The Summer Reading Adventure starts today — 1 December!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure runs from 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022 for children aged 5-13. Read books; write, draw or film reviews; and complete quests to earn all kinds of awesome goodies — and you’ll still be home in time for tea!

Summer Reading Adventure website link - 1 December to 31 January

Pick up the Adventurer’s Guide from your local library and visit our Summer Reading Adventure website to register and start logging your reading and adventures today.

Read on to find out more!

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Get crafty these holidays with CRAFTerHolidays2Go!

School holidays are here, and if you’re missing our usual array of library programmes during the break at COVID Alert Level 2, why not get your ‘crafty fingers’ working with our CRAFTerHolidays2Go take-away packs available from some of our branch libraries?

Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries

No photo description available.

These CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs are a follow-on from the ever-popular CRAFTerschool sessions which are offered every Monday (Tawa Library) and Wednesday (Johnsonville Library) after school during term time during Covid Alert Level 1.

These packs are a lucky dip of at least three separate activities that you can make, cook, sew, knit, fly, experiment with or puzzle over. Each sheet also features a QR code that can link you to the activity sheet’s specific craft book on our catalogue, just in case you want to do more activities from that book.

There’s also a SIT ‘N’ KNIT pom-pom making pack, and a How-to sheet for submitting your poems to Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens.

So pop into the Johnsonville or Tawa Libraries over the holidays and pick up your packs!

Te Awe Library

May be an illustration of text that says "ΟωΙ Wings Decorate Cut out Attach wings feet tobody with paper tasteners. ners Atta +o legs Dinos Co ag tail spines"

The ‘crafty’ librarians at Te Awe Library are working on a variety of CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs too – these include a movable paper animals kit with card template, paper fasteners and googly eyes; and there is also a collage kit and an activity pack with wordfinds and crosswords. All available 2Go from Te Awe Library in the CBD on Brandon St.

Newtown Library

Also, come on down to Newtown Library and help yourself to a small bag of crafty goodies! If you’re looking for ideas on what to create, check out the Newtown Library Facebook page, where some of our librarians are posting some easy craft ideas for you to follow along with. Share your creations with your local librarian and be in to win some cool school holiday prizes!

Wellington City Libraries online

Wellington City Libraries also have a huge array of interesting ‘stuff’ for you to watch and do on You Tube. So jump on now and have a browse HERE

Or you could check out the Kids’ FUN STUFF on the Wellington City Libraries website for more games, craft ideas, printables and puzzles HERE


For further inspo, why not check out these virtual CRAFTerschool clips:

 


Wellington City Libraries have you covered for all things ‘crafty’ with lots of books and resources to help you on your way. Check out the NON-FICTION Dewey 745 – 750 sections and unleash your creativity:

Easy arts & crafts for kids : 50 fun projects to make, wear, and share / Perkins, Jennifer
“A collection of 50 craft projects that require little supervision and can be made with materials you can find at home.” (Catalogue)

Maker camp : heritage crafts and skill-building projects for kids / Holton-Fessler, Delanie
“Classic and innovative hands-on projects for kids ages 3 and up designed to teach both heritage skills and how to think creatively. The 20+ projects in this book weave a story of human innovation and creativity, from the very beginnings of building shelters in the woods to tinkering with recycled materials. Heritage skills teach children how to be independent and capable makers; fibre and wood projects offer rewarding crafts that also teach planning, preparation, and safe risk taking; and tinkering activities connect the low-tech process of making and doing with innovation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Art sparks : draw, paint, make, and get creative with 53 amazing projects! / Abrams, Marion
“This lively, colourful compendium of arts and crafts for a new generation of kids features projects specially designed to spark creativity, invite self-expression, and nurture self-confidence. From finger puppets to fabric flags to shrink art, each activity uses inexpensive materials and can be crafted in less than 90 minutes.” (Catalogue)

Stitch + string lab for kids : 40+ creative projects to sew, embroider, weave, wrap and tie / Stephens, Cassie
“With 40+ inventive projects, Stitch and string lab for kids contains everything from simple sewing, embroidery, and weaving to string art, needle felting, and yarn crafts!” (Catalogue)

Drawing aliens, spacecraft, and other stuff beyond the galaxy : 4D an augmented reading drawing experience / Cella, Clara
“For budding artists who won’t be confined to subjects here on Earth, Drawing Aliens, Spacecraft, and Other Stuff Beyond the Galaxy delivers high-interest projects with step-by-step instructions and special 4D support. Projects increase in difficulty from the first to the last to strengthen drawing skills and confidence. Download the Capstone 4D app for an augmented reality experience that extends learning beyond the printed page with artist video tutorials and other bonus content.” (Catalogue)

Crafting fun for kids of all ages : pipe cleaners, paint & pom-poms galore, yarn & string & a whole lot more / Uliana, Kim
“In Crafting Fun for Kids of All Ages, blogger Kim Uliana offers 200 entertaining, versatile, and easy-to-assemble arts and crafts projects for any occasion. Make glittery snowflakes and thumbprint ornaments during the holidays, create straw hats and button sunflowers for summer vacation, or decorate personalized bookmarks for back-to-school.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Epic graphic novel crafts / Jones, Jen
“Whether you flip left to right or right to left, this collection of crafts will call upon your favourite comics, manga, or graphic novels! Re-live adventures and far-out tales with these larger-than-life crafts.” (Catalogue)

Fun things to do on National Teddy Bear Picnic Day

We’re at the end of Term 2 and the school holidays are almost here. In fact, they’re starting this Saturday. But that’s not the only thing happening this Saturday!

This Saturday the 10th of July is National Teddy Bear Picnic day, so we thought we’d welcome you into the school holidays with some activity ideas for both you and your teddy.

via GIPHY

Idea number one: Take your teddy bear on a picnic!
Set up a picnic blanket in your garden, or go on down to the Wellington Botanic Gardens and find a spot to sit down and eat with your teddy. If the weather is miserable we suggest moving your picnic inside. For an extra-special indoor picnic we recommend building a blanket fort to eat it in. Everyone knows teddy bears love blanket forts!

Idea number two: Come to our Teddy Bear Storytime at Te Awe!
In honour of this very special day we’ll be having an extra special storytime at Te Awe Library. Bring your teddy bear along and settle in for a fun session of stories, songs, and bear themed crafts. We hope to see you there at 2pm!

Idea number three: Make something with your teddy bear!
If you’re going out on a picnic you’ll need to have something to eat. If you’re a beginner baker then Time for Tea is a good cookbook to start you off. Or if you and your teddy have been reading a book by Enid Blyton together and you like the sound of the tasty treats she describes in her books then head towards Jolly Good Food for some literary and delicious recipes. We also have a list of great websites with recipes, tips, and tricks over on our Fun Stuff page.

It’s not just food you can make! If you feel like putting together some decorations for your picnic, perhaps you might like to have some Fun with Paper? Or if you have some yarn lying around you might want to check out My First Pompom Book for some exciting ideas. There’s also this blog post on other craft books available through our elibrary. Let your creativity run wild!

Idea number four: Read a bear-themed book!
There are a lot of books out there perfect for you and your teddy bear to read together, and we’ve picked out some of our favourites:

A bear called Paddington / Bond, Michael
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington, a most endearing bear from Darkest Peru on a railway platform in London. A sign hanging around his neck said, “Please look after this bear. Thank you” So that is just what they did. From the very first night when he attempted his first bath and ended up nearly flooding the house, Paddington was seldom far from imminent disaster. Jonathan and Judy were delighted with this havoc and even Mr. and Mrs. Brown had to admit that life seemed to be more filled with adventure when there was a bear in the house.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

The best-loved bear / Noonan, Diana
“When all the children take their teddybears to school for a best-loved bear contest, Tim is embarrassed because his teddy is so worn out. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

The everywhere bear / Donaldson, Julia
“The Everywhere Bear has a home on a shelf. But he doesn’t spend very much time by himself, For each boy and girl in the class is a friend. And he goes home with one of them every weekend. The Everywhere Bear has a wonderful time with the children in Class One, but one day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull …how will he ever make it back to Class One?” (Catalogue)

There’s a bear in the window / Pitman-Hayes, June
“There’s a bear in the window of the house across the street. It’s tall and round, with great big feet! I wonder what I would see if I were that bear, and that bear were me? From singer-songwriter June Pitman-Hayes comes a story told in both English and Māori that celebrates the great teddy bear hunt, that entertained thousands of children during lockdown in 2020″–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

