Friday, 30 May 2008

What's on in Rodney

HAPPY HOODIE DAY. It’s a long weekend (yippee!!) and there is lots on so let’s get stuck straight into it.

Let’s kick of with the Youth Week party that is happening on the Hibiscus Coast tomorrow. Youth Fest 08 is being held at the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre from 2pm with live bands, competitions and an underage dance event through till late. It is a massive festival for youth aged 11 to 18, but it’s open to all age groups.

Rodney Live After a roaring start at Warkworth last week, Rodney Live hits Helensville tonight. Be at the War Memorial Hall from 7pm for your chance to win prizes or for some fantastic local entertainment.

Create Your own Eden This workshop comes to Warkworth on Saturday afternoon 31 May from 2.20 to 4.30 pm. Venue is the Masonic Hall in Baxter Street

Auckland Philharmonic The NZ Chamber Brass are at Centrestage in Orewa Saturday 31st May from 2pm. This is a FREE concert and winds up NZ Music Month for classical buffs.

Tinkers and Traders The caravans will be at Orewa right through Queens Birthday weekend so check out the crafts and entertainment.

Art at the Estuary This exhibition and sale is on over the weekend at the Estuary Art Centre. A little bird told me part of the proceeds from some items will be going to Hospice so wander along and support a good cause.

Warkworth Gamefish Fishing Contest I happened to hear this one on the radio this morning on my way to work. So if fishing is your passion, pleasure or recreation I'm sure your local fishing or sports shop will have the details. It starts today and runs all weekend.

Don't forget there's always the Farmers markets which are well worth a visit. Matakana and Silverdale on Saturdays or Orewa on a Sunday morning. And there are lots of other things happening which I don't know about or haven't had time to mention. For what's happening in your local area have a look at the Community Noticeboard at your local library.

Rodney Libraries will be closed on Monday 2nd June so make sure you get in today or tomorrow to get your reading for over the weekend. If the weather holds I am planning on attacking the hay paddock formerly known as my lawn. If it doesn't, there's plenty of books in my "to read" pile. Have a good one all!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

It's not Just about the Words

It’s also about the way the words are packaged and presented that make the whole book reading experience such a pleasure (can you tell I am passionate about books?). In recognition of this, the BPANZ (Book Publisher’s Association of New Zealand) Book Design Awards 2008 shortlist was announced on Wednesday 21st May, to help promote excellence in and provide recognition for the best book design in New Zealand. With subjects ranging from recycling to organic farming, Bill Hammond's art to Cook Islands tivaevae quilting, the list represents the best in book design for books released in 2007. The judges had a tough time narrowing the field to just twelve titles, They were looking for "the complete package: the book whose insides matched their outside for the thought and care that had gone into them, striving for something a little bit different, or a little bit better".

The competition is judged in four categories, including Non-Illustrated, Illustrated, Educational and Children's books, with the winners being announced at the Booksellers New Zealand Industry Awards Dinner on 20 July. There are also highly-coveted Best Cover and Best Book winners chosen from within the shortlist.

BPANZ Book Design Awards 2008 SHORTLIST
Non-Illustrated Book

The Wild Green Yonder by Graeme Leather/ Dexter Fry. Philippa Jamieson (New Holland Publishers NZ)
Dear To Me by Aland Deare. Amnesty International (Random House)
A Perfect World by Catherine Griffiths. David Cohen (Random House)

Illustrated Book
Aberhart by Sarah Maxey. Laurence Aberhart (Victoria University Press)
New Zealand's Wilderness Heritage by Robbie Burton. Les Molloy (Craig Potton Publishing)
Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning by Aaron Beehre. Jennifer Hay et al (Christchurch Art Gallery)

Educational Book
What is a Bird? by Vasanti Unka. Feana Tu'Akoi (Scholastic NZ)
Astronomy Aotearoa by Marie Low. Robert Shaw (Pearson Education NZ)
Rubbish Ruby byAnne Fenning. Rachael Goddard (Raupo Publishing)

Children's Book
The King's Bubbles by Ruth Paul & Mary McIntyre. Ruth Paul (Scholastic NZ)
Willy's Dad by Murray Dewhurst & Scott Tulloch. Scott Tulloch (HarperCollins Publishers NZ)
The Bean's Story by Vasanti Unka. Tatiana Aslund (Scholastic NZ)

(information sourced from Booksellers Brief)

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

TANJOBI with Presenter Naoko Kingston

TANJOBI Japanese storytime at Whangaparaoa Library! That’s Happy Birthday for those of us that don’t understand Japanese.

