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Libraries auction encourages reading

16 August 2004

Libraries auction encourages reading

The Waitakere Libraries Odyssey Challenge finished on a high note last Friday, with the annual auction attracting over a hundred teens and their parents bidding for jumbo teddy bears, sleeping bags, a TV, tennis racquet, and the highly coveted satin silver Sony Playstation.

With some prizes sponsored, the Don Buck Room at the Massey Leisure Centre was filled to capacity with those eager to find out what their two months of reading could get them.

Teens had to read books in order to earn “Odyssey dollars,” which then allowed them to bid on items at the auction.

Guest auctioneer Michelle Maitland from George Walker Auctions dispensed the goods to the teenage bidders at a blistering pace, with the Playstation being the first to go for $340 “Odyssey dollars. Waitakere Libraries and Information Services Manager Su Scott, like many others the event, was encouraged by the ability of the children to keep up with the speed of the auction. “It’s amazing to observe how savvy the kids are with the auctions, even with the speed Michelle was going,” she says.

Funded by the Waitakere City Council, the Odyssey Challenge is an incentive based reading programme for 13-17 year olds developed by Manukau Libraries and adopted by Waitakere’s Kidz Team.

In just its second year of operation, the Odyssey teen challenge auction has seen registrations triple, along with a greater range of ages taking part, from 13 to 19 years old. Those in attendance didn’t go hungry either, with a typical teenage dinner of pizza and coke provided by the organising team.


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