Becoming by Michelle Obama||Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis|
|The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell||The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer|
|CHILDREN EBOOKS||CHILDREN AUDIO BOOKS|
|Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Harry Potter Series, Book 1||Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Harry Potter Series, Book 1|
|Horrid Henry Robs the Bank||Harry Potter à L’école des Sorciers: Harry Potter Series, Book 1 (French)|
|Little Women: Little Women Series, Book 1||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Harry Potter Series, Book 2|
|Horrid Henry’s Underpants||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Harry Potter Series, Book 3|
|Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School Series, Book 1||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Harry Potter Series, Book 6|
|Guts: Smile Series, Book 3||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Harry Potter Series, Book 4|
|The Cupcake Club Series, Book 1||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter Series, Book 7|
|Boy-Crazy Stacey: Baby-Sitters Club Graphix Series, Book 7||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Harry Potter Series, Book 5|
|Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy||Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal: Harry Potter Serie, Libro 1 (Spanish)|
|The Dirt Diary Series, Book 1||Big Nate in the Zone: Big Nate Series, Book 6 by Lincoln Pierce|
The Beyond the Page literary festival for tamariki and their whanau – a project with Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Wellington, Kāpiti and Porirua Libraries – is running events online this weekend.
Children can sign up to take part in a Zoom drawing class with talented comic book artist and wrestler, Michael Mulipola or join the Family Quiz on Sunday – learn more here.
“Wellington City Libraries will reopen three more branches as we get back to our new normal under Alert Level 2,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “We reopened seven branches from Thursday 14 May, and now our Brooklyn, Khandallah and Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) libraries will reopen from Monday 25 May.”
“All open branches will continue to follow slightly reduced hours, so we can manage the additional health and safety measures required under Alert Level 2. Our teams continue to work hard on making our new normal as smooth as possible for everyone, and we appreciate how patience and kind everyone has been.”
“Magazine fans will be super excited as we had a massive amount waiting for us when we returned. They were part of the 11 bags of mail that greeted our teams, which included hundreds of newspapers from around the country!”
“We also saw a huge jump in people entertaining their bubbles using the thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and movie streaming services people can access for free through their library card. Compared to last year, we issued 32% more eBooks and 27% more audiobooks and reserves went up around 50% for both – and the issues aren’t slowing down yet.”
“What we are most excited about is we welcomed over 1,110 new members in March, which was a 300% increase compared to 2019. We relaxed the rules for lockdown so people could apply to become a member online and we could issue them a library number to login. It’s proved so popular we not changing the process back.”
The following branches that have reopened: Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre, Cummings Park (Ngaio), Johnsonville (Waitohi), Karori, Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, and Wadestown. Brooklyn, Khandallah, and Mervyn Kemp Library (Tawa) will join them from Monday 25 May.
See our Frequently Asked Questions for the full details about the branches opening hours and steps we have in place.
Wellington City Libraries have been busy over past weeks preparing to welcome people back to half of their branches – but things will be a little different.
“We’ve been busy right through the lockdown moving many of our popular programmes online and creating events and activities to help keep everyone entertained in their bubbles,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “Over the past weeks we’ve been preparing to make our spaces for our customers and staff to return to. Meeting the government hygiene guidelines includes additional cleaning of the spaces and equipment, temporarily remove some toys and activities, working out how our teams can work and serve customers while meeting the physical distancing rules.”
“Now we have the systems set up we will begin reopening five branches from Thursday 14 May, with another two libraries opening from Monday 18 May. We are reducing our opening hours slightly to fit in the additional health and safety requirements. In order to make sure everyone can maintain physical distancing, we will be managing numbers onsite, so it is likely to be a little busier when you visit.”
“To help everyone enjoy their visits safely please keep your visits shorter, and be kind when keeping your 2m distance, especially when waiting to sign in or check out items. It’ll take a little while as we all settle into around our new ways of working and getting around, so thank you for your patience.”
