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?
Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau! This July, we are celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.
As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.
Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:
Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.
Friday 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.
Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.
Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.
Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
Matariki Online Storytimes
Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!
Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.
Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?
Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!
Under the Covid-19 Alert Level 1 all Wellington City Libraries branches will return to normal opening hours from Monday 15 June, while continuing with additional cleaning and providing QR codes for people to track where they’ve been.
“It’s been great to see people coming back to our branches over the past few weeks, and we’ve really appreciated everyone for their patience in following the sign-in and physical distancing rules,” says Laurinda Thomas, Manager Libraries and Community Spaces.
“We will continue to provide regular cleaning of shared resources, such as children’s toys, and keep our QR codes up so people can continue to keep track of where they’ve been”
“Our teams loved entertaining Wellingtonians by delivering our Storytime, Bedtime stories, and Baby Rock and Rhyme programmes live through Facebook, and we were delighted with how well received they were.
“Now we’re back in the branches, our Storytime and Baby Rock and Rhyme programmes will be gradually restarting. But we’ll continue to help Wellington kids get off to sleep by reading Bedtime stories on Facebook.”
To see the branch opening hours and which programmes are available, and where, please visit the opening hours and event calendar pages.
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.
Tēnā koutou katoa! Join us in celebrating Matariki at Wellington City Libraries this winter! It’s a time of celebration and reflection, of whānau and of kōrerorero — and a time to cook and eat delicious kai! Whether you want to celebrate with others or just learn more about this wonderful festival, your library has you covered with books, resources and events for the whole family.
Many of our usual preschool storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero sessions this month will be Matariki-themed, but we’re also running special Matariki events with stories, songs and crafts for tamariki and their families at selected libraries:
It’s that time of year where it’s great to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas fever and find some time to spend with your family. And where better to do that than at Wellington City Libraries, listening to stories and songs for the Christmas and festive season. So bring the kids down for a wonderful evening and get lost in the magical world of stories.
Fancy escaping from Wellington for the day? Then bring the family, head over the hills to Carterton in the Wairarapa and join in the fun at the BIG BOOK BASH on Saturday 2nd December. The Big Book Bash has something for everyone, with fun activities, readings, storytelling, workshops, book sales and signings, performances and more. Some of highlights include zine making with Murtle Chickpea, paper bag dogs with Fifi Colston, creative writing workshop with Mandy Hagar, Rainbow Storytimes with LaQuisha St Redfern and Pamela Hancock, author talks and readings with Juliette McIver, Paul Beavis, Allan Bagnall, Ali Foster, Anne Manchester, Mary MaCallum and so much more. With over 30+ events on offer and some amazing authors and illustrators to inspire and delight you this will be a day to be remembered and the best bit, it’s all FREE!
While you’re there perusing the offerings keep an eye out for the Wellington City Libraries’ stand where we will be running a Scavenger Hunt with a bag full of books for the prize!
What: Big Book Bash
Where: Carterton Events Centre, Carterton District Library and Carterton Community Courthouse
Come one, come all! Jump on your sleigh and slide down to your local library to get into the festive spirit at one of our special family Christmas Storytimes. These free events are lots of fun with games and activities, carols and festive stories. We would love to see you in your best Christmas costume, or cozy pyjamas.
Island Bay Library: 8 Dec, 6.30pm
Karori Library: 8 Dec, 6.30pm
Brooklyn Library: 12 Dec, 6.30pm
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: 12 Dec, 6.30pm
Wellington Central Library: 14 Dec, 6.30pm
Wadestown Library: 15 Dec, 6.30pm
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: 15 Dec, 6.30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 15 Dec, 6.30pm
Johnsonville Library: 16 Dec, 6.30pm
Newtown Library: 16 Dec, 6.30pm
Miramar Library: 19 Dec, 6.30pm
Khandallah Library: 22 Dec, 6.30pm
Deck the halls! We look forward to seeing you there. (No need to book; just turn up)
Experience Chinese culture and language at Wellington City Libraries. There are lots of fun things to do such as Tai Chi, a Chinese film night, Nihao Stories & Rhymes for children, and much more. All for free.
