Whanau fun at the Rehua Marae

Kia ora. There is a cool event at Rehua Marae this week.

Matariki community evening  Thursday 27 June 2013
Kapahaka performed by Papanui High Rōpū and some great story-telling performances by Christchurch City Libraries staff. You can also check out our new Mobile van which is loaded up with a great range of resources from our Nga Pounamu Maori collections across the network.  Kia ora. Sorry but this event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances..

Whanau fun day Saturday 29 June 2013
This Whānau Day features activities, entertainment, and plenty to see and do.

Rehua Marae is at 79 Springfield Road, St Albans, Christchurch. This page explains its history – it is a wonderful place.

These photos show some pictures from our previous sessions for Matariki.

Matariki at the MaraeCrafts at the Whanau Fun DayStory blanket display at Rehua

Learning opportunities at our libraries in 2013 – Community connections

pampletIf you don’t know what Delicious and Pinterest are, or how you might enjoy using them – read on. Our Community Connections for Adults programme for the first half of 2013 is out and it is full of great learning opportunities in our Learning Centres. Under the themes of Get creative and Get comfortable with your computer you are sure to find something to suit you.

Explore the creative possibilities of your digital camera, get into blogging and writing or learn about Delicious and Pinterest. Learn about local Maori History while exploring our Ti Kouka Whenua website.

We have drop in sessions, Computers and Coffee for both beginners and beyond beginners. If you got an eBook reader for Christmas and you are struggling with it there are courses for you. Is the Social Network a mystery you want to explore? Again – courses for you.

There is also a Community Connections for Families programme.

We have learning centres at South Library, New Brighton, Upper Riccarton and Parklands. If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter we also advertise learning opportunities at other libraries in our network as they come along. And don’t forget – if you can’t make one of our courses but still have a question about using our computer resources our friendly librarians may be able to help you.

Get some culture

Culture Galore 2010It’s time to immerse yourself in some culture at Culture Galore! Part of the Garden City Summer Times it’s held at Ray Blank Park, Maidstone Road, Ilam on Saturday 10 March 12 – 4pm. Come celebrate all the many cultures within our garden city. Enjoy performances of native dancing with beautiful costumes and savour the delicious flavours of exotic countries.

Christchurch City Libraries will have a stall as will other informative groups. So come along and say Hi!

It’s a great day out for the whole family with entertainment to keep kids happy.

And if you want more culture, think Library. If you read Chinese, we have resources in Chinese language and you can read 17 Chinese newspapers for free with your library card and PIN number through Press Display. Find out about our World Languages collection or search our BiblioCommons catalogue for items in other languages.

The Librarian’s Holiday

Lyttelton LibraryThese days  I’m a migrant, like many of my fellow librarians. I’ve spent the last year  working around the city’s libraries. Now I find myself in one of the smaller libraries, with  one of the best lunchroom views ever.

I had never set foot in the Lyttelton Library until I chose it as my place of work and refuge back in mid December when my own library, Fendalton, closed for repairs. It’s a curious shade of pink stucco, with cubes and portholes and quirkiness all part of it’s design. I can sit in the lunchroom and look at the hills, or across the port with all its busyness  to the other side of the harbour.

On sunny days, everything shines, the sea looks glorious and everyone is out on the main street – locals, visitors and sailors from all over the world. Even on gloomy and rain soaked days, the hills provide a place for the clouds to hang out, roll around on and generally look impressive.

I’m finding Lyttelton Library  is a wonderful example of a community library in the truest sense. In a small library you can really get to know your customers. In shaky times the library has remained a steadfast community refuge.

The way Lyttelton looks has changed forever. While I hear  many sad stories, community members are supporting one another, pulling together and looking to the future. The Farmer’s Market is thriving, as is Project Lyttelton, an initiative to build a strong community.

Lyttelton  Library visitI’ve helped a Ukranian sailor Skype to his family half a world away, given daily information to tourists and dealt with an injured seagull that plopped down outside our door.

Relationships are encouraged with customers, stopping to pass the time of day to build those ties within a close knit community. This is something I’ll take back to my busy bustling library when my ‘summer holiday’ at Lyttelton comes to a close.

Every day I drive through the Lyttelton Tunnel to work. I have loved this tunnel since I was a small child. I emerge each morning to a whole new world, like going on holiday. The weather can be completely different, the seagulls are wheeling in the sky and it’s just lovely.

Party time!

If you missed the opportunity to make it to AFFIRM in Aranui on the 3rd of December, then make sure you get along to Westside Party in the Park in Hornby this Saturday the 11 December from 2pm-5.30 pm. Beginning back in 2000, the Westside Party in the Park is held annually at Denton Park near Hornby Library, and proves to be a popular day out for the entire family.

This free event has a variety of exciting happenings, ranging from face painting, pony rides and bouncy castles for the little kids (and the big kids at heart!) to community stalls, food stalls, and a stage for  the musical acts, with local favourites Restoration returning as the headlining act.

