Operation Storytime: The tales must get through!

Tania Gibson hosts Storytime in the Burnside High School shelterNZ Post is getting the mail through despite the earthquake – and the same spirit has been shown by the Christchurch City Libraries’ Outreach team.
For the last week, our wonderful storytellers have been zooming around the emergency shelters at Burnside High, Rangiora Baptist  and Pioneer Leisure Centre bringing songs, stories and rhymes to the children of Christchurch. Nothing helps to soothe the shattered nerves of little ones more than a happy tale or a silly ditty.

Our Outreach staff are trained librarians with special skills and experience in working with children. They love books and share that love with anyone who will listen!

One member of the team specialises in Families Outreach – so if you have a group of any kind that would like a visit from a library storyteller just pick up the phone.

Another specialises in Pre-school Outreach, so if you are a centre in need, ring to discuss your requirements.

Christchurch City Libraries also runs weekly Baby Time and Story Time sessions at most libraries. Due to the earthquake there will be some disruption to our regular schedule, but we will be endeavouring to run our usual sessions as each library opens to the public.

Lynette Griffiths about to start StoryTIme at the Pioneer Leisure Center welfare centreOnline services available from home

There are some great resources for children you can access from home with your library card number and PIN:

Dunedin Public Libraries show their support for Christchurch

Staff at Dunedin Public Libraries show their support for Christchurch

The Dunedin Public Libraries staff wanted to convey to their Christchurch librarian colleagues that they are thinking of them and send their love and best wishes during this tough time. His worship the Mayor of the Dunedin City Council, Dave Cull, also joined us in this tribute (5th from right).

He’s holding a book of condolences that was established several days ago by the council for Dunedin residents to sign. The book is located at the City Library and I can report that there has been a steady stream of people coming in to add their personal wishes and thoughts to it over the last few days.

Paul Hayton.

Dunedin Public Libraries offer memberships for Christchurch residents displaced by the earthquake.

After the disaster: coping with stress

Here are some websites that may help you cope with the stress of the recent earthquakes. If you need urgent assistance, contact HealthLine (24 hours) 0800 611 116 or the Earthquake Government Helpline 0800 779 997.

Wellbeing support services
Links from canterburyearthquake.govt.nz.
Coping with stress factsheets
From the Ministry of Health.
After Disaster: Responding to the psychological consequences of disasters for children and young people
By Peter Stanley and Sarah Williams. This free download has been made available by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. 1.4 MB PDF.
Wellbeing and supporting students
From the Ministry of Education.
Read health information form the Canterbury District Health Board
From the Canterbury Earthquake website.

Restoring order – it’s in a librarian’s DNA

London StreetUp until 22/2 (and yes, we have already named it that, officially, at least in our heads), I was a mild-mannered, middle-aged, cardy-and-glasses-wearing librarian, who spent her days messing about with books and computers.

Since 22/2, I have been:  a fluoro-vest-wearing, clipboard-carrying member of Operation Suburb; a shoveller of silt; a boiler of water; an obsessive watcher of television and user of Facebook and Twitter: a huggy, weepy, weak, strong, dazed and confused, proud and amazed Cantabrian.

Through it all, though, the thing I have still been is that librarian (with a bit less of the good grammar, though, it seems!). Librarians (you may not be surprised to know) like to organise things, to try to make sense of the universe.  I’m using the word ‘like’ here in the sense of ‘fish like to swim’.  Put us in the midst of chaos, and we will attempt to organise it.  Sometimes, it’s easy – place a reserve for someone, recommend a good book, write a blog post giving information about stuff.

Sometimes, though, the task seems overwhelming.  Sometimes, we can’t figure out where to start:  putting our houses and homes, our neighbourhood and city back together, heck, even putting our libraries back together.

We’re giving it a go, though.  Starting with the small stuff.  Picking up books and magazines and CDs and DVDs.  Dusting and cleaning, mending and sweeping.  Sharing with other people – both information and love.

Recently, I spent some time in one of our less damaged libraries, doing just that.  We may be still a day or two away from opening it again, but be assured that we won’t stop until it’s ready to go, and that we will let you know as soon as we can.  And when that library is open, and organised, we will be moving right on over to the next one, and the next one, and the one after that.  It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are.

In the meantime, read the blog, use the free music, newspaper and other resources on the website, or go help someone else organise something.

Here’s a few links to some things you can do to get our homes and houses, neighbourhoods and families back together:

Community briefings held today, Sunday March 6

Community earthquake info briefings will be held on Sunday 6 March and Monday 7 March 2011 for some of the worst quake-affected areas in Christchurch. They will provide essential information and a limited opportunity for questions.

Briefing locations for today are:

  • Cuthberts Green, Pages Road (beside softball fields) 10 am
    Residents of Avondale, Avonside, Aranui, Dallington, Linwood and Wainoni
  • Waltham Park, Waltham Rd 12 Noon
    Residents of St Martins, Opawa, Murray Aynsley and Beckenham
  • Somerfield Park, off Woodard Terrace 2 pm
    Residents of Somerfield, Cashmere and Spreydon.
  • South Hagley Park Cricket Ground, Riccarton Ave 4 pm
    Residents and business/building owners in the Christchurch CBD
  • Cuthberts Green, Pages Road (beside softball fields) 6 pm (updated time)
    Residents of Avondale, Avonside, Aranui, Dallington, Linwood and Wainoni

Source: Civil Defence website

More information is also available on the Christchurch City Council and Ecan combined site, canterburyearthquake.org.nz