Latest updates from Services to Schools

From 27 February schools and home educators can request a term 2 and 3 reading engagement loan. Aimed at supplementing your existing resources, a reading engagement loan includes a range of fiction and non-fiction resources to encourage students to develop a love of reading.  

2017 Lending Service

In response to feedback and as part of our process of continuous improvement we refined our lending service for 2017 to provide a timelier service to all of New Zealand’s schools. 

Main points of the 2017 Services to Schools lending service include:

  • Schools need to be registered with Services to Schools to access our lending service, and each school must nominate up to 2 loan coordinators. If your school is already registered, you don’t need to re-register.
  • There will be 4 whole-school loan requests available to each school, 1 request per term alternating between inquiry and reading engagement loans.
  • Each whole-school loan will be issued for 2 terms.
  • We aim to dispatch all loans within 20 working days from receipt of the request.

Plan your reading engagement loans

Whole-school inquiry loans

An inquiry loan is most useful at the immersion point of the inquiry learning process and should expose students to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction resources which excite and stimulate their interest and questions regarding a specific topic.

In line with our commitment to continuous improvement, we have refined the whole-school inquiry loan for 2017. 

  • Each school has a designated number of inquiry contexts that they can request per loan, which is determined by the size of the school. Each request can also include 5 specific ‘author-title’ resources.
  • Each school is entitled to 2 inquiry loans per year. The table below outlines the ordering timeframe and due date for these loans.
Loan Loan period Request period Due date
(for return)
Inquiry loan 1 Terms 1 and 2 25 November 2016 to 24 February 2017  7 July 2017
Inquiry loan 2 Terms 3 and 4  29 May 2017 to 11 August 2017  14 December 2017

Whole-school reading engagement loans

A reading engagement loan should reflect a focus on developing a strong reading culture and will include fiction and non-fiction to be used by schools to engage students in reading for pleasure. Reading engagement loans are separate to inquiry loans and are not designed to be a continuation of an inquiry topic.

In line with our commitment to continuous improvement, we have refined the reading engagement loan for 2017. 

  • Reading engagement allocation is based on the school’s roll size. Each school can include up to 4 areas of 'reading engagement focus' as part of a request. Each request can also include 5 specific 'author-title' resources.
  • Each school is entitled to 2 reading engagement loans per year. The table below outlines the ordering timeframe and due date for these loans.
Loan Loan period Request period Due date  (for return)
Reading engagement loan 1 Terms 2 and 3 27 February 2017 to 26 May 2017  29 September 2017
Reading engagement loan 2 Terms 4 and 1 (including summer holidays) 14 August 2017 to 3 November 2017  13 April 2018
  • The process for ordering a reading engagement loan has been simplified. The only information now required is 'year level', 'reading age' and the 'reading engagement focus'.

Secondary school author/title loans

To support secondary learning, secondary and composite schools can request specific resources at any time of the year using a secondary school author/title loan. Up to 5 resources can be requested in each loan and these are processed quickly by our team. This service will continue into 2017.

During 2016, many secondary schools preferred to use digital resources supported by an author/title loan to support inquiry learning, rather than requesting an inquiry loan. We have great digital resources available, including our new prototype Topic Explorer service, which we encourage schools to include as part of their resource planning.

Commitment to continuous improvement

Below are some of the feedback themes from 2016, and how we have responded to this feedback by refining the whole-school loan service for 2017.

Schools wanted to receive their resources faster

This was important for us to address. Based on request patterns from 2016, we have made refinements to the lending service with the aim to dispatch requests within 20 working days of receiving the request. Separating the ordering periods for reading engagement and inquiry loans will have a positive impact on timeliness. 

Schools want to keep some resources for longer than 1 term

All whole-school loans are now issued for 2 terms. If a school has finished with their resources, these can be returned earlier should the school choose to do so.

Schools wanted to be able to make a loan request in Term 4

A loan request will be available for each term of the year.

There was confusion regarding the difference between inquiry and reading engagement loans

We have separated the ordering periods for each type of loan so that schools only need to plan for 1 type of loan at a time.

Multiple resources arriving at once created difficulties for some schools

We have separated the ordering periods for each type of loan so that schools only receive 1 type of loan at a time to make it easier for them.

Some schools find it hard to plan for 2 terms

We acknowledge that schools plan differently, and the refinements for 2017 have been developed to make sure all New Zealand schools have equitable access to resources with a timelier service. When we tested this with our service design schools and stakeholders, the option of a 2-term inquiry loan was favoured by the majority if it meant that we can also provide 2 reading engagement loans each year.

To support those schools who find it difficult to plan for 2 terms, we will provide extra guidance on our website around the level of detail that is required to make a request. For example, an inquiry loan is most useful at the immersion stage of the inquiry learning process. In 2016, many schools submitted very specific inquiry contexts which is not required and is also difficult to resource. To make a request, schools only need to submit their high-level inquiry topic.

Schools have limited budget to return resources to National Library

As schools are able to keep resources for longer than 1 term, if a school orders a similar number of resources with each loan as they did in 2016, the overall cost for a school to return resources to National Library will be cheaper in 2017. 

We have also negotiated discounted courier rates with CourierPost for returning resources (as well as for all of a school’s couriering needs). Over 500 schools are already taking advantage of this arrangement.

Schools were confused by our reading engagement request form

We have simplified the reading engagement request form by removing the 'format' and 'genre' fields. Instead, the National Library librarian will put together a loan based on the 'reading engagement focus' to match the 'reading age' and 'year level' of the students.

Schools were interested in using our resources over the summer holidays

One of the 2 reading engagement loans allows schools to keep resources over this period. We are trialling a Term 4 & 1 reading engagement loan this summer with a small number of schools with the view to learn from their experience so we can develop guidelines to support all schools on how to best manage this loan next year.

Small, rural and low decile schools are finding great value in the lending service

We are committed to supporting schools who need our service the most to access resources. We are working to extend our support to more of these schools.

Navigating the unique URL to the school dashboard can be difficult

We have developed a new login page for schools to access their dashboard.

Log in to the dashboard

Find out more about our lending service

To support schools with their learning needs throughout 2017, we have updated the lending section of our website. You'll find information about how to plan inquiry and reading engagement loan requests so your school gets a great loan. The content also has direct links to your school loan dashboard and online loan request form.

Lending service

If you have any questions about placing a loan request for 2017, please contact 0800 LIB LINE (0800 542 5463) or email