Need help with your final assignments or your exams?

Drop into the lunchtime Quick Questions at Learning Services at the back of the Madras Campus library! A learning advisor is available Monday-Friday, 12-1pm to answer your quick questions about exam strategies, APA, understanding your assessments, or anything to do with successful study.

Or do you prefer learning in your own time? Check out our online StudySmart resources, available through MyAra. StudySmart has videos, explanations, tip sheets and activities on all sorts of learning topics and assessment types. e.g. APA Referencing, Report Writing, Poster Presentations, Exam and Test preparation, and many other topics. Check them out today!

Library hours over Labour Day

All Ara library branches will be closed on Monday 26th October for the Labour Day holiday. Our usual hours will resume from Tuesday the 27th October 2020.

Labour Day has been celebrated in New Zealand since 1900 and commemorates the struggle over many decades for an 8 hour working day. 

Lithograph showing the first Labour Day celebrations in Wellington in 1900

While some people will still be working many of us will be able to spend time with family and friends. Great Labour Day activities include camping, walks, visits to the beach or your favorite park. It is usually a good day for a early summer barbeque or picnic. You might make a weekend of it and head off to some exotic location around New Zealand….

From all the staff here at Ara Library we hope you have a happy and restful Labour Day however you decide to spend it.


The ‘Scottish Play’ brought to life

Shakespeare’s Macbeth comes to Timaru…

Ara’s (Timaru campus) retired tutor, Gail Tatham and Fashion & Art graduate, Sue Connolly have reconnected for “The Scottish Play”.

Gail Tatham’s connection with Ara is 20 years of teaching in the Art Department, mainly Art History and Theory. Sue Connolly studied in the Fashion Department and then went on to graduate from the Art Department as well. She is now a well-known local artist and President of the South Canterbury Arts Society.

Gail has now retired and is following on with her passion in theatre. She is directing this show while Sue has been helping with the design and making of the costumes. The Aidan Theatre is a local independent theatre company.

Author: Helen Purdon

Ara Timaru Campus 

Trial of a new reference database…Points of View Reference Centre

Where do you stand? – Australia/New Zealand Points of View

Just when you think you have something straight in your head someone yells “fake news” and you are not too sure what to think anymore. Luckily the library is trialing a wonderful new online resource called Australia/New Zealand Points of View Reference Centre

We have a trial of the Australia/New Zealand Points of View Reference Centre


This resource covers a wide range of topics, such as banning rodeos, freedom camping and gun control and everything in between including recent views on COVID 19. Each of the over 225 topics contain an overview (objective background/description), a point (argument), and counterpoint (opposing argument), and a guide to the critical analysis of each topic.

Many subjects are covered in the Points of View Reference Centre


All of these tools are designed to help you develop your own perspective on the issues and write or debate an effective argument on the topic.


Never lose an argument across the dinner table or within the classroom again. This resource is fact checked and reflects both sides of any story. All you need to do is see both sides and declare where you stand. Remember those who stand for nothing fall for anything!

Ara and Timaru Boys High School collaboration in food technology.

Jill Milburn, Bakery Tutor, from Ara (Timaru Campus) has been working with a Timaru Boys’ High School, Yr 10 Food Technology class on their digital cake designs. This is part of the new school curriculum for Digital Technology and Ara jumped at the opportunity to support them in this new and revolutionary project.


Jill Millburn and the TBHS students discuss ideas for their designs

Timaru Boys’ High School  (TBHS) are the first in the country to attempt this new and innovative way of using digital technology within their Food Technology Department. Jill is helping to support the students and will be showing them cake decoration designs and techniques before their final presentation to the School in a few weeks’ time.

Author: Helen Purdon (Posted by Jonathan Moake)


Library opening hours in semester two

I am pleased to announce that the City Campus library will be returning to our usual hours of operation starting from the beginning of semester two.



From Monday the 20th July the Library will be open:

Monday-Friday      7 am-8 pm

 Saturday                  10 am-5 pm

     Sunday                    12 noon-5 pm

We also welcome back our Student Assistant Team (SALT) for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown. You will see them working around the library from 7 am on the Monday after the semester break.

Our opening hours are extended from semester two….


