Community & Environment

Library eServices open a window to new worlds

The doors may be shut due to COVID-19 but Hamilton City Libraries has plenty of online services to keep people busy.

The libraries’ eCollection has more than 31,500 items, including eAudiobooks and eBooks, newspapers and magazines.

Hamilton City Council temporarily closed all community facilities from Sunday 22 March, including the city libraries, as a precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19. All facilities will remain closed now the country has moved to Alert Level 4.

Hamilton City Libraries Director Stephen Pennruscoe says customers can open a window to new worlds from their own home and this may help anyone feeling housebound, especially children and older people.

“There’s a huge amount of content available through our website for everyone in the family to enjoy and it’s not just limited to books,” he says.

“Libraries are big supporters of lifelong learning and our website also gives people access to free courses on anything from cooking and budgeting skills to university-level science and learning a new language.”

Hamilton City Libraries’ lifelong learning web page also has good tips on where to go online to learn Te Reo Maaori or New Zealand Sign Language.

All customers need to access the libraries’ online services is a computer or smartphone, an internet connection and a library card. eBooks can be read on a computer or phone as well as an eReader and hold fees on eContent have been temporarily waived.

People who aren’t members can join the library online and get instant access to content. They can use their temporary membership number to access library services until a permanent card can be issued when the libraries reopen. Membership is free for Hamilton residents and available for a small fee to non-residents.

Library staff can help with any technical questions – just email the library or send a message through the Hamilton City Libraries website.

The AnyQuestions homework help service, anyquestions.govt.nz/, is funded by the Ministry of Education and offered by New Zealand librarians, including Hamilton City Libraries staff. The service is an online tool to help students with any educational queries they have. The library website also has links to other useful education resources: hamiltonlibraries.co.nz/kids-and-teens/homework-help/

If you need a distraction from the present, why don’t you try the past? Hamilton City Council has an ongoing programme to digitise our public libraries’ heritage collection.

More than 2500 books, journals, magazines, memorabilia and oral history accounts are already online, including letters and diaries written by Hamilton’s early settlers.

The collection can be accessed through the Hamilton City Libraries eCollection web page and heritage librarians can answer questions on heritage@hcc.govt.nz.

If you’ve ever wanted to research your own family’s past, and now have the time, check out the family history resources on our online resources page: hamiltonlibraries.co.nz/ecollections/onlineresources/

Loan periods have been extended for all library items, including eContent. Customers will not be able to use the after-hours return slots to physically return items. Library staff are working remotely, so there is no one to clear the bins.

You can find all you need to know about accessing our eCollections on the Hamilton City Libraries website: hamiltonlibraries.co.nz/ecollections/

You can access free courses and much more through our lifelong learning and online resources pages: hamiltonlibraries.co.nz/services/lifelong-learning/ and hamiltonlibraries.co.nz/ecollections/onlineresources/

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