Li­braries im­prove lit­er­acy

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

Vot­ing in the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions will close on Oc­to­ber 8. We­hear from James Sains­bury for the fi­nal of the

elec­tion cov­er­age, invit­ing can­di­dates to have a say on lo­cal is­sues.

I think of lit­er­acy as not only the skills of read­ing, writ­ing and arith­metic, but also the use of tech­nol­ogy to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion. Lit­er­acy is an abil­ity we are con­tin­u­ally de­vel­op­ing and high lev­els of lit­er­acy greatly im­prove our qual­ity of life by in­creas­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties, ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion and even health prospects.

The Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil is not re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion, but con­trib­utes greatly to the lit­er­acy of our cit­i­zens by fund­ing our pub­lic li­braries. De­spite chang­ing times and tech­nolo­gies, li­braries re­main as pop­u­lar and val­ued as ever. Trends over­seas, and in New Zealand, have shown an in­crease in vis­its and book bor­row­ings over the last decade as patrons pur­sue ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices and re­sources, in­ter­net ac­cess and af­ford­able leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.

Our Mata­mata-Pi­ako pub­lic li­braries pro­vide all of these ben­e­fits. As well as phys­i­cal books there are e-books and au­dio books, on­line sub­scrip­tions to ev­ery news­pa­per imag­in­able, home­work help re­sources for teens, a sum­mer read­ing programme for chil­dren and tod­dler time for lit­tle ones.

There is ac­cess to com­put­ers dur­ing open­ing hours and un­lim­ited free Wi-Fi ac­cess all hours of the day and night.

I have ben­e­fited from many of these ser­vices at the Mata­mata pub­lic li­brary. When I was very young there would be vis­its to the li­brary on Fri­day evenings with my grand­fa­ther. As I grew older, the li­brary proved a great re­source for many hours of re­search for school projects. I have taken my own chil­dren to the li­brary to start them on their lit­er­acy jour­neys.

Through­out all of this I have also en­joyed many, many hours of en­ter­tain­ment from the won­der­ful story tell­ers of our world. Pub­lic li­braries of New Zealand tells us that li­braries are part of our eco­nomic fu­ture by driv­ing lit­er­acy and dig­i­tal ca­pa­bil­ity - sen­ti­ments I whole heart­edly agree with.

If I am­elected to coun­cil I want to be part of a gov­er­nance team that con­tin­ues to cham­pion this spe­cial lo­cal govern­ment role in our com­mu­nity.

Can­di­date James Sains­bury.

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