Get your tech on with Techweek 2022!

Techweek is back! It runs from 16th to 22nd May 2022 nationwide!
image courtesy of techweek


What is Techweek?

Techweek is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating New Zealand innovation. Techweek has a mixture of live, virtual and hybrid events, both physical and virtual, that can be attended and enjoyed from anywhere in the world!

The theme for Techweek 2022 is “connect for a better tomorrow.”

For more information about Techweek and what events are on, visit the website.

Some highlights you might like to explore include a talk with Dr Michelle Dickinson, the Founder of Nanogirl Labs, about STEM in Schools, and an introductory Scratch coding virtual project with Code Club Aotearoa.

In the mean time, if you want information on the latest technology and innovations, why not check out the following books in the library collection?!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsSTEAM jobs for gamers.

Do you love playing video games? Did you know you can get a job helping to create one? There are more jobs for those who love gaming than you probably ever realized. From animators to script writers, readers will learn about various STEM and STEAM gaming jobs and what it takes to get one– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe zoom, fly, bolt, blast steam handbook : build 18 innovative projects with brain power.

Rockport’s creative engineering extraordinaire, Lance Akiyama, returns again with Zoom, Fly Bolt, Blast STEAM Engineer and 18 STEAM approved projects to get kids doing, thinking, and building!– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsSelf-driving cars : the new way forward.

“Author Fallon presents a history of how the technology used in self-driving cars has developed, identifies recent technological gains, and surveys recent controversies surrounding the potential mass adoption of self-driving cars.”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsSTEAM lab for kids : 52 creative hands-on projects using science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

“The creative projects in STEAM Lab for Kids are designed to demonstrate that there’s math and science to be found in great art! From rubber bands to edible stained glass, young engineers and artists alike will find inspiration in these 52 art-forward labs.” — Back cover. Also available as an eBook.


image courtesy of syndeticsVirtual reality.

“Engaging images accompany information about virtual reality. The combination of high-interest subject matter and light text is intended for students in grades 2 through 7” — Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of medical technology : from humble syringes to life-saving robots.

“This fascinating guide to the ever-growing potential of medical technologies combines fact-packed, easy-to-read text with colourful and quirky illustrations. From an exploration of how new devices are helping to spot early signs of illness to a discussion of how vaccinations have helped to eradicate devastating diseases, it is an eye-opening introduction to the miraculous power of preventative and curative medicine.Each spread has multiple entry points, including an introductory paragraph, illustrations and side panels such as Fascinating Fact, Can You Believe It?, and Try It Yourself, which provide additional information and handy advice.” (Catalogue).

Please search our catalogue for more information about technology here:

Paper Planes Go Global

Do you like making and folding paper planes (sometimes called paper darts)? You’re not alone! Every year in March, paper dart enthusiasts from around the world compete in the Red Bull Paper Wings Competition for paper planes folded out of an A4 piece of paper – no engines or fuel allowed. In 2022 nearly 500 people from 62 countries competed in three categories:

  • Distance: 50 metres is the distance to beat in 2022… so far
  • Hangtime: 14.80 seconds is the longest time in the air in the 2022 competition… so far
  • Aerobatics: An online contest of fancy moves and innovative design

In New Zealand our national finals event was held at Motat (Museum of Transport and Technology) in Auckland, on Saturday 26 March where the finalists competed in two categories, distance and hangtime. Dan Kingsley from Auckland won the hangtime category sending his paper plane gliding above for 7.93 seconds; and Bailey Parsons, also from Auckland, won the distance category with his 43m throw. Both Dan and Bailey will be off to the Paper Wings World Final in Salzburg, Austria on 13 and 14 May 2022.

Meet the Kiwis representing NZ in the global paper plane throwing competition

Check out some fun flight facts and detail:

Paper Airplane Folding Designs

Fantastic Fundamentals of Flight

How Planes Fly

Bird Flight Facts


You can hone your paper plane making and flying skills with these great reads from our shelves:

Paper airplanes! / Zoo, Keith
“Show-How Guides are joyful primers for curious minds-collectible, visual, step-by-step handbooks that teach the skills every kid should know! This pocket-sized 101 series introduces kids of all ages to the perennial talents, hobbies, skills, and hands-on activities they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Each book includes a curated collection of essential skills and every step is illustrated, allowing kids to truly and easily master the basics, regardless of how they learn. Finally, fun and friendly tutorials you can understand at a glance! Show-How Guides are an affordable stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or impulse buy. Want to fly? This Show-How Guide gives you the know-how on paper airplanes. Through illustrated, step-by-step tutorials on eleven essential models (plus key tips and tricks), you’ll quickly and easily master folding and flying skills. What are you waiting for? Get off to a flying start!” (Catalogue)

Unlock your imagination
“Provides instruction for games, crafts, performances, puzzles, and other activities from running a lemonade stand to starting a newspaper.” (Catalogue)

Paper planes / Worland, Steve
“One paper plane flies straight and fast and true. Dylan’s. Twelve-year-old Dylan Webber lives in outback Western Australia in a small country town. When he discovers he has a talent for folding and flying paper planes, Dylan begins a journey to reach the World Junior Paper Plane Championships in Japan. Along the way he makes unlikely new friends, clashes with powerful rivals and comes to terms with his family’s past before facing his greatest challenge – to create a paper plane that will compete with the best in the world.” (Catalogue)

The science of flight : the air-mazing truth about planes and helicopters / Graham, Ian
“This fascinating guide to how humans mastered the power of flight combines fact-packed, easy-to-read text with colourful illustrations, From hot air balloons and the Wright brothers to today’s super-fast jets, this is an introduction to the mechanics and marvels of flight. Each spread has multiple entry points, including an introductory paragraph, illustrations and handy advice.” (Catalogue)

Higher, steeper, faster : the daredevils who conquered the skies / Goldstone, Lawrence
“The pioneers of early flight performed death-defying feats and broke new technological ground as they took to the skies to thrill crowds and advance the boundaries of human innovation”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

How birds fly / Williams, Nick
“This series helps to answer some of the most fascinating questions about the natural world, showing how nature works and all its amazing aspects. Encourages investigative skills and scientific enquiry. Ages 8+.” (Catalogue)

 

Audiobooks and You: Get Reading With Your Ears!

