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.