Pre-Register now for the Summer Reading Adventure!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure for Kids runs from 1 December 2023 – 31 January 2024 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! Adults and teens can also take part in their own Summer Reading Adventures — visit the Summer Reading page on our website for all the info.

Through the power of books and imagination, help us transform Wellington into a fantasy wonderland this summer!

Starting on the 1st of December, you’ll be able to pick up an Adventurer’s Guide from your local library to get started. But you don’t have to wait! Head on over to our Summer Reading Adventure website to pre-register — you’ll get a sneak preview of the quests and activities you’ll be able to do, and you’ll be ready to get started immediately when the 1st of December rolls around.

Read on to find out more!

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Play Week Aotearoa 2023 – Play is Everywhere

Play Week Aotearoa 2023 is underway from 6 – 12 November! 

Whatever you have nearby – a box, a hose, a tree – then you’ve got play! Play Week Aotearoa is all about celebrating the value play brings to tamariki, whānau and communities across Aotearoa.

Play gives us freedom and chances to take risks. It’s how our tamariki learn to problem solve, get creative, make mistakes, create new friendships, learn skills and build a life- long love of being active. You can be part of it too. Play is Everywhere! Find out more at www.playweek.co.nz.

From neighbourhood scavenger hunts and tafue | jump rope to fort building and balloon games, here are some great play ideas from healthykids.org.nz!

For more inspiration from schools and our communities, check out these play stories from all over Aotearoa!

Here’s a few of our books to help celebrate and spark play!

365 days of play : activities for every day of the year / Butler, Megan Hewes
“This go-to activity book for kids ages 4-8 includes 265 pages of games, crafts, recipes, experiments, projects, jokes, songs, guides, skills, tricks, hacks, challenges, and everything else in the canon of kid”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Wild days : outdoor play for young adventurers / Irvine, Richard
“Perfect for inspiring kids to get out in the fresh air, this brilliant book is crammed full of outdoor activities and fun for children.” (Catalogue)
50 fantastic ideas for found materials / Featherstone, Sally
“Children love constructing models and other objects, and working with found and recycled materials has a firm and continuing place in the early years, encouraging children to be imaginative and creative as they practice their skills in joining, wrapping, bending and cutting. These materials that are often free or low cost, are available everywhere, waiting for imaginative practitioners to find and use them…” (Abridged from catalogue)
image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of swimming.
“In swimming, there are multiple scientific concepts at play, such as density, gravity, momentum, and buoyancy. Readers learn about these concepts and more with this engaging guide to the science behind swimming. Useful diagrams display how to execute the perfect push-off from the wall of a pool, how to swim successful strokes, and how to do a cannonball.” (Abridged from catalogue).

A child’s garden : 60 ideas to make any garden come alive for children / Dannenmaier, Molly
A Child’s Garden offers a wide range of innovative examples showing how to create special places in which children can experience nature on their own home turf… Out-of-the-ordinary sandboxes are pictured, along with paths, mazes, furniture, peepholes, and scores of ideas for creative play areas that fit perfectly into adult gardens.” (Abridged from catalogue).
Playtime : activities for little children that can make a big difference / Richards, Elspeth
“…Playtime explains how children learn and communicate through play, and what easy things you can do to make this a happy and rewarding experience for you both. Whether you’re looking at house numbers whole out walking, inventing a new kind of hat or cutting up a banana together, there are ways to make the most of valuable time with your child. This book includes all sorts of games and ideas for children aged 1-5, as well as babies.” (Abridged from catalogue)

Code Club comes to Te Awe Library!

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 2017. We’re super excited to announce that a new library is joining the Code Club whānau this term — starting tomorrow, Te Awe Library Code Club will be running on Fridays from 3.45 – 4.45pm during the school term.

How do I sign up for Code Club?

There are still spaces available for Code Club at Te Awe Library, but they’ll fill up quickly, so register here while you can:

Register for Te Awe Library Code Club

We also run Code Club at several other libraries around the city — check out our Event Calendar to find one near you!

What do we 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).

Here is an example of a game that you might end up designing in Code Club. Can you make it to the end without being run over by a dodgeball, fried by a laserbeam, or falling through the trapdoor? What other hazards could you imagine building into your game?

