< This school holiday season has seen Auckland's libraries join forces with a programme of activities built around a single citywide storyline, "TimeQuest. The TimeQuest project began when the Auckland Libraries Service Development team found that the school holidays coincided with the Auckland Heritage Festival. We saw the opportunity to add a science-fictional thrill, tipping the hat to shows like Doctor Who and movies like Ender’s Game.
We discovered illustrator Nicola Brady and hired her to provide a unique image of postapocalyptic Auckland, with a fallen Skytower, to create a dramatic scenario and remind library users that heritage can be dynamic and critical as well as conservative. After careful consultation, we then linked the apocalyptic scenario to Maori heritage through a quote “Haere mai, e tai, kei te wera te ao” - ”Come and see, the world is going to be burned” – spoken at the Tarawera eruption of 1886.
Of course, many libraries theme school holiday programmes across their branches, but I was eager for us to push the limits of immersive literacy and explore the extent to which a public body can build storytelling into the very fabric of city life.