Whangaparaoa Library has been holding a Japanese storytime for one year now and it has grown from small beginnings when the local Japanese community asked if they could have their own storytime established on the Hibiscus Coast. The sessions were launched at the beginning of April 2007 (so we are a little late with our congratulations) to celebrate International Children's Book Day and have continued ever since. The storytime is held on Monday s at 10.30am and is in addition to the regular storytimes and rhymetimes that the librarians run. We love seeing the community get the use and enjoyment out of our libraries.

Japanese storytime has been so popular on the Coast, it has been the catalyst for a Spanish storytime which will be starting near the end of June or early July at the Orewa Library. With so many people wanting to learn Spanish, I am sure that these sessions will be just as popular. More details on when these start as we get nearer the time.

Rodney is incredibly diverse and multi-cultural. If you would like to bring your culture to the library with storytelling, music, crafts or just a display, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Joy Cowley has won the New Zealand Post 2008 Book of the Year prize for her novel of a give and take friendship, Snake and Lizard (illustrator Gavin Bishop). Some of the judges comments included “Both witty and wise these timeless stories are an utter joy. They make you laugh, sigh and read all over again.”

The full list of category winners and honour awards recipients in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2008 are:

Picture Book
Tahi – One Lucky Kiwi by Melanie Drewery, illustrated by Ali Teo & John O'Reilly (Random House New Zealand)
Honour Award: To The Harbour written and illustrated by Stanley Palmer (Lopdell House Gallery)

Non Fiction
Which New Zealand Spider? by Andrew Crowe (Penguin New Zealand)
Honour Award: Reaching the Summit by Alexa Johnston with David Larsen (Penguin New Zealand)

Junior Fiction and New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2008
Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Gecko Press)
Young Adult
Salt by Maurice Gee (Penguin New Zealand)
Honour Award: The Sea-wreck Stranger by Anna Mackenzie (Longacre Press)

Best First Book Award
Out of the Egg written and illustrated by Tina Matthews (Walker Books)

Children’s Choice Award
The King’s Bubbles by Ruth Paul (Scholastic)

Monday, 26 May 2008

Young at Heart Librarians and Youth Week 2008

This week is Youth Week and Rodney Libraries are joining in the celebrations with a special promotion for everyone between 12 and 24.

In what will undoubtedly amount to music to the ears, every Rodney Libraries' card-carrying member between the ages of 12 and 24 can get one CD rentalFREE. So if you're into music (who isn't?) it's a great way of trying out the local library's awesome CD collection. All we ask in return is to answer five simple questions, and the CD rental is yours free.

Check us all out on Friday as well, when Librarians will be wearing their Hoodies to celebrate Youth Week and the motto "Its what's under the hood that counts".

Rodney Libraries aren't the only ones in the district doing something for Youth Week. Live bands, competitions galore (model and talent search, air guitar), special guest appearances (Silver Ferns, Nicky Watson, Carolyn Taylor), the Under Age Rave Youth Dance event in the evening. and lots more action will be awaiting them during Youth Fest 08 on 31 May at the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre. It is a massive festival for youth aged 11 to 18, but it’s open to all age groups.
The festival starts at2pm and finishes at approximately midnight on 31 May 2008. For more information please contact Paul Green, Safer Community Coordinator at the Rodney District Council

For more info on Youth week visit

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Are You 1 in 100?

It is thought that 1 in every 100 New Zealanders suffers from some form of Coeliac disease. However 4 out of 5 don't realise and therefore their suffering is unnecessary.
24th to 30th May is Coeliac Awareness week. Coeliac Disease is a medical condition and a permanent intestinal intolerance to gluten
found in wheat, barley, rye and for some Coeliacs, oats. If a Coeliac eats food containing gluten they can experience such reactions as upset stomach, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, mouth ulcers, chronic diarrhoea and allergic reactions. Coeliacs must stick to a
strict gluten free diet for life. If Coeliac disease is untreated, there is an increased risk of gastrointestinal malignancy, together with other health problems.

Kumeu Library has coeliac awareness display (including a very well stocked kitchen table) put together with the help of one of their customers, Lee Mckeown. Lee featured recently on the front page of their local paper, The Norwest. The display (check out the photo) includes posters, information and products available for coeliacs and books we have in the library on the subject. We have a range of books in all the Rodney libraries dealing with this issue from those dealing with the medical issues to recipe books for all people with food intolerences. Click on the Rodney Library catalogue link for details.

In conjunction with this, Lee is also holding a meeting in Huapai on June 8 for people wanting to know more about coeliac. Her phone number is 09 4128962 for anyone who wants more information.

Friday, 23 May 2008

What's On This weekend

Wow - it's that time of the week already where we start thinking about what we can get up to in the weekend. Here's a quick run down of ideas that I know about, but I am sure there are more out there.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Ensembles
24 May 2-3pm – Mahurangi Community Centre, Snells Beach – Jade Quartet for kids - FREE Celebrating New Zealand Music Month for lovers of classical music, people wanting an introduction to classical music or anyone who wants to while away a Saturday afternoon being entertained by professional musicians without having to drive all the way to the city!

Rodney Live
The first of the live performance evenings is TONIGHT at the Warkworth Masonic Hall in Baxter Street from 7pm. Entry is free. Come along and have a look at the local talent. Some lucky contestants will be selected for the final show at Centrestage Orewa on Saturday 28th June with $2,000 worth of prizes up for grabs

New Zealand String Quartet Heartland Tour
More Music at the Mahurangi College Hall, Warkworth on Sat 24 May 2008 - 7.30pm. Enjoy teh works of Mendelssohn and Schubert among others. Tickets at the door - Adults $25, Students Free

Winter Sports
The winter sports season is in full operation. If you don't want to (or have to) rise early to support all the kids of the district who are running the fields and courts, why not head along in the afternoons to support those of us that are more mature (and should know better). We need all the support we can get too. Check out the times for your local sports by listening to the local radio, checking the local paper or contact a club direct. The North Harbour Sports website has a comprehensive list of sports and clubs around the Rodney and North Shore districts.

Whatever you do this weekend, keep smiling, be safe and see you all back here on Monday.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Rodney Libraries visit Tauhoa School

For the past several years Rodney Libraries have been running their "Roadshow" which travels to schools around the district promoting literature, literacy and libraries to primary and intermediate students and teachers. This is in addition to the many schools (and pre-schools) who visit their local library or ask us to visit them (which we are always happy to do).

Yesterday we visited my old primary school (being a born and bred Rodney-ite) over at Tauhoa and we had a blast!! Our shows are a mixture of storytelling, book reading and recommendations, education and reader's theatre when we get the children to tell the story, complete with costumes and props. Tauhoa kids rock!! They were fantastic, really getting into the spirit of things. Thanks to everyone there for the welcome and being such a great audience.

While the librarians made it into the latest edition of the Tauhoa Tatler (the weekly school newsletter), we are still waiting for the photos to arrive so we can return the favour by putting you all on the blog.

Meanwhile out west, another of our Librarians was visiting Parakai School to do some book readings for their Book Week.

If you are a school, preschool, kindy, playcentre or homeschool group and are interested in arranging a visit, just drop an email to or phone your local library. All our contact details are on our website.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Best of the Bookers

Best of the Booker, a one-off celebratory award to mark the 40th anniversary of the Booker Prize, announced its shortlist last week. Now it is up to the public to decide on thewinning novel.

The six shortlisted books, chosen from the list of 41 Booker Prize and Man Booker Prize winners, are:

Pat Barker's The Ghost Road (1995, Viking; paperback Penguin)

Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda (1988, Faber & Faber; paperback Faber)

JM Coetzee's Disgrace (1999, Secker & Warburg; paperback Vintage)

JG Farrell's The Seige of Krishnapur (1973, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback Phoenix)

Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist (1974, Cape; paperback Bloomsbury)

Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981, Cape; paperback Vintage)

The only time that a celebratory award has previously been created for ‘the Booker' was in 1993 – the 25th anniversary – when Salman Rushdie won the Booker of Bookers with Midnight's Children.

The overall winner of The Best of the Booker will be announced as part of the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre on 10 July where the winner will be awarded a custom-made trophy.

If you want to have your say, votes can be registered via the Man Booker Prize website

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

My idea of heaven...

...was having a couple of hours to kill on Sunday morning and spending it trolling through the shelves of a rather large bookstore at Westfields in Albany. This store would be one of my first stops if I ever won Lotto. I love the feel of the place with room to sit and browse, the coffee shop, the place for the kids to play.

