Many of the links included in previous posts came from Read NZ Te Pou Muramura – an organisation that was formerly known as the New Zealand Book Council. The new name relates to the Maori creation explanation and involves moving from darkness into light, a beautiful metaphor for enlightenment literacy brings. Read NZ’s mission is to “encourage New Zealanders to read, research our reading habits and barriers to reading, and advocate for the importance of reading.”
Every year Read NZ conducts and publishes research into the reading habits of New Zealanders. The report from last year shows that New Zealanders are reading more online. The growth of online sources of reading is actually assisting in the growth of reading. We are not reading less but reading differently.
One of the greatest services of Read NZ is to bring writers into schools. Connecting young readers with writers is inspirational. It involves simply belonging to the organisation and then making a small contribution to the costs of the writer’s travel.
Another organisation dedicated to encouraging reading and resourcing children, families, teachers and librarians is Storylines. Storylines is dedicated to promoting books for children and young people. Their annual calendar is packed with book awards, writer events, and national festival story tours. Some enthusiastic volunteers help to make these activities a success. The website provides lists of award winners, new publications, texts of inspirational speeches – a treasure of information about New Zealand books and writers.
Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand is brought to us by the Research & Publishing Group at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage in Wellington. Te Ara means pathway and the encyclopedia includes the New Zealand Dictionary of Biography. If you want to dig deeper about any of the writers or illustrators then the links to Te Ara will certainly help you.
These three resources are online and are active contributors to the growth of reading in New Zealand.
Amanda Bond is a New Zealand ex-pat currently working as Teacher Librarian in an international school in Istanbul, Turkey. Her twitter handle is @kiwionthego