View Finders Beanstack Challenge!

This April School Holidays, take part in our View Finders Photography Challenge! 

We have a holiday challenge for you on our Beanstack platform!

This Beanstack challenge will guide you down the path of learning about photography so that you can get your submissions in before the deadline of the 1st of May — and there are some cool spot prizes for people who complete book reviews and take part in activities. We’re choosing a random book reviewer or challenge completer EVERY DAY to win a spot prize, so don’t miss out!

To jump right into Beanstack, click here! 🎞

Our Beanstack challenge is full of tips and activities to help you take great portraits of people, find flora and fauna in our wonderful city, and get inspired by excellent object photography!

Beanstack challenges

Some of the digital badges you can earn on our Beanstack!


For our photo competition, we’re taking submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

The first prize for each category is a reusable Kodak film camera, some black-and-white film roll, and free development with Splendid Photo!

The Beanstack activities lead to a link to enter your own photos.

We look forward to seeing your photos and hearing the story behind them! You may want to display your photo at your local branch library at the end of the competition.

View Finders 1st Place Category Prizes

Our 1st place category prizes! You could win your very own film camera!


Special thanks to our friends at Splendid Photo, who are helping us to judge the competition, and Ben & Jerry’s Wellington, Light House Cinema, and Unity Books, who are kindly providing us with spot prizes to give away. Ka rawe!

Wellington Beaches for Summer Swimming

Let’s talk about one of the most Kiwi summer activities Wellington has to offer – going to the beach!

There’s so much to do at the beach. You can build sandcastles, go swimming and jump over waves, draw pictures in the sand and follow the footprints in the sand left by birds. You can collect shells, have a picnic, search for sea life in a rockpool, and there’s so much more!

When you’re planning your beach trip, it’s a good idea to be prepared with lots of sunscreen, buckets and boogie boards, and also some thoughts towards safety. If you’re not already familiar with the Water Safety Code, we recommend having a read so you know how best to keep yourself and your family safe. If you’re visiting a beach for the first time, Find a Beach is a great website created by Surf Life Saving New Zealand that has profiles for pretty much every beach around Aotearoa. On this site you can search up the beach you’re planning to visit, check out the forecast, find out if there will be lifeguards, and learn about any hazards to watch out for. They’ve got a good safety information page too!

There are so many beaches around Wellington for you to explore, so lets take a look at some of them:

Balaena Bay

Balaena Bay is the first of the smaller beaches along Evans Bay Parade.

There’s a carpark at one end, and changing rooms at the other. The water here is quite shallow and calm, so is good for just splashing about if you’re not yet ready for swimming.

Freyberg Beach/Oriental Bay

Freyberg Beach and Oriental Bay are so close together that they’re sharing an entry in this list.

These two beaches are right next to each other, and very close to the central city.

There are changing rooms and wheelchair access at Freyberg, as well as parking and a playground! There’s also a beach wheelchair at Freyberg pool that’s available to borrow. There are also a few cafes, ice cream stores, and food trucks around on Oriental Parade in case you’re after a post-swim snack.

If you’re worried about safety, then relax! Oriental Bay is patrolled by lifeguards over the summer.

Hataitai Beach

Hataitai Beach, like Balaena Bay, is along Evans Bay Parade. The beach here is quite small and the water is very calm but it gets deep more quickly than at Balaena Bay so if you’re not a very confident swimmer make sure to stay close to the shore. Cog Park is right next door, so if you are a confident swimmer and the tide is in there’s a small wharf you can jump off!

Cog Park has plenty of picnicking spots, and at the other end of Hataitai Beach are the changing rooms with steps that go straight down into the sea.

Island Bay

Island Bay is easy to get to on the bus – just hop on a number 1 and you’re pretty much there. If you’re keen for a swim or a walk along the beach, Island Bay is a good option for you. Just remember that it looks out on the open sea so the water will be a bit cooler than any of the beaches inside the Wellington harbour.

There are changing rooms and picnic tables at the park across the road, and also a playground!

Lyall Bay

Lyall Bay is a wonderfully long stretch of beach to walk along – and the eastern end of the beach allows off leash dogs if you have a furry friend who would like to join you!

You can use the changing rooms in the Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club, and they also have beach wheelchairs available to borrow. Lyall Bay is a patrolled beach over the summer so let the lifeguards keep you safe!