Nihao Stories & Rhymes session
The popular Nihao Stories & Rhymes sessions in Chinese will take place at Central and three branch libraries during Chinese Language Week.
– Central library: 10:00-10:30am, Every Thursday. Cost: Free.
– Karori library: 10:30-11:00am, Tuesday 8 September. Cost: Free.
– Johnsonville library: 10:30-11:00am, Monday 7 September. Cost: Free.
– Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) library: 11:00-11:30am, Friday 11 September. Cost: Free.
Basic Chinese (Mandarin) Lesson
Come to the library for a 30 minute session to learn Chinese. The session will be based on the bi-lingual books at the Chinese Corner and will focus on basic communication words and phrases include greetings, travel and much more.
– Central library: 1:00-1:30pm Tuesday 8 September. Cost: Free
– Karori library: 3:30-4:00pm Friday 11 September. Cost: Free.
Tai Chi Class
Stressed and sore? Join a free Tai Chi class at the Central Library with experienced Tai Chi tutor Aaron Lavack from the Sing Ong Tai Chi . Tai Chi can reduce stress and improve relaxation. The lesson will be held on Friday 11th of September at 12:30-1:30pm on the ground floor of Central Library. No booking is required.
Chinese Film Night
Enjoy a big night out with your friends to watch a film for free at the Central and Newtown Library. Films are in Chinese with English subtitles.
– Central library: 6:00-8:00pm. Wednesday 9 September. Cost: Free.We will be playing ‘The Bullet Vanishes’ on the ground floor at central library. The film is rated R16, and you must be aged 16 or older to attend the screening.
– Newtown library: 6:00-8:00pm. Friday 11 September. Cost: Free.We will be playing a different at Newtown. There were TV series and now a movies based on a folktale. Film is rated PG13 and recommended for audience aged 13 and over.
We have special permission to screen these films for free in the Central and Newtown Library. Bookings are required as seats are limited. Please call us to reserve your seat on 801-4068(Central), 801-4083 (Chinese), or 3892839 (Newtown) during library opening hours. Note: reservations not taken up by the starting time at 6pm may be reallocated to customers waiting, as numbers are limited.
Chinese Painting Class
Famous painter Deyu Cheng is visiting our libraries to teach Chinese painting. Come along and enjoy an artistic experience.
– Central library: 11:00-12:00am. Monday 7 September. Cost: Free.
Chinese Calligraphy Class
Famous calligrapher and painter Qianxiang Liu is coming to Johnsonville library to teach calligraphy.
– Johnsonville library: 11:00-12:00am. Friday 11 September. Cost: Free.
Central Library Tour in Chinese
Have you wondered what’s on the second floor, where to find information about Wellington birth, marriage and death records and where to find books to learn Chinese? During Chinese Language Week, it’s your chance to join a free library tour and know more about the library collection. The tours will be conducted in Chinese. Two sessions available: Monday 7 September at 2:30-4:00pm and Thursday 10 September at 2:30-4:00pm Bookings are essential. Please call the information desk on 801-4068 or 8014083 (Chinese).
Learn Chinese with eBooks
Bilingual eBooks and eAudio books are great tools for learning Chinese anywhere you have access to the internet or you can download them to your computer or smartphone. See selected highlights from our Overdrive collection, or browse the full range of eBooks and eAudio Books on OverDrive.
Read Chinese eNewspapers
Read today’s Chinese newspapers online via PressDisplay and New York Times in Chinese. Free from Wellington City Libraries with your library card membership.
Ni Hao Children’s Community Stories & Rhymes provides a time for parents and children to play and learn Mandarin as a Second/Foreign Language together through stories, fun rhymes and action songs. It’s also a great opportunity to hear and use Mandarin in a welcoming and social environment.
Starting from Thursday 9 July 2015, these free sessions are held weekly at the Wellington Central Library children’s area (near the big window by the waterfall), Thursdays, 10 to 10:30am.
