Using your library – from home!

With our libraries closed while Wellington is at Alert Level 4 we thought it would be a good idea remind you about all the ways you can still use your library from the comfort and safety of your own home – we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on…

Stories and Storytimes

If you’re after a book to read, look no further than Borrowbox or Libby. These apps are both free to download – just log in with your library card number and PIN and you’re away! These two have plenty of eBooks and eAudiobooks to keep you occupied on a rainy day at home.

If you’d rather listen to someone read you a story we’ve got more options for you! You can listen to great stories being read aloud by Australian and New Zealand storytellers through the Story Box Library, or you can try out something interactive with the TumbleBook Library. It’s the same deal with these – just log on with your library card!

We also have a whole lot of virtual storytimes from our own librarians available through our Facebook page. Check out the Virtual Storytime and Bedtime Storytime playlists for some great stories we recorded last year.

Things to do

If you’re after a challenge, read through our collection of Family Lockdown Challenges! These are full of exciting activities and ideas for you to do while at home. If you do any of the challenges (particularly the Book Domino Challenge!) be sure to tag us in any photos or videos you take on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Our Kids’ Club Book Reviews are still up and running, so you can start earning prizes by writing book reviews! We’ve got a great post here with some tips about how to write a fantastic review. When our libraries are open again you can come on in and collect a plethora of prizes – how cool is that?!

If you’re missing Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme or CRAFTerschool go check out the Johnsonville and Tawa Library Facebook pages! If you go through the Videos tab on each page you can easily find the recorded Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions from last year, as well as some wonderful craft tutorials.

How adorable are these hedgehogs – and you could make one yourself!

Movies and TV

If there’s someone in your household with an adult library card they’ll be able to access our online streaming services – we have two! Beamafilm and Kanopy are both free to use. You can watch as much as you like on Beamafilm and there are no limits to any of the kids’ content on Kanopy.

Kia kaha, stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you again in person on the other side.

Visiting the Library with Children During Level 2

As the country enters Alert Level 2 following a community outbreak of COVID-19 in Auckland, it is a good opportunity to remind children that things are going to be a little different when you visit the library until the current level is lifted. All of our libraries are open at the moment, but with capacity restrictions and a few other changes — here’s what you might notice:

  • People scanning QR codes as they enter, and a librarian or security guard taking people’s details. Because we have to be careful about how many people can be in the library at once, we have to tick you off and take your details as you come in. Sometimes this will mean you’ll need to wait a little while to get in — don’t worry, everything we’re doing is to try to keep you and your family safe. To make things a little faster, make sure your family has the COVID-19 app downloaded so you can scan in rather than having to sign in!
  • People keeping far apart. When you’re in the library, you’ll see people trying to keep 2m apart as they make their way through the building picking up books. Please remember to keep inside your bubble at all times, and be patient if you need to wait for someone to leave a shelf before you can leap in and grab the book you want!
  • Lots of hand sanitiser! We’re providing a whole bunch of hand sanitiser so everyone can keep clean and safe. Remember, washing your hands often is the best way to kill germs, so make sure you remember to sanitise your hands after touching your face, and before you enter or leave the library.
  • No comfy chairs to sit and read in. We want you to keep your visit as short as possible — pop in, grab your books, and head back home so the next person can enter the library. We know it’s very tempting to find somewhere cosy at the library to curl up and read a book, but while we’re at Alert Level 2, please remember to save the reading for when you get home.
  • No storytimes or other library activities. During Level 2 of the lockdown, we won’t be able to run any of our regular programmes and activities, like Preschool Storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme, Let’s Go LEGO, Code Club, or CRAFTerschool in person at the library. If you’re looking for that storytime fix, you can check out our playlists on Facebook — we have Preschool Storytimes, Bedtime Stories, Baby Rock and Rhyme and fun craft videos, as well as our popular Family Lockdown Challenge blog posts to keep you virtually entertained.
  • No big family groups. We have to limit the number of people who can be in the library at one time. If you can, look at the library catalogue online, decide what you want, reserve it if you’d like, and send one person from your bubble to the library to collect it. That might not always be possible, which is fine, but just remember to stick inside your bubble if you are visiting the library in a group.

Keep well, stay safe, and don’t stop reading! 🙂

Family Lockdown Challenge: Bubble Scavenger Hunts!

Are you looking for something to fill in a spare hour at home? Or maybe you need an activity to do on your daily walk around your neighbourhood. Have you considered a scavenger hunt?

An example of a scavenger hunt you could make at home!

A scavenger hunt is so much easier than a treasure hunt, because you don’t have to make any clues or hide any treasure! You just create a list of things to find, then get searching.

When you’re creating your list you can be as vague or specific as you like, from a red leaf or yellow flower, to something that makes a noise or something you use at school. You can give your scavenger hunts different themes too, from things inside the house (if it’s a rainy day!), to things out in your garden, or even things connected by a theme such as technology, pets, or colour. If your theme is colour, you can use the same list for every colour of the rainbow!

If you’re doing your scavenger hunt within your bubble at home, then of course you’re free to gather together all the objects you find. If you’ve created a scavenger hunt to complete while you’re out on a walk, picking things up and carrying them around isn’t the best idea at the moment. We suggest you just tick off or write down what you see, or you can turn it into a photo challenge and take pictures of all the things you find. Or you can join in the nation-wide Bear Hunt, and count how many Teddy Bears you can see in your neighbours’ windows.

Another idea is a literary scavenger hunt! Challenge yourself to read books on different subjects, by different authors, and about different characters. Can you read a book with a bear in it? How about a turtle, or one by a New Zealand author?

If you want some inspiration, check out the scavenger hunts that we’ve created to inspire you:

So get to it! Challenge yourself, or send one off and challenge your friends. We’d love to see what you come up with, so show us what you’ve been up to on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Colouring Adventures!

Our next Family Lockdown Challenge is as simple as it gets — get those pencils, felts, crayons, pastels, paints or dyes out and get colouring! For your socially-distant enjoyment, a very cool and talented librarian here has created this awesome colouring book — from the power of her imagination, to your bubble! Click the button at the top left to download it and colour at home.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to complete this colouring book with your family. Maybe Mum and Dad have to do all the vowels. Why not share with friends or family outside your bubble and have a Skype colouring session? Challenge yourself to use ALL THE COLOURS, or maybe just one! That’s the beauty of colouring — it is what you make it. You can find even more fun activities on our Kids’ Downloads page.

Take a photo of your whānau participating in this challenge, or photograph or scan your completed colouring — we’d love to see what you do! Message us or tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so we can see what you’ve done, and marvel at your talents!

Stay tuned for the next Family Lockdown Challenge, where things are starting to get a little… mysterious.