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What does a flea look like on the inside?

What does a flea look like on the inside? How are refugees treated by us in New Zealand? How does your stomach make a growling noise?

These are just some of the questions New Zealand children have already asked the newly launched service. is an invaluable new service that gives all school children in New Zealand their own free guide to help them find quality, trusted information amongst the millions of pages on the internet. It is a safe, New Zealand based service and transcripts of all sessions are reviewed for safety and continual professional development. The service is one to one and does not use chat rooms.

The site is backed by the Ministry of Education, and staffed by librarians from the Auckland, Manukau, Wellington and Christchurch public libraries and the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mâtauranga o Aotearoa. is a completely free service for all New Zealand school students and is available Monday to Friday between 1pm and 6pm in English and 1pm and 2pm in te reo Mâori. The site is fully bilingual.

The service has been made possible thanks to a generous grant from Sun Microsystems Ltd. Already helping with hundreds of queries, the service gives students their own online librarian they can talk to for help with their homework. It’s also completely web-based, so students don’t need to purchase any software to run it, it will run on any computer equipped for the internet.

The feedback received from students so far has been overwhelmingly positive:

‘It can be a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge help with homework.’

‘It has a variety of subjects that you sometimes can't find on information websites. It also has different points of view.’ uses interactive software customised for New Zealand use and aims to complement the information students can find in their school and public libraries.

The librarians will help students find and use quality internet sources for their homework, and help build their search and information skills.

“The librarians don’t just give students the easy answers, instead they are trained to help guide the students to useful information sources, and help them gain the skills to undertake future searches themselves,” says project leader, Michaela O’Donovan.

“This whole service is aimed at helping connect Kiwi school children with relevant information when and where they need it.

“It offers real time, real person, real help with your homework.”

For more information about the services visit the website

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