Have you ever been on a looooong car journey and really want to read your book but know that you’ll start to feel ‘icky’ if you look at the page for too long? Ever thought about plugging into an audiobook? You can watch the scenery go by AND escape to your fav fantasy world at the same time!

Duvall Hecht (1930 – 2022), the founder of the audiobook company, Books on Tape thought the same thing – but he was thinking that this new way of ‘reading’ would be good for himself and other adults who had to make long and boring commutes to and from work every day. Although this wasn’t the first time that someone had thought about recording audio versions of books, many of these were abridged. Duvall Hecht wanted to hear new and modern books as well as some classics without any bits cut out (his Books on Tape version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace ran to 45 tapes)!

Fun fact #1

Duvall Hecht was also an Olympic gold medallist in rowing and once was Marine Corps pilot!

“Radio offered little more than bad music and worse news.”

– Duvall Hecht, the founder of Books on Tape

Fun Fact #2

Books on Tape was first launched back in 1975 using the relatively new technology of the audio cassette tape. An audio cassette is a small device that can store music and sounds. To play a tape, a cassette player or cassette recorder is used. Cassettes store the sound on a magnetic tape that is wound around the two reels in the cassette.

royaltyfri kassettband foton | Piqsels

Image: Cassette tape (Piqsels)

Many people were against the idea of having books turned into audiobooks, worried that people would stop reading, but they’ve continued to thrive alongside their paperback cousins.



Audiobooks now come in a variety of formats and are available at Wellington City Libraries:

Audiobooks on CD with accompanying book:

These can be found in the library as part of our children’s collections. Many of these are attached to a physical book so you can read along as you listen… or simply listen!

Some favourites include:

Hairy Maclary treasury : the complete adventures of Hairy Maclary / Dodd, Lynley
“A collection of ten stories featuring the mischief and mayhem of Hairy Maclary.” (Catalogue)
Badjelly the witch : a fairy story / Milligan, Spike
“Rose and Tim encounter Badjelly the witch who can turn children into sausages or chop them into boy-girl soup, but they are rescued by Jim the Giant Eagle.” (Catalogue)
Thomas & friends the railway stories, vol.3
“This audiobook features original adventures about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from the Railway Stories by the Reverend W. Awdry.” (Catalogue)


Vox Books:  

These popular picture books are a great intro to audiobooks. No need for a CD player – simply turn on and listen to the story as you turn the pages!

Here’s a couple to whet the appetite:

That’s not a hippopotamus! / MacIver, Juliette
“In That’s Not a Hippopotamus, a class trip to the zoo descends into a chaotic hunt for the missing hippopotamus. Teacher, zookeeper and all the children join the search. The noise and drama reach a pitch, and no one thinks to listen to quiet Liam.” (Catalogue)
From egg to butterfly / Knudsen, Shannon
“Follows the development of a butterfly from the egg its mother lays on a plant to the fully developed insect that flies away.” (Catalogue)
The book tree / Czajak, Paul
“When young Arlo accidentally drops a book on the Mayor’s head, the Mayor decides books are dangerous and destroys all the books in town! But thanks to Arlo’s imagination and perseverance, the Mayor finds that suppressing stories cannot stop them from blossoming more beautifully than ever. This timely allegorical tale will be a useful tool for starting conversations with children about the power of activism and the written word.” (Catalogue)


Audiobooks on CD: 

Many of our most popular kids’ chapter books and series are available on audiobook on CD. These are especially good for picking up an entire series or collection of books by one author.

Popular Audiobook series and collections include:

The world of David Walliams : CD story collection / Walliams, David
“Five screamingly funny stories from number one bestselling children’s author David Walliams, together for the first time in this big, bumper CD boxset, performed by the King of Comedy himself. The Boy in the Dress, Mr. Stink, Gangsta Granny, Billionaire Boy, Ratburger.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The bad book : & the very bad book / Griffiths, Andy
“In a very bad wood, there was a very bad house. And in that very bad house, there was a very bad room. And in that very bad room, there was a very bad cupboard. And in that very bad cupboard, there was a very bad shelf. And on that very bad shelf, there was a very bad box. And in that very bad box, there was a very bad book. And this is it!” (Catalogue)
The brilliant world of Tom Gates / Pichon, Liz
“Tom Gates is a master of excuses, expert doodler, comic story writer extraordinaire – and the bane of his grumpy teacher, Mr Fullerman. In his first wacky journal of scribbles and silliness, you’ll find all sorts of comic craziness to make you groan with glee! Will Tom ever manage to get his homework in on time, avoid the rage of his teacher – and impress Amy Porter, who sits next to him? Warning! Do not attempt to read this in public. You will snigger loudly!” (Catalogue)


eAudiobooks:

With the advent of e-books, you can now go one step further and borrow e-books and eAudiobooks onto your device through the Wellington City Library’s eLibrary service. Jump onto either OverDrive or Libby  or BorrowBox, and get reading with your ears!

