Gunnedah Shire Library has snapped up an innovation award.
The library’s Bookends initiative received the Innovation in Outreach Services Award at a recent NSW Public Libraries Association conference in Coffs Harbour.
The program enables participants to “borrow” a senior for one-on-one reading assistance in a 20-minute block. The participants automatically become part of the 1000 Books After School program and any books they read in their sessions can be added to their tally sheets.
Gunnedah Shire Council librarian Christiane Birkett said the one-on-one assistance makes a big difference in a child’s reading development and is what makes the program so successful.
“Providing children with a one-on-one learning environment enables them to learn at a rate that suits their level of ability and can progress in a fun and safe way,” Ms Birkett said.
“Children stay keen to learn with the myriad of activities and engaging stories that feature in the lessons.”
Ms Birkett said the program also provided parents with a way to track the learning progress of their children through a tally of completed books and learning milestones.
“By linking ‘Bookends’ to the 1000 Books program, children are offered reward incentives for their work,” she said.
Ms Birkett said the program was successful through a partnership with the Pensioners’ Guild, GoCo and school teachers.
“[It] has allowed us to engage with a number of enthusiastic seniors who are available to interact and assist the youth in our community,” Ms Birkett said.
Children stay keen to learn with the myriad of activities and engaging stories that feature in the lessons.Gunnedah librarian Christiane Birkett
Council’s corporate and community services director Colin Formann congratulated library staff and Bookends participants for “all their hard work and help with this program”.
“In particular, I would like to recognise our Librarian, Christiane Birkett, who manages a wonderful and multi-award winning facility for the Gunnedah community,” Mr Formann said.
Bookends is held every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 3pm-5pm, and Friday afternoons from 3pm-4pm.
To sign-up a participant or volunteer as a helper, contact the library on 6740 2190.