Monday, 31 December 2007


...and ride on up to Warkworth for the Annual New Years Day Rodeo.

Venue: A&P Showgrounds (just 1 km north of town on State Highway One)

Tuesday 1 January 2008 from 10.00 am
Bareback riding. Bronc riding. Barrel racing. Rope and tie. Steerwrestling. Bull riding. Team roping. Pony rides.

Refreshments available. Hamburgers. Steak sandwiches. Hot dogs.

Entertainment by Trevor Stevens, country music star.

Adults $15. Children $5. Family $30. Free parking. Please leave your dog at home.

For more information: 09 425 8828

Friday, 28 December 2007

Summer Art

If you are feeling creative - or want to check out those among the community that are, come along and be inspired by these two fantastic art events just after Christmas.

The Great Manly Art Show 2007

Saturday 29 December 77 The Esplanade, Manly Beach
10.30 onwards rain/shine
Art lover? Come along and enjoy the artistic talents of the Hibiscus Coast. Artist? Great opportunity to exhibit your work (Fees and commission apply)
For more info ring Lesley 424 0398

The Great Summer Art Exhibition

Saturday 29 December – Monday 31 December: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 1 January 9.30am to noon
Snells Beach Community Centre Hamatana Road, Snells Beach

I haven't beem to the Great Manly Art Show but I always make time to have a wander around the Summer Art Exhibition at Snells Beach where you can catch professional and amateur art work, and maybe discover the artist of the future (or just find something you like the look of to grace the walls of your abode).

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Creative Commons - make sure your stuff is used how you want it to be used

Did Santa make all your dreams come true and bring you a digital camera for Christmas? You'll be snapping pictures and adding them to photo sharing sites like Flickr in no time. Hang on a minute though. Have you thought about how you want your images to be used? Let's talk about copyright and Creative Commons.

Creative Commons licensing lets you choose how you want your digital stuff to be used. It's like copyright but much more versatile. Copyright is on or off - mostly on. With a Creative Commons license you can let people use your image as you see fit. You'll see options used on blogs and websites and now there's a New Zealand version.

There are six different combinations of how you want people to be able to use your stuff and whether they can do so for commercial or non-commercial reasons. Each one has a little icon and is explained in 'human readable language'. If you're interested in the legal words behind each one you can click through to read them.

Rodney Libraries has licensed some of our photos on Flickr with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. It's important to us that some of our images are kept for our own use and display but with others we're pleased to share them round.

Happy snapping!

Monday, 24 December 2007

Library Opening Hours

Rodney Libraries will be open for the community right through the festive season.

Santa said we have all been good enough to take Christmas Day and Boxing Day off. The first two days of 2008 are also statutory holidays so we will be closed then as well.

Apart from that we will be open normal hours but without late nights for the next two weeks.

For full details of who will be open when, click on the link on the right hand side of the page or click here Rodney Libraries opening hours

Here at Rodney Libraries we would like to wish everyone a fantastic fun and safe festive season.

Christmas Storytime at Kumeu Library

The last of our Christmas Family Storytimes is on at Kumeu Library at 10.30 am this morning. Guest storyteller Bringwonder will share his new Christmas story. There may be songs, carols and perhaps a visit from Santa.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Christmas Family Storytime at Orewa Library

Christmas Storytime at Orewa Library at 4pm today. Bring the family and take time out to relax as special guest storyteller Bringwonder tells a Christmas story.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Family Storytime at Warkworth Library

It's Christmas Storytime at Warkworth Library at 5.30 pm today. Dress up in your best Christmas outfit and come along to hear guest storyteller Bringwonder weave his magic. Mahurangi East report that the children and adults were all enthralled with his tale on Tuesday so come and hear him for yourself.

The long tedious car trip ... with kids

It's hot - it's humid. You are sitting inside a moving vehicle (make that a slowly moving vehicle as there are thousands of other vehicles on the road), with restless children and toddlers. "Are we there yet?" is becoming rather boring. And you are trapped because you are still only half-way there (not that you would tell the kids that).

WE HAVE THE ANSWER (well at least it's worth a try).

Audio books and tapes are not just for adults. There are talking books and stories for childrens and teens to cover all ages.

Many of the popular children's authors are now available in this format including Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz and Paul Jennings. There are also great books such as the BBC production Across the Barricades (Joan Lingard) about two young people from different sides of the street in the city of Belfast or A Horse called Elvis (John Heffernan) about a foal that becomes part of a family that is going through it's own turmoil and struggle to stay together.

One of my favourites is the Don Linden Children's Favourites collection. All the stories I remember from the Sunday morning Request sessions such as Little Toot, Sparky, Diana and the Golden Apple and The Littlest Angel are here (I know - I am showing my age).

Or try the music tapes and CD's with popular Wiggles, Hooley Dooleys, Hi-Five, Play School, Pukeko Stomp and others. Mothers in the know recommend that you get more than one CD or tape, otherwise you can get very sick of hearing the same songs over and over (and over) again.

We also have lots of kits with the book and the tape/CD in it so the child can read the story while they are listening to it. The Christmas Kitten by New Zealand storyteller Mary Kippenberger (who visited us a couple of years ago for our Summer Reading Programme finale parties) is a lovely tale as is The Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Those long tedious car trips

It's that time of year where everything gets packed into the car and you hit the roads with thousands of others who are all trying to get somewhere. It's usually hot and humid and the radio receiption around the hills and valleys of our fair country is a little random.


More and more people are discovering that one way to ease the tension and tedium of car trips is with talking (or audio) books. Pop a CD or a tape into your car stereo and enter a whole different world.

There is a huge range available on talking books from the latest bestsellers such as Rhonda Byrne's The Secret, Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic & Sister and David Baldacci's The Collectors to the classic authors such as George Orwell, Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier and Jane Austen.

There are new titles being bought all the time and lots have arrived just in time for Christmas.
Try A Golden Age by Tahmimia Anam - A great story about survival during Bangladeshs War of Independence, or The Bullet Trick by Louise Welsh - an edgy tale set in the world of cabaret and magicians.

And audio books are not just for adults - catch me here again tomorrow and I will talk about our childrens and young adults titles.

Ka kite ano

Two Christmas Family Storytimes today

Guest storyteller Bringwonder will be travelling the district today for the Christmas storytimes. He'll be at Wellsford Library for their storytime in the morning at 10.30 am. Then he'll be off to Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre for their evening storytime at 6.00 pm.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The Best of Lists

From the Listener magazine's Best Books of 2007 to The Women's Bookshop Guide to Good Books, this is the time of year when almost every publication you see has some sort of list in it of what others consider to be the best reading of the past year.

And the good news is that although some of the titles are a little obscure, most can be found at your local Rodney Library. 89% of the novels in the Listener list are available and 100% of the Women's Bookshop fiction titles are in the catalogue. The Summer Books reviewed by North and South this month have all been ordered or have just arrived and we also have most of the books mentioned in the latest Next magazine.

New books and magazines are arriving at the library every day so pop into the library for your summer holiday reading now.

Christmas Storytime at Mahurangi East Library

Guest storyteller Bringwonder at Mahurangi East Library at 4.00 pm this afternoon. Not just for the pre-schoolers, there is something for the whole family with stories, songs, maybe a Christmas carol or two, and perhaps even a visit from a jolly old gentleman (if we have all been very good).

