My Library kickstarted my new life - Public Libraries of New Zealand > Libraries Change Lives

Connect

Email

Search

Latest News


Libraries Change Lives

My Library kickstarted my new life

My Library kickstarted my new life

Our judges deliberations close this week and then it's over to the public to choose the winners of our Libraries change lives writing competition. Spot prize winner,  Elok Halimah's story shows how libraries helped her settle in a new city.

Image: Julie and Uma from Public Libraries of New Zealand congratulate Elok Halimah on winning a Libraries change lives spot prize.


My family and I arrived in Wellington on Sunday, 1st February 2015. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, but we were terribly jet-lagged after the overnight journey from Tokyo via Christchurch. Apart from having a light meal at a café that now no longer exists, we couldn’t do much. 

The following morning, on our second day in New Zealand, I took my 3 year old daughter to the Central Library. After submitting our IDs and a proof of residency, we applied to become new members. We spent the rest of the day at the library, exploring the children’s area, admiring the wide range of children’s books, having lunch at Clark’s Café on the mezzanine floor, and reading at least 10 picture books while sitting down leisurely on the comfortable sofa in the children’s area.

We didn’t have any friends yet. In fact, I didn’t know anybody yet. While searching for a suitable preschool for my daughter, I took her to the Central Library nearly every day. Our daily schedules mostly went like this; Frank Kitts Park, Central Library, Te Papa. Or Waitangi Park, Oriental Bay, Central Library. Or Central Library and Botanic Garden. Or Capital E, Frank Kitts Park, Central Library. I sometimes wondered if the security staff standing by at the gate ever thought why we were there so often. Of course they never said anything. Just like every other staff we encountered, they were nothing but friendly and polite. 

The library has been a vital part of our lives ever since. When my daughter asked about rugby, haka, or other things about New Zealand, I went there to borrow books about them and read them for her. When I felt homesick and missed my family and friends, I went there to browse the “Biography” section, my most favourite area, to pick out one or two books and indulge myself into the unknown world of the well-known (well, sometimes less known) people. We attended and enjoyed countless “Story Time” sessions for pre-schoolers. We met many new friends there. In short, while his office was my husband’s first community here, the library has become my daughter’s and my very first door to the world outside our apartment. Looking back, I’m extremely glad that I headed straight away to the library and became a new member on my second day in the capital city. 

 

Share

Post a Comment


  • Libraries Change Lives by Nadia Adam Shah

    I do not know where to begin. Well for one thing, the library is a wonderful, marvellous, and miraculous place. It is free for anyone to enjoy, no matter what culture, religion, or country you are fro...
  • I Feel Like I Belong in the Library by Hana Adam Shah

    I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. Reading to me is fun, interesting and something relaxing to do. The library inspires me to read more widely and more often! Recently, I’ve come to...
  • Libraries Change Lives by Hariklia Nicola

    This is my story about how the library has changed my life! The library has changed my life in many ways. I have been going to the Kilbirnie Library since I was 1 and a half years old, I still love go...
  • Return to Wonderland: Libraries change lives - Runner Up

    In Return to Wonderland, Kaushiki Roy, Runner Up in the 2016 Libraries change lives competition tells us just how much the world of libraries has changed.
  • My Library is a safe haven

    Matthew is autistic and has ADHD, he finds that his local library is his safe space and has been having regular visits since he was three years old.
  • My Library kickstarted my new life

    Our judges deliberations close this week and then it's over to the public to choose the winners of our Libraries change lives writing competition. Spot prize winner, Elok Halimah's story shows how li...
  • My Library saved my home

    Joy found that her library helped save her from a frosty winter living in her garage after her house had been badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake.
  • My Library changed my life

    This is a true story about how I went from hating libraries and listening to music in bed to spending a lot of my time sitting on a sofa letting fascinating words flood my stressed mind. This is how i...

 

 

 

 

 

For an interactive map featuring all New Zealand public libraries.