So much more on offer at our libraries

Not only books

by Mike Isle

We can hardly imagine what our early librarians would think if they visited one of Selwyn’s modern libraries. Chances are, though, it would be a mix of astonishment and pride at how far libraries have advanced. Books remain the staple — but the programmes provided by our district’s libraries and their staff offer so much more.

Denise Kidd, who is the Selwyn District Council’s community relations manager, said the programmes are catering to more community sectors than ever before, and offering greater diversity — traditional and modern.

As an example of the former, she says: “Rhymetime, Storytime and Book Clubs have long been a tradition with Selwyn Libraries — and in fact most libraries around the world.

“We design preschool programming for both fun for the child and caregiver, as well as increasing vocabulary and literacy skills, social skills and more.

“Children and adult’s book clubs are a great social event, where participants read (often on a theme each month), have access to the newest of books, and have — often quite in-depth — book discussions on titles read that month.”

Denise Kidd said a more recent development was the LEGO Club, which started for primary school-age children in 2016, with a partnership between the libraries and Rolleston-based House of Bricks.

“We needed to increase our programming for children, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) themed programming was the best place to start.

“With the LEGO Club, there are monthly themes that focus on engineering, maths and physics beginning concepts. STARS (Selwyn Technology, Art and Recreation Sessions) are brand new. These are for a slightly older age group as we incorporate slightly more advanced ideas into the programme.

“We are also increasing our adult and children’s programming and workshops all the time, listening and working alongside our communities to bring relevant, informational and varied topics to all areas.

For more information on local library programmes — including what’s coming up, go to or visit