Monday, 17 December 2007

Christmas Storytimes Reminder

Christmas is coming to Rodney Libraries this week. Most of the libraries have their Christmas storytimes this week with visits from both Bringwonder the storyteller and (if we are lucky) a jolly old gentleman from the North Pole (or one of his helpers as he is so busy at this time of year).

Here are the times again for the storytimes this week:

Mahurangi East Library 4.00 pm Tuesday 18th December
Wellsford Library 10.30 am Wednesday 19th December
Whangaparaoa Library 6.00 pm Wednesday 19 December
Warkworth Library 5.30 pm Thursday 20th December
Orewa Library 4.00 pm Friday 21 December
Kumeu Library 10.30 am Monday 24 December

Friday, 14 December 2007

What's on this weekend?

Start your weekend early with these events on tonight...

Kumeu Christmas Parade and Carols
Rotary Club of Kumeu Christmas Parade followed by Carols by Glowstick by the Huapai Library. 6.45pm to 8.45pm (A road closure and diversion will be in operation.)

Warkworth Carols in the Park
Lucy Moore Park & Baxter St, Warkworth from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Sponsored by the Warkworth Rotary Club this annual event has a brass band, childrens choirs and even a harp. A great way to enjoy the festive community spirit.

Then kick it up a bit on Saturday...

Christmas in the 'Ville
South Kaiparas very own free Christmas Carols night for all ages presented by PACKS. 5.00pm to 9.00pm ish at the Parakai Domain. Come along and see local talent perform well known and loved carols and Christmas songs. Join in and celebrate a great night for the whole family.

Orewa New World Carols by the Beach
Orewa Beach Reserve Saturday 15 December from 6.30pm. A Free Community Christmas Event. Bring your picnic dinner and enjoy a variety of live entertainment and traditional Christmas carols. The finale will be a spectacular professional fireworks display.

Finally wind down on Sunday...

ASB Christmas at the Zoo
Sunday 16 December, 5pm – 9pm (Rain date Monday 17 December) The zoo will sparkle with fairies and walking Christmas trees. Children can get their faces painted free, have their photo taken with Santa, and enjoy fun rides and interactive games, including a giant obstacle course and the ASB Tennis Speedserve. Tickets available from
Auckland Zoo on (09) 360 3805.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

How do I get there from here?

If you're leaving Rodney for the holidays then be sure to take a good map. Speaking from experience it's terrible to drive past the turnoff to your destination and not realise it for a couple of hours or be lost in a tangle of one way streets.

Come into the library and look at the road map books. 919.3 in the Adult Information or Reference sections. You'll be able to take the ones from the Information section home with you or you can photocopy pages from the Reference items.

Alternatively, go to Wises Maps. Type in your destination and click "go". It will take you to a map that you can print out. You can even get driving instructions - from here to there with approximate distance and driving time included.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Going on holiday

Hands up who is heading away on holiday for the summer! Congratulations, lucky you.

We often get asked by people if they can use their Rodney Library Card at a different Rodney Library than the one they usually go to. The answer is of course YES you can.

So if you are heading away on your holiday to another part of the Rodney District, don't forget to take your Rodney Library Card with you and pop into the local library. There are seven of us around the region - Helensville and Kumeu out west, Orewa and Whangaparaoa in the East and Warkworth, Snells Beach and Wellsford in the north. Your library card will work in all of them.

And if you are heading to your holiday home in Rodney from further afield, don't forget that all Rodney ratepayers are entitled to free membership and use of the Rodney Libraries.

Can't wait to see you all here.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Express Select arrives at Warkworth

The Warkworth Library is the latest of the Rodney Libraries to make available the new Express Select Collection - the quickest stop for popular books and magazines.

Forget the hold queue - this is strictly a "see it and pick it up" collection - Express Select items cannot be requested or have holds put on them. The lending time is shorter for a quicker turn around and there is a charge. Books are $5.00 for a week and magazines are $2.00 for the week. It is possible to renew them but there will be another charge. A quiet warning that they are more expensive if you are late back with them as well.

However if you don't want to wait in the hold queue for a copy to come available - this is a quick easy way to get the latest reading. If you don't want to pay, there are copies of all the books in the Express Select Collection are available free in the general lending collection.

Just another option for your reading. Check it out on the special stand at your local library.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Parties and entertaining

Party season seems to start straight after Labour Weekend but it goes crazy as Christmas and the summer holidays draw closer. If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, try the following searches on the catalogue...

Subject : Parties. There are 5 books listed under this heading. (I especially like the sound of "Diane Warner's great parties on small budgets : celebrations for grownups and kids of all ages" It looks American so it won't necessarily translate exactly for New Zealand products but there should be some fun ideas in there.)

Subject: Entertaining. 51 titles listed here. A nice mix of recipes and styling ideas. (My favourite in this list is "Entertaining for wimps" with the subtitle "Food, drink & style sense for the hesitant host.")

Friday, 7 December 2007

National Jandal Day for Surf lifesaving

Today is National Jandal Day for Surf Lifesaving New Zealand. Brought to you by Bach 22 wines and Surf Life Saving New Zealand, National Jandal Day wants every Kiwi to step out in NZ’s favourite summer footwear, and help make our beaches safer places.

From their website "Last year 1,440 lives were saved by Surf Lifeguards. We have a drowning rate twice that per capita of Australia (shocking eh?), and Surf Life Saving New Zealand needs your help to increase its commitment to public education, expand their services to increase our beach access and meet the ongoing demand for more patrols, more equipment and training for our lifeguards. To do this we need your support!"
Make a donation online to this great cause. They help to keep us safe over the summer season.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Rodney libraries catalogue 'Advanced Search' option

Did you know that you can search by format under the Advanced Search option? Scroll down to find 'Material type' and choose from the selection e.g. DVD, Audio CD etc. By searching on * in 'Any field' you'll get results for all of the items we hold in that format. It's a great browsing option if you can't get into the library to have a look through the shelves.

I don't recommend you try this with the 'Book' format though otherwise you'll be scrolling until Christmas.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Volunteers - It's Your Day

December 5th is International Volunteers Day. It's that time of year when we all stop and consider the huge amount of work that all volunteers, everywhere do to keep things running smoothy, do that little bit extra and in some cases to do something that makes all the difference in the world.

Rodney Libraries operates with the help of a large number of volunteers who freely give their time (and sometimes muscle) to assist us everyday. They make it so much easier for us to provide you with the library service.

So we would like to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU. Take a bow library volunteers. You know who you are and we appreciate everything you do to help us.

Take the time to thank a volunteer you know. Sometimes it is really nice to know you are appreciated.

Christmas Storytimes

As well as our normal storytimes for preschoolers, this year Rodney Libraries are having special family Christmas storytimes with guest Storyteller "Bringwonder" and his new Christmas story "The Littlest Christmas Treet".

Not just for the pre-schoolers, there is something for the whole family with stories, songs, maybe a Christmas carol or two, and perhaps even a visit from a jolly old gentleman (if we have all been very good).

Mahurangi East Library 4.00 pm Tuesday 18th December
Wellsford Library 10.30 am Wednesday 19th December
Whangaparaoa Library 6.00 pm Wednesday 19 December
Warkworth Library 5.30 pm Thursday 20th December
Orewa Library 4.00 pm Friday 21 December
Kumeu Library 10.30 am Monday 24 December

Put this date in your diary now (I know mine is exploding with all the neat things to do in the lead up till Christmas. I will be quite exhausted on the day).