We’re going on a bear hunt / Rosen, Michael
“Brave bear hunters go through grass, a river, mud, and other obstacles before the inevitable encounter with the bear forces a headlong retreat.” (Catalogue)

Winnie-the-Pooh / Milne, A. A.
“Meet the world’s favourite bear in the delightful collection, in which Pooh gets into a tight place, nearly catches a Woozle, and discovers the wrong sort of honey – amongst other things.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an audiobook, an eAudiobook, and an eBook

Explore Beyond the Page in the July School Holidays!

The Beyond the Page literary festival is returning for a mini-festival of awesomeness across the Wellington region during the July school holidays! From July 16-19, join us for five amazing events that will bring the fizzing, creative, and adventurous part of the library to life for you and your whānau. Read on to find out what’s on and how to get involved!


Songs, Stories, Sass & SPLASH by Sacha Cotter & Josh Morgan

Johnsonville LibraryFriday 16 July, 2.00pm

Bring the whānau and learn the secrets behind the creation of the multi award-winning picture book The Bomb. Join picture book making team, author Sacha Cotter and illustrator Josh Morgan, for a fun-filled hour of storytelling, music, fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ facts and an activity to unleash your imagination designing your own slapping, dripping, soaking, sky-scraping SPLASH!

This event is suitable for children 3-8 years old with their caregivers, and registrations are not required. We may need to restrict numbers on the day for safety due to venue and crowd size, so we recommend arriving 15 minutes before the event begins to secure your spot.

Find out more about Sacha and Josh here.


Family Quiz Night with Gee Quiz

Online (from the comfort of your own home!), Saturday 17 July, 6.30pm

It’s trivia time! We’ve partnered with the capital’s favourite quiz provider, Gee Quiz, to bring you an awesome online family-friendly quiz as part of Beyond the Page. All you need is an internet connection and you and your family can join in the fun from the comfort of your own home. Dress-ups of your favourite book, movie or comic character are encouraged, but if you just want to cosy up in your PJs, that is fine too!

We recommend teams of 2-6 players, but at least one person on the team must be a child under age of 13.

Registrations are required; click here to register. Find out more about the quiz here.


Little Dog Barking Theatre Presents: Rainbows and Fishes

Paraparaumu Library, Sunday 18 July, 10.30am
Upper Hutt Central Library, Sunday 18 July, 2.00pm

Colourful props and puppets are woven together by Kenny King to tell this story in English, te reo Māori, and Samoan. Enjoy an exciting story of change, colour and creation!

Show synopsis: Home to a happy group of people was a small island in the Pacific ocean. They had everything they needed — they grew vegetables and fruit to eat, caught fish, played games with each other, and told stories of old and stories of new. There was one song they sang, of a time when the Rainbow Fish lost its colours, a time when the other fish in the sea had no colours, a time when the wind created great mischief to the people of the island and the fish in the sea.

This event is suitable for children 2-8 years old with their caregivers, and registrations are not required.

Find out more about Little Dog Barking Theatre here.


Superhero Science with Nanogirl

Walter Nash Centre, Taitā, Monday 19 July, 2.00pm

The Nanogirl ‘Superhero Science’ show gets noisy and explosive, as we explore the science behind superpowers and engineer superpowers of our own with Michelle Dickinson (a.k.a. Nanogirl!).

This event is suitable for children 6-12 years old with their caregivers. Registrations are required; click here to register.

Find out more about Nanogirl here.

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

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.

Some of the awesome crafty things you can find to make Matariki art with at your local library


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Join us for these fabulous events happening at library branches across the city:

Beginner’s Guide to Whakapapa

Join us for this short talk aimed at giving people with little to no experience researching their whakapapa some useful tips when navigating the resources accessible on the WCL website. Adults are very welcome.

  • Tuesday 6 July, 12.30pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Explore the Stars in VR

Celebrate Matariki by joining us at Te Awe Library to take turns exploring the night sky in virtual reality. The stars have never seemed quite so close to touch! This event is great for mātua, rangatahi, and tamariki alike.

  • Friday 9 July, 2.00 – 4.00pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

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 2 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Let’s Go LEGO®: Matariki Whetū!

Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create! Come along to your library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. These sessions all feature special Matariki-themed activities as we celebrate this festive time with our friends and whānau. Our LEGO® activities are perfect for tamariki of all ages to participate in with their whānau.

  • Friday 2 July, 3.30pm at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tari-kākā
  • Sunday 4 July, 11.00am at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Thursday 8 July, 3.30pm at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
  • Friday 8 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes

Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Our storytimes are family-friendly and fun for all ages. Weekday sessions are all at 10.30am; weekend sessions are all at 2.00pm.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Monday 5 July, 10.30am:
    • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am:
    • Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am:
    • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
    • Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Thursday 8 July, 10.30am:
    • Arapaki Manners Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Arapaki
    • Island Bay Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tapu Te Ranga
    • Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 10 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes: Virtual Edition!

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!

  • Thursday 8 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Friday 9 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Saturday 10 July, 7.30pm — online!

Pakiwaitara Matariki: Bilingual Storytelling

Join us at your local whare pukapuka for these special bilingual storytimes in celebration of Matariki! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Saturday 10 July, 11.00am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

Puoro Matariki: Stories and Music

Come along to Johnsonville Library on the first Tuesday of each month to enjoy a half-hour mash-up of stories and music. Literary and musical worlds will collide as we introduce your budding muso (and budding reader, of course!) to a world of rhythm, rhyme, song and dance from across the globe using stories, percussion instruments, and loads of imagination. Join us on the 6th of July for this special Matariki-themed session for all ages!

  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTerschool

Join us for this special after-school Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki constellation using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own!

  • Monday 5 July, 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTivity

Bust the indoor boredom with a free Arts & Crafts session for tamariki, rangatahi and the whole whānau on Saturday mornings from 10.30am – 11.30 at He Matapihi Molesworth Library. At this session, we’ll be exploring Matariki with a simple craft project to be enjoyed by all!

  • Saturday 3 July, 10.30am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi

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!

Become an Environmental Scientist with the City Nature Challenge!

Finish off the school holidays in environmental style by taking part in the City Nature Challenge this weekend! From Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Wellington will be transformed into a giant nature playground — and you will be turned into scientists, should you choose to take up the challenge of embarking on a four-day bioblitz!

WCC gardener photographing a plant using the iNaturalist app at a Wellington City garden.

Nate Rigler, WCC gardener, investigating some local flora! Photo credit: Tim Park.

So what is the City Nature Challenge? It’s a global event that sees people from over 250 cities across the world search for, report, and log any sightings of wild plants, creatures, or organisms, living or dead, on the land, up the mountains, and in the sea — and around our backyards.

It’s super easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group, go for a walk in the city (looking out for local flora and fauna as you go!) and when you spot something cool, upload it to the app. There are prizes to be won and a natural environment to be discovered, so pick up a flyer from your local library, or head over to the City Nature Challenge website, to find out more!

If nature is your kind of thing, Wellington City Libraries has a huge range of books and other resources on the topic. Use the following links to find books on our catalogue about various topics relating to the plants, animals, and environment of New Zealand — or use the Dewey Decimal numbers to help you search the shelves the next time you visit the library!

Here are some that you might find particularly useful as you participate in the City Nature Challenge this weekend:

New Zealand nature heroes / Candler, Gillian
“New Zealand Nature Heroes is designed to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists. Aimed at the 8-12 age range, the book features stories of 15 different nature heroes, people who, in the past, or currently, are working to protect and understand New Zealand’s natural world. These inspirational profiles are complemented with information about key animals, plants or habitats, and then each matched with an authentic activity that kids can do to make a difference.” (Catalogue)

A New Zealand nature journal / Morris, Sandra
“A New Zealand Nature Journal will teach you how to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries. Have you ever noticed that ladybirds have different numbers of spots? Or that leaves can be pointed or round, long or short, soft or hard? There is so much to explore in the natural world. And keeping a nature journal is the best way to record all your amazing discoveries.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen. From intimate portraits of endangered creatures and their glamorous breeding plumage, to dramatic wide-angle birdscapes encompassing rugged sub-antarctic habitats, to magical fleeting encounters of birds courting and mating and hatching, Chen’s passion for nature shines with artistic and aesthetic photographs sure to pique a greater appreciation of New Zealand birds. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The life-size guide to insects & other land vertebrates of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying New Zealand’s insects, spiders and other land invertebrates is made simple with this new guide. Over 300 life-size colour photographs make it fun for all the family to learn more about the natural world of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest can be fun for all the family with this new pictorial guide. Match leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and bark against beautiful, life-sized photographs for fast, accurate identification. Written by one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on native plants, The Life-Size Guide offers a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world of our native plants.” (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
“Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

April School Holidays: General Nerdery!

The April school holidays are only two weeks away! This year, Wellington City Libraries is inviting you to join us for General Nerdery all through the holiday period, from the 17th of April to the 2nd of May.

Everyone has something they’re nerdy about, our librarians included. For some, it’s tech-y stuff like robots and VR that get them going; for others, it might be comic books or movies; some of the more adventurous among us don armour, shield and sword for fantasy adventures in games like Dungeons and Dragons. Whatever you get nerdy about, there’s something for you at your local library during the April school holidays! If you’re a bit older, don’t worry — there’s plenty on for teens too. Click here for the lowdown on what’s on for teens! If you want to see the entire event calendar, click here. If you’re a kid — read on!

Child wearing denim dungarees and a makeshift visor with a cardboard jetpack standing next to a cardboard robot, surrounded by images of planets, aliens, and stars. Text: "Join us this school holidays for General Nerdery, 17 April to 2 May"

Join us for nerdy events you can really sink your teeth into!

Board Game Builders

Whether you’ve been dreaming up your own version of Snakes and Ladders, or have a whole new tabletop game world in mind, this event is for you! Join us at Te Awe Library to learn about how your can use our special templates to build your own custom board game that you can then take home and play with your friends and family! All materials will be supplied.

Board Games Builders is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 23 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

City Nature Challenge: Wellington Bioblitz!

Throughout the holidays, people from all over the world are participating in the City Nature Challenge! Wellington is teeming with wildlife, from the mountains to the sea. You can get involved in the City Nature Challenge Wellington Bioblitz using the iNaturalist app — just take a picture of a plant or animal you find and upload it to the app! Click here to join in on the fun, and don’t forget to pick up a special City Nature Challenge activity sheet from your local library during the holidays.

Crazy Collages

Have you ever looked at an old book or magazine and thought, “This would really look a lot better if I tore it apart and made it into art?” We have, too! Come along to Te Awe Library and join our librarians in repurposing some old magazines into beautiful works of art that you can be proud of.

Crazy Collages is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Wednesday 28 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

El’s Party!

To celebrate the end of the school holidays, you are invited to a special party right here in the library! Do you want to play party games? Do you enjoy dance and song? Then grab your brown-up, bring them to Te Awe Library, and be prepared to have entirely too much fun with El, our very own party librarian!

El’s Party is perfect for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 29 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Embroider Your Own Patch

Join us at Johnsonville Library during the school holidays to learn how to embroider your own patch that you can sew onto your clothes, schoolbag, or jacket! Wear your nerdy finery with pride and chill with like-minded folks in the library while picking up a new skill. Materials will be provided, and registrations are not required.

Embroider Your Own Patch is suitable for children aged 9+ with their caregivers.

  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2.00 – 5.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 27 April, 2.00 – 5.00pm

Experience VR

Virtual reality (VR) offers us a new and exciting way to learn about and experience the world around us. From 3D painting and virtual sculpting to exploring some of the world’s most extreme locations, this is your opportunity to experience VR from the safety and comfort of your local library.

Experience VR! is suitable for children aged 9+ accompanied by their caregivers, and teens of all ages.

  • Karori Library, Tuesday 20 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, Thursday 29 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm

Family Movie Afternoon

Bring a cushion and a bottle of water and relax at our FREE, fun family movie afternoons — popcorn will be supplied! All movies chosen will have a G rating, and are suitable for families with young children. Contact the host library to find out which movies are screening!

