One thing I admire about New Zealand is their literacy drive. Suburbs in and around Wellington have Libraries. The Library we go to is at Johnsonville. They have quite a collection of books and magazines. I like lounging about and reading Popular Science and Time Magazine. As for the books... you can borrow as many as you like and these stay with you for a month! Whoa. You can also borrow back-issues of magazines for a week. They also have DVDs that you can rent. It's $0.50 for kid's and young adult's, and $2.00 for other DVDs. And they're not your documentaries either. You can rent popular movies and Disney cartoons.
There are also internet terminals where you can browse for half an hour for free. The sites are restricted to government and library resources though. But you can also check the job website Seek.
So how do you avail of the Library Services? Simple. Approach their friendly librarian and ask for a library card. They will require you to fill-up a form, 2 valid IDs (we used our passport and driver's license), and proof of billing (we used our tenancy agreement form). And voila! You get your library card. Only it's not the library card we are accustomed to, where we write down the names of the books we borrow. It's a sort of ID card with a magnetic stripe and barcode at the back. See the cards above? Even Jo-Lo has one!
The library is kid-friendly, with bean bags, an assortment of beginner's books, and some toys. And they have book reading sessions every Tuesdays at 10:30AM.
They have a machine that you can use to check out the books yourself. Simply align the bar code scanner with your ID and scan the books out. Really nice.
We make it a point to drop by the Library whenever we are in town. We have borrowed an assortment of comic books, fiction, New Zealand information, cookbooks... you name it!
You can also return the books in another library. There is a charge for the transfer , however.
Friendly staff, nice collection of books, cozy atmosphere. You can truly get immersed in the world of books.
I heard that the Wellington City Library is an even more amazing sight, where you can listen to music and watch movies in the library itself. Hope we can check it out soon as well.