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Rocket into Reading with Rodney Libraries

ROCKET INTO READING - Kokiritia te Korero Pukapuka

Our popular Summer Reading programme is on again with registrations opening on Saturday 8th December from 10am at your local library.

This 6 week programme targets mainly the 6-11 year olds and includes four visits to the library, a Rocket into Reading Kit and finale parties around the district (with guest storyteller) on 23rd and 24th January. Children will be encouraged with their reading, learning about using the library and can have fun while they are doing it. There are activity sheets, mazes, a colouring in competition and even some code breaking.

The programme is available free of charge but places are limited. Check-ins are spread out over the holidays.

To join children need to come into the library with their parents or caregiver and they need to have a current library card (if they don't they can get their own card at the same time).

If you want any more information please contact your local Library.

Monday, 3 December 2007

New Zealand film clips are going online

A bigger slice of New Zealand's history is now available online following the launch of Archives New Zealand’s new Audio Visual Archives website. It features more than 100 film clips sourced from the National Film Unit and is a big step forward in making Archives New Zealand’s audio visual collection more accessible and visible to New Zealand and international viewers.

The online exhibitions are a great place to start. They are small features about films, film makers and film archiving. If you want to dive right in you can search the collection by subject or free text through the wiki feature. This will take you to details about the films. To see them go to view films which gives you a list of full length digital videos.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Rodney is THE BEST!

The 2007 Quality of Life Report confirms it. Over the last five years were grew the most (17.6% increase) and had the most content residents (92% of us are happy or very happy). Approximately 93% of us think our quality of life is good or very good - the highest in the report of 12 councils throughout New Zealand.

We had one of the highest employment growth rates, lowest unemployment rates, best rates of physical activity, friendliest neighbours and highest rise in median household incomes.

To find out more on the Quality of Life survey and compare councils, cities or years, go to the website

Have a fantastic weekend in the best place in New Zealand (but we alraedy knew that, didn't we?)

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Paint cans and bright colours

It's still a work in progress but the Warkworth Library is taking on it's bold new colours and looking years younger (which is really what a makeover is all about, isn't it girls?).

The painters are doing a magnificent job as are our volunteers working around the upheavel and helping us in any way they can.

A huge thank you to the patience of our customers who have had to put up with not having any access to parts of our collection over the past few days. The end is in sight.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Santa Claus is coming to ...

...Wellsford and Helensville this weekend with their annual Santa Parades on Saturday.

The Wellsford Parade kicks off from 11am. The Wellsford Library is having a Big Book Sale while the crowds are in town, so pop along and gather your summertime reading. Lots of bargains for everyone.

The Helensville Parade is running from 1 - 2 pm and promises over 40 floats.

Also out west, the Kumeu Library and the Arts Centre are running a Book sale on Saturday. It starts at 10am and runs through to 3pm at the Arts Centre (behind the library).

Watching a lot of TV

The other thing I did while away was watch a lot of television. I have no comment to make on daytime TV but I am getting a teensy bit worried about the writers strike in the States. Wikipedia has an informative article on the "2007 Writers Guild of America Strike." There've been positive signs recently although as one blogger writes "I must caution that this is Hollywood -- where defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory nearly every time."

What if the strike goes on for months? Come to the library and check out some of our DVDs. (The writers should have been paid for those already.) You can either search for a specific programme or do an Advanced Search on the catalogue using "Television" as the search term and "DVD" as the material type. Be warned though, that search got me 944 results so it might pay to add in another search term e.g. "Comedy" or "Drama".

There are also children's programmes available on DVD and the price of children's DVD's has just gone down to $2 per week. Now that's something to celebrate.

Monday, 26 November 2007

"The man who ate everything"

I came off my bike a fortnight ago and grazed my leg quite badly. Consequently I had to spend seven days lying on the couch with my leg up. I took the opportunity to catch up on my reading.

One of the books was "The man who ate everything" by Jeffrey Steingarten. It's 10 years old now but still a good read. He's a foodie who seems obsessive about some of the little things in life. For example - how to fry the perfect chip and how to make the tastiest BBQ. He even writes about the combination of minerals needed to make water taste great (here I was thinking that water was just water.) It's a lot of fun to read about that behaviour in someone else although I'm not entirely sure how his wife feels about some of his experiments. (Baking bread at 3am?) He's written a follow up title, "It must've been something I ate : the return of the man who ate everything " which I'll be picking up from the library now that I'm up and about again.

Friday, 23 November 2007

How to look better with a weekend makeover!

And although we have plenty of makeover and fashion tips, that's actually not what we are talking about today.

The Warkworth Library (or Warkworth War Memorial Library to give us our official title) is undergoing a repaint starting this weekend. Unfortunately this will mean a reduced service on Saturday as we prepare for the painters arrival, and then at the beginning of next week as the painters finish off and we repack the shelves.

After hours returns will be affected and we have made arrangements for returns to be made at the Warkworth Visitor Information Centre. After we close at 1pm on Saturday you can return books to the I-site until they close at 3pm on Saturday and again from 9am to 3pm on Sunday. While we are trying to ensure that the after hours returns slot is available outside these times, if this is not possible and you are unable to return your books, please check with us next week. If yur books were overdue solely ecause of the disruption caused by the painting, no fines will be incurred.

There will be no Childrens Storytime on Monday at 10.30 as the painters will still be here. The reduced service means that some books and other items will be unavailable as we have had to remove them from the shelves and store them. We can however put holds on items that you want.

We apologise for the disruption but we are all looking forward to a sunnier and brighter library with it's new coat of paint.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

What's on around Rodney

Plenty to do around Rodney at the moment.

RAISE THE ROOF – Musical entertainment to fundraise for Hibiscus Coast Kindergarten building upgrade. Saturday 24th September from 7.30pm at Orewa Primary School, Maire Road. The entertainment includes Rock n Roll, Classic Ballads & Swing Jazz, complimentary refreshments and a sumptuous supper! There will be Spot prizes and a raffle, so if you know anyone from the kindy hit them up for a ticket.

The Stanmore Bay School Gala is on Saturday 1st December from 10am to 2pm. It’s a Family fun day with stalls, rides, stage entertainment and bargains galore. Auction at 11am and helicopter rides all day. Lookout for the All Star Cheerleaders performance.

Check out the sailing talent of the future at the Mahurangi College Regatta, being held once again at Algies Bay on Monday 3rd December. As in previous years the aim of this Regatta is for a relaxed and fun day with a series of short races that will provide racing practice for junior members of school sailing teams. Due to the generosity of sponsors there will be prizes and spot prizes to be won. Racing will be in the following classes: Optimist, P-Class, Starling, Splash, 420 (no spinnakers). If you want to know more contact Justin Basevi at Mahurangi College.

Also at Mahurangi College this weekend (24 and 25 Nov) is the Book and Jumble sale which is a fundraiser for their Netball Club. From 9am on Saturday and Sunday go and stock up on your holiday reading and support our young netballers. You may be helping a Silver Fern of the future.