Princess Bay

Princess Bay is another beach along the south coast. It’s further east than Island Bay and quite a bit smaller. Princess Bay is good for a sheltered swim and if you’re interested in sea life you can explore the rockpools out along the point. If it’s a clear day you might even be able to see the South Island!

Leave your car in the carpark at the eastern end of the bay by the changing rooms.

Scorching Bay

Out along the Miramar Peninsula is Scorching Bay. It’s got golden sand, a nice grassy area, changing rooms and outdoor showers, and the Scorch-O-Rama café across the road.

Scorching Bay is a patrolled beach, so make sure you swim between the flags.

Worser Bay

Worser Bay is another beach along the Miramar Peninsula, out on the eastern side.

You’ll be well taken care of with changing rooms, a picnic area, and across the road from the beach is the famous Worser Bay swing. Be sure to check it out!


If you can’t get out to the beach but you can make it to the library, or would like to know more about the creatures you might find in a rockpool, here are some beach-themed New Zealand reads to get you inspired:

At the beach : explore & discover the New Zealand seashore / Candler, Gillian
“At the Beach is a delightful introduction to the natural history of the New Zealand seashore. The stage is set with beautiful, factually correct illustrations (including detailed cross-sections) of three familiar habitats – the sandy beach, rockpools and mudflats. Many of the plants and animals that play a part in these rich ecosystems are shown in situ, and readers are directed from there to pages dedicated to detailed coverage of: crabs; sea stars, kina and sea anemones; shellfish; seaweeds, sponges and sandhoppers; fish, jellyfish & shrimps; birds. Aimed at children 5-8 years old, but with appeal for anyone curious about New Zealand’s natural environment, At the Beach is a must for the home, bach, classroom and library. Comes with a removable, waterproof quick-reference guide to common seashore animals.” (Catalogue)

Freddy Bear and the beach / Cowley, Joy
“Freddy Bear is playing at the beach with Dad – running, playing, chasing seagulls. He falls over running, but Dad picks him up and takes him home.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to the New Zealand beach : featuring the odd things that get washed up on the sand / Crowe, Andrew
“Pictorial guide to identifying various items and curious objects that are commonly found on New Zealand beaches. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary.” (Catalogue)

Dashing dog / Mahy, Margaret
“When a dashing dog gets into messy mischief, his family is exasperated. Then baby Betty falls off the jetty, and it’s up to the brave dashing dog to save the day.” (Catalogue)

A summery Saturday morning / Mahy, Margaret
“The children go down to the sea on a summery, Saturday morning, down the wiggly track, scattering shells and leaping logs. But first their dogs chase a cat, then they chase a boy on a rattly bike, then wild geese hiss and chase the children and the dogs and the walk is not so peacful after all. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

A is for Aotearoa : a lift-the-flap New Zealand treasure hunt / Newcombe, Diane
“Our story starts with a bottle containing a secret message, washed up on a beach. The bottle begins a trail of clues, and children lift the flap to reveal the clue that takes them on an alphabet journey all over New Zealand. Included is a glossary with interesting facts about each location”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Tangaroa and the creature from the sea / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly
“On a beach clean-up, thirteen-year-old Charlie and his brother, Robbie, find a ponaturi, a mermaid, washed up on a beach. An ancient grudge between the Māori gods Tane and Tangaroa has flared up because a port being built in the bay is polluting the ocean and creatures are fleeing the sea. This has reignited anger between the gods, which breaks out in storms, earthquakes and huge seas. The ponaturi believes Charlie is the only one who can stop the destruction. So begins Charlie’s journey to find a way to reunite the gods and discover why he is the one for the task”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

Splish, splash, safety : a book about water safety.
“Join The Wiggles as they practise water safety!” (Catalogue)
Summer days : stories and poems celebrating the Kiwi summer.
“A beautiful collection of children’s stories and poems that celebrates the golden days of summer, by some of New Zealand’s finest writers and illustrators. The great Kiwi summer conjures images of the beach, swimming, boating, fishing, families, friends adventures… This collection of seven stories and ten poems capture that quintessential summer feeling, and is perfect summertime reading to share with children. Dive in to find all sorts of treasures by well-known New Zealand writers and illustrators, including Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Pamela Allen, Gwenda Turner, Fiona Farrell, Elena de Roo, Melanie Drewery, Sandra Morris, Sue Wootton, Brian Turner, Jenny Cooper, Vasanti Unka and David Elliot. Target age 3-7 years”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Christmas Comes to Brooklyn and Wadestown Libraries

Join us at Brooklyn and Wadestown libraries for a family Christmas storytime and carol singing.

