Return your books to us

School loans and books returned to National Library Services to Schools.

Use NZ Post's Services to Schools special discounted delivery rates to return books to the National Library. Find out where to send or deliver books. Download return address labels for your boxes.

When to return books

If you've finished using our books, you can return them early. This also means we can issue them to another school.

The due dates for books from the Schools Lending Collection are shown on your school dashboard (scroll and find under 'important dates'). Due dates are also on the printout that comes with your books.

The return dates for books from National Library Wellington are noted on the due date slips in the back of the books.

Dates to request and return books — more information about when your books are due back to us.

How to return books

The National Library has an arrangement with NZ Post that offers discounted delivery rates for schools using our lending service. Once you have set up an account with NZ Post, you can use the discount rates for your other delivery needs too (besides returning books to the National Library).

NZ Post service for deliveries and returns

Alternatively, you can use a delivery service of your choice or return books to our centres in person.

Here's how to return your books in 3 or 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Set up your Services to Schools account then order ticket book(s) if using this service

First — set up your Services to Schools account with NZ Post

Email NZ Post to set up a specific 'Services to Schools' account at least 2 weeks before you plan to return your books to the National Library.

Email with 'Services to Schools' in the subject line.

Give your school’s:

  • address (mailing and physical address if different)
  • telephone number
  • contact name and email address.

NZ Post will send you your account number once it's been set up. You'll need this number to order your courier tickets.

Then — order prepaid book(s) of NZ Post tickets

There are 2 ways to order a book:

  • phone NZ Post 0800 268 7437 and give your NZ Post account number, or
  • visit the NZ Post website and order online.

Before you order, read What ticket books to order below.

You should receive your ticket book within 1 to 3 business days.

Ordering through the NZ Post website

  • In the 'buy' tab, select Purchase with account/credit card. If this is your first order, follow the steps to:
    • set up a user profile using your NZ Post Services to Schools account number
    • authenticate your account by clicking a link in a confirmation email sent by NZ Post.
  • Sign in to your account — your username is your email address, your password is the one you created earlier.
  • Go to the Store page to order your ticket book.

What ticket books to order

There are 2 types of ticket books you can order depending on the weight of the boxes you want to return to the National Library.

Weight of box of books Product code of ticket book to order Discounted cost/book (excl. GST and VFR*) Notes
Up to 15kg CNTOTS $134.14 (20 tickets) Ignore the 5kg weight limit on the tickets
15–25kg CPCTWI $249.87 (25 tickets)

* Variable Fuel Rate (VFR) — note that this cost varies but is typically about 5 cents.


  • Usually, schools order the CNTOTS ticket books because boxes sent from the National Library typically weigh no more than 15kgs each so will be a similar weight to return.
  • To keep school and library staff safe, try to ensure that the boxes you return weigh no more than 15kgs.
  • You can only use these discounted tickets to send items within the North Island or within the South Island, not between the islands.
  • NZ Post doesn't sell single tickets — you need to order a book of tickets. But remember you can use the discounted tickets for other deliveries too.

Step 2: Gather our books, run a report, then remove books from your catalogue

If you've kept the book lists we sent with each loan, use these as a checklist. If you can't find your lists or need to check what is still on loan to your school, email us and we can send new lists to you:

Return what you can

Don't worry if you haven't gathered up all the books that are due back. Just return what you can and send the remaining books later or request to have them renewed.

  • There are no fines or penalties for late or lost books from the Schools Lending Collection. And having late books is not a barrier to borrowing more — you can still request books for next term.
  • However, there are fees for overdue, lost, or damaged books from our Wellington-based collections.

Renew books, overdue books, lost or damaged books

If you've added our books to your ILS

If you've added National Library books into your integrated library system (ILS), run a circulation report showing issue data for these resources. You can use this data as part of a follow-up evaluation of the impact the lending service has had on your students' learning.

Once you've run the report, scan and remove the books from your ILS before you start packing boxes.

Step 3: Box your books, attach address label and NZ Post ticket as required

The return address label to use for each box of books depends on which collection the books come from. If you're not sure, you can find the collection information stamped (or labelled) inside the front cover of the book.

Books borrowed from the Schools Lending Collection

Return books by courier (or in person) to your nearest National Library collection centre. These are:

  • Auckland centre for schools in the North Island
  • Christchurch centre for schools in the South Island.

Use these address labels or copy the addresses below:

Our Auckland centre address is:
National Library of New Zealand
8 Stanley Street
Auckland 1010.

Our Christchurch centre address is:
National Library of New Zealand
7/150 Cavendish Road
Christchurch 8051.

Books from our Wellington collections

Return books from National Library's 'Wellington, Overseas Non-fiction Collection' and 'Wellington, New Zealand Pacific Collection' to Wellington using the return labels supplied with your books. If you've lost your return labels, the address to use is:

Collection Delivery
National Library of New Zealand
Dockway 1
Aitken Street
Wellington 6011.

South Island schools: You'll need to arrange alternative postage or courier tickets to return Wellington-based books to us as the Services to Schools' NZ Post tickets can't be used to send items between islands.

Match NZ Post ticket to box weight

  • Make sure the weight of each box is within the weight limit for the NZ Post ticket you attach (up to 15kg for CNTOTS or up to 25kg for CPCTWI). And remember the delivery address must be within the same island to use either of these ticket options.
  • If the weight of your box ends up being more than the maximum weight allowed for your tickets (e.g. more than 15kgs), do not attach another ticket. Each ticket has an individual tracking number, so only one ticket can be used on a box. Instead, split the books between 2 boxes and use a new ticket for the second box. Also, as mentioned earlier, lighter boxes are easier and safer for loan coordinators and National Library staff to handle.
  • If the weight of the books you're returning is much less than 15kg (e.g. if you're only sending 1 or 2 books), you may want to use/arrange alternative postage or courier tickets.

Step 4: Arrange for a courier to collect your box(es) of books or drop them off at our centre

To book an NZ Post courier to collect your boxes:

If you're a rural school, put the boxes with your outgoing mail that your rural postie collects. Another option is to take the books to your local town's postal service outlet.

If you'd like to track your boxes once NZ Post has collected them:

Returning books yourself

You can return books from our Schools Lending Collection to our Auckland and Christchurch offices in person if that's easiest for you. Books from our Wellington lending collections can only be returned to the National Library in Wellington.

Auckland — 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Drive into the basement car park and place boxes onto the pallet beside the first set of doors on the left-hand side.

After hours: Put them through the book return slot on the Parnell Rise side of the building.

Christchurch — 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Go through the open roller-door entrance and place books on the rollers on the right-hand side, below the hatch labelled 'Returns'.

After hours: Put books through the slot in the roller door.

Wellington — 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

We only receive books from our Wellington lending collections. Ensure your books are in a box or bag labelled 'Collection Delivery, Wellington' and deliver to the ground floor reception (waka) at the National Library, Wellington.

Need more help?

NZ Post contacts

Phone 0800 268 7437 to:

  • order tickets
  • arrange a pickup
  • track items
  • query a late or missing item.

Phone or email Ingrid Ropeti — 027 262 0263 or — if you:

  • have any general questions about how the NZ Post schools' service works
  • think you have been charged incorrectly.

NZ Post website

Services to Schools