AND ONE MORE THING. Next week is Seniors Week at Hibiscus Coast Leisure Centre. All activities for Seniors FREE between Monday 26th and Friday 30th November. DON'T MISS OUT! For Fun, Friendship and Exercise and all the free activities on Seniors Week call the Leisure Centre on 4241914

Stay tuned as next week we will telling you about all the Santa Parades and Christmas activities that are springing up around the district as we enter the month fo December.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The Bestsellers List

We'v been there before but leading into Christmas it's always interesting to see what is on the bestseller list. It may just be a good indication of what could be in your Christmas stocking this year as the marketing gears up. Check out the New Zealand Booksellers website for more snippets on the local book market and events.

New Zealand Fiction for Adults

1. Mr Pip Lloyd Jones
2. Towards another summer Janet Frame
3. The Six Pack Two NZ Book Month
4. Amber Deborah Challinor
5. The Bone People Keri Hulme

New Zealand Non Fiction for Adults

1. The Road to Castle Hill Christine Fernyhough
2. On Wings of Mercury Lorraine Moller
3. Tana Umaga Paul Thomas
4. Give a Man a Horse Dianne Haworth
5. The Penguin History of NZ Michael King

International Fiction for Adults

1. Road to Paradise Paullina Simons
2. Book of the Dead Patricia Cornwell
3. A Discworld Novel making Money Terry Pratchett
4. World Without End Ken Follett
5. The Almost Moon Alice Sebold

International Non Fiction for Adults

1. Jamie at Home Jamie Oliver
2. Guinness World records 2008 Guinness World Records
3. The Secret Rhonda Byrne
4. On the Edge – My Story Richard Hammond
5. 4 Ingredients Cookbook Kim McCosker & Rachael Bermingham

Titles For Children & Teens

1. Alex Rider #07: Snakehead Anthony Horowitz
2. Cherub Mad Dogs Robert Muchamore
3. Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers Lynley Dodd
4. Just Shocking Andy Griffith & Terry Denton
5. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows J K Rowling

And if you can't wait for Christmas, or don't think that Santa is going to be kind enough to buy you what you want this year, almsot all these books are available at your local Rodney Library right now.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Magazine Junkies Unite

My name is Kowhai Reader and I am a Magazine Junkie.

Which is one reason why working in a library amongst books and magazines is so good. I can read all the different magazines, that I can't afford to buy. And in some cases check out new titles on the market to see if they are worth buying.

Judging by the popularity of the magazines from Rodney Libraries, I am not the only one with a magazine passion. And there is a huge range to choose from. Start with the Arts and Crafts (Artists Palette or Quilter), the Lifestyle and Handyman (The Shed) titles, through to the News and Current events titles (Time). There are titles for kids, teenagers, and for those of us who are more mature. The Express Select collection brings you some of the more prestigious magazines at a small cost.

And if you decide you like something how above giving someone (or yourself) a Christmas present with a subscription for the year. The gift that keeps on keeping on. Check out Mercury Subs to see what is available.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Proud to be a kiwi

I wasn't going to talk about the netball... but even with the loss I was a teency bit proud to be a Kiwi on Saturday night. How many other closing ceremonies would you see around the world, where the host crowd congratulates the winners (when it's not themselves) by singing their unofficial national anthem? And it was a hard fought thing, where we had our chances as well but got beaten by a better unit on the night. Congratulations Australia but hold your heads up Silver Ferns.

It was nice to hear Liz Ellis say that it is the Silver Ferns that make Australia great (works both ways). Chris Evert would probably say the same of Martina Navratilova (There's even a book about them called The Rivals by Johnette Howard) or The Wallabies about the All Blacks (Two Mighty Tribes by Spiro Zavos & Gordon Bray). If sport is not your thing consider, Romeo is not great without Juliet or Dr Jekyll without Mr Hyde. Check out these famous partnership is The Book of Duos by Ian Harrison.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Multimedia sale - today and tomorrow at Orewa Library

Includes lots of cds and some videos, audio books, graphic novels and magazines

Friday 16 and Saturday 17 November (Santa parade day in Orewa) at Orewa Library

Don't forget if you and all your family are not already members of the Rodney Libraries this is a good opportunity to join while you are at the sale. Membership is free if you live in Rodney. See our website for further information or to register online.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Scrabble score - word!

Congratulations to Nigel Richards who won the World Scrabble Championship on Monday. The event took place from November 9-12, 2007 at the Taj President Hotel, Mumbai, India. Apparently they had a webcam and live updates which I'm a bit sorry to have missed.

The New Zealand Association of Scrabble Players has a link to scrabble clubs around New Zealand. You can even play online although the Association has a little warning "Most North American players use only the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) as their reference. This makes it difficult for New Zealand players who are used to double dictionary using both OSPD and Chambers (also known as SOWPODS)."

If you want to brush up on your skills before you play again try a Subject search for Scrabble. Most of the books seem to be around 793.7 in the information section.

Finally, if you thought scrabble players were all sweetness and light, think again. This M-rated documentary, Word Wars follows players as they travel across the United States to various Scrabble tournaments.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

More and more books

on sale for your summer holiday reading (or for reading on days like today when the weather isn't good for anything but curling up with a good book).

The little birdie reported in from out West to let me know that the Kumeu book sale is on Saturday 1st December at the Art Centre (behind the Library) from 10 am to 3 pm. It is a joint Rodney Libraries - Art Centre project.

Meanwhile, this weekend you will find a Book Sale as part of the Red Beach School Gala. Orewa Library is supporting the school with their annual fundraiser. Crossed fingers for good weather for this Sunday 18th December. [oops! That should be 18 NOVEMBER. rodneylibraries 15/11] Wander along and join in all the fun.

Sounds like there are lots of places that I will need to stay away from as my book shelves at home are already bulging and I could quite easily have a book sale of my own.

Can you catch the big one?

Now I can remember fighting with my siblings to be the ones with the rods when we went fishing on the Kaipara Harbour, while Mum with the hand line was always the person on the boat that pulled in the big one. It's actually been ages since I have baited a hook but hopefully someone will invite me out for a day sometime this summer.

In the meantime, this Sunday is the annual Warkworth Lions "Take a Kid Fishing" event so dust off the fishing rods and ply the old fisherman for tips and tricks so that you can catch the big one.

This fishing competition is open to children 12 years and under. Fishing is off wharves in the local area. Prize giving and raffles at Warkworth Wharf at 3.30pm.

All bait and ice privided. Those twelve years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Registrations essential, available at Letchers Variety Store, local schools,Warkworth Sports World, Pt Wells Store, Snells Beach Dive and Fish,Warkworth Sports & Leisure,Warkworth Boat and Fish,Leigh general Store,Matakana Motors,BP Snells Beach,Auto Shop Rodney, Warkworth Picture Framers. Information contact Brian Simmons phone 09 425 5133.

Rodney Libraries have plenty of fishing books if you want to do some homework before you hit the wharf. In childrens and adult non-fiction just check under 799.1 on the shelves for titles such as Hook Line & Sinker (Daryl Crimp), Best Boat Fishing Spots (Geoff Thomas) or The Mad Keen Fisherman's Road Trip (John Eichelsheim).

Good fishing everyone.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The Book Sales are coming

It is a sad fact of life in a library that sometimes the old and unused books have to be moved out to make way for all the new ones that are being published and that you want to read.

Here in Rodney we partner up with different community or school groups to run sales of these items - so that you get the benefit thrice over. You've read them in the library, you get to buy them for a ridiculously small amount in the sale and you get to support a community group or help to fundraise for a school team. Any way you look at it - You are the winner.

Book Sales coming up are:

Warkworth - Mahurangi College Hall Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th November

Wellsford - At the Library on Saturday 1st December - the day the Santa Parade hits the town.