Some of our more popular eAudiobooks:

Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone / Rowling, J. K
“Strange things always seem to happen when Harry Potter is around. Things that unsettle his guardians, the Dursleys. They strongly disapprove of strangeness. It’s only when a letter arrives, delivered by a shaggy giant of a man called Hagrid, that Harry learns the truth that will transform his entire future: his parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, and he, Harry, is a wizard. Whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry discovers a world of enchantments, ghosts, Quidditch, and friends who will stand, through everything, by his side…” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The Llama Llama audiobook collection / Dewdney, Anna
This audio collection includes: Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Time to Share, Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Nighty-Night, Llama Llama Wakey-Wake, Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom!, Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop! (Catalogue)
Mega Weird! (Weirdo 7)Mega weird! / Do, Anh
“What do you call a dinosaur that stomps on everything? Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! Life for WeirDo is MEGA BUSY! He’s planning on making MEGA bucks from the Street Garage Sale, plus he’s helping Bella write a winning song! It won’t be easy but it will be FUNNY!” (Catalogue)
The Wizards of Once: Never and ForeverNever and forever / Cowell, Cressida
“Warriors and Wizards combine forces against the dreadful power of the Kingwitch, whose searing evil threatens not only the Wildwoods, but all its creatures. Xar and Wish are on the final leg of their journey. First stop – The Mines of Unhappiness. Here, starvation is never far away for the Magical creatures who toil in its horrible depths…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Schools Past, Present and Future

group of people wearing white and orange backpacks walking on gray concrete pavement during daytime

Image: Unsplash: School children

“Back to school, back to school,
Now the holiday’s done.
We love our teacher, we love our class,
We think our school work is fun!” (an old rhyme)

If it’s February, it must be back to school time! Ever since New Zealand was colonised in the late 1800’s, schools have been built around the country. Many early schools were small, single-room buildings with one teacher who taught everything to students of varying ages. There were strict rules on how to behave, and often physical punishment (usually a cane or leather strap across the hand – ouch!) was administered if you misbehaved! By around 1910, all children between seven and 14 had to attend school.  In 1913, secondary schooling became free to attend in New Zealand. Children who passed Standard 6 (Year 8) in a number of subjects were awarded Proficiency. This meant they could go onto high school.

Today New Zealand has over 2,500 primary and secondary schools.

Fun School Fact #1: Daily School Milk in NZ Schools

Milk In Schools | On 2 April 1937, the free milk in schools … | Flickr

Milk in Schools, 1937. Image: Flickr

New Zealand schoolchildren received free milk between 1937 and 1967. This scheme was introduced – a world first – to improve the health of young New Zealanders (and make use of surplus milk).

Each day, class milk monitors handed out a half-pint (284 ml) of milk to each pupil. By 1940 the milk was available to over 80 per cent of schoolchildren. For a few years during the Second World War, pupils also received an apple a day.

Fun School Fact #2: The world’s largest school

City Montessori School in Lucknow, India takes the prize as the largest school in the world. It has around 52,000 students (from kindergarten age through to secondary school) and 1,050 classrooms! Each class has around 45 students, and there is even a whole school department just to write letters of congratulations to students. As there are so many pupils, the school’s classrooms are spread across the city.

See if you can find the city of Lucknow in India on a world map HERE

Fun School Fact #3: Correspondence School | Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu

Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) is New Zealand’s largest school, providing education programmes to more than 23,000 students every year! The students learn remotely for lots of reasons – they  may live a long way away from their nearest school, or they might be living overseas with their family for a time.

The Correspondence School was established in 1922 to provide lessons to approximately 100 isolated primary school children scattered throughout New Zealand. All the lessons and letters to students were written by hand by the school’s first teacher, Miss Janet Mackenzie.

Check out Te Kura’s interesting timeline HERE.

What will schools look like in the future?

Today’s schools rely heavily on technology, from having laptops and tablets available to students for research, creative writing and presenting, to many schools requiring their students to BYOD – Bring Your Own Device… a far cry from slates and slate pencils in Victorian times (1830’s – 1910’s) and blackboards and chalk in 20th century schools!

boy wearing black and white VR headset

Image: Unsplash: VR headset

With multiple lockdowns because of the Covid-19 pandemic, school students throughout the country (and the world) have already started to learn in different ways to even five years ago.  This includes virtual classrooms using online video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Teams, and having your own school online account and log-in to allow for work to be uploaded and submitted online.

Many schools and libraries already have Makerspaces offering everything from building blocks to 3-D printing, laser cutting and virtual reality headsets. Very soon we may see holograms being used to help with teaching, or maybe students will be taught by robots!


School Jubilee Histories – finding out about your school

Want to find out more about the history of the school you attend? Wellington City Libraries have a great online resource you could use. In our Wellington City Recollect page, we have a collection called School Jubilee Histories.

Here’s a step-by-step to help you find this page:

On the Wellington City Libraries main website page


Wellington City Libraries have got loads of books  about schools from around the world, the past and the future:

Schools : then & now / Hope, Charles
“Children have been going to school for thousands of years. While some things about schools are the same – teachers and students. Subjects and classrooms – in many ways the schools of today are different to the schools of the past.” (Catalogue)
My school in 2055 / Lewis, Carrie
“In the school of the future, children might use tech such as interactive screens, holo projectors, and virtual reality to set their own pace and make learning is personalized” (Catalogue)
A school like mine : a unique celebration of schools around the world / Smith, Penny
“Introduces children from around the world and describes what school life is like for them.” (Catalogue)
What’s for lunch? : how school children eat around the world / Curtis, Andrea
“An examination of the food consumption by school children in thirteen countries; focusing on school lunches, as well as the inequality of food and the importance of health, nutritious food.” (Catalogue)
Children just like me.
“Photographs and text depict the homes, schools, family life, and culture of young people around the world.” (Catalogue)
Off to class : incredible and unusual schools around the world / Hughes, Susan
“Travel around the globe to visit some of the world’s most incredible schools, and meet the students who attend them.” (Catalogue)
Bots! : robotic engineering : with hands-on makerspace activities / Ceceri, Kathy
“Robots are everywhere! In Bots! Robotics Engineering with Hands-On Makerspace Activities, middle schoolers learn about these devices that vacuum our houses, work in our factories, help us learn at school, sample rocks from other planets, and even bring back images from the bottom of the ocean. In Bots! you can find hands-on STEM activities, coding challenges that use free online software, essential questions, and links to online primary resources!” (Catalogue)
The makerspace librarian’s sourcebook
“This collection leads librarians through how to start their own makerspace from the ground up, covering strategic planning, funding sources, starter equipment lists, space design, and safety guidelines; discusses the transformative teaching and learning opportunities that makerspaces offer, with tips on how to empower and encourage a diverse maker culture within the library.” (Catalogue, abridged)

Sea Dragons and Other Monsters from the Deep


Sticky note…

Many of the links in this blog go to the Encyclopaedia Britannica for kids. This is accessible to all Wellington City Libraries users. But to access this wonderful resource, you’ll need to login using your library card number (on the back of your card) and 4 digit pin (last FOUR numbers of the phone number listed on your library account), and the link will take you straight there.


