City of Readers: Read-it! Make-it! Imagine-it!

Dunedin Public Libraries' Summer Reading Programme for Children

The long summer holidays will soon be upon us, when children can forget about homework at last and look forward to what seems like endless weeks of leisure. The luxury of lots of books to read, and lots of time to read them is a pleasure all children can enjoy, with access to free books at public libraries.

Wherever children are these holidays, whether at home, away camping, overseas, or staying with family anywhere in New Zealand, there is a ready supply of books to be found. Most New Zealand public libraries have reciprocal borrowing arrangements with Dunedin Public Libraries – remember to take your library card with you if you’re holidaying in New Zealand and you should be able to swap it for a temporary card at the place you’re staying. Most New Zealand camping grounds have a little library for campers to share books, and there are a great many volunteer and Lilliput Libraries in small towns all over the Country.

If you’re travelling abroad and don’t want to add books to your luggage allowance, download some e-books or e-audio books from Dunedin Public Libraries’ website before you go. Our staff will be pleased to show you how to do this, and you’ll have access to 100’s of books all through the summer, wherever in the world you are – great for planes, trains and automobile journeys!

Dunedin Public Libraries’ Children’s Summer Reading Programme starts on Saturday 1st December, so be sure to encourage your child to register straight away. Give them a challenge to read every day over the holidays, even for just a short while, and they will grow those vital reading skills to give them a head start when they return to school. There are lots of fun activities and challenges in our Summer Reading Booklet to keep children occupied throughout the summer, and they don’t have to be in Dunedin to take part, as long as you register them before you go away.

As well as the Summer Reading Programme for independent readers, there is a companion programme for pre-readers to enjoy with the help of a parent or guardian to read to them. This is a great little programme for younger brothers and sisters, so they can join in too, and it’s also good preparation for when they’re old enough to join the big kids’ Reading Programme.

Dunedin City was awarded UNESCO City of Literature status in 2014, in no small part due to our ability to demonstrate that we are a City of Readers. The love of reading begins before we even have the ability to read. Children are enthralled when adults or an older sibling reads to them, and this naturally translates to a desire to want to learn to read for themselves as soon as they are able. The value of reading to children cannot be underestimated, nor can the availability of a ready supply of reading material.

The gift of books or regular trips to the free public library is a gift that will last a child a lifetime – a gift that opens up worlds.