Receive and manage your books

School loan coordinator and teacher smiling as they look at some National Library school lending service books they're unpacking from a box.

Your students and staff need easy access to the National Library books you've borrowed. Here are some ways to make the books available to students and staff, and keep track of them in your school.

When to expect your books

Once we've finished processing your request and packed your books, we send an email to let you know your books are on their way. Our email includes a list of all the books in your loan (attached as a pdf).

If we've sent more than one box, they might not arrive on the same day. Loans typically take 1–3 days to be delivered once they leave our Auckland or Christchurch centre.

  • If your school is in an urban area, NZ Post aims to deliver your books the next day, typically between 9am and 3pm
  • If your school is rural, your books may take 2–3 days to arrive and will be delivered by an NZ Post rural agent.

Secondary and composite schools who've requested books from the National Library's Wellington lending collections (Wellington, Overseas Non-fiction and Wellington, New Zealand Pacific) will receive these directly from our Wellington centre.

Track delivery of your loan

Your school will receive an email with a tracking number from NZ Post when your books are on their way.

Visit the NZ Post website to track your box(es).

Phone NZ Post 0800 268 743 if you have any issues with your books arriving.

Unpacking the books

Here are some tips to handle unpacking that will also help when it's time to send books back.

  • Unpack boxes one at a time.
  • Each box includes a printed list of the books inside with the date they are due back to the National Library. Hold on to the lists — they can help you manage the books, especially when it's time to return them.
  • Flatten and store boxes — you can reuse them for returning books to us.

Not what you expected?

This could be because:

  • there's high demand for certain topics
  • there are few books suitable for the reading age or year level you need
  • for specific title requests, all borrowing copies may already be on loan, or won't be available within the time you need it
  • we may have included high-interest books — if your topic selection allowed substitutions and we were unable to provide as many topic-related books as you'd requested.

The lists included with your books will give you an indication of what's happened.

Contact us if you:

  • receive books that are not for you
  • have any feedback about what you've received — let us know how we did!

Managing books in your school

You'll want to make the most of the books by having them available for staff and students to use as quickly and easily as possible.

School loan case studies — gives some examples of how schools can coordinate and manage their loans.

Add National Library books to your library catalogue

You don't have to add the books to your library catalogue, but there can be some benefits to doing this.

  • Everyone in the school can search, discover, and use the National Library books in the same way they do with your other library resources.
  • You can easily issue and track the books.
  • You can get statistics about how they've been used to include in your reporting or to guide your own collection development.
  • You'll know which books need chasing up when it’s time to return the loan.

How to add the books

Use each book's ISBN to create a new record in your catalogue, as you normally would. Then update the record as follows:

  • Use 'National Library books' as a location or collection — depending on what fields your Integrated Library System (ILS) has — to keep these books separate from your own. Don't include National Library books in your stocktake.
  • Use the National Library barcode on the catalogue records in your ILS. There’s no need to assign your own.

Your ILS may allow you to create catalogue records by importing data from a file. Contact your ILS provider if you need help with this functionality. We can send you a CSV file for the books in your loan — to request this, contact us.

Making books available

You might choose to have National Library books available in your library or in classrooms, or both. We encourage you to let students take National Library books home — including over summer — to share their reading and learning with parents and whānau. Consider the following:

  • How will you store, display, and promote the books so that everyone knows they’re available?
  • If you're allocating books to classrooms, how will you split them up, and how can you encourage sharing between classes?
  • Be aware that Wellington-based collections charge fees for lost or damaged books.

Keeping track of the books

If you've added the books to your library catalogue, you can issue and return them as you do with your own library books.

If you decide not to catalogue National Library books, one of these options might work well for you instead:

  • Keep a list on paper or in a file (document or spreadsheet) of who has borrowed which books.
  • Photocopy the book lists we sent and record on those who has each book or set of books.
  • Set up a space (using shelving or boxes) where students and teachers can simply find, borrow, and return the books as they need to without issuing or tracking. You might want to make the books recognisable by adding a colourful (removable) sticker or label to the cover.

Any questions or need help?