Te Ara Pukapuka at Waihinahina Park Newlands

Earlier this year, some of you might have visited Te Ara Pukapuka, whether at Kilbirnie Park during the Winter, Khandallah Park during Autumn, or at Churchill Park in Seatoun over the Summer.

The Spring instalment of Te Ara Pukapuka (The Book Pathway) has now arrived at Waihinahina Park in Newlands, complete with a new pukapuka for tamariki to read as they play and explore! Follow each page from one to the next as you wander through the park, taking in the gorgeous sights and listening to the calls of tūī and pīwakawaka as you do.

Did you know that there are over 20 names for the fantail in different dialects of te reo Māori? Some of our librarians grew up calling them pīwakawaka, while others called them pīwaiwakatīraireka, or even kōtuitui. You can explore some of the different names using Te Aka Māori Dictionary!

Pages of a book sit on a post, near a bench, overlooking the Wellington harbour

Read a wonderful pukapuka while you take in the beautiful views!


We have partnered with our friends in the Wellington City Parks, Sport & Recreation team, Newlands and Tawa Community Centres, and publisher Scholastic New Zealand to bring you a fabulous bilingual story — Flit the Fantail and the Flying Flop / Ko Flit, Te Tīrairaka te Rerenga i Hē, written and illustrated by Kat Quin, and translated into te reo Māori by Ngaere Roberts. By the time you reach the end of the trail, you will have found the last page of the pukapuka!

We are grateful to be able to share such a beautiful story about native manu at this joyous time of year! Te Ara Pukapuka begins near the end of Ladbrooke Drive, Newlands (find the entrance on Google Maps). The path will take you past some stunning views of the coast and the quarry. Be aware that Waihinahina Park is a popular dog-walking area, so be prepared to meet some kurī on your travels!

There used to be a landfill at this location, which means that there is a chance you may spot some waste that has worked its way to the surface while you explore. Please don’t remove this, but think of it as a reminder that we should all do our best to recycle and be mindful to keep as much waste out of our landfills as possible.

Pages of a story sit on a post, hills in background.

Te Ara Pukapuka awaits intrepid explorers!


Ngā mihi to the fabulous team at Scholastic for their support! Flit the Fantail and the Flying Flop / Ko Flit, Te Tīrairaka te Rerenga i Hē is available to borrow from our libraries, and to buy from all good bookstores.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Te Whanganui-a-Tara!

Kia ora koutou ngā kaitākaro poikiri / Soccer players!

Image of a number of hands raising the FIFA trophy into the air.
Unless you have been living under a rock (if so, hello! ) you might have heard that New Zealand (with Australia) is now hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is very exciting for Aotearoa as we often don’t get the chance to host such big and important tournaments.

The kick off started on Thursday 20th July in Auckland with NZ winning 1-0 in their first world cup match against Norway, who is a much higher ranked team than us. New Zealand, ranked 26th in the world, had never won a match in five previous appearances at the Women’s World Cup.

We also set a record for attendance for any soccer match in New Zealand history, men’s or women’s with more than 42,100 people in attendance. You can imagine how proud and excited we all are!

Kimihia ngā poiwhana! | Find the footballs!

playground with football sign attached to fenceApart from going to games there are also lots of other fun events and activities around the city to get involved in.

 Wellington City Council’s very own Play Specialist Peta has set up a cool installation in six local parks where you can try and Kimihia ngā poiwhana | Find the footballs! Find the golden ball to be in to win one of 20 FIFA Women’s World Cup TM Official Merchandise packs!

⚽ Check out this reel here: Wellington Recreation Centres to find out more or read more below:

⚽ At six of our parks below we’ve hidden 11 special football signs for you to find. On each of the football signs, you and your tamariki can learn common football terms in Te Reo Māori and in New Zealand Sign Language.

⚽ Amongst the 11 football signs at each park lies a hidden treasure – a golden ball with a QR code. Scan this to go in the draw to win one of 20 FIFA Women’s World cup 2023 TM Official Merchandise Packs!

⚽ The balls are located at six of our parks, including Karori and Nairnville Parks, which are not far from a couple of our Wellington Recreation Centres. You can find them at:

  • Miramar Park
  • Linden Park and Linden Park West
  • Pukehuia Park
  • Narinville Park
  • Wakefield Park

We will be drawing winners throughout July and August, and winners will be contacted directly via email.

