The South Learning Centre eBook Club were totally inspired by staff member Yang Song. His knowledge, skill and expertise of Chinese New Year, Martial Arts and nunchucks had the children mesmerised.

He explained the harmony between control, the body and skill to ensure that the nunchucks were used for meditation and self discipline rather than weaponry and combat.

Each child made their own nunchucks and learned some difficult coordination skills. Together Yang and the children performed in front of a library audience full of parents, staff and other library customers.

3D craftsCheck our the Learning Centre holiday programme – starting after Easter. Digital storytelling, Lego animation, Minecraft craft in combination with the awesome MakerCrate crew – lots of fun and learning for kids.

Take a look at what the kids did in the January holidays.

Film School Competition
Film School 1st Prize Winner

Film School 2nd Prize Winner

Trendy Trading Cards

Digital Illustration
Digital Illustration Best Of

Laine 2

Views from the Cathedral

“These photos were taken with my husbands 1st camera with his first pay.” 1957/

Want to learn how to use your digital camera better? How about popping along to this class at our South Learning Centre in Beckenham. It takes place over the next two Saturdays.

Using Your Digital Camera

A two part series suitable for beginners. It costs $10 for the two day course.

Part One: Saturday 8 March, 1 to 3pm
Learn how to compose a good photography using basic composition techniques and how to download photographs onto the computer.

Part Two: Saturday 15 March, 1 to 3pm
Learn how to manage your photographs and do some basic editing using standard computer software available on most PCs

Book your spot  in the class by phoning us at 941 5140 or email learningcentre@ccc.govt.nz

Aranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library’s holiday activities started off with a couple of spontaneous bursts of creativity making Christmas cards using old book covers, and scrap paper.

Next on the agenda was Josh‟s big plan to hold stencil art workshops to coincide with the Rise Art Exhibition happening throughout the city. We held these every week which helped build enthusiasm and momentum for our trip to the museum at the end of the holidays.

Ebony created a quiz, the answers to which could be found all around the library. 1) It would be something to do while waiting in the computer queue and 2) it would require the participants to walk around and explore the library. Ebony challenged the kids to an Xbox Dance Central game and if she won, they’d do the quiz.

This segues quite neatly into the next phase of our holiday activity programme which was our Dance Central competition on the Xbox Kinect. The idea behind this was that we would give a prize to the person with the highest score at the end of the holidays. This particular activity required very little input from staff apart from when they felt we needed a challenge as well. Nicole and Ebony donated their dancing prowess to the cause.

Throughout all this we kept 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles going; two Wasgijs and two normal ones.

All our activities attracted roughly equal numbers of both boys and girls and gave us plenty of opportunities to spend quality time and bond with our youth customers.

Yay Aranui it was fun for all of us!!
Aranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library holiday activitiesAranui Library holiday activities

Journalism students at South Learning Centre are celebrating their hard work and pressured deadlines with some stunning results. The Canterbury Oracle, The Papercut and The South Library Bulletin newspapers are super pieces of work.

The In The News programme ran for 8 weeks in Term 4 of 2013 and involved students investigating the composition of a newspaper, suitable and varied content, the reality of advertisements and the pressure to produce articles and final publications under the duress of deadlines.

Students visited The Press to interview the chief editor, advertisement officer and experience the day-to-day running of Christchurch’s busiest newspaper.

In the News is an example of the interesting programmes our learning centres offer  to schools. They also run a great variety of after school and holiday programmes.


book coverToday I have learned about blogging, something I never thought I would do.  But then I didn’t think I would ever use a mobile phone to text. Now I sit happily in bed at night texting flat out. I have found friends and family find it more convenient and I get quite a surprise when I find out how many texts I have sent each month.

I ask myself if it will be the same with blogging. I wonder if in the night I will be suddenly inspired and instead of just writing in my head I will leap out of bed, go directly to my laptop and start writing my blog.

Time will tell…..I hope that some of my blogs might be of interest and not just some rant.  Certainly a lot to be said about saving the draft and perusing the next morning!

I found a book about blogging called Creative blogging that looked useful however it is an e-book which is a whole other story!