A little birdie whispered that there may be something over at Kumeu soon as well. I will let you know more when I get the official word.

Ka kite ano - this librarian is off to play hookie at the World Netball Champs. Go the Silver Ferns.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Are we lost?

I spent Saturday running around farmland and trekking through mud just so I could put a little electronic chip into something that went "beep". Yes, I participated in my very first adventure/orienteering/rogaine event. It was a mixture of walking and mountain biking plus mystery activities which could earn you a few extra points.

I realised during the event that I possibly should have done a bit more homework rather than relying on luck and enthusiasm to get me through. To that end, I've been having a quick look on the catalogue.

Rodney Libraries has a few books on the subject of Orienteering (around 796.5) in the Adult Information area. There are fewer books on Adventure Racing but it does include one on the Coast to Coast, probably New Zealands best known adventure race. A book on Map Reading would have been very useful as would one on dominos. I could (should) have improved my Mountain Biking skills before the event. The only book I couldn't find was one on how to get through knee-deep mud effectively - perhaps because you can't?

Friday, 9 November 2007

What will you be doing this weekend?

If you're looking to get out and about I can highly recommend the inaugural Stoneleigh Sculpture in the Gardens. It's on at the Auckland Botanic Gardens and showcases the work of some of New Zealand's most talented artists in a magnificent garden setting.

There are guided walks on Sundays at 1pm. More information is available on the newly redesigned Auckland Regional Council website.

I went on a guided tour last weekend and despite the rain and wind found it fascinating. There are some definite themes that come through - these artists are not afraid to be provocative.

Have a good one!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

An evening with Michael Palin

Oh dear. If you travel through twenty countries and condense that down into seven hours for a television programme, what are the chances that you'll offend someone? Pretty high I'd say.

Sun 11 Nov 2007, 7:00pm at the Westlake Boys High School Auditorium
Meet Michael Palin, talking about his latest book "New Europe". His latest travels in New Europe (both a book and a television series) are through Eastern Europe in countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain. Palin opens up a new and undiscovered world to millions.

Tickets available from Ticketek $15.00
Phone 0800 tickets or 09-307-5000

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Our final chance at sporting glory

The Netball World Champs are on our back door step (over in Waitakere City) next week. They kick off on Saturday. This parochial Silver Fern fan has got everything crossed that this is one national team that can do the business and bring a cup home (keep it actually as we are the defending champions).

Teams have started arriving and the World Champs website is up and running with plenty of information, match schedules and commentary. There are still tickets at $25 per day for the round robin (Sunday to Wednesday) next week which is fantastic value. Unfortunately this librarian won't be able to get there but the nice people at SKY phoned and offered me a free months trial on SKY sport (in the hopes that I will forget to cancel it at the beginning of December) so I won't be camping out at my girlfriends for the week.

If you want to support the Silver Ferns they have their own support website at Silver Fans , or you can go to Netball New Zealand. A bus is tourning the country for you to write your message of support on the side and will be a the stadium for the duration of the tournament.

So if you see a slightly distracted librarian wandering around next week, it will just be me in netball mode.

Ka kite ano.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

The celebration that stops two nations

Yes, it's Melbourne Cup day. You can see what's happening over at Flemington by having a look at their webcam. There isn't much action on course at the moment but you can see the grounds team getting ready for the day.
If you are having a sweepstake at work have a look at the field and form guide. It will tell you whether or not your assigned horse is likely to come out a winner. I've had a quick look and unfortunately I don't think mine will. To console myself I'll be looking at the style and fashion pages instead.

If you're in the North of Rodney be sure to get along to the Matakana Village Melbourne Carnival. While the horses will be seen only on the big screen at Matakana, the Village will open its doors to the kind of fashion frenzy that famously accompanies Cup racing. Support a great cause and have a good time doing it.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Rodney Writes Writing competition

The Rodney Writes writing competition is open. Sponsored by Rodney District Council and run by Rodney Libraries it offers great cash prizes for writers of all ages and experience level.

There are three categories
Premier - open to entrants who have had creative writing published or broadcast for payment.
Novice - open to entrants who have not had creative writing published or broadcast for payment.
Young Writers - open to entrants under to age of 18 as at 1 January 2008.

Premier - $1000 first prize, $500 runner up
Novice - $500 first prize, $200 runner up
Young Writers - $500 first prize, $200 runner up

Entry forms at your library or click here.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Plenty to do...

... in Rodney this weekend. Check out some of these events.

of course the day itself is on Monday 5th November. But a couple of don't miss fireworks and family events are on this Saturday.

NZ Fire Service Open Day, Family Concert and Fireworks - Orewa Beach Reserve 3pm to 10pm. Fire Service displays, a family concert and a fireworks display.
Park and ride schemes will operate from Whangaparaoa Shops and Silverdale shops commencing at 2.30pm operating every half an hour till 7.30pm. Return rides between 9.30 and 10.30pm. The service is provided by NorthStar buses and a one-way ticket will cost $1 each.

SkyFawkes. Goodall Reserve, Snells Beach from 6pm to 9pm. Adeaze are the feature act for the concert and the fireworks kicks off after dark.

DON'T FORGET Melbourne Cup - the horse race that stops two nations - is run next week. Lots of events and office sweeps around. Matakana are hosting a fundraiser for breast cancer on Tuesday, with the race on the big screen. Go to the NZ Breast Cancer website for more niformation.

And the Library Quiz team is hitting Orewa tonight for the trivia challenge against other Council staff. We'll let you know how we went next week.

Ka kite ano. Be careful with those fireworks.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

"A Pinch and a Punch

for the first of the month". Welcome to November.

I was going to wax lyrical on the origins of the above saying, but that seems to be lost in the mists of time.

So instead I should probably talk about Movember. No - that is not a spelling error. November is now the month of the moustache.

Check out the Republic of Movember website which explains how clean shaven men grow moustaches all in support of mens health awareness and in particular prostrate cancer. If you see someone walking round sporting some stubble, give them some support.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

All Hallow's Eve

Michael Wilson called it "colonial imperialism" on TV1 this morning. Some consider it rampant American commercialism. Others celebrate Halloween as it was originally - as Samhein from the Celts of Ireland and Britain. The History Channel website has a huge amount of information about the origins of Halloween and how we celebrate it today.

For a lot of us though, we think of Halloween as fancy dress, trick and treating and fun. And that's how we will be celebrating at the Rodney Libraries today. There are activities this evening at most of the Rodney Libraries so head down for fun, games, stories and songs.

Helensville, Kumeu and Orewa have their parties starting at 4 pm. Warkworth commences at 4.30 pm, Mahurangi East (Snells Beach) at 5.30 pm and Whangaparaoa at 6 pm.

And maybe by the end of the week we will be able to post some photos of what the well-dressed librarian wears for Halloween. Have a good day everyone.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Tidbits from the Book World

One of our most popular romance writers, Nora Roberts, was a winner at the Quill Awards in America last week. The Quill Awards sounds like the publishing industry's answer to the Oscars (think red carpet and glamour). "Romance rocks," Roberts told the crowd after accepting her Book of the Year award, which was voted online by the public, for a romance/thriller novel "Angels Fall" . Other Quill Award winners included Al Gore for the history/current affairs/politics category with "The Assault on Reason", Cormac McCarthy, who took the general fiction award with his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Road" and Walter Isaacson, who won the biography/memoir award for "Einstein: His Life and Universe." Amy Sedaris won the humor award for "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence," Diane Setterfield will be awarded the debut author Quill for "The Thirteenth Tale" and Laura Lippman won the mystery/suspense/thriller award for "What the Dead Know."(sourced from Reuters).

