with Canine Friends Pet Therapy and Palmerston North City Library
Reading to dogs can offer children a non-judgmental, calm, and supportive environment in which to practice both their reading and reading aloud skills. Studies have shown an association between reading to dogs and improvement in reading, motivation, emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence, self-perception, and/or concentration. It is also suggested that the presence of dogs can help reduce a child’s stress levels and, thereby, possibly helping the young reader to develop a more positive approach to learning.
Excited by such potential, Palmerston North City Library and Canine Friends Pet Therapy are very happy to introduce ‘Reading Unleashed’ – a free programme where children can practice their reading in a fun way by reading to one of Canine Friends’ beautiful dogs.
Sessions are available for primary school aged children, and currently run at the Central Library on Wednesdays 3.30pm – 4.30pm during term time. Individual sessions run for 15 minutes and bookings are essential: email email@example.com. The programme also runs at Awapuni and Roslyn branches but is currently on hold due to building maintenance. Please visit the branches’ FAQ pages on our website for updates.
Look forward to meeting you at ‘Reading Unleashed’.
Kay: Content Development Librarian
Ka pai! We love to help book groups thrive. Here are some top tips:
Set the tone
Would you like a single genre such as fantasy or biographies, something niche like alien romance, or would you prefer to mix it up with a variety of options? Is your group going to delve deep and get analytical or are you going to keep the tone casual? Either way, it’s important to treat members’ viewpoints with kindness and respect.
Make a schedule
Discuss how often you’ll meet and set an initial time that works for everyone. Will it be for an hour after work or a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon? Will you meet in-person, online, or a combination of both? Do you need to book a location? After your first meeting, you’ll have a better idea of how much time your group will need.
Plan your meetings
Even for the most casual gathering, it can be helpful to have a little bit of structure for example, socialising for the first 10-15mins then using some book discussion questions to settle in.
Some great examples can be found here:
Decide what to read
This is likely to depend on the members in your group, but some theme ideas include:
- Changing the genre each month.
- Reading your way around the world with books set in different countries.
- Book-to-movie adaptions.
- Choosing books set in a certain decade or setting such as beach, city, space etc.
- Having a colour theme such as red covers.
- Choosing award-winning authors or short-lists such as the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
- Having each member share what they’ve been reading lately.
- Following a celebrity book group and unashamedly stealing their choices!
- Join in the Big Library Read which happens each May – unlimited digital copies!
- Talk to your local librarian, sign up to our monthly newsletter or browse what’s new on our website.
We have a range of formats to suit a variety of reading styles and needs including standard or large print, CD or MP3 and books in a variety of languages including Te Reo Māori. Use your membership number and PIN to access eBooks and Audiobooks on the Libby and Borrow Box apps.
And if you’d rather have all the fun and no responsibility, check out the growing range of book groups available through the City Library.
While Awapuni Library is getting some repair work done, we’ve got some great news – we’re still here for you!
We’ve set up some pop-up libraries around the area so you can still get your reading fix and borrow all your favourite books. Check this list for times and dates. We’re also pleased to let you know that our programmes are still going ahead.
Check this FAQ page regularly to stay up to date with the repairs and any changes to our services.
We can’t wait to see you soon!