Stories & Rhymes! sessions are led by teachers from the Ni Hao Children’s Community Charitable Trust, and designed for Mandarin for Speakers of Other Languages (MSOL) families who are wanting to learn the language as a second/foreign language. Fluent Mandarin speakers would also enjoy these sessions! These Stories & Rhymes! sessions are a great introduction to the Mandarin language and a very small taster of our fun class programmes.
Parents and children are most welcome to hang around and mingle in the library’s children’s area after the session has finished.
We have some great storytimes planned to celebrate Waitangi Day this year.
Apirana Taylor : Saturday 31 January 2014
Bring the kids along to a special story session session with renowned author, actor and storyteller, Apirana Taylor. Known for his charismatic and engaging style, Apirana will tell traditional tales accented by taonga pūoru and whai (string games).
Kōhunga Kōrero at Newtown and Central libraries : Tuesday 4 February and Saturday 7 February
Join in stories and song in Te Reo at our monthly Kōhunga Kōrero storytime at Newtown Library, 10.30 am, Tuesday 4 February, or our special Waitangi weekend edition at the Central Library, 10.30 am, Saturday 7 February.
Attention young animal lovers – the SPCA will be visiting our Preschool Storytimes over the next few weeks, and bringing along their furry friends for your preschoolers to interact with.
Along with our usual stories, songs and rhymes, the SPCA will talk to the children about ethical pet ownership, how to appraoch and greet animals, and about the SPCA. In the past these storytimes have been very popular as the children love the chance to meet and pet the animals.
Here’s the when and where:
Wednesday 2nd April, Newtown Library at 10.30am
Thursday 3rd April, Miramar Library at 10.15am
Monday 7th April, Karori Library at 10.30am
Monday 14h April, Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library at 10.30am
Tuesday 15th April, Johnsonville Library at 10.30am
Wednesday 16th April, Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library at 10.30am
Preschool storytimes are our free weekly sessions for 3-4 year olds, that feature stories, songs and rhymes. They are perfect for helping emerging literacy and getting children ready for school. Younger and older children are welcome too. Check out our Kids Events Page for details.
(Note: Wellington City Libraries takes no responsibility for your children demanding to take the animals home, or to get a pet)
As a result of the Wellington City Council Long Term Plan 2012 decisions, our programmes have been reviewed. Programmes with lower attendance could no longer be sustained but this decision was not made lightly. Also considered was the best possible schedule to maximise opportunities for customers to attend programmes in each local community area.
Part of the consideration was whether customers would still be able to have access to services we offer now, although there may be changes to the frequency or how the service operates.
One children’s programme only each weekday at Karori.
Cummings Park Baby RocknRhyme will now be on Tuesday at 10.30 starting 2nd October. Pre-school Storytimes will be on Wednesday at 10.30.
Holiday programmes at Brooklyn and Island Bay will cease but be retained at Kilbirnie, and Central; they will also be held at Karori or Cummings Park, Johnsonville or Tawa, and Newtown or Miramar.
Adult book clubs and Tea and Tales will be self-managed.
Johnsonville Pre-school Storytimes on Monday will cease but be retained on Tuesday.
Wadestown Pre-school Storytimes will cease.
Central library Stories at Seven and Saturday Pre-school Storytime will cease
Author and illustrator Amy Burrell will be visiting the Preschool Storytime at Wellington Central Library at 10.30am on Friday 17th August. She will be reading aloud her new book Catch That Fly, doing some drawing with children and even has an activity to take home.
Amy will have copies available of her book to collect if parents wish to pre-purchase it.
Come along, listen to some exciting stories with your children on the cushions and they’ll have heaps of fun.
Wellington City Libraries is pleased to announce that we will be hosting events for the temporary Literaturhaus running from 7th February to 11th February 2012.
These events include preschool story times, poetry readings, and two lunch-time events of short readings from current work by upcoming and established writers and translators, and will take place at the Central Library.