In Oceania



Bookstart, Capel

This scheme gifts books to babies in the Greater Bunbury region in Western Australia. Books are gifted to babies when they are 7–9-months-old at information sessions at local libraries by a librarian, child health nurse and a speech pathologist. There are also plans for books to be gifted at the 6-month check-up by the child health nurse.

Great Lakes, New South Wales

This programme has been gifting book packs to babies throughout the Great Lakes region of New South Wales since August 2006.

Great Lakes Bookstart was initially funded by Friends of the Great Lakes Library Service (FOGLLS) but is now solely funded by the Forster Bowling Club. The packs are distributed by the health visitors during their ‘in-home' consultation with parents shortly after birth their child.

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Better Beginnings Family Literature Programme, Perth

Better BeginningsSince 2004, Better Beginnings has given over 50,000 books and reading kits for Western Australian families with babies under 12 months.

Working in partnership with 115 local governments, the programme builds on the knowledge that early intervention, parent involvement and support communities play a critical role in the growth and development of young children.

Each reading kit includes a quality children's book, a growth chart featuring favourite nursery rhymes, a list of best books and some guidance materials to encourage reading at home. This toolkit is gifted to every baby born in participating areas in Perth through the community health centres at the baby's six-week health check. Parents are also invited to a free rhyme and story session at the public library.

There are plans for Better Beginnings to expand throughout Western Australia, to encourage lifelong literacy links, connect with families and change young lives.

Butterfly Wings Child Parent Programs, Queensland

Butterfly WingsLaunched in 2004, the Butterfly Wings Child Parent Programs (BWCPP) are early intervention and early literacy programmes that offer free, interactive story sessions for families.

Aiming to give a love of oral storytelling, the programme arranges for eight or more story sessions to be gifted each year to children from birth.

Run by volunteers, the programme is available throughout much of Queensland, as well as in Adelaide in South Australia, and has forged partnerships across libraries, childcare, schools, health, non-profits and other groups.

Butterfly Wings has seen more families visit their library, and has gained recognition from the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and the Queensland government.

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New Zealand

Books for Babies

Christchurch City LibrariesBooks for Babies, based in Christchurch, New Zealand, gifts about 5,000 packs to parents and babies every year.

Packs are delivered through hospitals, midwives and the homebirth association, and contain books, tips for sharing stories, and information on joining the local library. In 2005 almost 400 babies joined the library as a result of getting a Books for Babies pack.

Books for Babies is funded by Christchurch City Libraries, and is delivered by library staff and volunteers, with the help of hospital staff and home birth midwives.

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