The Cummings Park (Ngaio), Waitohi (Johnsonville), Karori, Kilbirnie and Newtown branches will reopen on Thursday 14 May 2020. Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre and Wadestown branch will reopen from 10am, Monday 18 May 2020. See our Frequently Asked Questions for full details.
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!”
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:
- StayAtHomeFest 2020 which links engaging author talks, with links to books and digital resources to explore. Follow the Fest at https://wcl.govt.nz/stayathomefest
- Facebook Storytimes streamed every weekday morning at 10:30am, and Saturdays at 2:00pm, during the closedown at https://www.facebook.com/wellingtoncitylibraries
- Follow the WCL Kids’ Blog and Teen Blog to access everything from reading suggestions to craft ideas, home-made board game tutorials to educational resources.
“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.
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.
“We are supporting the National Library in reducing the spread of Coronavirus, so he Matapihi Molesworth will be closed for the next two weeks,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “We ask customers to use our Arapaki Library in Manners Street, or one of our 11 branches in the interim”.
“People can renew their items by contacting our Libraries team and we are waiving overdue fines until the library reopens.”
“If customers have reserved items to pick up from He Matapihi, one of our Libraries’ team will be in touch to arrange for you to pick it up from either Arapaki Library in Manners Street, or one of our 11 branches around Wellington.
Contact Wellington City Libraries by calling 801 4040 during office hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org
**If you do have concerns about your health in relation to COVID-19 please contact a health professional. For health specific questions, you can call Healthline directly on 0800 358 5453.
All libraries will be closed temporarily from Sunday 22 March to support efforts in reducing the spread of Coronavirus.
Where to Find Good Information
Three health organisations who can provide authoritative information about COVID-19 are the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, and Wellington’s own Capital & Coast Health Board.
The Ministry of Health website is the definitive source of information in New Zealand and provides the latest updates, advice, and guidelines on symptoms, prevention, treatment, travel, home care, and self-isolation. The World Health Organisation has a very comprehensive and useful Q & A page covering wide-ranging topics related to Covid-19, and Capital & Coast provides practical information and guidelines on how you can look after yourself. It also provides a summary of their page in New Zealand Sign Language.
On this library website you can access a number of health and research databases with your library card that can help you to learn about COVID-19 and coronaviruses. Our online health resources include:
Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center: A consumer health resource providing authoritative information on a full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative medical practices
Consumer Health: Health and wellness from mainstream medicine to complementary, holistic and integrated medicine, including a number of full text health magazines.
Alternatively, visit our Health online resources page for a list of all our recommended resources.
What you can do while your local library is closed, or you need to self-isolate
Your library card provides access to a great array of online resources. From film streaming to learning new skills, the resources listed below will help keep you entertained and informed. All resources have a Quick Start Guide and Help information so that everyone from beginners to digital natives can use them.
Beamafilm: Streaming film — over 500 international movies and documentaries, with a strong Australasian focus.
Kanopy: Streaming film — over 30,000 titles from around the world. Includes Kanopy Kids.
Libby: OverDrive’s new simplified site and app. Read and listen to eBooks & eAudiobooks — over 50,000 titles available.
PressReader: Same day access to full-page replicas of newspapers & magazines from NZ and around the world in 60+ languages.
Lynda.com: Unlimited access to over 3500 online video courses. Topics include IT, business, design & more. Learn a new skill!
RBdigital: Over 200 eMagazine titles for reading online or offline — across all genres.
Mango Languages: Learn over 70 new languages on the go!
Naxos Jazz Library: Streaming music — over 210,500 tracks of jazz from more than 17,930 CDs. Includes over 32,000 jazz artists.
For Kids and Teens
If you have children with you during self-isolation try some of these amazing online resources:
Story Box Library: Streaming story times — preschool & primary school age stories read aloud on video by amazing authors & storytellers.
Kids’ eReading Room: Overdrive’s Kids’ eReading Room — our main website filtered just for kids’ material.
Teens’ eReading Room: Overdrive’s Teen eReading Room — our main website filtered just for material for teens.