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Libraries celebrate Matariki with higher interactivity

9 May 2008

Christchurch City Libraries is offering a star-studded programme, and introducing a high level of online interactivity this year, to celebrate Matariki next month.

Professional storyteller, Liz Weir will spin Matariki-themed yarns to schoolchildren at Central and Linwood libraries; the South Learning Centre will offer tailor-made classes in online learning and design with a Matariki focus to schools, and sessions will be held for adults to showcase the libraries resources in Whakapapa research.

The Computer lab at the South Learning Centre will tailor their Webquest programs for each school year level to teach online information skills with a focus on Matiriki. It will also offer classes for older children where they will learn Desk Top Publishing by designing a Matariki sticker on Microsoft Publisher.

The participating libraries are offering an additional small star craft activity at the end of their usual Storytimes, which will be Matariki themed during the month of June. In addition to Storytime, Parklands are offering a Matariki Babytime session.  Others will incorporate stars in their activities, be it biscuits, colouring or traditional weaving.  Bishopdale will have a carving demonstration with George Edwards with an opportunity for spectators to participate also.

The general focus is on celebrating Matariki in the libraries with education to promote and encourage understanding of what Matariki is, and all resources are being used to offer a programme more diverse than any before.

Activities and Events across all age ranges, and something for everyone, says Aurelia Arona kaitakawaenga for Christchurch City Libraries.  Ms Arona says that the Liz Weir interactive storytime sessions and the Whakapapa research sessions are likely to be the highlights of the library programme. She advises early booking to avoid disappointment. Bookings are also required for the online classes at South Learning Centre.

The libraries’ diverse offering is in keeping with the nationwide resurgence in Matariki celebrations in recent years. “We have been conscious this year of wanting to continue to support this fantastic nation-wide event and to offer a network-wide schedule of programmes and events across the City that stays true to the kaupapa of what Matariki celebrates and focuses on, whilst simultaneously promoting the library and the vast range of excellent services and resources we can provide to our communities,” says Ms Arona.

Our City O-Tautahi carries on the Matariki theme in June and into July with the Matariki O-Tautahi exhibition  focusing on local talent in traditional and contemporary Maori art forms, while He aha te mea nui o te Ao? results from a project with weavers from Ngai Tahu and Tamaki Makaurau .

The Nga Hau E Wha National Marae at Pages Road has community-based events on June 17 and 19. Activities at the National Marae will include learning the significance of Matariki, talks by Hector Busby and Rakiihia Tau on celestial navigation, planting by the stars and starlore.

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