FIFA Fan Festival 

3 football fern players

Football Ferns Headshoot, Christchurch, New Zealand, 10th November 2022. Copyright: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz

⚽  Join the party at the FIFA Fan Festival™ at Shed 6. From 20 July to 11 August enjoy free entertainment from artists including Ladyhawke, Amba Holly, Ria Hal, Che Fu and much more, plus live streamed matches and fun for the whole family.  Indoors at Shed 6, and outdoors at Queens Wharf Square.

⚽  There are lighting projections planned on Te Papa and The Boatshed during the FIFA tournament window, with additional uplighting installed along the Waterfront and last mile, leading to Wellington Regional Stadium.

⚽  Find out more at the WellingtonNZ Fifa Fan Festival website


A picture of Hataitai beach

Council’s Beach Planting initiative for FIFA Fans

  • On 25th July, willing FIFA Fans and players can join a planned beach planting day at Lyall Bay Beach.
  • Transport will be available from the CBD.
  • Bookings will take place on the Council’s ‘SMART’ app.

Tell me more about the World Cup!

soccer ball on a field with stadium seats in background

Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington will host seven Group Matches, a Round of Sixteen clash, and a Quarter Final. All games will be held at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Wellington Regional Stadium Matches- coming up

  • Football Ferns v Philippines: 25 July (5.30pm NZDT)
  • USA v Netherlands: 27 July (1pm NZDT)
  • Sweden v Italy: 29 July (7.30pm NZDT)
  • Japan v Spain: 31 July (7pm NZDT)
  • South Africa v Italy: 2 August (7pm NZDT)
  • Round of 16: 1C v 2A: 5 August (8pm NZDT)
  • Quarterfinal Match: 11 August (1pm NZDT)

Can’t make it to a World Cup event? Don’t worry, we have plenty of great stories featuring awesome female (and male) football players and lots of books to help you learn some new skills too!

Books about Football!

⚽  If you want to improve your skills, or just learn some more about soccer or some of NZ’s sporting greats check out these great reads:

Football atlas : a journey across the world and onto the pitch / Buckley, James
“A journey across the globe and onto the pitch to learn about the world of football. A comprehensive exploration of football, covering players, teams, stadiums and competitions through a mix of illustrations, photographs, maps and diagrams. Follow the story of how football began, learn about World Cup winners, meet some of the top players and discover amazing facts and figures in this action-packed atlas.” (Catalogue)

Charligh Green vs. the spotlight / Mante, Priscilla
“Hi! I’m Charligh, and one day I’m going to be a big star. I’m full of PIZZAZZ after all, and everyone I’ve ever met tells me I’m unforgettable. In a good way, I think. I’ve always loved attention, but at the moment, there’s a teeny tiny chance I’m getting it for all the wrong reasons. For starters, me and my very-nearly-world-famous team, the Bramrock Stars, are trying to win big against our rivals in the new league. But I can’t stop tripping over the ball! And although I’ve got my dream part in the school play, the words just won’t stick in my head. What’s going to happen if I can’t learn my lines? Luckily for me, my best friends really are the bestest, and I know they’ll help me whatever it takes. It’s time for me to step into the spotlight, and prove girls really can do anything!” (Catalogue)

Megan Rapinoe / Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel
“Discover the life of Megan Rapinoe, the world record-breaking footballer and activist. Chasing a ball in the school playground, Megan discovered her calling at a young age. Even if she didn’t always fit in at school, she was a star on the field- and her teammates thought so too. Her passion, skill and leadership took Team USA to Olympic Gold and a World Cup victory, while she continues to champion women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and representation in sport.” (Catalogue)

She shoots, she scores / Clarke, Catriona
“She Shoots, She Scores! tells the empowering story of how women’s football has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Written by acclaimed YA novelist Catriona Clarke and with a foreword by England captain Steph Houghton, it is sure to inspire the next generation of female football superstars. Young football fans will discover how the early female players overcame prejudice to set up their own teams, and read the compelling stories of players who beat the odds to become famous around the world: including Scotland’s Rose Reilly, Asisat Oshoala from Nigeria, and Afghanistan’s Nadia Nadim. The book is packed with facts and stats about the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, plus pocket profiles of the world’s top players – from Marta to Megan Rapinoe – and record-breaking teams, including the US national women’s team and Olympique Lyonnais. What’s more, discover the key skills you’ll need to become a great goalkeeper, a tough-tackling defender or the world’s next superstar striker!”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Our beautiful game / Kuenzler, Lou
“Polly Nabb is no stranger to trouble. When her brother Joe is sent to serve in the trenches, all Polly wants is to kick a ball about and forget the war. Mam has other ideas, and makes her stay home to help with endless chores. But football is something Polly is prepared to fight for – it’s her life! She’s determined to do whatever it takes to fulfil her dream and show the world that football is not just for boys . . .” (Catalogue)

