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Manukau Libraries scoops awards

Manukau Libraries scoops awards

Manukau City Council’s libraries have won first and third place in the annual 3M award for Innovation in Libraries at the Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) conference in Wellington.

Tupu – Dawson Road Youth Library, New Zealand’s first youth library won first place and The Odyssey, a teen incentive based reading programme came third.

The 3M award for Innovation in Libraries aims to promote excellence and innovation in library and information services. Entries are based on any successful and innovative library or information services project that has significantly enhanced customer service.

Manukau Libraries submitted both Tupu and The Odyssey for the innovation award, hoping to have either project identified for its innovative approach to library services. In an interesting twist, both projects were selected as two of the three finalists for the award. Thirteen entries from other public, tertiary, school and private libraries across New Zealand were received.

“We’re very pleased with the award, “ says Rosetta Reti Simanu, Library Manager of Tupu – Dawson Road Youth Library. “ The success of Tupu is the result of a combined effort by library and Council staff, church & community leaders, local teachers and our young people.”

Since its opening in August last year, Tupu - Dawson Road Youth Library has had over 214,000 people through its doors and 2009 people have joined the library. The library delivers a number of literacy programmes, works closely with local schools, has a homework centre, a children’s club and teen club.

The library and its impact on the community is also the subject of a Victoria University of Wellington longitudinal research project.

Manukau Libraries’ The Odyssey, a teen reading programme promoted through a website www.theodyssey.co.nz, received third place in the awards.

Teenagers were awarded ‘points’ based on the number of books they read, and what type of books they read during the promotion. At the end of the promotion they were able to bid for prizes such as stereos, movie vouchers and walkman. The website was sponsored by Sitevision, and Dick Smith Electronics and Village Eight provided some of the prizes. A number of events for teenagers were also held in libraries across the city, such as breakdancing and extreme career presentations.

“We are trying to get other library systems in New Zealand to join in The Odyssey 2003 with us, “says Kelly McKean Education and Literacy Co-ordinator. “Having the opportunity to present The Odyssey as part of the 3M Awards was great. It resulted in several other libraries approaching us for more information and asking how they could be involved.”

Other key projects this year for Manukau Libraries include the newly opened Mangere East Library, extensions to the Mangere Bridge Library, the introduction of Library Learning Centres (the first in Papatoetoe Library) and the highly popular summer reading programme for children.

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