Saturday, 6 December 2014

Tours at the National Library of New Zealand


This is the time of year when book treats come thick and fast! On Tuesday I went to a gathering at National Library of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection and, after a truly festive ‘spread’ and matching wine we were taken in groups to see a small but in-depth exhibition showing the experiences of New Zealand children in World War I.  
Mary Skarrot
Mary Skarott, the DNW librarian is the curator of the exhibition and was able to bring it to life for us in all its poignant detail. She has collected letters, books and clippings and detailed photos from the time backed by a slide show. There is also a chance to knit a row of a grey balaclava – I haven’t knitted for many years and found it quite addictive.
Book jackets from books of the time (sorry - a bit hard to see!)
Then on Thursday I had another chance to see the exhibition again plus a larger one in the main foyer in which there are many diaries from soldiers and airmen (who flew in the Royal Flying Corps). This had been organised for about 30 teachers and librarians from several cluster groups around Wellington by Katrina Young Drew, the Wellington Regional Library Adviser. More wonderful food appeared.  The tour ended with a visit to the ‘basement’ where the National Children’s Collection (books published after 1940) is housed plus the Dorothy Neal White Collection which concentrates on much earlier books. Ring Mary Skarott for details of the War through Children’s Eyes (04 4704488) and for the other exhibition I haven’t got a contact but just ring National Library of New Zealand  +64 4 474 3000 (Freephone 0800 474 300)
Several local schools have been through both exhibitions since they were mounted a few weeks ago.  They will still be on at the opening of Term One 2015…

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