While filming gets underway for "The Lovely Bones", the best seller from Alice Sebold, her latest offering "The Almost Moon" is in hot demand in Rodney Libraries. It has had mixed reviews and I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. Go to the Rodney Libaries catalogue and put a request in for it.

And while J K Rowling has outed Professor Dumbledore (personally I wonder at the need for this announcement), I am much more interested in finding out exactly what happened to Rhett Butler after Scarlett uttered her infamous "Tomorrow is another day". Apparently we are all going to get the chance to find out both his history and the aftermath in the second Gone with the Wind sequel called "Rhett Butler's people" written by Civil War novelist Donald McCaig. This book has been authorised by Margaret Mitchell's estate. I am not sure when it will hit New Zealand but if you are a Scarlett and Rhett fan, keep your eyes peeled.

Until tomorrow, ka kite ano

Monday, 29 October 2007

"Real gold:treasures of Auckland City Libraries"

"Real gold : treasures of Auckland City Libraries" by Iain Sharp ; photographs by Haruhiko Sameshima.

Real gold celebrates the rich variety of the Special Collections at Auckland City Libraries. The featured treasures are grouped in several sections such as New Zealand, Auckland, book arts, travel, literature and science. Among the treasures shown are a First folio of Shakespeare, a six-page catechism - the first book printed in New Zealand, maps and sketches of early Auckland, letters from Florence Nightingale to Sir George Grey, the score and lyrics of God defend New Zealand, Maori language manuscripts, medieval illuminated manuscripts.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Fireworks, birds, runners, lights

Phew. What is it about short weeks? They sound great in theory but it seems that you're trying to fit five days work into four days. Never mind because it's almost the weekend again.

On Saturday 27 October...
A professional fireworks display by Shogun Quality Fireworks will be held at Kumeu Showgrounds with all funds going towards Taupaki School. More details here.
Puhoi Sports Club fireworks spectacular. More details here.

If fireworks aren't your thing, maybe you'd be interested in a special birdwatching opportunity. On Sunday 28 October explore the Papakanui Spit and Waionui Lagoon area with the Kaipara Forest and Bird team. In spring the migratory waders are returning on their 11,000+ kilometre direct flight from the tundra of Alaska and Siberia where they breed. More details on their website.

Or maybe you're one of hundreds of dedicated walkers and runners who will be wandering across the Harbour Bridge in the Adidas Auckland marathon event. The Herald has a list of prime viewing spots. Good luck!

When you've finished racing you can pop over to Britomart for "Diwali - Festival of lights". This event celebrates the traditions of Diwali, and is also a celebration of Indian culture with scrumptious food, non-stop free family entertainment, Bollywood dancing, traditional crafts, and much more.

There's so much on I think I'll need a four day weekend! Have a good one.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The Great North Harbour Haka

Quick - there is still time to register for your Haka pack from North Harbour Sport so that you can be part of what will hopefully be the largest synchronised haka in the world.

It's all part of Push Play Day on Friday 2nd November. At 2pm at nominated venues around the Harbour area schools, sports teams, workplaces and whanau are encouraged to take part.

For more details visit the Harbour Sport website.

Get out there and get active people. It's lots of fun (and it was fun being talked into my first game of netball for ages last night. It's just the body today that feels a little jaded ... ha ha. Maybe I should just do something more often).

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Halloween is coming....

Be prepared for spooks and spiders, tricks and treats, games and stories as Rodney Libraries host their annual childrens Halloween evenings next Wednesday night.
This is the display down at Whangaparaoa Library for Halloween (with librarian and designer Svetlana peeking around the corner). Very imaginative.

Here are the times for your local library for next Wednesday night.

Helensville 4.00 pm
Kumeu 4.00 pm
Orewa 4.00 pm
Warkworth 4.30 pm
Mahurangi East 5.30 pm
Whangaparoa 6.00 pm

Get dressed up (that includes the big people as well as the children) and come and join in the fun.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

I'm on a roll...

While it certainly felt like we have missed a couple of seasons and gone back to winter again, the long weekend was a revelation. I discovered that underneath the growth and weeds on my section I actually have both a lawn and a garden (thanks to the family for the working bee). This has enthused me and I am determined to keep it this way. I even got rash and cleaned the windows in the house so that I could look out and admire it.

So first thing this morning I am on the hunt for both gardening books (the sort for people whose friends buy them supposedly "you can't kill this" plants, only to throw up their hands in defeat several month later at the brown withered stalks) and cleaning books (as I figured the inside may as well match the outside).

Where better to go that the Library catalogue. However it appears I'm not the only one who is having a spring cleaning session as typing cleaning in as a keyword search (which brings up all books that have cleaning either in the title or the description) shows me that lots of these books are out at the moment. I will just have to satisfy myself with putting a request in for them.

Better luck with the gardening books though as we have so many of them. Rodney people are enthusiastic gardeners. There are all sorts of gardening books on the shelf (24 different entries in our subject catalogue) from the what to plant and how which are on the shelf around number 635 to the landscaping books which are further on around number 712. Plenty of scope for me here.

Now I just have to find the time. I'll check in again a couple of months down the track and let you know if I still have a lawn and garden that look presentable.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Labour Weekend

It's Labour Weekend this weekend. Rodney Libraries will be closed on Monday. If you're going away (or staying at home) you're going to need something to do so pop in and pick up a few items. Here's a list of some of the things you can get from the library.

Labour Day remembers the struggle for the eight hour day and was first celebrated in 1890. More information can be found at New Zealand History Online.

Have a safe and fun weekend.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Halfway through Library Week - kia hiwa ra

We're halfway through Library Week and this is what I've learnt.

1. I know who the grumble rumble mumbler is.
2. The Library Week pens are easy to find in my bag because they are yellow.
3. "Mister Pip" didn't win the Man Booker but it's still a great read.
4. Giving away books as part of Bookcrossing means that they may end up in foreign countries.
5. There are going to be some interestting anecdotes in the Jack Lovelock book...

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Outsider wins Booker Race

(from website)

Anne Enright has picked up the Booker's £50,000 chequeIrish author Anne Enright has won this year's Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in literature.
The novelist's family saga The Gathering beat bookmakers' favourites Ian McEwan and Lloyd Jones to be named the best novel of the past 12 months.
The other authors on the £50,000 prize's shortlist were Mohsin Hamid, Nicola Barker and Indra Sinha.
Howard Davies, who chaired the judges, said Enright's book was "powerful, uncomfortable and, at times, angry".
"The Gathering is an unflinching look at a grieving family in tough and striking language," he said. "We think she is an impressive novelist, we expect to hear a lot more from her.
"The book is powerful, it pulls you along and it has an absolutely brilliant ending. It has one of the best last sentences of any novel I have ever read."
I was ready for anything - possibly anything except that
Anne Enright
Enright was regarded as one of the outsiders for the award, and said she was surprised to win.
"I am still churning it through," she told BBC Radio 4. "Tomorrow, I'll wake up and go 'whoopee'.
"I was ready for anything - possibly anything except that," she added.
The Gathering is the fourth novel by the 45-year-old former television producer.
It is about an Irish woman who is prompted by her brother's suicide to revisit three generations of bleak history of her large, dysfunctional family.
Enright said she did not mind her book being given descriptions like "depressing". "I love them," she said. "They're entirely fair. It's not a cheerful book."
Enright's previous novels include the Whitbread-nominated What Are You Like? in 2000. She has also released Making Babies, her light-hearted diaries of motherhood.
Of the six authors in contention for this year's Booker, only McEwan had even been shortlisted in the past. He won in 1998 with Amsterdam.

