One of the post-earthquake jokes that has been circulating is: You know you’re from Christchurch when there are university students congregating in your street and no-one is calling the police. University students are now synonymous with good works and schemes. And Christchurch City Libraries’ customers have been the happy recipient of a good deed from the tertiary fairy godmothers.
Eighteen lucky library customers were able to attend Baby Opera at the Christchurch Arts Festival last Sunday thanks to the fundraising of some University of Canterbury students. As part of their Management paper, the students had to arrange a community event that benefits people affected by the earthquake. Atawhai Murray, the project leader, decided it would be nice to send some library customers to the Scottish opera session at the Festival.
Funds were obtained from a local church trust and other sponsors. They went towards tickets, a Te Reo handbook and a shoebox of love. A prize draw was held at each Baby Time session around the library network. Margaret Clune from our Events team was pleased to be able to offer such a positive gesture to customers, and worked hard to distribute entry forms and inform each lucky winner of their success.
There were many fathers attending with their children, making it a special Father’s Day occasion. Comments were glowing and many spoke of the wonderful blend of fun and learning. A mother of three said it was lovely to see something new and fresh for little ones.
Some of our Children’s Librarians were also able to attend as part of their professional development, and they reported that it was very interactive and perfectly targeted for babies. It also gives parents good ideas of things they can do themselves at home. Customers were given a take home pack with a CD.
More for babies and young children
Despite some libraries being closed, there are still at least twenty free Baby and Story Time sessions being offered. The Families Outreach librarian is offering weekly sessions at several locations in Sumner and arrangements are being made to offer sessions at South City Mall. Baby Time caters to under twos. It has age-appropriate songs and activities, taken by highly trained library staff.
Story Times incorporates more early literacy activities and prepares children to read, while still offering lots of songs and fun.
The library website offers plenty of good advice for parents of young children and if your child is about to turn four years old visit any library and pick up your free Ready for reading birthday pack.