From all of us in the library we wish you a restful semester break and look forward to seeing you soon.


Library opening hours for the rest of Semester One


For the remainder of Semester One the Library at City Campus will be open from:

8am to 5pm Monday to Friday

library image611
Entrance to the Library at City Campus


We are happy to announce that on-campus computer suites can now be accessed after the Library closes for the day. Please note you will require your Ara ID card to enter buildings on campus after 5 pm.

We will resume our normal hours of operation from the beginning of the new semester.

From Monday the 21st July our opening hours will be:

7 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday

10 am to 5 pm Saturday

12 noon to 5 pm Sunday.


Our usual hours will resume form July 21st 2020

We apologise for any inconvenience our shortened hours may have caused over the last weeks and look forward to returning to our full service hours in the new semester.

Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2020

Both branches of Ara Library will be closed from 5 pm on Friday 29th May –  8am on Tuesday 2nd June as it is the Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The Queen’s Birthday public holiday is held on the first Monday in June. New Zealand has ten statutory holidays, of which Queen’s Birthday is one.

Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is actually on 21 April, but it is celebrated on various dates across the Commonwealth of Nations to fit with each country’s roster of public holidays.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II – Queen of New Zealand


Those who have the day off will spend it with family or friends or will use the long weekend as a opportunity for a extended holiday away. It is an excellent opportunity to spend time in the outdoors before winter fully sets in.

Queen’s Birthday also sees the announcement of the Honours’ List where the Queen makes appointments to the Order of New Zealand including Orders of Merit, Dames, Knights, Companions, Officers and more. These appointments are nearly always based on a person’s services to the community or the nation in sport, business, charity, the uniformed services and arts.

The New Zealand Order of Merit


We will resume our usual hours from 8 am on Tuesday 2nd June.

We hope you have a safe and relaxing long weekend.




Samoan Language Week 24 – 30 May


Guest blog brought to you this week thanks to Sefa Faletanoai (Workforce Development Representative at Ara).

What does Samoan language mean to me? – First and foremost it’s a stark reminder to me that I need to use my language more in conversation with family and friends.

I’m one of those Samoans who understands Samoan fluently and I have the capacity to speak it, but my mind always does that thing where it second guesses itself and drops my confidence around other fluent Samoan speakers.

It’s really weird, my parents always spoke to me in Samoan but they never made it compulsory for me to do the same. It was only when I went to high school and interacted with my Samoan peers that I realised that I was behind on speaking my mother tongue.


Fast forward to now and I have definitely been using my Samoan more in work, life and in sport. However, Samoan Language Week always highlights my need to continue to use the language. It also delves a bit further during this special week as although the language is a focus, my Samoan culture gets a full celebration with food, dance, music, film and traditions.


So not only is it great for non-Pacific Islanders to learn our way and our background but certainly for Pacific Islanders to celebrate their corner of the Pacific and their very own claim to uniqueness.


Here are some Samoan language links:

Ministry for Pacific Peoples:

Samoan Language Week 2020 list of national events:

Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa Facebook page:

Learning Services and Disability Services during Level 2

Learning Services

Learning Services will be back on campus for those students returning on 18 May. We will have limited staff available for scheduled appointments only on Madras campus (9am-5pm), Woolston and Timaru campuses (both mornings only). If you are returning to campus, and have been referred for learning support, you can make an appointment with a learning or maths advisor at the Library Service Desk or by emailing

In addition, we will continue to offer online Zoom appointments and our weekday 12-1pm Zoom Quick Questions and Maths Q&A sessions. More information and links on MyAra.

We will not be running any workshops or Quick Question sessions on campus.

Disability Services

Welcome to Level 2!

  • If you are coming onto campus and wish to see a Disability Advisor, please book your appointment in advance.
  • Disability Services will only be operating at the Madras Street Campus in Christchurch.  We will not be taking drop in appointments and will only be open some afternoons for face to face appointments, exact times to be confirmed. 
  • The staff at the Library Service Desk will be able to make these appointments for you.
  • Zoom appointments can be booked and will be available throughout the day, as they have been under level 3 and 4.
  • The Timaru campus will be open for disabled student appointments either face to face or via Zoom every morning.