The big book of football
“Dive into the world of football with this mega book of everything to do with the beautiful game. Learn all the lingo; meet the greatest players, managers and teams from both the men’s and women’s games; take masterclasses with the pros; wander through the haircut hall of fame; learn the most iconic goal celebrations and more.” (Catalogue)

Find more books in our catalogue

Te Ara Pukapuka Children’s Walk at Khandallah Park

During the summer, some of you might have visited Te Ara Pukapuka (The Book Pathway) at Churchill Park in Seatoun. Tamariki and their whānau had the opportunity to explore the rugged and beautiful coastline while immersing themselves in a beautiful story, The Taniwha of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, by author Moira Wairama.

Good news — we have again partnered with our friends in Wellington City Parks, Sport & Recreation team as well as author Gay Hay to present Te Ara Pukapuka at Khandallah Park for the autumn!

A large, flat board atop a wooden post stands in front of a tangle of lush greenery at the entrance to Khandallah Park's Skyline Track.

The opening page of Te Ara Pukapuka awaits you at Khandallah Park!


This walk begins at the end of the Khandallah Park Playground in Khandallah, near the Skyline Track (map of Woodmancote Road entrance), where a trip to the bush can extend to a walk inspired by a very special story about the Powelliphanta snail, a giant carnivorous native snail that can be found living right here in Khandallah Park! If you’d like to learn more about these slow-moving giants, who like to slurp up earthworms like spaghetti, a great place to start is by reading this article from the Te Papa blog about their history in Khandallah.

As you walk through the park trails, you will encounter more and more pages of Gay Hay’s beautiful pukapuka, Watch Out, Snail!, with the promise of a continuation of the story always just around the next corner. Can you find all of the pages?

This page is nestled in a bush just off the beaten track!


Te Ara Pukapuka will remain up at Khandallah Park throughout the holidays and into Term 2, so explore it while you can!

Te Ara Pukapuka Children’s Walk at Churchill Park

If you’re like us, you are having a great time reading and getting out and about during Summer (maybe you’re signed up for our Summer Reading Adventure too)!

Why not get into nature and read a lovely pukapuka at the same time!? This Summer, our friends in the Wellington City Council Parks, Sport & Recreation team have partnered with author Moira Wairama to present Te Ara Pukapuka in Seatoun. Te Ara Pukapuka is a children’s walk, where you can read along the way as you wander along the beautiful coastline!

Te Ara Pukapuka img1


This walk begins at the end of the Churchill Park Play area in Seatoun (map of Hector Street entrance), where a trip to the playground or beach can extend to a walk inspired by a very special pūrākau/myth about the creation of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Enjoy Te Ara Pukapuka (book pathway) and feel the wairua (spirit) of the ancient taniwha as you and your whānau (family) wind your way around the rugged Wellington coastline towards Oruaiti Pā, at Fort Dorset.

 


Te Ara Pukapuka is in place now until Friday 17 February, be sure to head on down and immerse yourself in the story!

You can read more over on the Wellington City Council website!

This Saturday, 14th January from 10-11am there will be a guided walk through Te Ara Pukapuka.

On Saturday, there will also be a secret code released via the Wellington City Council instagram and facebook that will give you an opportunity to get your very own copy of a pukapuka from a secret box at the trail!

 

Festive Family Fun at Your Library!

Meri Kirihimete, Pōneke!

It’s that time of year again! The festive season for many is just around the corner, which means our libraries (and librarians!) are getting ready to celebrate with stories, songs, teddy bear sleepovers, and of course a whole bunch of books. So why not grab the family, jump in your fuzziest pyjamas (or cheeriest Christmas costume) and head on down to your local library to join in on the fun?

All of our Festive Family Fun events have a slightly different flavour depending on where they’re happening, but in general you can expect to enjoy stories, songs, crafts, and maybe even a visit from a certain portly gentleman at some locations! Stories from all over the world and in different languages also feature at our special trilingual event at Newtown Library. Visit each event link below to find out more.

