banner image

1000 Books Before School

Snuggling up with your tamariki (children) and reading to them is a fabulous habit that will provide them with lifelong benefits. Reading to them increases their connection to you and their interest in the world around them.

This programme is proudly supported by Altrusa Ashburton and encourages regular reading to babies and toddlers in the years before they start school.

How does it work?

You and your child must be members of the library and you can start this fabulous and fun reading journey as soon as your child is born.

Pop into the library and register for 1000 Books Before School and you will receive a colourful booklet to track your progress.


Visit the library regularly to borrow more books and collect milestone rewards – we’ll have a special badge for your library bag every time you get to a milestone.

Once you’ve finished 1000 books, come back to the library to collect your certificate and a special photo.

Is it achievable? Yes!

One book a day for five years is 1825 books.

One book a day for three years is 1095 books.

Three books a day for one year is 1095 books.

Book stars

What should you read?

The Ashburton Library has books to suit all ages, reading abilities and interest.

For the youngest readers, aged 0-2, start with board books, then progress to picture books for toddlers and preschoolers. These have lots of rhyming and lovely illustrations.

You can access eBooks and eAudiobooks by downloading the Libby or BorrowBox App to your device, that way you’ll always have a book at your fingertips – try listening to an eAudiobook while travelling to help your child pass the time.

If English is not your first language, try LotE4Kids, which brings the wonder of books in world languages, including Te Reo Maori and sign language.

Every book that your child completes, or actively listens to, counts. This includes stories read at storytime sessions, preschool, playgroup, kindergarten, as well as the same book over and over again. You can read books from anywhere - not just library books.

How to become a library member