Not feeling terribly financial, I was intending to simply check out the new book titles so I could decide what books I needed to road test (from picture books to adult fiction) during the next few weeks. There was certainly plenty to choose from and I now have quite a long list. I also chatted with some kids and parents as they chose books and I got the impression that it was a regular treat for them to come and choose a book for themselves.

However, temptation was too great and I left the store with my brand bag hanging heavy in my hand. I figured that seeing the picture book I have been hunting for my niece was a sign it should be purchased. And using the same logic of putting money up front that one uses when paying for a gym membership to get fit, I purchased a book all about walking and running (honestly - it had nothing to do with the "FITNESS!!" that was on my assessment sheet at netball on Saturday - much).

Lots of people have favourite bookshops. They can be small or large (or somewhere in the middle). There are some fantastic ones around the district, with excellent stock and staff. I'm always looking for bookshops to haunt and find it difficult to walk past an open one without popping my head inside. If you have a favourite why not drop us a comment and let everyone know.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Celebrating Librarians

Despite the best on intentions, I never got anywhere near the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival over the weekend (I did make it to Auckland but that was only to help a friend haul furniture and attempt yet again to break my ankle).

However Christchurch Libraries sent along a couple of people to watch, listen, interview and report. And in celebration of librarians we include here an excerpt from their interview with author Junot Diaz.

We had decided to ask most of our interview subjects about libraries, and if he wasn’t a rock star before, Diaz won himself a librarian army when he said:
“Libraries are a weird thing if you actually think about it. It’s sort of like the logic of capital minus the logic of capital. It’s a place where you can get books for free – and as long as you bring them back – everything’s cool.
“Could you imagine a clothing cultural component like that? Where you could, as long as you orderly waited and wrote your name on a list, rent out an Armani suit in brand new condition and just wear it and bring it back?
“Both are products, it’s just an accident of history that we’ve attributed one a cultural component and the other not. For a poor kid a library to me was as like a miracle to me as if you discovered if you could sign your name and take out a whole wardrobe of Armani clothes. Every day. For the rest of your life. That’s what a library felt like.”
The assured, velvety-smooth drawl went on as whatever song the librarian army would sing was turned up to 11 on the old rotary dial stereo in staffrooms around the nation.
“I never understood the image of librarians in popular culture. Old, sort-of doddering – every librarian I ever had was incredibly young, energetic and hip – even if they were 60. And would take their time for this snot-nose kid from the Dominican Republic to guide them to texts.”
“Everyone has this idea of the valiant archetype – the scout who leads you through the new land. New Zealand has that, the myths of all their like pioneers; Australia, the United States.
“In the end, the only forest really worth being led through is the forest of the mind, books. In a sense librarians are these incredible scouts for this inner frontier. No-one views it as that but for me it was more important than anything having those kinds of scouts who would guide you…”

To read the whole interview (and link through to other commentary and interviews from the Festival) head to the Christchurch City Libraries website. Well done Christchurch.

Friday, 16 May 2008

What's on in Rodney this weekend!

Looking for something to do this weekend? Whether you want something active or something relaxing I am sure we have the spot for you in Rodney.

XTERRA Auckland Trail Run Series
If you are looking for something active, this trail run series kicks off this weekend at Riverhead on Sunday. There are three options (short, mid and long courses) and they rank a starting difficulty of 5/10 for the short course (which is probably still too much for me). These are six outstanding off-road running events for you to sink your teeth into. This is a fabulous series taking you on muddy thrills and spills and scenic adventures around the Auckland region throughout the winter. If this weekend is too soon for you but you are interested the series continues monthly through to October and you can find details at

Create your own Eden
As part of Rodney District Councils' commitment to Zero Waste to landfill by 2020, the Council is offering free composting and worm farming courses in Rodney. The courses will teach participants how to turn kitchen and garden waste into inexpensive, nutrient-rich fertiliser for productive gardens and strong, healthy plants. The first one is this Saturday at Orewa Community Centre (the small hall) from 2.20 - 4.30pm. For Bookings or to find out when the courses are in your area please call the Rodney District Council 0800 426 5169 or email

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Ensembles
These free concerts for lovers of classical music (or people just wanting to see if its for them and have a relaxing afternoon) kick off this Saturday at the Helensville War Memorial from 4-5 pm. Did I mention it was free

Limelight Variety Couch Tour
Arriving at the Warkworth Golf Course on Sunday 18th May at 2.30pm is a Motorised Lime Green Couch, Stacey Jones and our own local legend (that's a surprise). Raising money for Variety the Children’s Charity and the Child Cancer Foundation this event is sure to be lots of fun and also recognises people in the local community.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Hands up if you haven't heard of Hairy Maclary!