In addition to the events below, all of our libraries will have beautiful displays of special holiday books from our Celebration Collection. These books will be on the shelf for a limited time only, so make sure to grab your copies today!

What’s on for the December holidays?


Monday 12 December

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, 3.30 – 4.30pm — Teddy Bears’ Christmas CRAFTerschool and Sleepover


Tuesday 13 December

Johnsonville Library, 3.30 – 4.30pm — Teddy Bears’ Christmas CRAFTerschool and Sleepover


Thursday 15 December

Wadestown Library, 6.00 – 6.30pm — Family Christmas Storytime


Friday 16 December

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, 5.30 – 6.00pm — Teddy Bears’ Christmas Sleepover


Saturday 17 December

Karori Library, 11.00am – 12.00pm — Family Christmas Storytime


Monday 19 December

Te Awe Library, 2.00 – 2.30pm — Festive Family Fun: Baby Rock and Rhyme


Tuesday 20 December

Newtown Library, 10.30 – 11.30am — Trilingual Storytime and Christmas Crafts!


Wednesday 21 December

Te Awe Library, 10.30 – 11.00am — Family Christmas Storytime


Thursday 22 December

Te Awe Library, 10.30 – 11.00am — Festive Family Fun: Baby Rock and Rhyme


The Summer Reading Adventure for Kids: A Sneak Preview

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure for Kids runs from 1 December 2022 – 31 January 2023 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! Adults and teens can also take part in their own Summer Reading Adventures — read our News blog for all the info.

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

Read on to find out more!

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Beyond the Page: Week One Round-up!

Kia ora folks! It’s been a wonderful Week One of Beyond the Page, our fantastic literary festival for tamariki and their whānau.

Beyond the page is running during the July school holidays, and from the 9th to the 24th of July, our libraries are hosting a huge array of totally free events for kids and families, from sculpture workshops to VR experiences, and everything in between!

Rather than bore you with descriptions of all the fabulous stuff that’s been happening, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite photos from events around the city. Here goes!

Before the Page: Creative Workshops with VIVITA

Before the official kick-off of the festival, on the opening weekend of the holidays we hosted our friends at VIVITA Aotearoa for two wonderful workshops at Miramar and Te Awe Libraries — Cardboard Costumes and Serious Sculpting:

A young person wearing a blue sweatshirt draws on the pommel of a stylised sword made from cardboard

A young creator inscribes something (magical runes, perhaps?) on the blade of a cardboard sword they have made at Cardboard Costumes at Miramar Library.


Four small sculpted figurines sit on a green cutting mat. From left to right, they appear to be a sentient brick wall, a one-legged, one-eyed monster, a white block-like creature with tentacle-like arms, and a frog-like creature with tentacles coming out of its mouth

Meeting new friends at Serious Sculpting at Te Awe Library!


Beyond the Page: Bricks, Boxes, Stop Motion, and More!

The first ‘official’ days of Beyond the Page saw a whole bunch of awesome events. Some highlights for us were Bricks and Giggles at Brooklyn Library; Zine Machine at Arapaki Library, Box Bonanza at Wadestown and Te Awe Libraries, and Stop Motion Stories at Karori and Kilbirnie Libraries:

Several colourful LEGO constructions sitting on a table. Among them are several blue-and-green landscapes, a house, a fire engine, and a garden.

A selection of wonderful LEGO® creations from Bricks and Giggles at Brooklyn Library

A large group of children gathered around a table. On the table are a range of craft resources, magazines, pens and pencils.

A cluster of keen zine-makers at Arapaki Library

Learning to animate some aquatic friends at Kilbirnie Library

Karori Library becomes a film studio for a day!

 

Spotlight on: Stories From Our Place

A big highlight for us all was being visited by the wonderful Sophie from Zealandia | Te Māra a Tāne for Stories From Our Place at Cummings Park Library. The torrential rain didn’t stop our intrepid explorers from venturing out into the bush behind the library for an awesome (if slightly damp) experience!

We started in the library…

…met some cuddly new friends…

…ventured out into the wild weather…

…and enjoyed the beautiful sights of Cummings Park in the rain!

We can’t wait to share with you more Beyond the Page goodness once Week Two is done and dusted as well! Find out more at the official Beyond the Page website.