Family Movie Afternoons are suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Monday 19 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Karori Library, Wednesday 28 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Te Awe Library, Friday 30 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Fort Night

Fancy yourself a builder, engineer, architect, or artist? Join us at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library to put your skills to the test by helping us turn the library’s children’s and teens sections into a magnificent, interconnected box fort! Drop in and have a go, or stay for the whole time and watch your masterpiece take shape, from foundation to parapet.

Fort Night is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers, and teens of all ages.

  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Thursday 22 April, 4.00 – 6.00pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Thursday 29 April, 4.00 – 6.00pm

LEGO® Time

Come down to the library and get creative in these free-build sessions with our extensive LEGO® collections. Builders of all ages and experience levels are welcome to get stuck in.

LEGO® Time is suitable for children aged 5+ and their caregivers, and everyone is welcome.

  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 18 April, 11.00am – 12.00pm
  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 22 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 27 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 2 May, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Let’s Go LEGO®

Let’s build — let’s explore — let’s create! Come along to your local library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. At Let’s Go LEGO® your brickish nerdery will be put to the test as you work your way through our special themed challenges.

Let’s Go LEGO® is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Karori Library, Saturday 17 April, 2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Newtown Library, Monday 19 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm
  • Brooklyn Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2 – 3:30pm
  • Miramar Library, Thursday 22 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm

Plus, come along for a special ‘under the sea’ themed LEGO® building session at Wadestown Library:

  • Wadestown Library, Wednesday 21 April, 3.00 – 5.00pm

Meet the Robots

Ever wondered what goes on inside the mind of a robot? Join us at Te Awe Library to meet some of our resident library robots, find out how they work, and then try your hand at programming them! No prior coding knowledge is required.

Meet the Robots is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Wednesday 21 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Myths and Music

The magic of storytelling takes many forms, and myths and legends in many parts of the world have often been told through music. Join our librarians for a musical journey through Celtic and Maori mythology — and be prepared to make some noise of your own!

Myths and Music is suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 23 April, 3.00 – 4.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 30 April, 3.00 – 4.00pm

Nature Heroes: Board Game Creation Workshop

Johnsonville Library is excited to work with VIVITA Aotearoa to bring this VIVISTOP Mini pop-up programme to the library. During this 5-day workshop, you will learn about the concepts of design thinking, engage in creative problem solving, learn to use software and hardware and other tools in the library’s Tūhura HIVE Makerspace, and then apply these lessons to the creation of a board game centred around the theme of conservation.

This workshop is FREE. Space is limited to 15 participants. Click here to register. Nature Heroes: Board Game Creation Workshop is suitable for young creators aged 9-15.

  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 27 April to Saturday 1 May inclusive, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Paper Plane Cloudracers

Join us at Te Awe Library to bring your aeronautic dreams to life as paper planes! Learn new designs, construct your plane, then see how your design fares against our librarians in the paper plane aviation race of the century. All materials will be supplied.

Paper Plane Cloudracers is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

The Summer Reading Challenge Continues!

Another year begins, and our Summer Reading Challenge continues! If all the book reviews you’ve been writing are anything to go by, you guys have been reading like absolute machines all throughout this beautiful Wellington summer. It has been wonderful reading all of your reviews and hearing about what you’ve enjoyed (or not so much!) about the books you’ve been reading.

It’s not too late to get involved! The Summer Reading Challenge is still running, and will keep running until the 31st of January 2021! There are heaps of prizes to be won just by reading books from our Summer Reading Challenge booklist — just see the photo below for a teensy tiny glimpse into our instant prize stash! Massive thanks to our friends at Unity Books, Marsden Books, and the Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie for their generous support.

Several piles of brand-new children's books, including picture books, fiction, nonfiction, and comics

This is just a small sample of the awesome book prizes that you can earn — just by reading and reviewing books from our collection!

But, reviewing books isn’t the only way to earn prizes. If you turn over your Summer Reading Challenge booklet, you’ll find a plethora of fun challenges to complete as part of our special Book Bingo challenge. Once you’ve finished off all 9 of the challenges, take your booklet in to your local library to earn a special prize.

A hand-drawn and vibrantly-coloured Dora the Explorer sits beneath the original art from the book.

This beautiful drawing of Dora the Explorer by Aarvi from Johnsonville Library was completed as part of the Book Bingo Challenge! Ka rawe, Aarvi!

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get reading!

