What’s your favourite book or series?

We’d really like to hear about the books you’d like to see in the school library. We’ll be applying for funding in the next couple of months, but we need a list of books before we can make an application.

We keen to hear from the whole school community: children, families and teachers – please share your ideas here: they can be fiction, or non-fiction, reference books or picture books, you can also suggest other materials like audio books if you want to.

Please fill in the recommendation form.

Thanks for your help, I’m excited to see what everyone suggests!
Sarah Gallagher

A reading challenge for the summer

CC BY SA Peter Rohleder
Taking You Places is the Dunedin Public Library’s Summer Reading programme this year. It started on Saturday 14 December 2013 and runs until Sunday 26 January 2014.

You can join the programme for free at the library. Everyone who joins will ” fun-filled booklet, full of supportive ideas and activities, book lists and a diary to record and rate their progress.” So join up, set your reading target, and at the end of the programme hand in your booklet. If you reached your challenge the librarians will give you a prize – how fun!

Find out more about the programme and how Toitu and University Bookshop are also involved. You can also write a story and have it published on the Library website!

Visit from Craig Smith!

On Tuesday 19th November at 2.00pm we had a visit from a very special New Zealand song writer, singer, and author, Craig Smith.

Craig said he is a musician first, and then he makes some of his songs into books. He’s inspired by Neil YoungBob DylanCat Stevens, and singing with his Mum and Nana. He visits lots if schools and libraries when he’s touring, the biggest school had 1300 kids, and the smallest had only 4 kids!

Craig stayed for an hour with us and played lots of his songs, and signed books the children had brought along or purchased on the day. Everyone had a wonderful time.

Craig takes questions from the children.
Craig takes questions from the children.

Many children has questions for Craig, like:

Q: How do you get so many interesting words?
A: Craig uses a Rhyming Dictionary (try this rhyming dictionary!)

Q: How do you make the drop found?
A: (This is difficult to describe!)

Q: What inspired you to write the wonky donkey?
A: It started with a joke!

Q: What inspired you to write Wilby the Bumblebee?
A: Craig’s Mum gave him the idea, but also watching nature is a good inspiration

A key message from Craig was for everyone to “keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration”. That sounds like a great idea.

Library launch and blessing

On the evening of the PFA Barn Dance, I had an opportunity to talk with the school community about the redevelopment of the School Library on behalf of the group who’ve been working on the project over the last year.


Many thanks to Paul Richardson, Megan Millar-Coote (BOT Chair), Megan La Hood, Elizabeth Helm, Moira Gallagher, Maxine Ramsay (National Library Services to Schools), the School Fair committee and people behind other fundraising opportunities that have (or will) benefit the library. Many others have provided support through donations and sharing of ideas. Thank you for your dedication to the redevelopment of the school library, this is a whole community project that will benefit everyone, especially our children.

If you were unable to attend the talk, the presentation is available below. We’re really keen to hear your ideas and receive your recommendations for books / materials for the library. We still have a lot to do and it’s going to continue to be an evolving process. If you have ideas you’d like to share, please get in touch. [Sarah Gallagher]



We were very fortunate to have Fr. Aidan join us for the presentation, and to bless the library. Fr. Aidan read three blessings from “A Book of Blessings” by Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (p120-1, 163). You can hear him reading a blessing of the books in this video.

Our Library is looking flash!

We’re excited and delighted to announce the arrival of the majority of the first stage of our new Library furniture has arrived. We have beautiful huge red beanbags, pistachio green chairs and blue trefoil shaped tables.


There’s also a blue computer table that will hold two computers, and a collection of blue and red browsing boxes for our picture books. All of the furniture is easy to move around so our teachers and children can easily create the spaces they need when using the Library.


We are still awaiting an other browsing box, a book return box and a big red cupboard (which will store all of the Library administrative material) – author posters are due to arrive soon too. The ‘new display’ shelf will receive a lick of paint and we will have a space available for the children to share their book reviews or reading suggestions.