A 180-million-year-old “sea dragon” has been unearthed from the depths of an old reservoir in the United Kingdom – and it’s a massive find: It’s as long as a double-decker bus (around 9.7 metres) and just its skull alone weighs 907kg, which is almost as much as a the weight of a small car!

Palaeontologists say the discovery are the bones of the ichthyosaur (or Sea Dragon)  is an extinct reptile that lived in water. Its name means ‘fish lizard’. Ichthyosaurus belonged to a larger group of reptiles called ichthyosaurs. Ichthyosaurs were distant relatives of lizards and snakes. They were not dinosaurs.

Watch the palaeontologists work:

What’s the difference between reptiles and dinosaurs?

black and white lizard on gray concrete floor

Lizard: Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Dinosaurs lived around 66 million years ago. They are now extinct. Dinosaur were warm-blooded, whereas reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Both dinosaurs and reptiles hatch eggs and have scaly skin. However, the main difference between dinosaurs and reptiles is posture. Dinosaurs held their limbs directly under their bodies (like most mammals do) while reptiles, like lizards, have their limbs spread out sideways.

Do sea monsters exist today?

Free photo Tentacle Boats Kraken Boat Octopus Squid Monster - Max Pixel

Image: CC – Max Pixel free imagery

Hundreds of years ago, European sailors told of a sea monster called the kraken that could toss ships into the air with its many long arms. The legend may actually have originated from sightings of  the giant squid, which is a real living sea animal. It has 10 arms, can grow longer than a bus, and because it lives in deep oceans, has massive eyes. It’s only in recent years that these elusive creatures have been videoed alive, but you can see a deceased giant squid that has been preserved at the Colossal Squid (Te Ngū Tipua) exhibition at Te Papa.

Another mythical creature was called the Leviathan which is like a giant sea snake. Sea snakes are real animals, found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The longest can grow to about nine feet — almost as long as our ancient Sea Dragon fossil above. Although some of these snakes are venomous, they usually do not pose a threat to humans.

Loch Ness - UTGÅTT - Engelsk (SF vg1) (LK06) - NDLA

(CC BY-SA 4.0)

And of course, we can’t forget the Loch Ness Monster. The Loch Ness Monster (also referred to as Nessie) is a supposed animal, said to live in the Scottish loch of Loch Ness, the second biggest lake in Scotland. Most scientists believe that the Loch Ness Monster is not real, and they say that many of the sightings are either hoaxes or pictures of other mistaken existing animals.

Dig deeper with these cool links:

Paleontology and dinosaurs for kids

Marine biology facts for kids

Ocean facts!

Archaeology facts for kids

Octopus facts

The ocean’s weirdest creatures

Our Blue Planet: Exploring the alien world of brine pools (YouTube)


There are lots of books about sea monsters real and imagined in our library collection for you to read if you dare!

Monsters : 100 weird creatures from around the world / Banville, Sarah
“Ever wondered what terrorised the Scape Ore swamp in 1980s South Carolina? Or who visits the naughty children in Northern Europe to punish them on Christmas Eve? Or how bloated undead feeders got upgraded to a shape-shifting castle-dwelling Count? From well-known and well-feared monsters like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, to the lesser-known, but just as weird and wonderful Japanese Sea Serpent and Chinese Hopping Vampires, this book is the must-have guide to monsters from all over the world”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)
Monstrous : the lore, gore, and science behind your favorite monsters / Beccia, Carlyn
“Could Dr. Frankenstein’s machine ever animate a body? Why should vampires drink from veins and not arteries? What body parts are best for zombies to eat? (It’s not brains.) This fascinating encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster’s origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways. Tips and infographics—including monster anatomy, how to survive a vampire attack, and real-life giant creatures of the deep sea—make this a highly visual and fun-to-browse book.” (Catalogue)
Deep dive into deep sea / Flannery, Tim F.
“You might think you know about the ocean, but the deep sea is nothing like the beach. Things are weird down there. Who is the giant squid’s mortal enemy? Can you see ghosts in the deep sea? Why would a sea cucumber have teeth on its butt? And what on earth is a headless chicken monster?” (Catalogue)
Sea monster surprise / Stilton, Geronimo
“Bart Barnacle, the prehistoric pirate who has been visiting the cavemice, is ready to return to his pirate island home. It’s so far away that the Stiltonoots offer to accompany him on the long, treacherous journey over the sea. On the way, they encounter megalithic danger and hungry sea monsters! What an adventure!” (Catalogue)
The sea of monsters : the graphic novel / Venditti, Robert
“After discovering a secret that makes him question the honor of being the son of Poseidon, demi-god Percy Jackson journeys into the Sea of Monsters in an attempt to save Camp Half-Blood.” (Catalogue)
Nessie the Loch Ness monster / Brassey, Richard
“Fact or fiction? Whether or not you believe in the legendary tale from Loch Ness, this bestselling book is an essential part of British culture.” (Catalogue)
Sepron the sea serpent / Blade, Adam
Book 2 of the Beast Quest series. Sepron the Sea Serpent is a beast who protects the Western Ocean of Avantia. He is a long serpentine beast with green hair-like mane often compared to seaweed and a wide mouth lined with jagged fangs.
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea / Verne, Jules
“In the mid-nineteenth century, a French professor and his two companions, trapped aboard a fantastic submarine as prisoners of the deranged Captain Nemo, come face to face with exotic ocean creatures and strange sights hidden from the world above.” (Catalogue)
Ocean monsters / Davies, Nicola
“IExplore: Ocean Monsters is packed with fascinating information about the biggest, fiercest and strangest sea creatures, and is sure to inspire a sense of wonder and awe in nature. This book also brilliantly harnesses the wonders of AR to explore the world’s mysterious seas. Children can interact with dynamic sea creatures from the convenience of a tablet or smartphone.” (Catalogue)
Sea monsters : prehistoric creatures of the deep / Everhart, Michael J
“This book takes readers back in time – 82 million years ago – to when a massive sea divided North America, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico northward to Canada… giving us a glimpse of creatures like the sinuous Styxosauras, whose serpentine neck weighed more than a ton, or the fierce 40-foot Tylosaurus, the undisputed top predator of the time.” (Catalogue, abridged)
Miss Kraken / Greenberg, Nicki
“The minute we saw Miss Kraken, we all knew it was going to be a bad year. She’s cranky. She’s strict. She’s just plain . . . weird. Miss Kraken is definitely not the teacher the kids were hoping for. But she might have a surprise or two up her sleeves. A hilarious tale of bad behaviour and unexpected consequences.” (Catalogue)
The Kiwi fossil hunter’s handbook / Crampton, J. S.
“New Zealand has a rich fossil record, which is accessible to the amateur fossil-hunter in locations around New Zealand, including shells and plant remains, as well as the bones, teeth and other remnants of ancient reptiles, birds and fish. This handy pack-sized guide features 30 accessible locations around the country where kids and their families can find fossils. Each location contains specific information on where to look and what to look for, as well as the geological background and other details of each site, and colour images of fossils that could be found there” (Catalogue)
Whiti : colossal squid of the deep / Cleal, Victoria
“The colossal squid has been the most popular exhibit at Te Papa since it arrived there in 2007. Now this appealing book for young readers tells the fascinating story of these creatures from the deep, through sparkling and informative text and amazing illustrations. A must-have natural history book for young readers and their whānau and teachers”(Catalogue)