The Hornby Community Centre offers the chance to get photos with Santa at the event and the Hornby Presbyterian Community Church, have a link on their website for children to download a colouring competition to bring along on the day for a chance to win prizes.

What a great whānau day!

10AFFIRMLast Saturday was a busy day in the Christchurch eastern suburbs, with the traditional Christmas parade in New Brighton and AFFIRM  in Aranui, you could not be bored.

AFFIRM is a fantastic community event for all ages  – my favourite this side of Christmas –  and in this tenth edition it was clear that there still is a strongly united neighbourhood in Aranui.

Everybody enjoyed the “Aranui Top Team” competition, some of the tasks the teams had to do were hard but made all the supporters and spectators laugh, have you ever watched a multi-person sack race? It is quite amusing!

At the Christchurch City Libraries’ tent people had the opportunity to record their earthquake memories in the Plains FM recording POD, they will be added to the CCL’s permanent collection as it is such a special part of our city’s history. Have you donated your earthquake story yet?

The Pasifika performances from local groups got us all dancing and Ladi6 paid homage to her origins by giving it all on stage.

Kia kaha vibrations were in the air.

Affirm Aranui

Affirm 2009Head to Wainoni Park on the December 3 to enjoy Aranui Affirm Festival. The festival runs from 9.30am-4.00pm.

The festival has been going strong for a decade but this year feels more important than ever thanks to Aranui’s mighty community which is ready to showcase its unity and many talents. It is all about family and celebrating Aranui’s community more than ever because of the hard times they’ve gone through

From a morning haka to its own Top Town contest, they’ve got it all covered. Be ready to be entertained for free with a full stage from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, including a performance by Kiwi hip-hop princess Ladi6. There will be cultural performances and community awards. All five local schools will be performing.

The festival supports the White Ribbon movement against domestic violence, this year with a Top Town competition.

Don’t forget to come and visit the Christchurch City Libraries stall where we can tell you all about the forthcoming brand new Aranui Library!


Pledging your support for rebuilding Christchurch

Child in diggerHave you signed The Pledge? It’s not a declaration to give up the demon drink or cigarettes but rather signing your commitment to Christchurch and the rebuild of the city.
Pledge sheets have been distributed in supermarkets, businesses, Post Shops and other locations.

If you live in the Eastern suburbs or you are out there visiting – you can now sign The Pledge at New Brighton and Parklands libraries.

You can also check on The Pledge’s Facebook page to see the latest updates on where you can sign, messages of support and other information.

We are all heroes

Over the last week, amidst so much tragedy, I am sure we have all been witness to tiny miracles of incredible importance, small acts of great courage and kindness, and immense love – in all its forms – generously given without hesitation.

Many, like myself, are asking “What can I do to help?”. For those of us who have evacuated the city, and others around New Zealand (and the rest of the world, for that matter) who were not there to feel the ground shake but still grieve with us, we may watch the news and wonder what we could possibly give that could match the heroic efforts of those lifting bricks, shoveling silt, tending to wounds.

Everything we do for each other counts. Nothing is too small or too insignificant. So with that in mind, here are some suggestions of how you can help:

  • Offer your arms, and wrap them tightly around anyone who accepts your embrace.
  • Offer your ears. People need to tell their story, to share how they are feeling, to be heard again and again and again.
  • Offer your voice. Make phone calls on behalf of those overwhelmed or mute with shock. Be their personal assistant, their advocate. Help them to organise the details of their life, so they experience as little stress as possible.
  • Offer your heart. Serve out love like food and water. Stay patient with those of us who behave like bratty, tantrum-throwing toddlers or sulky, monosyllabic teenagers. We just need lots of reassurance, lots of compassion. We need to know we are loved.

And finally, remember to keep giving these things every day for as long as you can give them. Those affected by the Christchurch quake will need you for weeks, months and years to come.

Thank you for being our heroes.

More information:

Working with groups – make it easy for yourself

Cover of SpeakoutHave you landed a new job as a community worker who has to consult with diverse groups?

Are you an experienced facilitator looking for a new perspective on working with different cultural groups?

If you are looking for some ideas on how to fine-tune your skills or expand your knowledge, check out these titles.

Speakout by Wendy Sarkissian and Wiwik Bunjamin-Mau explains step-by-step the process of creating an interactive, drop-in style of engagement with community groups. It also gives clear instructions of how to organise, plan and manage community planning workshops, and make sense of the outcomes.

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon looks at strategies to bring your community together, including how you can use social media to engage with your audience.

World Cafe cover

An oldie but a goodie outlining a different approach to group discussions is The World Cafe by Juanita Brown. It’s a way to host conversations about things that matter, to get people talking and engaging, and to harness the collective intelligence, experience and knowledge of the group to move forward.

There’s also wealth of good ideas and further information on the The World Cafe website.