Literacy is the ability to read, write and do basic maths. Over 40% of the adult population in New Zealand struggle to do so well enough to meet the demands of modern life and work.1

This page outlines the various ways in which Christchurch City Libraries can help you improve literacy skills and is aimed at both students and tutors.

 Art by Wongi and Ikarus, Flickr CCL-2013-01-30-IMG_2723
Art by Wongi and Ikarus, Flickr CCL-2013-01-30-IMG_2723

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is celebrated on 8 September. It is a UNESCO-led initiative which acknowledges that literacy is a human right.

Browse our catalogue

English language skills collections are available at most libraries and include resources for both people with literacy difficulties and their tutors. They are designed to help develop skills in:

Simplified readers

The range of resources varies, but all English Language Skills collections include simplified readers: books which have been written or re-written especially so that they can be enjoyed by people with different levels of reading ability.

Cover of Love is BlindSimplified reader series in the catalogue include:

eResources for people with limited literacy skills

Use these eResources at a library or enter your library card and password / PIN

Road to IELTS: General

Access a self-study preparation course to help candidates prepare for the globally recognised IELTS exam. It tests English use at a general level.

World Book Discover

World Book Discover offers access to reference resources for reluctant readers, students with learning difficulties, adult literacy students or those who are learning English as a second language.

Online resources

Find adult literacy providers in CINCH

CINCH lists contact details for adult literacy providers in Christchurch and surrounding areas.

Some groups, such as Adult Reading Assistance Scheme (ARAS) offer free tutoring on a one-on-one or small group basis. Other organisations, such as Hagley Adult Literacy Centre and Adult Literacy at CPIT offer a more structured class-based approach.

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Explore our Internet Gateway

Find useful education resources in our Internet Gateway. The Literacy Aotearoa website is particularly relevant.

Related pages


1. The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: An Introduction, Ministry of Education, September 2007. Accessed 5 September 2012.

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