It’s that time of year again! The annual Out On The Shelves campaign runs this year for the entire month of June. Around the country, libraries, bookstores, schools and other organisations are putting on displays and events to celebrate LGBTQIA+ stories, and to help connect rainbow young people to those stories and to each other.

Apart from coming to the library, checking out the cool displays, and reading some of the rad books we’ll be highlighting, there are heaps of ways you can take part. You could:

  • Enter the Rainbow Storytelling Competition – this year there are two age categories (under 16 and 16+) and two storytelling categories (open and poetry). Winning entries will be published in the annual Rainbow Zine.
  • Visit the LGBTQIA+ Reading Room on OverDrive/Libby to check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, and magazines.
  • Learn about your rainbow history using the Archives of Sexuality and Gender (check out this handy post to learn more about the Archives and how to use them!)
  • Attend one of our awesome library events for Out On The Shelves — read on to find out more!

Out On The Shelves events

Rainbow Youth Nights

Waitohi | Johnsonville Library
Saturday 1 June, 5.00 – 8.00pm

Te Awa-a-Taia | Kilbirnie Library
Saturday 8 June, 4.00 – 7.00pm

Te Māhanga | Karori Library
Saturday 15 June, 5.00-8.00pm

Our Rainbow Youth Nights are back! We’ll be open after-hours for rainbow and takatāpui youth (and friends!) to socialise, have fun, explore our spaces without any of those pesky grown-ups around, and experience the General Youth Night Vibes of crafts, chats, gaming, and pizza.

Our Youth Nights are completely free (pizza included!) but you do need to be 14+ and of High School Age to attend, so please come prepared to show your school ID. And, if you have fun at a Rainbow Youth Night, you should come along to our regular monthly Youth Nights which are only slightly-less-rainbow-themed than these ones!

Out On The Shelves 2024: Read the Rainbow

There’s no list of locations here, because this one you can do without even setting foot in one of our libraries!

This year for Out On The Shelves we’ve put together an online reading challenge! Since Out On The Shelves is, after all, a resource that promotes books that tell rainbow stories, we’re challenging you to read a bunch of ’em.

Earn digital badges, discover new books and just let your inner-queer-book-nerd rejoice!

It’s super easy to sign up – just head over to our Beanstack site to accept the challenge.

Ask a Trans Teen (and their parent)

Te Awe (Brandon Street) Library
Friday 14 June, 4.00 – 5.00pm

Waitohi | Johnsonville Library
Saturday 15 June, 2.00 – 3.00pm

Have you ever wanted to ask a question to someone who is young and trans? Or to a parent of trans kids?

As part of their fundraising walk for Gender Minorities Aotearoa, Mindy and Kylie Parry will be joining us at the library for an informal discussion and Q&A session about what it’s like to be trans, or parenting trans kids, in Aotearoa. They’ll be speaking about – and happy to answer questions around – their experiences with school, birth certificates, social and medical transition, and other topics you might want to learn more about, but never had the opportunity to ask.

These events are recommended for rangatahi aged 10+. If you’re under 14, you’ll need to attend with a caregiver.

Author Talk with Kyle Mewburn

Waitohi | Johnsonville Library
Saturday 15 June, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Join celebrated author Kyle Mewburn (Old HūhūThe House on the HillFaking it: My Life in Transition) for a fantastic, funny, and frank talk about her life and books, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions. All are welcome to join us for this rare opportunity to hear from one of Aotearoa’s pre-eminent children’s book writers.

This event is recommended for readers of all ages. Tamariki under the age of 14 must be accompanied by their caregiver.

Kyle Mewburn is one of Aotearoa’s most prolific authors. She has been a full-time writer since 1997, and has won numerous awards for her work, including the Storylines Joy Cowley Award, the Best Picture Book Award at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and many others. Learn more about Kyle at Read NZ | Te Pou Muramura

Rainbow Dress-up Storytime

No one is too old for a storytime, right? Particularly one where you get to dress-up!

Join us for books and songs about being kind, inclusive, and expressing yourself however you choose.

Dress up in your favourite outfit and bring the whole whānau. Tamariki under the age of 14 must be accompanied by their caregiver.