Discover Wicked Bugs for Summer Holiday Fun!

The summer holidays are here – sunshine, barbeques, swimming, staying up late… and mosquitoes biting, flies buzzing around the cooked food, moths beating against your torch as you try to read at night, and crickets and cicadas making a racquet when you’re trying to sleep in you tent!  Anyone would think bugs were put here to ruin your summer fun!

But did you know that we humans wouldn’t survive on this big, beautiful planet without our friendly creepy-crawlies to help us along? At last count it is estimated that there are ten quintillion insects alive on Earth right now, which means that for each one of us, there are two hundred million of them! But don’t panic! They all have a job to do, and if you dig deeper (and many of them do live underground), what the insects do for us and the health of the planet is pretty amazing.

File:Cook Strait Giant Weta (5601688959).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsTake New Zealand’s GIANT WĒTĀ (wētāpunga) for example. This big daddy of an insect features in the Guinness Book of Records as being one of the world’s largest insects, and some of them weigh in around 70 grams – about the same weight as a saddleback or sparrow! Department of Conservation staff refer to them as the ‘mouse of the forest’ because their equally giant poos help fertilise the forest floor and help with regeneration of native bush. What a hero! And the Auckland Zoo think so too and have joined forces with DoC and local iwi to reintroduce wētāpunga to islands in the Hauraki Gulf so that they can do their fertilising work and bring back the bush.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, did you know that the wētā’s ears are located in their knees?! Yes, really!


File:Chorus Cicada... (6926902643).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsYou really know Summer has arrived when the CICADAS start their noise! But why do they do it? And how?

The high-pitched ‘song’ is actually a mating call belted out by males. Each species has its own distinctive song that only attracts females of its own kind. This allows several different species to live together in one area.

Cicadas are the only insects capable of producing such a unique and loud sound, and they do it by contracting special muscles called tymbals in their abdomen. Some larger species can produce a call in excess of 120 decibels at close range (120 decibels is the equivalent of a thunderclap or a chainsaw)! Smaller species sing in such a high pitch that it cannot be heard by humans, but may cause dogs and other animals to howl in pain.


File:Housefly on Table.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsWe’ve all experienced the FLIES massing as soon as the barbeque is cooking and the salads are out on the picnic table. But why do they do this? The common house fly has a pretty powerful sense of smell and is attracted to strong smells – especially meat, and especially rotting meat! They like to lay their eggs in rotting material so that when their babies – maggots – hatch they have something to eat, yum! But just like the rest of us, adult flies have to eat too so that they’ve got the energy to fly. To eat their food, flies regurgitate (bring up) saliva from their stomachs, which dissolves the food until it is digestible. The house fly then uses its proboscis – like an attached straw where your nose should be – to suck up the liquefied food. Though they eat with their mouths, house flies taste with their feet. This is why they are always crawling on your food.

Lego Weta by EzraCRITTER OF THE WEEK: To tweak you interest further, check out “Critter of the Week”  on Radio New Zealand every Thursday in Afternoons with Jessie Mulligan.  Nicola Toki is the Threatened Species Ambassador for the Department of Conservation and a self-confessed “nature nerd”. Each week she talks  about a lovable member of New Zealand’s wildlife community, many of them our creepy-crawly friends. There was even a competition earlier in the year for you to make the most interesting critter out of Lego and send in a photo. Check out some of the entries here.

“An understanding of the natural world is a source of not only great curiosity, but great fulfilment.”

(David Attenborough – natural historian, environmentalist and planet-hero)



Wellington City Libraries have loads of fantastic books about insects, creepy-crawlies and the people that study insects (entomologists). Take a dive into the fascinating world of bugs… go on! There’s nothing to be afraid of!

The genius of bugs / Pollard, Simon
This book contains a cast of amazing and unexpected bugs, from the killer brain-surgeon jewel wasp to the master-of-disguise orchid mantis, to the New Zealand favourite, the wētā.

 


New Zealand’s backyard beasts / Barraud, Ned
In the garden, creeping along branches, hiding under stones or flitting from flower to flower, a whole universe of creatures is waiting to be discovered. Butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps, spiders. Did you know that  cicadas live underground for most of their life? That bumblebees have smelly feet? That some species of stick insect are all female? Or that earwigs don’t actually crawl into ears? In this book you can learn to identify some of the creatures most commonly found in the backyard.