The Wonderful World of LEGO®

What is LEGO®?

This simple concept of colourful, interlocking plastic bricks that, when built together, can create almost anything has entertained children and adults for years. Originating in Denmark, the popularity of LEGO® has remained strong to this day, and people have used LEGO® blocks to create everything from massive replicas of famous monuments (such as the Eiffel Tower) to modern art. The original LEGO® blocks were created in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen in a town called Billund, Denmark in 1949. Two years later he named his company LEGO® after the Danish phrase leg godt (“play well”). Christiansen’s son Godtfred Kirk, who replaced his father as the head of the company, patented the brick in 1958, which has remained the same design since it was patented.

Legoland Billund | Legoland Billund, Danmark | bobbsled | Flickr

Image: Legoland Billund, Denmark by bobbsled on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

LEGO® has become such a creative success, it has given rise to features such as

  • The LEGOLAND theme park in Billund – This opened in 1968 and offers rides and attractions featuring large LEGO models.
  • DUPLO® – In 1969 the company started selling the DUPLO® line of larger bricks for young children.
  • MINDSTORMS® – In 1998 LEGO® started production of customised bricks to make programmable robots.
  • LEGO® MASTERS NZ – This television show has become a huge hit both here and overseas. Contestants build some wonderful creations all in the bid to win the TV competition. And Aotearoa is about to start filming its own version! Stay tuned!

LEGO® Fun at Wellington City Libraries

Let's Go LEGO®Check out the Events pages on our website to see when the next LEGO® activity is happening near you:


Build Wellington’s Heritage in LEGO® – COMPETITION!

LEGO GardenThis is a great new competition run by the Department of Conservation to celebrate NZ Heritage Week. Go to this page to find out more!

This competition is open to all ages of young from 1 August to 30 September 2021.  All you have to do is build your favourite  heritage site LEGO® from the Wellington / Kāpiti region, take a photo of it and send it into DoC at this email: agents@doc.govt.nz.

Easy-peasy!


LEGO® Books to Explore!

Wellington City Libraries have LOTS of LEGO® books as a go-to for all your creations. Simply check out 688.72 in the Children’s Non Fiction section of your library, or trawl through the E-T-Rs (Easy to Reads) for some great LEGO® adventures.

Here’re some recently added LEGO® books to get you excited:

LEGO minifigure handbook / Dolan, Hannah
“Meet the coolest LEGO Minifigures ever! The strange, the spooky, and the silly – all of your favourite LEGO minifigures are here. Go back in time with retro minifigures from the LEGO archives. Meet new characters from fun LEGO themes, including LEGO NINJAGO, LEGO City, and LEGO Collectible Minifigures. Your guide to more than 300 awesome minifigures!” (Catalogue)

Bricks & tricks : the new big unofficial Lego builders book / Klang, Joachim
“Joachim Klang and Uwe Kurth show how to re-purpose a varied assortment of Lego bricks, tiles and plates to create even newer models, scenes, and entire worlds.” (Catalogue)

Amazing brick mosaics : fantastic projects to build with the Lego blocks you already have / Brack, Amanda
“Every LEGO-loving kid has at least one huge bin of bricks the sets are built, dismantled, and typically never built again and this book gives them dozens of ways to reusethem in fun projects that range from easy to challenging. Featuring a simple yet elegant mosaic technique, step-by-step instructions, and full-color photographs for making 25 cool two-dimensional pictures, Amazing Brick Mosaics offers unique projects that will delight any LEGO enthusiast”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

100 ways to rebuild the world / Murray, Helen
“You’re never too young to change the world! Discover 100 fun ideas to be kind and spread joy to the world around you. Get creative with your LEGO bricks and be inspired to care for others, yourself, and the planet. For example: Make a neighbour a LEGO thank-you card; Get active with a LEGO building race; Create a LEGO emoji to make your friend smile. How will you rebuild the world?” (Catalogue)

Brickman’s family challenge book / McNaught, Ryan
“Challenge each member of your household to a building competition that is the brainchild of Brickman himself, star judge of smash hit TV show LEGO (R) Masters and a LEGO Certified Professional. Each of the 30 challenges can be attempted at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. So whether you’re 5 or 105, an infrequent brick builder or a huge LEGO fan, these challenges will get you off the screens, and your creative juices flowing with even the most basic of LEGO collections. Is your family up for the challenge?” (Catalogue)

Incredible LEGO creations from space : with bricks you already have : 25 new spaceships, rovers, aliens and other fun projects to expand your LEGO Universe / Dees, Sarah
“Turn your bucket of LEGO® bricks into fun new space expeditions–complete with epic spaceships, kooky aliens and cool vehicles!” — back cover.” (Catalogue)

Spot the crook : a search-and-find book.
“Can you spot the crook? There’s a crook hiding in the crowds in Lego City, and it’s your job to find him! This search-and-find book is packed with amazing detailed scenes featuring all your favourite Lego City characters. Once you’ve found the Red Scarf Crook, there are loads of extra cool things to spot for hours of Lego fun!” (Catalogue)

Code Club: Register for Term 3

Coding is everywhere, even behind the scenes of this very blog! Here’s a snippet of HTML from one of our most popular Kids’ Blog posts from last year — can you work out which one?

What is Code Club?

Did you know that you can learn how to code at your local library? That’s right! In collaboration with our friends at Code Club Aotearoa, we have been running Code Clubs across Wellington City Libraries since early 2018, and we’re now taking registrations for Code Clubs across the city for Term 3 2021. This year, our He Matapihi branch, on the ground floor of the National Library in Thorndon, joined the Code Club family, and we’re also excited to announce that our Code Club at Cummings Park Library in Ngaio is back up and running after taking some time off in 2020.

How can I register for Code Club at my local library?

Click the relevant link to register (please note some of our Clubs are full already! You can still click the link to be waitlisted for the next intake of students):

  • Cummings Park Library Code Club — Mondays at 4.00pm (register here)
  • He Matapihi Library Code Club — Wednesdays at 3.45pm (register here)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 1 — Thursdays at 3.30pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 2 — Wednesdays at 5.00pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Karori Library Code Club — Tuesdays at 3.30pm (register here)
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library Code Club — Saturdays at 2.00pm (register here)
  • Newtown Library Code Club — Mondays at 4.00pm (register here)

What will I do at Code Club?

At Code Club, you will complete progressive coding challenges under the guidance of librarians and other coding experts! Most of our Code Clubs start off by covering projects in Scratch 3.0 (and it’s useful if you already have an account, but we can help you make one if you don’t!), with some groups moving on to cover other coding practices like Python and HTML/CSS (using popular multi-purpose coding platform trinket.io). Contact your local club if you want to find out more about what they offer, or you can check out some of the projects yourself here!

To finish up, below is an example of one of the simple games you could find yourself making after just a couple of weeks of attending Code Club. It really is fun! How many ghosts can you capture, ghostbuster?

Daylight Saving: What Is It?

time - hickory dickory dock clock | Evies hickory dickory do… | Flickr“Spring forward
“Fall backwards” 

On Sunday 4 April at 3am all the clocks in New Zealand will “fall backwards” ONE HOUR to 2am as Daylight Saving time finishes. But why do we do this strange practice? Well… to explain Daylight Saving, we first really need to understand modern time:

A brief history of time

Today we tell the time by cell phones, computers and radios, as well highly accurate clocks and watches. Time rules our lives much more than in the past. Before Europeans arrived, Māori told the time by the rising and setting of the sun, the seasons, and the phases of the moon. When settlers began arriving from Britain in the 1840s, not many could afford clocks or watches, so they used bells to ring the times for school, work and church. But each town would often have a slightly different time, which was confusing for everyone. So in 1868 the New Zealand government decided it was time to have a nationwide time for everyone to follow. We were the first country in the world to do this. We made our time 11½ hours ahead of the time set at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in England (known as Greenwich Mean Time). Towns and cities built public clocks, and by the 1880’s people were using clocks at home, and wearing watches.

In 1941 the clocks were set 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. And since 1974 Kiwis have enjoyed daylight saving during summer, when the clocks are put forward one hour.

What Are Time Zones?

World Time Zones | FOTOGRAFIA.Nelo.Esteves | FlickrWithout time zones, it would be impossible for all countries on Earth to have the sun at the highest point in the sky at noon. Why? Because Earth rotates by 15 degrees every hour. This is exactly why time zones were created. Basically, the planet was split into 24 slices of 15 degrees each. Each slice is a time zone.

So…What is Daylight Saving Time (DST)?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of adjusting clocks so that we humans can enjoy more daylight hours during the summer to pursue our activities . Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. So, in New Zealand we put our clocks FORWARD 1 HOUR at the end of September (beginning of our Spring), and on Sunday 4 April 2021, at 3am we will all be putting our clocks BACK 1 HOUR (beginning of our Autumn / Fall). And you’ll be pleased to know that your cell phones will do all this automatically for you – Smartphones!

Here’s a quick tutorial on Daylight Saving – a practice first suggested by New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, so that he’d have more daylight hours available to study bugs!


If you’ve got time to kill, why not check out some of these great reads all about time:

The Time Wreccas / Tyler, Val
“The Guardians look after time for all people. Humans always rush around claiming that they do not have enough time, but no one thinks of guarding it. The Guardians do this and in every region of the world there is one who protects time for us all. In Greenwich, it is Old Father Tim. When the Wreccas, who populate the Underneath (below ground), send Snot to steal the Tick, their only intention is to wreak havoc on the Guardians who live Topside (above ground). They don’t expect Snot to find out that she feels more at home Topside and that she really rather likes Tid (Old Father Tim’s grandson) who she has to trick. And little do they know that without the Tick, time will stop forever…” (Catalogue)

The terrible truth about time / Arnold, Nick
“Find out what happens if you go too close to a black hole and how flies tell the time! With a fantastic new cover look and extra horrible bits at the back of the book, this best-selling title is sure to be a huge hit with a new generation of Horrible Science readers. If you think you can stomach the sick side of science, then read on as we clock up some terrible time secrets. Find out who was killed for changing the calendar, make your own crazy clock, meet the tortured time geniuses and check out your chances of a time-travel trip.” (Catalogue)

One minute / Ahn, Somin
“In one minute, you can blink your eyes twenty times, hug your dog, plant seeds, say good-bye, watch the rain, or even save a life. So much can occur in this sliver of time one minute can feel like a singular experience. This poignant picture book is at once an introduction to time for young readers, an ode to living each moment with purpose, and a thoughtful exploration of how children experience one minute (may it seem short or long) playfully, profoundly, and with a boundless sense of possibility.” (Catalogue)

Time, tides and revolutions / Brasch, Nicolas
“This fascinating series poses and answers intriguing science questions that students are often curious about. Each book takes one theme or topic and explores it via thirteen engaging questions. The highly visual content assists students’ understanding of the sometimes quite complex concepts and processes. Focusing on time related issues it presents information via 13 engaging question-and-answer spreads.” (Catalogue)

Telling time / Adler, David A
“Readers follow along as a loveable crew of kid astronauts and their Martain friends go about their daily routine, exploring the differences between seconds, minutes, and hours; what A.M. and P.M. mean; and how to tell time on both digital and analog clocks. Ten seconds to lift-off Are you ready? Veteran children’s nonfiction author David Adler incorporates math concepts, such as addition and subtraction, into this fun narrative with problem-solving exercises for readers to tackle at their own pace. Edward Miller’s vibrant cartoon art depicts the happy group of friends embarking on space walks, working together on projects, and settling in for bed.  A glossary explains time zones, daylight savings time, and more. An out-of-this-world STEM book.” (Catalogue)

Telling time : how to tell time on digital and analog clocks! / Older, Jules
“Time isn’t an easy concept for kids to grasp, but young readers will delight in learning all about it with the fun and lively lessons in TELLING TIME. Exploring what time is and discovering why we need to tell time, young readers certainly learn more than ‘the big hand is on the one and the little hand is on the two’. With the help of a whole lot of clocks, a dash of humor, and a few familiar circumstances, learning to tell time is a lot of fun. It’s about time.” (Catalogue)

All about time / Hope, Charles
“Time is a key component of mathematics. It helps us make sense of an enormous amount of information, and it can have many practical applications in our everyday lives. Join our maths mutts as they learn all about the wonderful world of Time!” (Catalogue)

One day : around the world in 24 hours / Din, Suma
” ‘One Day’ follows fifteen different children from around the world through a 24 hour period. Not only will readers learn about their different lives and cultures, but they will also discover how time zones work, and what’s happening on one side of the world while the other sleeps. This is a fantastic and accessible introduction to the concept of time and time zones for a younger audience.” (Catalogue)

How DO Things Work?

Kia ora!  Have you ever looked at a machine and wondered how it works?  Or wondered how things in space work?  What about inside your body?  There are so many questions about the world!

Well, the good news is we have lots of kids books that explain and describe the inner workings of all sorts of interesting topics.  You name it, we’ve got a book to tell you how it works.  To get you started, we’ve selected a few interesting books for you to choose from.  But there are plenty more available to satisfy your curiosity.

Motorbikes / Oxlade, Chris

Find out all of the workings of some of the most amazing motorcycles.  This easy to read book breaks down many of the parts and what they do, with bright, clear illustrations.

What’s inside a black hole? : deep space objects and mysteries / Solway, Andrew

“This astronomy series looks at different aspects of the universe we live in.” (Catalogue)

Inside the bees’ hive / Ang, Karen

“Hundreds of buzzing worker honeybees build a yellow structure called a comb inside a tree trunk. The comb is made up of many small, six-sided rooms that the bees make out of wax. These rooms, called cells, will be used to hold baby bees and sweet, gooey honey. Welcome to the bees’ hive! ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Spacecraft / West, David

“Learn all about spacecraft, from the first space capsules to space planes and space shuttles.  Find out something amazing about each vehicle and then turn the page to see it sliced in two where its innermost secrets will be revealed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What’s eating you? : parasites – the inside story / Davies, Nicola

“There is one group of creatures who live on or in the bodies of other animals – in skin, hair, fur, feathers, blood, guts, livers, hearts and lungs. They are parasites. Uncover the secrets of their amazing life-cycles and dare yourself not to scratch or groan as you read.” (Catalogue)

Aircraft / Graham, Ian

Find out how all kinds of aircraft work and how they are laid out inside.  Lots of clear illustrations and information on different types of aircraft.

See inside weather and climate / Daynes, Katie

Filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting the Earth’s climates. This is a lift-the-flap book that introduces readers to the science of weather. The work is filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting the Earth’s climates.” (Catalogue)

How cities work : explore the city inside, outside and underground / Hancock, James Gulliver

“From the sewers to the skyscrapers, this book takes young readers to the heart of the city.  Get ready to explore the city in a whole new way. This innovative book for younger readers is packed with city facts, loads of flaps to lift, and unfolding pages to see inside buildings and under the streets.  Discover where people live and peek behind closed doors to see what’s going on in houses and apartments, or why not find out about what goes on underneath the streets you walk on every day? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Running the country : a look inside New Zealand’s government / Gill, Maria

“What does the government do to keep New Zealand running smoothly? How does parliament work and what is the job of the MPs? From the Bill of Rights to the way we vote, from parliamentary headquarters to the local council — and everything in between — Maria Gill explains our system of government. You will discover facts about laws, our currency, voting at the elections and the role of the media. There are fascinating profiles of New Zealand leaders, illustrated by cartoonist Malcolm Evans, along with photographs, amazing statistics and useful ‘google this’ Internet links to find out more.” (Catalogue)

The fantastic body : what makes you tick & how you get sick / Bennett, Howard J

“Jam-packed with fun facts, cool diagrams, and gross stories, and written by a successful, practicing pediatrician, this fun and comprehensive reference book with DIY projects is ideal for kids who want to know more about the mysterious stuff going on inside their bodies.” (Catalogue)

How computers work / Hubbard, Ben

“Ever wonder what goes on inside your computer? Take a look into how processors, networks and more are all connected.” (Catalogue)

Inside of a dog : what dogs see, smell, and know / Horowitz, Alexandra

“From an animal behaviorist and dog enthusiast comes an adorable guide to understanding how our canine friends see the world. Want to know what dogs are thinking? What they feel, and what they can spell with that great big nose of theirs? Here’s your chance to experience the world nose first, from two feet off the ground. What do dogs know, and how do they think? The answers will surprise and delight you as dog owner and scientist Alexandra Horowitz explains how our four-legged friends perceive their daily worlds, each other, and us. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What do we do with all that poo?

All living creatures poo! Big ones like elephants do big poos, and little ones like ants do tiny poos, and human beings are somewhere in the middle! There a lots of more scientific terms for poo: ‘faeces’, ‘stool’ or ‘bowel movement’, and ‘scat’ is the term for the poo of a wild animal.

But why do we have to poo, what is it, and where does it all go when you flush the toilet?

Flush Toilet Illustrations And Hand Hygiene clipart drawing free imageThe purpose of poo is to remove waste from your body – especially the leftover bits of food that your body can’t use, such as fruit pips and vegetable skins. About 75% (three quarters) of a typical poo is water. The water helps to make the poo soft so it can get out of the body easily. The rest of the poo consists of broken-down body cells, fat and minerals and leftover food waste (those fruit pips and vege skins mentioned above). But did you know that your poos are alive?? Your intestines contain billions of bacteria that help digest food. When the bacteria come out in poo, about half of them are still alive. The live bacteria can make you ill if they get into your stomach. This is why poo can be harmful, and you have to flush it away and wash your hands.

The sewage / wastewater journey

Treatment plant at Moa Point.

Image: Treatment plant at Moa Point. Courtesy Wellington.govt.nz

Once you’ve flushed the toilet, this then becomes sewage. Sewage (or wastewater) is from all our sinks, toilets, laundries, kitchens and bathrooms. This waste flows through a network of underground pipes and pumping stations to one of the treatment plants in Wellington. There are two sewage treatment plants in Wellington – Moa Point and the Western Treatment Plant (Karori) – and a sludge treatment plant at the Southern Landfill.

At the Moa Point Treatment Plant, sewage travels through a series of screens, and tanks before being discharged as liquid into Cook Strait.

  • Non-organic – large materials such as toilet paper are first removed using screens. This rubbish is washed and compressed and sent to the Southern Landfill for disposal.
  • Solid sewage (sludge) – as sewage travels through the tanks, the majority of solids are removed. This sludge is taken to the Southern Landfill Sludge Treatment Plant where it is de-watered (water removed from solids).
  • Effluent – a series of tanks  use a combination of sedimentation and bacteria to decompose almost 70% of  material. Remaining liquid effluent is exposed to ultraviolet light (such as the sun) to destroy any harmful bacteria. The treated liquid is finally discharged, through a long outfall pipe, 1.8km into Cook Strait.

Here’s a really good flow chart that explains the process in more detail:

The Treatment Process


FAQs

Stinky Face Cliparts - Bad Smell Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKeyQ: Why is poo brown?
A: The brown colour comes from bilirubin, a chemical made from dead red blood cells.

Q: Why does poo smell?
A: The smell mainly comes from bacteria, and the gases and chemicals they release.

Q: Why does everyone think that poo is gross?
A:  We have evolved to find the look and smell of poo disgusting. this makes us avoid it, helping to keep us safe from infection and germs.


So if you’re not too grossed out by now, Wellington City Libraries have loads of books for all ages about this rather stinky subject! Here’s just a few…

You wouldn’t want to live without poo! / Woolf, Alex
“Learn the surprising truth about just how important poo really is: it keeps our bodies healthy, and can also be used to power our cars, heat our homes and help grow our crops.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Poo in the zoo / Smallman, Steve
“Zoo Keeper Bob is exhausted. There’s too much poo in the zoo – and he’s the one who has to scoop it up. Then one day, a mysterious glowing poo appears! Could it be alien poop from outer space? And what on EARTH will Bob do with it?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

My amazing poo plant / Simons, Moya
“Emma can’t have a pet as she lives in an apartment. Her mum loves pot plants and encourages Emma to think of having a plant as a pet. Emma isn’t interested until one day, when a low-flying bird drops a poo in an empty plant pot and her mum tells her if she waters it a poo plant might grow from the seeds in the bird’s dropping. Emma enters her poo plant into the most unusual pet category of her class pet show.” (Catalogue)

What do they do with all that poo? / Kurtz, Jane
“There are so many different kinds of animals at the zoo, and they each make lots of poo. So what do zoos do with all of that poo? This zany, fact-filled romp explores zoo poo and all of the places it ends up, including in science labs and elephant-poo paper–even backyard gardens!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The clue is in the poo and other stuff too / Seed, Andy
“A funny and fascinating natural history of animal droppings, tracks and other traces, exploring what we can learn about animals from what they leave behind. Fully-illustrated and in a large format, this will be a visually appealing book for any child with an interest in animals and nature.” (Catalogue)

Loos save lives : how sanitation and clean water help prevent poverty, disease and death / Boyd, Seren
“Who knew toilets were so interesting – and so important? You probably use a toilet several times every day. Flush, turn on the tap, wash your hands – then forget all about it. But did you know that 2.4 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere they can go to the toilet safely, and over 1 billion people don’t have access to any kind of sanitation or clean water at all? Poor sanitation and restricted access to a toilet is more serious than you might think. It prevents children (and especially girls) from going to school, it means communities may have to walk miles to access safe drinking water and it kills. Poor sanitation means poor hygiene, which means illnesses and viruses are more easily spread. Going to the toilet out in the open makes people vulnerable and puts them in danger.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Everybody poos / Gomi, Tarō
“All living things do different sorts of poo. Some are different colours, others have different smells or sizes. Some do it on land, some poo in water. This children’s book has a no-nonsense approach to the bodily function to encourage children not to be ashamed about potty training.” (Adapted from Catalogue)