Libraries improve literacy
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.