Literacy in Life

Literacy in Life

Literacy in Life is a Public Libraries of New Zealand campaign that embodies the fundamental values of our libraries.

The traditional definition of a library is “a building or room containing collections of books”; we are not just a place for books. Public libraries offer world views, hands-on learning, personalised, understanding, and safe spaces.

Today’s libraries are where people feed their imaginations, rebuild their lives, find direction, upskill themselves, and put growth, understanding and tolerance into practice. 

Literacy is defined as “the ability to read and write” or “competence or knowledge in a specified area”.

In a world overloaded with information, spotting fake from fact is vitally important for decision making. Having access to trusted and reliable information is mission-critical. Literate communities are more cohesive, stable and high-functioning, more resilient, tolerant, and better able to develop and participate in enterprise and growth opportunities in all things life.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is an important aspect of life, and access to resources that provide individuals with learning opportunities or support in this space can be limited. Libraries offer a range of resources to help upskill individuals in the financial sphere.

Your library card gives you access to our online resources such as:

  • Pressreader with financial articles and publications from across the world.
  • Niche Academy also provides you with access to online tutorials, from how to use Excel (a handy tool when budgeting), to how to use LinkedIn for business networking, and even how to apply for funding grants. 

Our audio and eBooks provide you with access to financial professionals from all over the world. Visit our catalogue here to find your next read or listen. 

We partner with specialist organisations to facilitate programmes to upskill you in preparing your CV, applying for jobs, and even how to manage your taxes. Check our What’s On page for programmes such as Stepping Up, or sign up to our monthly newsletter to find out about the next series of programmes in the new year. 

Some of our libraries also provide access to desk space, meeting rooms, computers and Wi-Fi to help you while you prepare your CV or even start-up a business venture.

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy plays an important role in modern day life. Libraries are working on bridging the digital divide by providing training, access to technology, and also by providing online learning tools.

We have a series of digital training sessions across the district, check our What’s On page regularly for future training opportunities. These were a few of the classes held during 2021:

  • Digital Steps – Ancestry Library Edition – Part of a series of sessions designed to improve your computer skills or learn something new. 
  • Stepping Up – Central Otago – A series of digital literacy classes in the Central Otago libraries.
  • Appy Seniors with Roxburgh library – Classes to help seniors become app-savvy and gain digital confidence by learning how to use smart devices.

Your library membership also provides you with access to some fantastic online training repositories to help develop your digital literacy skills:

  • LinkedIn Learning – Learn business, creative, and technology skills to achieve your personal and professional goals.
  • KAZ Typing Tutor – An easy-to-use online typing tutor to help you on your touch-typing journey. The courses are tailored to your existing skill levels and are designed for adults and kids.
  • Niche Academy – A range of online tutorials to help you learn some digital skills and learn how to make the most of the digital resources we have available through our libraries.

Some of our libraries also provide access to computers and Wi-Fi.

Wellbeing Literacy

We are passionate about helping our community gain wellbeing literacy.

We do this by running regular events designed to provide a break from day-to-day life by providing a safe space for individuals to prioritise their wellbeing. Our events also provide people with tools to look after their mental wellbeing.

We run monthly meditation sessions for adults and children at the library.

November saw the launch of Meaningful Conversations – a series of events focused on Mental Health. The events are focused on connecting with people and making time to talk with friends, colleagues & family about mental health. Visit our blog for all the information on the inaugural Wānaka event.

Keep an eye out on our What’s On page for future events; there are many more in the pipeline for 2022.

Attending events and programmes is not for everyone and we have a number of online and in-library resources for those looking for mental wellbeing resources:

  • Books on prescription is a programme aiming to increase access to high quality health information. There are 3 strands of the programme: ‘Read yourself well’, ‘Listen yourself well’, ‘T’app yourself well’. Visit our Books on Prescription page for more information and access to these resources. 
  • Our wonderful meditation teacher who runs the meditation sessions at the library has prepared a number of audio recordings saved here

And lastly, we have a range of books, eBooks, and audiobooks across the collection to support you with your mental and physical wellbeing, check our catalogue to find your next book.

Cultural Literacy

Cultural literacy encompasses many things, including languages, creative pursuits, and exploring what shapes the world we live in. Libraries foster cultural literacy by providing a space to explore other cultures and experiences that are new to them.

Our libraries offer regular programs that allow our patrons to hear and learn Te Reo Māori; come and join us at one of these events (more to come in the new year):

We also offer numerous online resources, free with your library membership, to explore: