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Nationwide storytelling of children’s classic

NZ libraries stop the clock for nationwide storytelling of children’s classic

Thousands of children will be streaming into libraries from the Far North to Southland on the morning of Tuesday August 12. They will be taking part in the first ever nationwide simultaneous storytelling. At 10.30am on the dot, national celebrities, local mayors and community treasures will be reading NZ children’s classic – The Kuia and the Spider by Patricia Grace in English and/or Maori.

The Libraries Get New Zealand Reading event - involving more than 100 school and public libraries - is part of nationwide celebrations to mark Library Week (11-17 August). Library Week aims to promote library use and highlight issues around information access and literacy.

A recent major survey by Statistics New Zealand found that 1.1 million adults visit their local library each month. It also showed that visiting the library is only pipped from being the country’s most popular cultural activity by book buying.

This year’s Library Week theme is Libraries Add Colour – He Kohinga Marama. Libraries will be going all out to show the public that they are about much more than books. Also that libraries are bigger and bolder than ever before.

Librarians will be dyeing their hair, dressing-up, running quizzes, researching family history, hosting book sales and offering overdue book amnesties. The libraries themselves will be hosting everything from karate demonstrations to history lectures and Shakespeare performances to face-painting. Tying in to the theme of The Kuia and the Spider other libraries will be making spiders, creating murals and hosting Maori weaving demonstrations.

Public and school libraries are a vital part of children’s education and this event is about getting students to love reading, share favourite books and emphasise that reading is fun! Scots College in Dunedin has won awards for reading programmes for boys and is one of the schools participating.

Libraries Get New Zealand Reading – the simultaneous reading of The Kuia and the Spider or Te Kuia me te Pungawerewere by Patricia Grace – is sponsored by LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa).

LIANZA will also be using Library Week to announce the finalists in the prestigious 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries; to promote the role of the new Library and Information Commission; and to highlight how New Zealand has some of the most well used and most forward thinking public libraries in the world.

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