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Christchurch City Council Media Release Monday 12 October 1998

Parade for information literacy

On Friday 23 October, Canterbury Public Library is holding a Parade for information literacy, with special guest Alan Duff – author of Once were warriors and advocate of Books in homes.

This month the library is celebrating 50 years as part of the Christchurch City Council. Responsibility for Canterbury Public Library passed from the Canterbury University College to the Christchurch City Council by Act of Parliament on 1 October 1948.

"The parade is a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary and draw attention to the role of the library in the Christchurch community", said Sasha Bowers, Marketing and Promotions Specialist for the library. "We want to encourage as many people as possible to take part – it’s going to be great fun with street entertainers, music, fancy dress, lolly scrambles and much more."

Alan Duff will mingle with the crowd and give a closing address on his writing, his latest film and the Books in Homes project – an initiative designed to break the cycle of "booklessness". Currently 12 schools in Christchurch belong to the programme with a further five joining in February.

"The response to the parade has been great. Alan Duff is really enthusiastic about meeting the people of Christchurch and answering their questions about his work", said Ms Bowers. "We have also been lucky enough to attract a sponsor - The Children's Bookshop on Victoria Street - who see this a great opportunity to promote literacy in the local community."

As well as focusing on literacy in the traditional sense, the library is keen to highlight how they can help people make effective use of information resources. "With the increase of electronic information resources like the Internet, it is essential that people know how to search effectively and evaluate what they find", said Ms Bowers. "These days, information literacy means having the skills to turn information into knowledge."

Technology has had a huge impact on library services, meaning even greater variety and efficiency for library customers. Canterbury Public Library was the first public library in New Zealand, in 1975, to use a computerised lending system. In 1995 it became the first in Australasia to develop a World Wide Web home page.

Today books share shelf space with magazines, newspapers, CDs, videos, and CD-ROMs. Computer facilities and Internet access enable customers to keep up with the latest in technology.

The Parade begins at 12.30pm from Victoria Square. It will proceed through the city centre and return to Victoria Square for a 1.30pm finish. The library welcomes anyone who would like to join in. Alan Duff will also be available for conversation and questions from 3.30 - 4.30pm in the Nga Taonga Maori Collection, on first floor of the Central Library. For further information, contact your local library.



Media representatives are invited to join the Parade for information literacy and meet Alan Duff in Victoria Square on Friday October 23 from 12.30-1.30pm.

For more information contact:

Sasha Bowers, Marketing and Promotions Specialist - 941 7923.

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