Library Notes 6 May 2020

Published on May 06, 2020


By Renee Faleseuga, Library Assistant


Kia ora koutou, and greetings to you all from my bubble! What an unprecedented six weeks this has been for us all. I have tried hard to just hold on for the ride, watching as my considered ‘normal’ has shifted and morphed into multiple versions of ‘new normal’ before my very eyes. My possibly naïve hopes for a Zen bubble full of introspection, yoga and lots of reading melted away after week one, faced with the reality of a bubble that includes three young children and a very yappy dog. Rest assured, there has been plenty of reading still, just not the tonnes I had imagined. There has been ups, downs, round and rounds and everything in between. What has been the most rewarding bonus, has also sometimes been the hardest part, and that is having this time at home with my children and juggling everyone’s needs. But that’s the wonderful complexity of life I guess, and time is truly a gift worth relishing.

I, like the rest of the Libraries Horowhenua team have been working from home. It’s been a great opportunity to pivot, flex, and expand our capabilities. Nothing can keep a Librarian down! Despite our premises being physically shut, there is still masses of work to be done behind the scenes, and everyone has been busy keeping things ticking over. We’ve been working hard continuing all that great work Libraries do, of connecting their communities to information, resources, knowledge and entertainment! Two important ways this work has been continued, even in this contactless time of social distancing, is through Skinny JUMP and our digital catalogues.

Skinny JUMP (previously known as Spark JUMP) is the low-cost, no contract internet connection that is available to those who do not have a home broadband connection, because cost is a barrier. This important initiative is spearheaded by The Spark Foundation and the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, and run via the Skinny network. It is founded on the belief that every New Zealander deserves to have the opportunities to thrive in the modern digital world, and seeks to bridge the digital divide by offering super-affordable broadband.

Libraries Horowhenua has long been a proud partner of this programme, helping connect our community with this service. Pre-COVID, sign-ups were done in 1:1 workshops at the library, or via outreach workshops through schools. However, with our physical spaces closed, and the need for this service greater than it’s ever been, the process had to adapt. Since entering Level 4, we have been utilising the new phone sign-up process and it has been working well, with almost 100 Horowhenua households connected to Skinny JUMP during lockdown alone. You simply cannot underestimate the value of connectivity at this time.

Excitingly, the eligibility criteria for Skinny JUMP widened at the end of March, and the cost was halved to $5 per 30GB block of data. This was a fortuitous coincidence of timing that has meant we can connect more people than ever. If you, or someone you know, doesn’t have a home broadband connection because cost is a barrier, then Skinny JUMP could be the answer. Those who are now eligible include:

-       Seniors                                    -           Families with children

-       Job seekers                             -           People with disabilities

-       Refugees and migrants           -           Those in social housing

This is not an exclusive list of who might be eligible. If you believe you, or someone you know might be eligible then you can find out more via:



-       Contacting myself (Renee) on [email protected] or 0272024944


Another great service that is beneficial while we are physically shut is our digital catalogues, which give you access to thousands of e-books and e-audiobooks that you can enjoy on the device of your choice (e-reader, smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer etc.)

Libraries Horowhenua has two different catalogues:

OverDrive which is available as a downloadable app called Libby, or through your web-browser at or

 Wheelers, which is available as a downloadable app called e-Platform, or through your web-browser at

All you need is your Libraries Horowhenua card number and password. If you need help resetting your password, email [email protected] If you aren’t a Libraries Horowhenua member, no fear! We have a great online e-membership option, for more information on this go to

Please note, Kindles don’t work with public library content.

From my bubble to yours… keep safe, take care and happy reading!


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