An increase in the Ashburton District's primary school rolls has had a positive spin-off for the Ashburton Public Library.
The number of class visits to the library during the first school term has increased by 20, going from 46 visits in 2014 to 66 visits for the same time this year.
Children's librarian Adrienne Moodie says some schools waiting on the completion of new classrooms are using their school library as a temporary teaching space, resulting in more class visits to the public library.
She says close proximity to the Art Gallery and Heritage Centre has also encouraged schools to include the library as part of a school trip.
"While it's ideal for children to visit the library with their family, class visits are also an excellent way of introducing children to the way a public library operates.
"It's important that children discover the library and become accustomed to using it because in doing so it gives them a resource they can use for the rest of their lives."
Typically a visit starts with a story, a discussion about an author, or a look at new books. Some schools like to bring in classes at different levels and encourage older students to read with a younger one.
Mrs Moodie says an increase in demand for the library's non-fiction books and local teachers making the most of borrowing books for their class through a teacher's card have also contributed to the library's rising number of class visits.
She says libraries have a huge role to play in helping children and young people develop imagination and creativity, and it's been wonderful to see enthusiastic students get so much enjoyment from their visits.
"Introducing children to what the library offers sets the foundations for lifelong learning and a passion for reading and knowledge."