The bug girl : (a true story) / Spencer, Sophia
Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Sophia tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself. Sophia Spencer has always loved bugs but when she was bullied at school she stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response–letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs.


World's Biggest Baddest Bugs (Ruud Kleinpaste) Image at Mighty Ape NZWorld’s biggest baddest bugs
To find the good, the bad and ugly of the insect world, Ruud Kleinpaste – New Zealand’s very own BugMan – embarks on an entomological journey in search of the biggest and the baddest of them all in this two part DVD. From killer bees and army ants, to cockroaches and tarantula, Ruud explains exactly what makes the “stars” of the show so incredible. Through a series of deadly stunts Ruud reveals what makes these crawlies the kings of the bugs and how they are capable of so much more than just scaring us silly.


World’s strangest creepy-crawlies / Derrick, Stuart
This book includes 40 of the planet’s most bizarre species and ranks them in order of their oddness! With jaw-dropping facts and amazing photos, the pages reveal each creature’s seriously strange characteristics and the unusual ways they hunt, eat or defend themselves.   Inside World’s Strangest Creepy-Crawlies, you’ll discover the tiny terror that blows itself up to save its friends, a creature so well disguised even its own species can’t see it, and a giant spider the size of a dinner plate. And with the ‘strange-o-meter’, you can compare each animal based on its creepiness, fight factor and superpowers!


I’m trying to love spiders : (it isn’t easy) / Barton, Bethany
What do you do when you see a spider? a. Lay on a BIG spidey smoocheroo. b. Smile, but back away slowly. c. Grab the closest object, wind up, and let it fly. d. Run away screaming.
If you chose b, c, or d, then this book is for you.
I’m Trying to Love Spiders will help you see these amazing arachnids in a whole new light, from their awesomely excessive eight eyes, to the seventy-five pounds of bugs a spider can eat in a single year And you’re sure to feel better knowing you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being fatally bit by a spider. Comforting, right? No? Either way, there’s heaps more information in here to help you forget your fears . . . or at least laugh a lot!

Summer Programmes and Events Schedule

Kia ora koutou! The summer holidays are a great time for you to relax, spend some time with whānau, and bask in the sunshine with a good book. Our librarians sometimes like to do this as well, so there will be some changes to our regularly-scheduled events and programmes during Christmas, New Year’s, and January. You can find out where and when everything is happening at the Event Calendar, or the children’s What’s On webpage, but here are the basics for you:


Special Events

Two children sitting underneath a tree, reading a book.

Enjoy the Summer Reading Challenge these school holidays!

During December, we have special Christmas Storytimes for the whole family to enjoy at all 14 of our libraries, and don’t forget that the Summer Reading Challenge is running from now until the end of January! Get stuck in now to earn sweet prizes.

Keep an eye out for our famous BookBike at beaches and parks around the city during those hot January days, and you can also come see us at a wide variety of festivals and events during the summer, including Gardens Magic (12 January – 31 January 2021) and the Wellington Pasifika Festival on 23 January 2021. We’d love to see you there!


Regular Programmes

Baby Rock and Rhyme will be taking a break at all sites from the 11th of December, and making a glorious return on the 1st of February. If you’re itching for that musical fix in your life, our newest library in the CBD, Te Awe on Brandon Street, will keep running Baby Rock and Rhyme until the 16th of December, and return on the 11th of January.

Preschool Storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero will run until the 20th of December at all sites for all your storytelling needs. At our CBD sites, as well as Johnsonville, Tawa, Brooklyn and Wadestown, storytime will resume from the 4th of January. At all other locations, our storytellers will be returning from the 1st of February.

Our LEGO® programmes including Let’s Go LEGO® and LEGO® Time will be on hiatus between the 20th of December and the 1st of February. At Johnsonville, Tawa, and Te Awe Libraries, these programmes will keep running throughout January — yahoo!

Our term-time programmes including Code Club, Tech Time, and CRAFTerschool will start up again in Week 2 of Term 1 2021, to give you time to adjust to being back at school before diving back into library events!


If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local library, or you can email the Children’s Librarian to find out more.