Adult Learners’ Week – a time to learn something new

If you think that learning is for children or for university students, then think again. Learning is for everyone and it is possible to teach ‘an old 0dog a new trick’.

If you don’t believe me, then think about this: I’m writing a blog on a computer. Computers were around when I was at school, but they were very big, very expensive and not very fast. Blogs hadn’t been invented and if you made a typing mistake, then you either had to start all-over again, or use correction tape. Thank goodness I continued to learn new things.

For those of you who would like to learn something new, Then Adult Learners’ Week / He Tangata Mātauranga is for you. It is supported by UNESCO, the Tertiary Education Commission, and adult education course providers. It takes place from Monday 5 September to Sunday 11 September. It includes International Literacy Day which is held on 8 September.

Lifelong learning not only teaches you new skills, it helps keep the “little grey cells” active and is a way of meeting new people. Our website can connect you with e-resources, books and courses. There will be something just right for you.

International Literacy Day celebrates the fact that literacy is a human right. The library has many tools which can help you improve literacy skills and those aimed at both students and tutors.

To get yourself  started, You will find English language skills collection material in our libraries. This collection includes resources for both people with literacy difficulties and their tutors. We also have Simplified readers. These books are popular titles that have been re-written to cater for people with different levels of reading ability.

When you can’t get to the library to borrow books, try our eResources. You can access these from home with your library card and password / PIN

  • Road to IELTS: General  Access a self-study preparation course to help candidates prepare for the globally recognised IELTS exam. It tests English use at a general level.
  • World Book Discover  World Book Discover offers access to reference resources for reluctant readers, students with learning difficulties, adult literacy students or those who are learning English as a second language.

For more handy hints, check the following, which you’ll also find on our Adult Learners’ Week page –

Happy centenary, Canterbury WEA!

One of Canterbury’s most popular voluntary organisations, the Canterbury WEA, turns 100 this year, and celebrations are most definitely in order!

Photo of WEA Centenary placardThe CWEA, or, if we want to be formal, the Canterbury Workers’ Educational Association, was the first WEA to be set up in New Zealand. Like the English WEA, which was founded in 1903, the CWEA aimed to provide university level education to working men and women.

In the subsequent century, many changes have, not surprisingly, taken place; however the CWEA remains the ‘People’s University’. Offering as it does some 130 courses each year as well as hosting special interest clubs, such as mah-jong, bridge, and sketching, the WEA has been and continues to be a part of life for many Cantabrians.

The centenary celebrations are therefore guaranteed to be popular – make sure to contact the Association as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Scheduled events:

  • Cover of The People's UniversityWednesday 4 March, 6pm: launch of The People’s University: A Centennial History of the CWEA by Ian Dougherty, published by Canterbury University Press. The book will be officially launched by Mayor Lianne Dalziel at the WEA. Numbers are limited so please let the Association know if you’d like to receive an invitation to this event.
  • Thursday 5 March, 7 – 9 pm: Community Night with presentations from groups that use the CWEA rooms. All are welcome.
  • Friday 6 March, 12 – 2pm: shared lunch and items from CWEA classes. All are welcome.
  • Saturday 7 March: 6.30 pm: dinner at Hagley Community College, BYO. Cost $35. After dinner Speaker: Garry Moore. Numbers limited to 100 so early booking is advised.

To let the CWEA know that you’d like to attend any of these events, you can