New Zealand BIGGEST storytime

Join in as we read "The grumble rumble mumbler" for New Zealand's biggest storytime at 10:30 am today!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

"Jack Lovelock: athlete and doctor"

As I type, this book by Dr. Graeme Woodfield is being launched at the Kumeu Library. Lovelock's story is a fascinating one - Olympic athlete, soldier, doctor, family man.

Join us as we celebrate the launch.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Who is the Grumble Rumble Mumbler?

Is it the Maero?

Is is the Ngarara?

Could it be the Taniwha?

Surely not the Taipo?

To find out who the Grumble Rumble Mumbler is, you need to be at one of the National Storytimes that are being run as part of Library Week. All over the country on Wednesday at 10.30 am storytellers are going to be reading Melanie Drewery's latest book to the young, and the young at heart (psst... you don't have to be or have a child or grandchild to enjoy a good story)

Mahurangi East Library are visiting the Snells Beach Kindergarten to tell the story there. But kids, babies, Mums, Dads, and Grandparents are all welcome at Helensville, Kumeu, Orewa, Warkworth, Wellsford or Whangaparaoa libraries at 10.30am on Wednesday whre Rodney Libraries are going to be part of NATIONAL STORYTIME.

It's Library Week! Kia hiwa ra - Pass it on

Library Week celebrates what awesome places libraries are - and the incredible world librarians can connect you to.

What do you want to be connected to?

Is it the internet? Is it reading and literacy? Is it information? Is it community? Is it art and culture? Is it training tips? Is it the latest blockbuster? Is it family? Is it entertainment? Is it peace and quiet? Is it local? Is it the world?

You call it and we'll connect you. Kia hiwa ra.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Nobel Prize for Literature announced

The winner of this year’s Nobel prize for literature did not hear the announcement. Doris Lessing was out shopping and came home to be told the news by the reporters waiting on her doorstep.

Doris Lessing is a prolific author, and many of her books are on the shelves at Rodney Libraries, unless someone has rushed in to take them to read over the weekend, as happened up here at Warkworth his morning. Many of her titles were already out, so she is popular around the district with our readers.

You can find out more about the announcement and reaction to it at the Fox News website or in this story from the New York Times.

To find out more about the author visit the Doris Lessing website or read this interview with the author last year from the Newsday site

Shaping our communities together - have you voted?

Local election voting closes tomorrow at 12 noon. Votes 'in the mail' won't count so drop them off at one of the following council offices.

Centreway Road, Orewa

Baxter Street, Warkworth

Commercial Road, Helensville

State Highway 16, Huapai.

Progress results will be known about 1pm, and Preliminary Results will be known about 5pm on Saturday 13 October, 2007. These will be accessible on the Rodney District Council website.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Kia hiwa ra - Pass it on!

This is what Rodney Libraries will be doing during Library Week 15-21 October.

Kumeu Library will be hosting the launch of “Jack Lovelock: athlete and doctor” by Graeme Woodfield at 10:30am on Tuesday 16 October 2007. Come along to talk to the author about his research. Tea and biscuits provided.

All Rodney Libraries will be taking part in NZ’s Biggest Storytime session. It’s at 10.30am on Wednesday October 17 and will feature Melanie Drewery’s book “The Grumble Rumble Mumbler.”

Mahurangi East Friends of the Library and the Helensville Library and Service Centre will be having book sales.

Mahurangi East Library will have presentations by community members each day between 10am and 12 noon. They will also be serving tea and coffee

Monday - Flower arranging
Tuesday - Beading
Wednesday - Spinning and weaving
Thursday - Scrap booking photos
Friday - Seaside gardening advice and plant identification

Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre will have activities and presentations by community members. See the library for more details.

During the week we'll be participating in Bookcrossing, defined as "the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise." (from Bookcrossing FAQ) Each book will have a unique BCID (Bookcrossing identification number) that can be entered onto the Bookcrossing site. You'll know it's from us because there'll be a sticker inside with our website and blog details. If you find one don't return it - kia hiwa ra - pass it on!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Library Week that is.

Yes, the week when all things Library is celebrated around New Zealand runs next week from the 15th to the 21st of October. Watch this space for what is happening at your local library.

Kia hiwa ra ... Pass it on

Terrifying Tomes at the Wearable Arts

Art and Literature came together for a win at the New Zealand Wearable Arts awards. I think this is a fantastic outfit and congratulations to Linda Darby-Coring. The Pakuranga woman took first prize in the children's section of the Montana World of Wearable Awards with her costume “Grim Furry Tales” which beat designers from throughout New Zealand and overseas.

Click on the link to read the full story on the Terrifying Tomes from the Eastern Courier and the Nelson Mail.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Give me a four letter word...


It’s only 41 days until NCEA exams start for our senior students and around the country many are starting their preliminary exams today. Life is going to be stressful in some households for the next couple of months as study gets under way in earnest.

There is plenty of material available, in both the library and on the internet, about how to study, and how to support those that are sitting the exams.

You can find the books in both our adult and teenage non-fiction sections under Call Number 371.3 (the call number is the number on the spine of our non-fiction books). Check out Smart Students Study Less or Survive Exams which are still on the shelves at some of our libraries this morning when I checked.

If you prefer to check out the Internet here are some sites that could help you:

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority site provides some sample exam papers that you can practice on.

The other New Zealand site is Study It. This is advertised as “Your one stop site for achieving in NCEA maths, science and English. Find out what you need to know, contact subject teachers, and get encouragement from other students”.

Internationally, two of the most comprehensive sites are Onion Street which is a BBC sponsored “How to Study” site and the SGS site which has the added bonus of being a multilingual site. Both have plenty of tips on how to study and handle the stress of exams.

Don’t forget that the library is a great space to study, either by yourself or in groups. Some Rodney Libraries have late nights, so if you want a change of scenery for your study, the library might work for you. And if you need to check up on anything, the information is often as close as the shelves, the internet computers or your friendly librarian.


Monday, 8 October 2007

"Mental Health Awareness Week" 8-14 Oct and "Disaster Awareness Week" 7-13 Oct

I don't know about you but Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta get thru this" has been on loop at our place since yesterday morning. People have been wandering aimlessly around, occasionally crying "No! No! It can't be true" and generally being in a bit of a funk. Apparently this is because the All Blacks are a 'surrogate tribe' - even for those of you who thought you didn't care.

Coincidentally, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. This year's theme is "Who we are and where we stand. Ko Papatūānuku tōku tūrangawaewae." The Mental Health Foundation says "Discrimination and social exclusion can have a profound negative effect on our wellbeing and more specifically our mental health. The way we treat each other has a powerful impact on the health of individuals and communities. We want to see the social inclusion of people with experience of mental illness as well as a culture of celebrating diversity."

Saturday morning felt like a bit of a disaster but what if it was a real one? Would you be ready?