Brooklyn: Monday 14th of December 6pm

Wadestown: Thursday 17th of December 6pm

 

Come along in your favourite PJ’s and Christmas bling!

We might even see a famous Christmas guest pop in for a visit!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

 

Festive Family Storytimes are Around the Corner!

Meri Kirihimete, Pōneke!

 

It’s that time of year again! The festive season is right around the corner, which means that our libraries are getting themselves all ready to provide storytimes most merry and mirthful for your jollification. So, why not grab the family, jump in your fuzziest pyjamas (or cheeriest Christmas costume) and head on down to your local library to join in on the fun?

There will be stories, songs, crafts, and maybe even some special visits from a certain portly gentleman at some locations. You’ll be in for an extra-special treat if you go along to the event at Arapaki Library on Manners Street — you’ll get to hear different festive stories from all over the world, even some in different languages!

All of these events are free, family-friendly, and suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

Where and When?

 


Wednesday 9th December

Arapaki (Manners Street) Library, 5.30 – 6.30pm


Thursday 10th December

Island Bay Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Khandallah Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Friday 11th December

Newtown Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Monday 14th December

Brooklyn Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Miramar Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Tuesday 15th December

Te Awe (Brandon Street) Library, 4.00 – 4.45pm

Johnsonville Library, 4.00 – 4.45pm


Thursday 17th December

Karori Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Wadestown Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Friday 18th December

He Matapihi (Molesworth Street) Library, 10.30 – 11.15am


Saturday 19th December

Johnsonville Library, 2.00 – 2.45pm


Sunday 20th December

Te Awe Library, 2.00 – 2.45pm


Monday 21st December

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, 10.30 – 11.15am


Family Lockdown Challenge: Support New Zealand Music Month 2020.

New Zealand Music Month is back again and is in its 20th year marks 20 years of celebrating and supporting the New Zealand Music industry. The theme for 2020’s NZ Music Month is: Support local. Stream local. Follow local. Buy local.

This year New Zealand Music month will be celebrated differently. Under Level 3 restrictions, there will be no live events in our favorite music venues, including the library. But have no fear, you can still celebrate NZ Music month and support the NZ music industry in the comfort of your own home… and bubbles.


image courtesy of https://www.nzmusicmonth.co.nz/

What is New Zealand Music Month?

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

How can I celebrate this year under Level 3 nationwide lockdown? 

The NZ Music Month schedule is packed with virtual events, awards, radio specials, online seminars and promotions. Check out the events page for more information.

You can also support your librarians, many of whom also moonlight as musicians and performers. Go onto the Wellington City Libraries and Johnsonville Library Facebook pages for regular live-streaming of preschool storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme and of course Quarantunes for nightly live performances.

You can download and print your own NZ Music month poster, which you can put on your bedroom wall or window.

Where can I find information about New Zealand Music, artists and bands?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about New Zealand musicians and bands. The National Library also has a page dedicated to New Zealand Music, where you can explore the culture, history and uses of music in New Zealand along with famous singers (traditional and contemporary), music awards, bands and the styles of music unique to New Zealand.

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month 2020!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Kids’ Club eBook Reviews

Our last two Family Lockdown Challenges have focussed on things you can do and things you can build from the comfort of your own bubble. For this next one, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your chair. Read on to find out more!

Libraries, as I’m sure you know, are generally known for having books. Heaps and heaps and heaps of books. And even though our buildings are closed, making the 800,000-odd books they hold unavailable for now, we still have plenty of books for you — eBooks! Our eBook services, like OverDrive, BorrowBox, TumbleBooks, and more, are available 24/7 from the eLibrary — all you need is your library card number and PIN, and you’re set.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to borrow a book from our eLibrary, write a book review, and post it to the Kids’ Club review section on this very blog. At the top of the screen, click Kids’ Club, then follow the instructions to access the review form and submit it! Once that’s all done, and your review has been read by one of our lovely librarians, it will be published online for everyone to read.

