Harry Potter casts a spell over the capital’s e-readers

11 April 2020

The magic of words continue to delight the capital even while Wellington City Libraries (WCL) branches are closed – with Harry Potter still proving popular with kids of all ages!

Image of Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone book

The use of the Libraries' online resources is still increasing every day, with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone one of the top five eBooks and eAudiobooks downloaded during lockdown.

“It’s not surprising Harry Potter is in the top five, as these stories appeal to young people and adults alike,” says Laurinda Thomas, Wellington City Library and Community Spaces Manager. “The number of people reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks has jumped by over thirty percent compared to 2019.”

“Over the past weeks we welcomed the biggest increase in new members, with 436 new people registering online – double the average weekly joining rate of 215. Plus we updated the details for 377 existing members so they can access the online resources. Now we’re focused on delivering new content, activities and events to stay engaged, educated or entertained during lockdown.”

“In the film streaming world, Little Ted’s Big Adventure is most popular so far on Kanopy, but this was followed closely by recent and classic movies, and documentaries – so there is definitely something for everyone.”

”This week we launched the #StayAtHome Film Festival, where our librarians will promote a selection of films on different genres every few days. People can watch the films for free using our Kanopy or Beamafilm subscriptions through their library card. The Festival opens with Marilyn's picks for women in sport on the Library website.

“Marilyn will also be running tutorials for people who are using the lockdown to develop new work skills from courses available on Lynda.com. She’ll post a new blog with tips and links to free courses every few days on our website.”

“We’re also providing some of our popular branch services via Facebook, such as the Facebook Storytime sessions which are getting between 1500 to 2500 views that are often shared far and wide!”

“We encourage more people to find what latest books, films, activities and eResources are available by visiting the WCL website wcl.govt.nz or following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.”

The huge popularity of these online services demonstrates the value of the Wellington City Libraries in the capital, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“The library teams have been quick to adapt to the current lockdown situation, and have been incredibly resourceful, imaginative, and collaborative in providing content for everyone in every bubble.

“Not only are they engaging with their pre-existing audience, but they are building a new one too.”

To join Wellington City Libraries online complete the WCL online form at wcl.govt.nz/join

Membership is open to all Wellington residents, students and people currently staying or working in the city.

Other new activities and events include:

  • StayAtHomeFest 2020 which links engaging author talks, with links to books and digital resources to explore. Follow the Fest at https://wcl.govt.nz/stayathomefest
  • Facebook Storytimes streamed every weekday morning at 10:30am, and Saturdays at 2:00pm, during the closedown at https://www.facebook.com/wellingtoncitylibraries
  • Follow the WCL Kids' Blog and Teen Blog to access everything from reading suggestions to craft ideas, home-made board game tutorials to educational resources.
  • Free Facebook live music concerts at https://www.facebook.com/wellingtoncitylibraries 
  • Overall most popular eBook titles past month:

    1. Funny, you don't look autistic: a comedian's guide to life on the spectrum (Michael McCreary)
    2. Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone (J.K. Rowling)
    3. This is going to hurt: secret diary of a junior doctor (Adam Kay)
    4. Past tense:  Jack Reacher book 23 (Lee Child)
    5. Normal people (Sally Rooney)

    Overall most popular children's eBook title past month:

    1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
    2. Little Women
    3. Horrid Henry Robs the Bank
    4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    5. Brawl of the Wild

    Top twenty audiobooks past month:

    1. Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum (unabridged)
    2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (unabridged)
    3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry Potter Series, Book 1 (unabridged)
    4. Becoming
    5. Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (unabridged)
    6. An American Marriage: A Novel (unabridged)
    7. The Alice Network: A Novel (unabridged)
    8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Harry Potter Series, Book 5 (unabridged)
    9. The Handmaid's Tale
    10. The Alchemist
    11. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (unabridged)
    12. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know (unabridged)
    13. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store (unabridged)
    14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Harry Potter Series, Book 4 (unabridged)
    15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Harry Potter Series, Book 2 (unabridged)
    16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter Series, Book 7 (unabridged)
    17. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Harry Potter Series, Book 3 (unabridged)
    18. Mortal Engines: Mortal Engines Series, Book 1 (unabridged)
    19. Miss Marple's Final Cases: Three new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramas (unabridged)
    20. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (unabridged)

    Top Ten Videos on Kanopy past month:

    1. Little Ted's Big Adventure
    2. Loving Vincent
    3. The Dressmaker
    4. Kedi
    5. Carol
    6. Play School Story Time
    7. Stash Short Film Festival: Comedy
    8. The Seventh Seal
    9. The 24 Hour War
    10. The Most Dangerous Man in America