How it works

AnyQuestions is a free online reference service for all New Zealand school students via live text based chat. We’re open 1pm – 6pm weekdays to help you with your inquiries.

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, AucklandHamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch City Libraries, Rotorua, Tasman, Marlborough, Hurunui, Waimakariri, and Timaru District Libraries, Invercargill City Libraries and Archives, and Nelson and Dunedin Public Libraries.

How it works

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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!

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We’ll then ask you to tell us a little bit about yourself: your name, part of New Zealand that you’re from, your year level and your school. This information is helpful for us to better understand your needs and to work with you. We will never share, sell, or publish your personal information (you can read more about our privacy policy).

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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.

Tips

  • 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:

Personal Matters

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:

  • Kidsline (a Lifeline service) ph 0800 543 754 anytime (it’s free).
  • Youthline 0800 376 633 phone, free TXT to 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz. Youthline also has an online chat service similar to AnyQuestions called GoChat, available 7pm - 11pm each day.
  • 0800WHATSUP, a free nationwide young people’s helpline. They are open 7 days a week, 1pm – 11pm

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.

Classroom sessions

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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, and Christchurch City Libraries, Rotorua, Tasman, Marlborough, Hurunui, Waimakariri, and Timaru District Libraries, Invercargill City Libraries and Archives, and Nelson and Dunedin Public Libraries.

Other participants include: the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA).

Is it safe?

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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.

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Acceptable Use

Acceptable use means acting like a good citizen online. How you behave online should be the same as how you behave offline (in the real world). AnyQuestions is a free service, staffed by real people from libraries right around New Zealand. Please be respectful and polite to our librarians. We like helping people who show good manners :)


We may end a chat session if we think you are being inappropriate or misbehaving, this includes:

  • Using racist/sexist, offensive or obscene language.

    Please don’t use mean or cruel words when talking to or about someone else; whether they are a male or female, or of another race or skin colour. Obscene language means using words that would upset your grandparents!

  • Using the service to transmit messages that harass or threaten the operators.

    Please don’t be mean to our librarians or act like a bully.

  • Visiting an objectionable website while in session with an operator.

    An objectionable website means a website that you really wouldn’t want your grandparents looking over your shoulder at!

  • Deliberately time wasting in a way that denies service to other legitimate users.

    Time wasting means being silly and not working with our librarians. Time wasting means other students are not getting help, and that isn’t nice!

  • Any form of vandalism, including damaging computer systems or networks and knowingly introducing programs such as computer viruses and worms.

    You might be technically savvy and know about web viruses and worms and how they affect computers but please don’t spread these. It takes our attention away from helping you and other students.

  • AnyQuestions reserves the right to disconnect users at the operator’s discretion. AnyQuestions might also block access to the service for repeat offenders.

    If you act like a troll then we’ll end the chat. Remember everything digital or online can be traced and we can track it back to where you came from and/or your school. If you misbehave on AnyQuestions then we will be in touch with your school or we will block you from accessing AnyQuestions.