Even better, once our libraries reopen, you’ll be able to redeem your book reviews for special prizes from your local library. The more reviews you write, the more prizes you’ll earn. How awesome is that?!

Did you know that eBooks can fly? They fly right around our heads until they land in your device, ready to be read!

Before you all rush off to write your first review, here are a couple of words about writing a good book review:

  • Tell us what you thought about the book! We don’t want to just read a description of the plot.
  • Useful questions to ask yourself include:
    • How did I feel at the beginning of the book?
    • How did I feel at the end? Was there a change?
    • Who was my favourite/least favourite character? Why?
    • Did this book give me any new ideas? If so, what are they?
    • Who else might like this book? Why?
    • If I had written this book, would I have changed anything about it? What, and why?
  • Be creative! We love to read reviews in the form of poems, short stories, reviews written with emojis.
  • Be careful with the boring things like spelling and punctuation. This isn’t school — you won’t be disqualified if you spell “discombobulated” wrong — but having good spelling and punctuation makes it easier for everyone else to understand what you mean!

While you’re writing your reviews, don’t forget to read through other kids’ reviews too — there are thousands and thousands of them and who knows, you may just find a book you’d like to read yourself! Happy reading!

Virtual Storytime: Straight from the Librarian’s Living Room

With our libraries currently closed, are you missing your regular storytime fix? Don’t worry, we have you covered in more ways than one: check the options below!

Virtual Storytimes
During the lockdown, your favourite librarians will be bringing you livestreamed storytimes directly from their living rooms on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page. Storytime will be streamed live Monday-Friday at 10:30am, and on Saturdays at 2:00pm, to match the times when Preschool Storytime would normally be happening at your local library. You can join us live as we stream, or watch the video afterwards.

Story Box Library
Tired of waiting for your next storytime livestream? Did you know that you can enjoy a read-aloud storytime ANYtime?! All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to watch on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Log in with your library card number and PIN, and enjoy stories being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealand, storytellers.

Stories Online
If those options aren’t enough, over on the Kids’ Downloads page we have a whole raft of digital storytime content that we have been curating over the years. This page is stuffed full of videos of New Zealand books being read by their authors at the library, links to awesome resources such as TumbleBooks and Kanopy Kids, and plenty of other bits and pieces to keep your mind busy!

While you check out all these awesome resources, why not watch our first livestreamed Virtual Storytime below? Straight from my living room (with Velvet Elvis looking down from above!) I bring you I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, published by Walker Books.

A Very Welly Christmas 2019!

Tis the season for festive fun… and it’s all free in Lambton Quay!image courtesy of averywellychristmas.co.nz

A Very Welly Christmas comes to town… again during the weekend and is jam packed full of Christmas cheer and fun for the whole family!

What is A Very Welly Christmas? It is an annual 2 day Christmas festival in the Wellington CBD. Each day starts with Santa’s Arrival a short walking parade, so you can still line the footpaths and wave to Santa – just like the old days!

This year is will be held on:

Saturday 23 November, 12 noon–6pm
Sunday 24 November, 12 noon–5pm

and followed by…

Carols in Midland Park – Saturday 23 November, 6pm–8pm

Click here to find out more about the history of the event.

Click here for the schedule of events.

Click here to find out how to get there.

While you’re in town that weekend, why don’t you call into Arapaki Manners Library and He Matapihi Molesworth Library and borrow a book or two… or a dozen. 😉

Arapaki Manners Library will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am until 5pm and He Matapihi will be open from 9am until 1pm on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

 

 

 

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!

Join us with acclaimed local author Elaine Bickell at Johnsonville Library for an especially spooky Halloween storytime this Friday the 18th of October at 6.30pm! Come in your pyjamas, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and settle in to hear Elaine read from her newly-published book, The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo, as well as other frightening favourites from the library stacks.

These ghosts won’t be losing their ‘boo’ any time soon!

Reserve Elaine’s book on our catalogue here, and find out more about Elaine and her connection to Johnsonville Library below!

Continue reading

Get creative at the library during the October school holidays!

Let your creative side out to play during the school holidays at Wellington City Libraries. Have a go, learn a new skill, or make something amazing! Don’t miss us as we present special robot storytimes and creative, interactive Tech Time sessions at Capital E during these holidays too — head to their website for more details.

