|We are very grateful to the Tindall Foundation for their support in 2011/12 that will allow us to create the infrastructure to enable the expansion to other areas.
Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro nōna te ngahere
Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga nōna te ao
The bird that consumes the miro, owns the forest
The bird that consumes knowledge, owns the world
E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā hau e whā tēnā koutou katoa.
Recently Auckland Libraries staff were pleased to take part in a celebration at Manurewa Library to celebrate the 50,000th book given away under the Books for Babies programme.
When the Storytime Foundation began, originally as the Books for Babes Trust in 1997, libraries were among the first community organisations it contacted. From the outset we could see that the Books for Babies programme and public libraries were natural partners and we were soon working together.
Community library staff, Plunket nurses and Auckland District Health Board staff linked up to connect families in high need areas with the joy of reading. What constituted a high need area? Areas in which health workers would regularly visit houses that didn't seem to have books in the home. Glen Innes, Panmure, Avondale ... more and more suburbs after that, Manukau, Manurewa, west and now north Auckland. Across many of the libraries in greater Auckland families have been introduced to their local library through the Books for Babies programme. Over the years we have worked together to identify suitable books for purchase. I particularly commend the Storytime Foundation for locating titles that are in languages other than English.
For very young children, reading is not primarily about books. The book as a magical gateway into another world is a real thing, but that happens a bit later. For really young children, reading is about time spent in a place of safety with mum or dad, gran or another caregiver. The first stage of reading together is about bonding, a time of positive experience.
In my professional life I have seen several schemes that provide books for newborns. What's different about the Storytime Foundation's Books for Babies programme is that it is about supporting adults to spend nurturing time with children, sharing the sounds and delights and vibrancy of language.
Through the trusted health professional in a family's home the message is conveyed -
Libraries are the next step. Through our collaboration with Books for Babies we get to meet and welcome families who aren't yet library users and who might not have responded to library promotional material. That's very important for us. Once the Storytime Foundation completes its gift of five books, we work together so that a child can continue to find a wealth of reading experience and other library programming that is developmental and fun and free of charge.
Auckland Libraries is indeed a big library. Yet it remains local in its delivery, and local libraries are places where children build a lifetime love of reading and discovery and identity. Children and their families are a priority for us, and so working with the Storytime Foundation, Plunket, health boards and other partners helps libraries to make a positive impact on the lives of many families.
Congratulations on the gift of the 50,000th book. It's a milestone. And each and every one of the books before it has made an impact, as will all the books to follow. Well done! thank you! The Storytime Foundation helps us to find a way into children's lives. At Auckland Libraries we look forward to exploring what we can achieve together as the next 50,000 books are gifted.
Manager Libraries and Information
Books for Babes Trust
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Issue 7 February 2013
Copyright © 2009 Storytime Foundation