Books in our lending collections for schools

Selection of books from National Library's School Lending Collection, including books in world languages, read alouds, books in accessible formats, books for teaching Aotearoa NZ's histories curriculum, fiction and non-fiction for all year levels.

We have books suitable for students at every year level — from year 0 to year 13. Our lending collections for schools offer a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books for different reading ages, home languages, and reading needs.

Our collections for schools

The main collection you borrow from is our Schools Lending Collection. We also have 2 collections based in Wellington (our Wellington lending collections) that composite and secondary schools can borrow from.

Schools Lending Collection

This large collection has books to support every level and learning area of The New Zealand Curriculum and to foster a love of reading. It includes high-interest, engaging books that will appeal to learners of all ages and abilities. It is constantly updated with fresh, high-quality books that reflect changes in the curriculum and literacy needs.

The collection also contains a wide range of books:

  • in world languages — for students whose home language isn't English, or English speakers learning another language
  • in accessible formats (dyslexia-friendly font or larger font size) — for students with dyslexia or impaired vision
  • to read aloud.

The collection is held in our Auckland and Christchurch service centres.

Search the National Library Catalogue — discover books in the Schools Lending Collection that all schools and home educators can borrow.

Books in world languages

As well as books in English and te reo Māori, you can borrow picture books, fiction, and some high-interest non-fiction books in a number of languages from our World Language collection.

  • We have books in these Pacific languages: Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Māori, Niuean, Fijian, Tokelauan, and Tuvaluan.
  • You can also borrow books in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Dari, Farsi, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Urdu.

With time, we expect the World Language collection to grow and include more languages.

Research shows significant benefits for students remaining fluent in their home language. Reading in their home language:

  • enables students to read for pleasure in that language
  • provides a strong foundation for learning a second language
  • strengthens bonds to family and community and helps develop a positive sense of identity.

Extending Their Language — Expanding Their World — New Zealand research from Education Review Office.

Why is it important to maintain the native language? — article from the Intercultural Development Research Association.

Search tips — find books in world languages

  1. Access the Schools Lending Collection in the National Library Catalogue by clicking the link below.
  2. In the Search anything field, enter the language and the word 'language' — for example, 'Samoan language' or 'Spanish language' — then press Enter.
  3. On a desktop or laptop, scroll 'Refine my results' until you find Genre/form. (On a smaller device, click the filter icon to reveal the 'Refine my results' options.)
  4. Select the language materials you are looking for and click Apply filters.
  5. Browse the list of titles. Click a book's title to find out more about it.

Access the Schools Lending Collection to start your search

Books in accessible formats

Students with reading challenges such as dyslexia need access to a range of reading formats. Our Accessible Collection has books with a dyslexia-friendly font or larger font size to help students who struggle to read regular print books.

The collection is mainly fiction for ages 7 to 18 years.

Search tips — find accessible books

To find dyslexia-friendly books or editions in large print:

  1. Access the Schools Lending Collection in the National Library Catalogue by clicking the link below.
  2. Enter 'dyslexia friendly' or 'large type' in the Search anything field and press Enter.
  3. On a desktop or laptop, scroll 'Refine my results' until you find Genre/form. (On a smaller device, click the filter icon to reveal the 'Refine my results' options.)
  4. Select Dyslexia friendly books or Large type books and click Apply filters.
  5. Browse the list of titles. Click a book's title to find out more about it.

Access the Schools Lending Collection to start your search

Note that the National Library's Print Disabilities Service also lends audiobooks and eBooks to schools. Read more about this service

Books to read aloud

The Schools Lending Collection has a great selection of read-alouds for early primary through to secondary students.

Reading aloud to students of all ages, including teenagers, is a vital part of any good reading programme. It stimulates interest, imagination and language, and exposes students to the joys of reading.

Reading aloud — has more about the benefits, research, useful tips, and brochures in different languages.

Search tips — find read-alouds

  1. Access the Schools Lending Collection in the National Library Catalogue by clicking the link below.
  2. Enter 'read aloud' in the Search anything field and press Enter.
  3. On a desktop or laptop, scroll 'Refine my results' until you find Genre/form. (On a smaller device, click the filter icon to reveal the 'Refine my results' options.)
  4. Select Read aloud and click Apply filters.
  5. Browse the list of titles. Click a book's title to find out more about it.

Access the Schools Lending Collection to start your search

Loan period and conditions

Books from the Schools Lending Collection are generally issued for a term. An exception is books ordered for term 4, which are due back week 2 of term one the following year so you can use them for summer reading. Contact us if you need to keep your books longer. We understand that books can sometimes get lost or damaged, so we won't charge you if this occasionally happens.

Renew books, overdue books, lost or damaged books

Wellington lending collections

Secondary and composite schools and home educators can borrow from National Library's Wellington, Overseas Non-fiction Collection and our Wellington, New Zealand Pacific Collection.

Wellington, Overseas Non-fiction Collection

This collection includes books on a range of subject areas. Since 2003, collection development has focused on family history, library and information science, and a selection of contemporary world issues.

Wellington, New Zealand Pacific Collection

This collection includes resources on New Zealand and Pacific history, politics, culture, and the arts, including:

  • Māori and Pacific language material
  • literature by New Zealand authors
  • exploration and discovery of the Pacific and Antarctica.

Find books in the Wellington collections

Search the National Library Collections (where the Available at field shows Wellington, Overseas Non-fiction Collection or Wellington, New Zealand Pacific Collection) — for books that composite and secondary schools and home educators can also borrow.

Loan periods and conditions

Books from these collections are issued for 5 weeks, but you can renew your loan for 2 further periods of 5 weeks. There is also a replacement fee for lost or damaged books.

Renew books, overdue books, lost or damaged books

How to borrow books from us

You can't request books directly through the National Library Catalogue. Instead, schools request books from us through their school loan coordinator. They can ask for:

  • topics selection requests where our expert librarians select the best books from our collections for your students
  • extra reading requests to inspire readers
  • specific title requests where the school loan coordinator request specific books that schools want from our collections.

What you can borrow — explains the 3 borrowing options we offer in more detail.