Beeswax Wraps
Celebrate the end of Bee Aware Month and make a beeswax wrap — a perfect alternative to plastic food wrap and a great way to reuse a by-product of honey production! Places are limited, so email Tawa Community Centre to secure your place. Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 10am – 12pm at Tawa Community Centre

BLOOM
Is it a dinosaur, a spaceship, a chandelier, a cloud? Bloom consists of thousands of identical pink pieces that let children and big kids connect, construct and deconstruct 3D installations with no boundaries or rules. Families are welcome to drop in at any time during these sessions. BLOOM is proudly supported by Capital E.

Monday 7 October, 11am – 4pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Tuesday 8 October, 11am – 4pm at Newtown Library

Bookworms!
Join us for a fun afternoon of bookish crafts and create your very own sock puppet bookworm to take home! Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

Saturday 5 October, 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library

CodeQuest
Come along to these free coding workshops and learn how to create your own video game in Scratch! No prior coding knowledge is necessary. Places are limited, so register at the event venue to secure your place. Suitable for ages 9+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Saturday 12 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library

Family Movies
Bring a blanket and pillow and relax at our fun family movies. A different G-rated film from the library collection will be showing each time, and are appropriate for the whole family. Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

Friday 4 October, 5.30 – 7pm at Johnsonville Library and 6 – 8pm at Newtown Library
Thursday 10 October, 5.30 – 7pm at Karori Library

The Great North Literature Quiz!
Come and test your knowledge of books at the Great North Literature Quiz. Grab your mates, siblings, cousins and make a team of up to four people. Register your team name by contacting Johnsonville or Tawa Libraries, or just turn up 10 minutes prior to the start to register your team. Suitable for ages 5-12 with their caregivers.

There will be prizes and lots of fun to be had!

Wednesday 2 October, 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Monday 7 October, 2 – 3pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Halloween Crafts Workshop
Join us at Churton Park Community Centre for a special pre-Halloween crafts session! We will be making creepy paper lanterns and scary hats, ready for your Halloween celebrations! Suitable for ages 5-13 with their caregivers.

Friday 11 October, 10 – 11am at Churton Park Community Centre

Holiday Games
Come along and have a go at a bunch of different board and card games, and learn how to play! Bring your friends and family and challenge them — who will win? Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Wednesday 2 October, 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library (card games)
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library (board games)

In the Beginning: Yoga Storytimes
Want to try something new while being active and having lots of fun? Join our kid-friendly yoga instructor librarians at these yoga taster classes and storytelling sessions for children. Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 2 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library

Let’s Go Lego
At Let’s Go Lego, your creative skills will be put to the test as your use our Lego collections to design and build your masterpiece. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire you to hone your skills and become a true Lego Legend! Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Wednesday 2 October, 10am – 12pm at Tawa Community Centre
Thursday 3 October, 2 – 3pm at Wadestown Library
Friday 4 October, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Khandallah Library
Monday 7 October, 2 – 3pm at Wadestown Library
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre
Thursday 10 October, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library and Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Friday 11 October, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Johnsonville Library

Minotaur vs. Mini-Robots
Ancient myths + Robots = awesome time! Come along and decode one of the most fascinating myths of Greek Mythology, the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Code Ozobots and navigate them in a dark labyrinth. Can you escape the Minotaur? Let’s find out. Suitable for ages 6+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Friday 11 October, 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Saturday 12 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library

Spring Scribblers
Have something to say, but not quite sure how to say it? Want to write a novel, but not sure where to start? These interactive creative writing workshops will help you find your unique voice in writing. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Thursday 3 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Storm the Castle! – Writing Workshops
Traverse the path of the Hero’s Journey — take part in this interactive writing workshop as we go through all the main beats that make up nearly every great book and movie. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Tuesday 1 October, 2 – 3pm at Karori Library
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library

TechTime
Join us for these highly interactive adventures through the worlds of robotics and electronics. Hang out and play with robots, give the Makey Makey banana piano a go, and check out Scratch programming in these tech savvy and fun-filled sessions. Suitable for ages 6 – 13 with their caregivers.

Thursday 3 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre
Monday 7 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre

Zine Machine
Do you want to print a story, some drawings, a comic, a collage, your thoughts … anything at all? Join us at Karori Library to create a zine with the Zine Machine and publish your own work! Suitable for ages 8+ with their caregivers.

Thursday 10 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library