Just one question where did the word blog come from?

Today is International Volunteer Day, which is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognising all types of volunteers around the world.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to experience new challenges, develop new skills and get involved in the community. Our web page provides all sorts of information about volunteering in and around Christchurch.

Volunteering in Canterbury came into the spotlight after the earthquakes when organisations such as the Student Volunteer Army, the Farmy Army and many others were involved in the massive clean-up effort. These contributions really showed how much can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose to benefit the community.

The volunteering spirit has endured post-quakes with initiatives like Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, amongst others, actively using volunteers in the quest to fill empty sites before permanent redevelopment.

My own experiences of volunteering helped me to discover if the career path I wanted to go down was right for me. I wanted to get into the museum sector and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help out at my local museum. I was able to find out about this type of job in a very hands on way and meet people who could tell me more. This experience initially led to a part time job and helped me get onto a Museum Studies course.

So, whether you have a little time or a lot of time have think about volunteering as you never know where it will lead you – and if you know a volunteer say a big thank you to them today.

Mathematics and fiction have long been uncomfortable bed partners. In fact, you may be hard-pressed to think of any novels that successfully combine the two. But they do exist, and here’s the proof.

Cover of The Housekeeper and the ProfessorMy lovely new Book Discussion Scheme book club has just had its third meeting. The first book that we were allocated was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This is a great starter read for any group and we wallowed in it. But the gods looked down and thought: “well, they’re getting mighty pleased with themselves, let’s send them some maths”.

As a result our second read was The Housekeeper and the Professor and this is so not the Mills and Boon bodice ripper that you might have expected from the title.

Instead this is a restrained piece of writing translated from Japanese about love and family and mathematics and memory loss. I can honestly say that had I picked this book up in a library, I would never have taken it home. Why not? I hear you ask. It has actual algebraic formulae in it, is why. This is not a book about maths in the abstract, these characters actually do maths.

But this time we all knuckled under and read it, because we’d taken a vow at the start of our new book club to read outside our comfort zones. OK, so some of us skipped over the maths bits and some of us read the baseball sections with glazed pre-frontal lobes and a few of us did both those things. And given that it is only 180 pages long, you would be forgiven for thinking that didn’t leave much to get through. But we did it. And if you fancy being in a group that reads and talks and grows and has fun, maybe you’d be interested in joining one of the library reading groups.

And in case you actually are a maths/arts person, here are a couple of other reads to try:

  • Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco (not for the faint-hearted, a hellishly difficult read)
  • The Solitude of Prime Numbers – Paolo Giordano (I’m betting it’s not going to be a barrel of laughs)
  • Addition – Toni Jordan (maths and the obsessive compulsive, in addition – sorry, couldn’t resist – it is funny!)

Seems like numbers are very much on my mind: this is my centennial blog, in the Year of the Snake on my Beatles Birthday. Or 26. Go do the maths!

Ever wanted to learn a new language online or improve your English skills from the comfort of home? We  have your answer in Mango. It has undergone an upgrade and now provides access to over SIXTY languages for free! If you want to seduce your partner with sweet Italian phrases or travel to a foreign country and converse with locals then Mango is for you. The languages you can learn include:

  • Arabic;
  • Chinese – Mandarin or Cantonese;
  • Italian;
  • French;
  • Japanese;
  • Korean;
  • Russian and many more!

Mango also has lessons for people wanting to learn English if their native language is:

  • Arabic;
  • Chinese – Mandarin or Cantonese;
  • Japanese;
  • Korean and more!

Access Mango free through the catalogue or the Source  from within libraries or at home and start chatting away in foreign languages like a native. Buona fortuna! That’s good luck in Italian my peeps!

This is a fantastic learning opportunity covering generations. E-book Club children became experts to share their knowledge and learning with some older adults. A little daunting for the older adults perhaps, but they took it all in their stride, and discovered how adaptable the younger generations are with technology. They shared OverDrive Library app and had lots of fun sharing TumbleBook Library. As a thank you gesture, the children shared their hand-made pop-up cards.


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