We really hope you all enjoy stage one of the Library redevelopment, and we look forward to your feedback. Remember there’s still more to come!

Please do share your ideas for books and other material you’d like to see in the Library by using this form.

Library update – BOT Report

This short report was tabled at the Board of Trustees Meeting of 18 September 2013 to report on progress that has been made on the redevelopment of the School Library.


Sarah Gallagher and Megan LaHood met with all of the teaching staff last month to look at furniture options. On the basis of this meeting orders were sent to Mocka and Mike’s Woodshop. The 4 bean bags covers and beans have arrived, and the furniture is expected to be delivered in the second week of the school holidays. [We hope to have everything assembled for the start of term].

Library webpage and online resources

Sarah is working on a Library web page including a collection of evaluated online resources for the children that will support their learning at school and home. [The Library webpage is now live – please take a look. Sarah hopes to run a session next term for anyone interested in finding out more about the resources.]

Paul has registered for EPIC, a collection of online databases and encyclopedias, free to Schools through MOE. [We are awaiting login details and will advertise this when we are notified.]

Sarah has made two blog posts and will continue to communicate Library updates this way to keep the community informed. https://sacredheartdn.school.nz/category/library/


  • Naomi Hand has volunteered to compile a wish list of fiction, picture books and ideas for special character books in preparation for collection development.
  • Sarah has created an online form for children and whanau to recommend books for the library.
  • Non fiction – recommend staff meet with Maxine Ramsay from School Library Services to discuss their needs for curriculum to drive purchasing.
  • We need to identify sources of funding for books and submit applications.

Library launch

We’d like to run a grand library launch in collaboration with the PFA. We would like to time this with the arrival of the furniture and also demonstrate the Library webpage and online resources. We are very happy to be guided by the PFA and fit in with any planned events. [When a decision has been made we will announce this on the website and school newsletter].

Still on the list

While we have made great progress there are a number of things that remain on our list and may require further funding / support, including:

  • Book funding and purchases
  • New shelving
  • 2 computers for the library
  • Possible renewal of wall coverings

We would welcome assistance to investigate funding options!

New furniture arrives!

Bean bags were one of the items the children indicated were a priority for the library, and they have arrived! There are four massive red bean bags from Mocka. These beanbags will sit at least 4 children so they are going to help create super cosy reading spaces in the Library.

We have also ordered new desks, chairs, browsing boxes for the library through Mike’s Woodshop and these items are starting to arrive. We can’t wait to get the library set up – hopefully in time for the new term.

Do you have “Any Questions”?

Did you know that you can contact a real live Kiwi Librarian online and ask questions to help with your school work? You might have noticed the Any Questions poster in the Library and wondered what it was all about.

The Any Questions service is provided by the Ministry of Education. Librarians from public libraries around NZ are available to help on the Any Questions website, Monday – Friday between 1.00pm and 6.00pm.

You can also take a look at the questions other children have asked on the Many Answers website. Both websites are available to view in English or Te Reo.

Parents and Whanau, if you have questions about how this works, you can find out more on the Any Questions website.

Any Questions Logo

Library make-over

This year the school Library is getting a make over. We started earlier in the year by weeding the collection (that means getting rid of the old and damaged books).

Our wonderful school fair, held in April, raised money for our dream Library.

It’s important to us to find out what the children want in a school library, so we invited all the children to draw their dream library.

There are certainly a number of themes that came through in the children’s art work, and we plan to incorporate some of them into the Library design.

Take a look at their beautiful creations!

Successful Fair Raises $8000

What a great occasion this was! A huge thank you to our organising team for your tireless efforts over the past few weeks and months. With great community support on the day, superb weather and a good crowd from across the city, we have exceeded expectations and raised just over $8,000. We are looking forward now to furthering our plans to develop and modernise our school library as a centre of information and learning for our children. (Watch this space – Photos to come)