This week is also Disaster Awareness Week. New Zealand can be an unpredictable country what with lahars, floods, earthquakes etc. The Get Thru website has a number of resources to help you prepare. Alternatively, you can look on the Rodney District Council website in 'Our Services' for the 'Civil Defence' page. There are resources to look at including how to sign up to the free text-based Civil Defence notification scheme. At this stage the messaging service will be activated only in the event of a tsunami, an impending localised emergency such as a cyclone, or when a Civil Defence Emergency is likely to be declared.

Most of the All Blacks and support staff get back into the country on Wednesday at midday. Kia kaha boys, you're still my #1 team.

Friday, 5 October 2007

"The Book Show" is back

The second series of "The Book Show" is back on TV One this Saturday, 9.30am.

Up for discussion this week - "How to Watch a Bird" by Steve Braunias, Finlay Macdonald catches up with Rachael King, and Karlo Mila drops by to talk about a favourite book.

Go the All Blacks!

Well, you didn't really expect us to leave for the weekend without saying something about the rugby. We have been pretty quiet on that front until now. But things are heating up with the quarter finals this weekend. I will be brunching on Sunday morning in front of the TV to watch the All Blacks beat France (crossed fingers as toes as I would rather we were playing almost anyone but the unpredictable French at this stage). I'll be hoping Fiji can give South Africa even more of a fright than Tonga did, at the slightly uncivilised time of 2am so if you spy a droopy eyed librarian in the north, that's probably me.

Of course there is heaps of information on the net and in the papers about rugby at the moment. TV3 has all the game schedules, streaming of games and videos of interviews. ry the Official World Cup site here or if you want to support the All Blacks try their official site .

Black jersey or silver jersey - will make no difference. The All Blacks will still be winning on Sunday.

Shorter can be Better

Personally, I sometimes feel that the short story is seen as the poor relation of the literature world. Perhaps it is a hangover from all those short stories we were made to read, and attempt to dissect (I mean interpret), in high school. The perception of length as a standard for merit is also evident (especially when you look at the number of pages in some of the books on our library shelves).

Perhaps, however, short stories are going through a resurgence. Earlier this year, Rodney Libraries were involved in running “Rodney Writes”, our own local short story competition. And we have already had enquiries about next years contest. That is just one of the short story competitions which are increasingly popular.

Last evening the winners in the prestigious Katherine Mansfield short story competition were announced in Wellington. After 10 years of trying, Carl Nixon took out the top prize, beating off 430 competitors with his story My Beautiful Balloon, based on a real event in the Hawkes Bay.
Creative writing graduate Craig Cliff won the novice category with Another Language, and year 13 student Mark Davidson, from St Patrick's College in Wellington, took the young writer's award for Man's Best Friend.

Rodney Libraries have plenty of short story collections on our shelves. They are reasonably well used by students looking to satisfy their NCEA reading requirements, but have some great writing in them for everyone to enjoy. To find them in our catalogue you can do a Keyword search for “short stories” or ask one of the librarians next time you are in. To start you off there are several collections on the general fiction shelves (for instance both Flamingo and Picador have published anthologies), or look for authors such as Owen Marshall, Joy Cowley, Katherine Mansfield (of course), Shonagh Koea and even Louis L’Armour. There are also collections in the non fiction shelves under 823.

Easy to pick up and put down, why not try a short story this month.

Last day of the holidays - what's on in the library?

The holidays are almost over but we've got one last holiday event for you to attend.

Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre
Free Music & Movement with Hendrina 11 am

The weather is looking as though it's going to have another tantrum so come in and stock up on fun things for the weekend - DVDs, books, magazines, PS2 games - everything you need to make a weekend indoors bearable.

Have a good one!

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Rodney Libraries presents "Jack Lovelock, athlete and doctor"

Join us at Kumeu Library on Tuesday October 16 at 10:30am as we celebrate the launch of "Jack Lovelock: athlete and doctor" with the author, Dr. Graeme Woodfield.

"Jack Lovelock remains one of New Zealand’s greatest sportsmen, the diminutive figure in black who, “running in a rapture”, won the Olympic 1500m gold medal in world record time in front of Hitler in 1936. Despite his fame, Lovelock has been an enigmatic, elusive figure. Woodfield has examined the many facets of Lovelock – athlete, doctor, journalist, soldier, family man – and, drawing on the contributions of several specialists, completed what is virtually a forensic investigation of this famous New Zealander."

All welcome. Tea and coffee will be served.

What's on in the library today?

Lots of interesting activities!

Helensville Library and Service Centre
Spring garden stories and fun 10.30 am

Warkworth Library
Storytime for Preschoolers 10.30 am

Wellsford Library
Watch them grow – stories and activity 10.30 am

Orewa Library
Rhymetime 11 am

Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre
Rhymetime 11 am
"Dogs are your Friends" 2 pm

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Wednesday is busy in the library

It's a busy day around the district today. Here's whats happening in your local library.

10.30 am Spring garden stories and fun
2 pm Spring into Spring – Stories and activities
10.30 am Watch them grow – Garden stories & fun
10.30 am Storytime for Preschoolers
11 am Storytime for Preschoolers
2 pm Indoor games

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

What do these books have in common?

WHAT DO the Harry Potter books, Little Red Riding Hood and Of Mice and Men have in common.

They are all on the list of the most often Banned and Challenged books of the 1990’s and 21st century to date. In fact the lists read more like a book shop’s bestseller list, than a list of titles that people are unhappy with. Many h ave also been recognised as some of the most influential and important books, making it onto lists of recommended titles.

Some of the lists can be found online at Forbidden Library or at the American Library Association Banned Books week site

Internationally books that have been published and are acceptable in one country, are not in another. Many countries have banned David Irving’s books and he himself was banned from entering New Zealand in 2004 (find out more about that at

The publicity for Banned Books Week in America included this article from the Los Angeles Times (23 Sept)

GET hooked on a banned book. That's the American Library Assn.'s mantra for Banned Books Week, which begins Saturday.
Part of living in a democracy means respecting each other's differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read," Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in a statement.
In 2006, there were 546 reported challenges to remove books from library shelves, most (61%) made by parents and most (71%) involving schools.Topping the list was "And Tango Makes Three," a tale of two male penguins parenting an egg from a mixed-sex penguin. Toni Morrison's novels "Beloved" and "The Bluest Eye" also made the list, but the most challenged books of the 21st century remain J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" novels.

A word of warning however. What caused a book to be banned or challenged in the past, may not be so radical or exciting today. While it is easy to understand the thought processes behind a challenge on George Orwell's "1984" or Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5", it is less easy to understand that "Black Beauty" and "Where's Wally" have both been the subject of bans at some stage.

What's on in the Library Tuesday 2nd October


10.30 am Spring flower stories and fun

Mahurangi East

10.30 am Storytime – What’s hatching?

Orewa and Whangaparaoa

11 am Storytime for preschoolers

Last week was lots of fun in the libraries around the district. Kumeu and Helensville had enjoyable story and activity sessions, Julie reported that the Pyjama party on Thursday night was a lot of fun and there has been a lot of interest in Hendrina's Kindermusik sessions. Meanwhile our animal visitors (the lamb at Orewa and Peyton the guide dog puppy at Warkworth) were warmly received by both children and parents at their sessions.
Here's Peyton checking out the books with Warkworth children's librarian, Anne.