July’s Library Life is now online. Do have a read, it is full of interesting stuff including makerspaces, modern learning environment. I’ve written a piece in it about social media at Christchurch City Libraries.

Library Life

Some of you may recognise that covergirl’s smock. Shirley Lindsay Reading is a 1970 image from our own library:

A cold wintry morning during the holidays in the cosy Canterbury Children’s Library where Story-telling sessions were well attended each day. Many of the childfen combined the story-session with choosing their holiday reading, and others made the trip an opportunity to examine the working meccano models and electric trains. From left: Mari-Ann Fairbairn (aged 9), Thea Clemence (aged 8) and Geoffrey Baker (aged 8) with Miss Shirley Lindsay Reading of the library staff who is just choosing a story.

 Appeared in the Christchurch Star 29 May 1970 Flickr:  CCL-Star-522,  from the collection of the Christchurch Star.

Check out more fab series of photos of librarians at work from the Christchurch Star.

Brian Gilberthorpe - Inundated by cataloguing to be done April 1975 Flickr: CCL-star-471

Brian Gilberthorpe – Inundated by cataloguing to be done April 1975 Flickr: CCL-star-471 From the collection of the Christchurch Star


Matariki craft at Te Kete Wānanga o Ōraka

Matariki craft at Te Kete Wānanga o Ōraka. Shirley Library. Monday 16 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-16-DSC04513

Kia ora. We explore what Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts and social media postings were popular each month – so we can learn more about what our customers are interested in.

Website pages

Our kids Matariki page was the 4th most popular web page this month. It had 6,831 page views. The rest of our Matariki pages featured strongly too.

June’s popular blog posts

Photos on Flickr

There were 111,455 views in June. We are at 3,000,823 pageviews.

The busiest day was 18 June, and this photo of Matariki craft in action was popular.

Top on Twitter

We have 3063 followers. The most popular tweets:

Facebook favourites


We have 3830 likes.

Most popular posts:

Some useful and interesting stuff on the WWW, with a library focus:


The most excellent Kiwi librarians Sally Pewhairangi and Megan Ingle – Heroesmingle – have launched a library-focused magazine Weve. I am looking forward to exploring what they have to day:

Te Papa images


But wait, there’s more:

SarahKia ora. We explore what Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts and social media postings were popular each month – so we can learn more about what our customers are interested in.

Website pages

A flange of baboons, a destruction of cats, a waddling of ducks … The kids’ page on collective nouns for groups of animals was number one in May.

May’s popular blog posts

Photos on Flickr

There were 129,795 views in May. We are at 2,889,368 page views.

Top on Twitter

Pyjama party - NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young adults

We have 3020 followers.

Facebook favourites

We have 3814 likes.

Martian Party Holiday programme

Martian Party Holiday programme, Spreydon Library, CCL-150-732

Today we are 7 – Christchurch City Libraries celebrates seven years of being social online.

We launched our blog on 22 May 2007.

Why are we social? Librarians and libraries are naturally sociable critters. We love information to be free, and freely available. Social media gives us an online platform to share our stuff, ask and answer questions, inform people about events and resources, and have conversations with customers.

Here is a look back on our social history.

Our social media timeline


22 May: Christchurch City Libraries blog is launched, with the first posts from the 2007 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. Here is our first post.

7 June: Bibliofile blog is launched, with the first posts coming from a conference in the United Kingdom on joint school/public libraries.


August: Christchurch City Libraries joins Flickr.


12 April: Christchurch kids blog is launched. Read the first post.

15 September: Christchurch City Libraries joins Twitter as @ChristchurchLib.


January: BiblioCommons catalogue is launched. Users can rate items, make lists, and share opinions by using this social catalogue.

March: Christchurch City Libraries establishes a Facebook presence.


1 September
Ahead of WW100 commemorations, we established a Twitter account 100chch. Read the first tweet.

2 September
Our Flickr site passes one and a half million (1,500,000) page views.

Where we’re at today

A little light statistics, as at 21 May 2014:

  • Flickr 2,839,975 views
  • Facebook 3806 likes
  • Twitter 2983 followers


Articles on how we use social media, and analysis of our statistics.

Opening of Lyttelton Road Tunnel  Libraries Manager, Carolyn Robertson Flooded Avon River on Oxford Terrace Camilla Läckberg

Most shared

Join in

We’d love you all to join in the conversation online – here’s where it is happening:

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Central Library Peterborough. Saturday 10 May 2014. Flickr: 2014-05-10-IMG_0182


This past week has seen me undertake my own ‘intrepid journey’ traveling through a week positively crammed with new experiences. The sheer joy of visiting beautiful spaces, amazing food, forging some wonderful and hopefully long term relationships with colleagues from around the world, – and did I mention lots and lots of good food? There was also the chance to listen to some truly inspiring speakers among them our very own Sam Johnson from the SVA with his mantra of dream it, plan it, do it.

There was thinking around change and the amazing things libraries are doing to remain relevant in the 21st century; and how we are serving diverse and often challenged communities. Libraries help facilitate the creation of content instead of just curating it. Gold Coast City is doing some interesting things in one of their new libraries around connecting with teens – ‘Loud in the Library” and Teen Tech Week connect young people with technology. They also have a Media Lab – a creative design hub which is not only bookable but free and the list goes on…. and on. Truly some great things happening on the Gold Coast.

The chance to be immersed in the MetLib culture for an entire week has been an amazing experience and one which has provided professional development beyond measure. The small cohort, the humour, the willingness to share ideas and the realization that we in New Zealand and especially at Christchurch City Libraries can hold our heads up in the sure and certain knowledge that we are up there with the best of them.

There is so much more I could share, more than there is space for in this forum – if you would like to know more about MetLib 2014 please do get in touch.

One final snippet I must share and one which is testament to our hosts and the loveliness of our country  – yesterday while enjoying the views from a cafe on Waiheke an Australian colleague was heard to comment “You know, I could live here.” The ultimate accolade indeed!



2014-05-15 15.04.23-2What do librarians enjoy doing at conferences even more than networking with other librarians? Visiting libraries of course and Metlib has given ample opportunities for that. I could hardly contain myself as, reminiscent of a school trip, with much excited chattering and a sense of anticipation of what was to come we clambered aboard our bus on a glorious Auckland day, We set off on a trip that would see us visit libraries at Botany and Mt Roskill, Tupu  – Auckland’s dedicated youth library – as well as the Marae at Unitec.

Highlights for this self confessed architecture junkie had to be the Botany Library with its elements of industrial chic. It is a space that delivers on so many levels and a forerunner in its day of RFID and incorporating a retail model in a mall setting. It features some stunning design elements such as the amazingly lit seating in the YA area.

As if this wasn’t feast enough for the senses, Thursday afternoon saw us on the ferry bound for Waiheke to visit the new library there. Unfortunately  due to construction difficulties the building is somewhat behind schedule and is not yet complete. However we were allowed to wander through and it promises to be another stunning building in Auckland City Libraries retinue.

The architect explained that the premise of the building is that the library is gathered under a sheltering canopy of trees. Light wells in the space are filtered through a patterned layer to mimic the lighting of an exterior grove of pohutakawa. A beautiful exterior amphitheatre lies north – accessible through almost an entire wall of glass doors and the library itself is accessed through a courtyard shared with additional spaces including a small gallery and a piano museum.

New Zealand really does do great libraries.


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