Babies learn by looking and listening from the first day of life. Childhood, particularly the first few years of a child’s life, is a very important period for the development of language skills. Parents and carers can play a important role in this development by talking and singing to their children and sharing books, songs and rhymes in a happy, loving home environment.

As children grow, reading remains a crucial factor in their success in education and life. It’s important that parents continue to demonstrate the value and enjoyment of reading by encouraging regular reading times, and allowing children to see them reading too. A love of reading can also be encouraged through regular visits to the library where children can browse a huge range of books and choose their own to borrow.

The Library provides a wide range of activities and resources for babies to young adults. These include:

  • Books & Magazines
  • CDs & DVDs
  • Multi-media packs
  • Literacy resources
  • Collections of HSC resources including study guides, Board of Studies publications and materials for use by senior high school students.
  • Digital resources for kids via Storybox, Overdrive and other online apps
  • Free access to research tools and resources

We aim to provide the best resources for all ages. Remember: if you can’t see it, ask for it! We welcome purchase requests.

Activities

School holiday programs are generally aimed at school aged children (as we provide Storytime for preschoolers each week during term). We aim to promote what the library has to offer as well as provide a meaningful activity for young people. These activities give young people the opportunity to meet others, to learn or experience something different and to share some fun.

Some activities are fully supervised while others require carers to stay. Bookings and a small charge may be required. It is a good idea to book early and we appreciate knowing if you are not able to attend a session. These activities are aimed at Library Members and proof of current membership may be asked for.

Activities include:

  • Holiday activities during the school holidays for all ages.
  • Storytimes for preschoolers during school terms
  • Early Bird Early Literacy program
  • Baby Bounce
  • Fun With Music and Music for Toddlers
  • Class Visits
  • Author Visits
  • Exhibitions

Bookstart Program

Reading to a baby is important because it creates a special bonding time for parent and child and introduces baby to many experiences through stories, songs and rhymes.

Bookstart – Reading for Life was launched in February 2006. Bookstart is a bag containing a quality board book and information on the importance of reading as well as library services information. The bags are being given to all new parents in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area to encourage reading from a young age.

Thanks to the Port Macquarie Friends of the Library, over 4,000 Bookstart bags have been distributed to mothers giving birth at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

Ten Minutes a Day book packs

Early Bird, Early Literacy is complemented by the Ten Minutes a Day Baby Book Packs. These are available for loan at Port Macquarie-Hastings Libraries. The packs include board books, a CD and nursery rhymes and have been carefully selected to suit the developmental needs of babies 2 years and under.

The ‘Ten Minutes a Day’ program is made possible through the support of Newcastle Permanent Building Society’s Charitable Foundation and The Smith Family.

Premier’s reading challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge runs every year from February to September and is available for all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 9, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools.

The Challenge aims to encourage in students a love of reading for leisure and pleasure, and to enable students to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely.

How do I find the PRC books in the library?

Not all books listed on the Premier’s Reading Challenge list will be in the library. The library books from the K-2, 3-4 and 5-6 groups have been catalogued so if you type in for example, ‘premier’s reading challenge K-2’ in the catalogue as an ‘anyword’ search, they will be listed. You can reserve these from home.

Most of the K-2, 3-4 and 5-6 books in our collection have a sticker on them. The list does change from year to year. We are very happy to help you find the nominated books. Even better, reserve them from home and we can do all the looking! Remember that there is no charge for a Junior Borrower to reserve a book.

FAQ’s for parents

The materials available range in levels of reading age and interest. We do not keep whole sets of readers as schools do, but have a wide range of books available in bagged sets, on CD and individually.

Yes. The board books provide colour and interest with strong links between text and pictures. Also available are Baby Book Time Packs that include two board books, a music CD and a rhyme sheet.

This collection of books, magazines and DVDs provides practical advice and support to parents whether their children are in nappies or doing their HSC.

Yes and this is a great way to start their library journey. When joining as a junior borrower, they will need to have a guarantor. Remember that with a library card, young borrowers can access newspapers, databases and online stories from home.

Our libraries offer staff assistance, internet access, study space and online information as well as a huge collection of books, DVDs, study guides and resources to borrow.

Our collection goes back to 1882 and comes in a variety of formats. Please refer to our research section for more information.

The National Literacy and Numeracy Week website has some great games and activities for primary aged children as well as advice for parents.
eSafety from the Australian Government as part of their cybersafety program, provides activities, resources and practical advice to help young kids, kids, teens and parents safely enjoy the online world.
A big YES to this one! The State Library and NSW Health provide a variety of information for parents. This includes books, brochures and a very comprehensive website. This is complemented by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation website. Find more information at Drug Info website from the State Library of NSW.

Please refer to our special collections for information on this topic and more.

More resources for parents

Love Talk Sing Read Play

Families NSW in the Sydney metropolitan area have produced resources for parents to provide advice and information on the social and emotional development of their child and how parents can help nurture this important part of child development. The Love, Talk, Sing, Read, Play child development flipchart has now been translated into four major community languages.

Out and About

Need help with teaching your children sight words? Download these flashcard and placemat word sets from the Queensland Government website. Give your child a flying start in literacy by helping them practice their sight words with the Out & About app.

The kids are all right

The kids are all right website is a NSW-based website, which aims to keep parents up to date with what’s going on in the sometimes mysterious world of their teenage children. The site has a wide range of information for parents and there is also a weekly news round-up and opportunity for readers to comment on posted articles.

Best for kids

Best for Kids from Legal Aid NSW provides information and resources on family law in Australia for children, parents and anyone else who wants or needs to know about it, including grandparents. It features four short videos, and has links to other useful resources for separating families.

Parent Line NSW: Free professional help 24-hours a day for parents and carers of children 0-18 years. Call 1300 1300 52

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