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Christchurch City Council Media Release 19 February 2001

Interactive PCs For Kids At Libraries

Christchurch City Libraries has installed 19 children’s interactive PCs.

Located in libraries around Christchurch, the new computers operate with a touch screen or mouse and provide a range of interactive stories and information sources.

With 23 different titles, the computers contain great favourites such as the Wiggles, Spot and Dr Seuss plus a selection of educational resources including Eye-witness encyclopedias.

The computers, complete with sound, enable children from as young as two to take part in stories, find new facts and even design a greeting card.

"The interactive PCs replace the previous children’s Apple Macintoshes, which have done a great job for us in the past, but have become outdated," says Leonne Gason, the IT Support Manager for Christchurch City Libraries. "The new machines successfully combine the latest technology with well-known children’s titles to provide stimulating, interactive entertainment and education."

The aim of the computers is to encourage learning through play. There are five subject categories: Art & Writing; Stories; Music & Song; Explore & Play; and Find Out. Quizzes, stories and other activities encourage children to explore various topics and learn new skills through participation. Interactive storybooks also provide entertainment for younger users.

The introduction of the interactive PCs coincides with a major television campaign to urge people to make greater use of their public libraries. "This is great timing," says Sasha Bowers, the library’s Promotions & Publications Co-ordinator.

"The adverts aim to tell people about the variety of opportunities for recreation, information and learning available through libraries. The interactive PCs certainly take fun and learning to a new dimension and are already proving to be a big hit with kids."

Photo opportunity:
The Centre for the Child, located in the Central City Library, has four interactive PCs. A class from Christchurch East School will try out the computers on Friday 23 February 10 – 11am. This is an opportunity to see the computers in use and find out what the children think.

For more information: Sasha Bowers, Promotions & Publications Co-ordinator, Christchurch City Libraries, 372 7845 or Leonne Gason, IT Support Manager, Christchurch City Libraries, 941 7923

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