‘Reading with Roo’ is a pilot programme at Otara Library; a branch of the wider Auckland Libraries organisation, and an opportunity to trial an innovative programme that has been proven successful all over the world.
Reading dogs have are used in a number of public library systems around the globe, and have been proven to encourage hesitant readers to become more literate in a non-judgemental and supportive way. Dogs make excellent reading companions, being both accepting and tolerant.
So how did we start?
A chance meeting with some greyhounds in Manukau, some internet research and an idea! After some research and exploring the initial idea, a proposal was created (in many different drafts) and with the support of Auckland Libraries’ management (especially the managers from the Southern region) the pilot programme was initiated.
To create a point of difference in response to the unique character of the Otara community, a permanent reading dog is being promoted at the Otara Community Library. So far the response from both adults and children in Otara has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive of this project.
With some special help from GAP:
The Greyhounds As Pets organisation in New Zealand worked hard to find us the perfect greyhound – and so Roo came into our world.
A greyhound was selected as the perfect type of reading dog for the Otara Library:
– greyhounds are low-allergy, calm and gentle dogs who are unique in appearance and style! Greyhounds are used in other reading programmes and are renowned ‘couch potatoes’!
You can visit them at: www.greyhoundsaspets.org.nz
If you want to look at other reading dog projects check out the following links: