Who we are
AnyQuestions is funded by the Ministry of Education, managed by the National Library of New Zealand, and staffed by librarians from right around New Zealand. The librarians on AnyQuestions come from: the National Library of New Zealand, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Hutt, and Christchurch City Libraries, Rotorua, Tasman, Marlborough, Waimakariri, Selwyn, and Timaru District Libraries, Upper Hutt Libraries, Invercargill City Libraries and Archives, Dunedin Public Libraries, and Puke Ariki.
How it works
AnyQuestions will work with any internet enabled device, such as a computer, tablet or a smartphone. AnyQuestions does look a bit different on different devices but you’re still talking to a librarian, somewhere in New Zealand :)
When we’re open, click the green Chat with us now button on the AnyQuestions homepage. If the green button isn’t there we aren’t open, sorry!
Tell us the question you need help with! It’s a good idea to give us lots of info about your question (not just one word), that way we can help you find resources more easily :)
During busy times you will be placed into a queue, but don’t worry, it shouldn’t take too long! You could try a search on Many Answers while you wait, your answer might be there!
Stay online and wait to talk to a librarian.
- We may be busy with another student. Please stay online and we’ll be with you as soon as we can. We help everyone who waits!
- While you wait check out our Many Answers entries – these are 'answers' to some of the most popular questions asked on AnyQuestions.
- We will send you a message when we are free.
- We do ask lots of questions – this helps us work with you to find the info you’re after.
- Make sure you check back with us after you check out the websites or links we share with you. If we don’t hear from you for five minutes we may leave to help someone else. Don’t worry if you need more help – just come back on to AnyQuestions between 1 – 6pm, weekdays.
- If you would like a copy of your transcript, including any links, make sure you request this before leaving your chat. If you miss this in your chat you can still contact us to send this to you via email. Please include your name, question, date, and time of chat in your email.
- For an overview of AnyQuestions and how it works check out our video:
Please remember, AnyQuestions is not a counselling service. There are some great services that we recommend using if you would like to talk to someone about a personal matter. These include:
- Lifeline Helpline Call 0800 LIFELINE (0800 543 354) or send a text to HELP (4357) for free, confidential support – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- 0800WHATSUP, a free nationwide young people’s helpline available 7 days a week, 11am – 11pm. You can also chat with them online from 11am – 10:30pm each day.
Information for parents, teachers and librarians
AnyQuestions is a free online reference service for all New Zealand school students via live text based chat. We’re open 1 – 6pm weekdays to help students with their inquiries.
The aim of the service is not to give students the answer, but rather to teach them valuable information literacy skills so they can find the information for themselves. Via online text based chat AnyQuestions librarians work with students to unpack their questions, uncovering what their real need is before guiding them to quality online resources.
The below video introduces the service and how it is designed to support the New Zealand curriculum.
AnyQuestions focuses on supporting the New Zealand curriculum. We deal with any questions on any topic (from English to Science and everything in between!).
The service is an additional resource, to work alongside and complement, (but not replace) existing school and public library services – a ‘guide on the side’ at the point and time of need.
The key benefits of the service lie in its safety and the help it provides for students in finding quality assured information that’s right for their need and level.
AnyQuestions works with any internet connected device anywhere: school, library, home, or on the go. We recommend using AnyQuestions with a modern browser (i.e. a browser last updated in the past two years).
If the green Chat with us now button does not appear on the front page when we are open there might be a conflict with your school's firewall. If this happens please get in touch for instructions on how to resolve this.
The following video features Esther Casey, school librarian at Stonefields School and Sylvia Park School, talking about the work she does to support the development of digitally literate learners, including using AnyQuestions. She talks about creating 'Info Squads' of student champions to assist their fellow students, the importance of students having good critical and digital literacy skills, and how to form an Info Squad in your own school.
Classroom sessions are a great way of introducing AnyQuestions to students. For more information, including how to book, please visit our Classroom Sessions page.
Participation and Funding
AnyQuestions is funded by the Ministry of Education, managed by the National Library of New Zealand and staffed by librarians from right around New Zealand. The librarians on AnyQuestions come from: the National Library of New Zealand, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Hutt, and Christchurch City Libraries, Rotorua, Tasman, Marlborough, Waimakariri, Selwyn, and Timaru District Libraries, Upper Hutt Libraries, Invercargill City Libraries and Archives, Dunedin Public Libraries, and Puke Ariki.
Other participants include: the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA).
Is it safe?
All AnyQuestions librarians have been police vetted and are trained to communicate with young people.
AnyQuestions is not a ‘chat room’ environment. Students only have contact with one librarian at a time during a session. They do not have contact with anyone who has not been pre-approved and trained by us.
AnyQuestions has also consulted with NetSafe who have given valuable input into student and librarian safety and service guidelines.
Occasionally students misbehave on AnyQuestions. We have an Acceptable use policy which students must accept before using AnyQuestions. In cases of misbehaviour we endeavour to follow up with the school the student comes from however if the behaviour occurs outside of normal school hours the student, via their IP address, may be blocked from accessing AnyQuestions.