One of New Zealand's most loved dogs is 25 years old. Yes, Hairy Maclary has been with us since 1983 and the publishers (Mallinson Rendel) have celebrated by bringing out a 25th Anniversary edition of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.

From the Mallinson Rendel website: "I well remember that day in October 1982 when Lynley asked if she could bring her new manuscript into our office. This was unusual in itself, because Lynley always posted her manuscripts in. She came as arranged and read Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy to my partner David and me. When she had finished, I looked up and said, ‘Lynley, it’s a winner.’ And it was. (You have to get something right sometimes in publishing!). Since then I have had the good fortune to shepherd this brilliant story through a life of hardback, paperback, board book and mini editions, book and tape, bath book and cloth book formats, and even a stage production, The Hairy Maclary Show. Sales of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy now amount to over one million copies. Lynley’s Hairy Maclary series has sold over six million copies. When people ask about my work, I say that I am lucky enough to work with a wonderful little dog, Hairy Maclary. He is cheerful, energetic and just slightly subversive. Of course, what I really mean is that it is wonderful to work with Lynley Dodd. So, congratulations, Lynley and Happy Birthday, Hairy Maclary. (Ann Mallinson 1 April 2008 )

Introduction to HypnoBirthing at Orewa Library

'Introduction to HypnoBirthing' presentation at Orewa Library, Wednesday 21 May, 2.00pm.
Come along for an informal - but very interesting session run by Helen from Positive Births. See their website

"HypnoBirthing® - The Mongan Method uses deep relaxation, visualisation, affirmations and special breathing techniques to prepare yourself and your partner for a positive, natural birthing experience free of fear and pain. The many advantages of HypnoBirthing include a a more relaxed enjoyable pregnancy, shorter labour, less requirement for painkillers, elimination of the fear-tension-pain syndrome, and happy, well adjusted babies."

HypnoBirthing® helped me have the birth I’d dreamed of. The whole process was beneficial for my pregnancy and the birth itself was amazing. I definitely recommend HypnoBirthing and Helen to every pregnant woman. I am so happy about my birth and love thinking back on it.” - Miranda

As a midwife this was an amazing experience to see a woman totally removed from pain throughout the end stages of labour. There was no difference in her face during strong contractions – she was so calm that it looked like she’d had an epidural.” - Brigid Beehan RM, RCPN

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Bookseller's Choice 2008 "Long Shortlist"

More than four books have been shortlisted for the Nielsen BookData New Zealand Booksellers’ Choice Award after several titles received the same number of nominations, making it impossible to create a shortlist of four. Daring to go where not many people have gone before, Nielsen BookData has decided to announce a 'long shortlist' and it is wonderful to see the breadth of subjects enjoyed by the New Zealand Book Trade and its customers. This award is unique in that it acknowledges the key role booksellers play in supporting New Zealand writing and publishing. Booksellers are asked to vote for the book they have most enjoyed reading, selling and promoting.

The 2008 'long shortlist' is:
- A Nest of singing Birds: One Hundred Years of the New Zealand School Journal by Gregory O'Brien, (Learning Media)
- Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning by Jennifer Hay, (Christchurch Art Gallery)
- Edwin and Matilda: An Unlikely Love Story by Laurence Fearnley, (Penguin Books NZ Ltd)
- Mau Moko: The World of Maori Moko by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, (Penguin Books NZ Ltd)
- New New Zealand Houses by Patrick Reynolds and John Walsh, (Random House New Zealand Ltd)
- New Zealand's Wilderness Heritage by Les Molloy and Craig Potton, (Craig Potton Publishing)
- Ribbons of Grace by Maxine Alterio, (Penguin Books NZ Ltd)
- Soundtrack: 118 Great New Zealand Albums by Grant Smithies, (Craig Potton Publishing)
- The Road to Castle Hill by Christine Fernyhough with Louise Callan, (Random House New Zealand Ltd)

Winners are announced on Sunday 20th July 2008. In the meantime, check these titles out at your local library and decide on your favourite.

(source - Booksellers Brief)

Monday, 12 May 2008

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Ensembles in Rodney

During NZ Music Month Rodney District Council / Arts is hosting ensembles from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in venues throughout Rodney. These free events will take place in Helensville, Mahurangi/Warkworth and Orewa. They are for lovers of classical music, people wanting an introduction to classical music or anyone who wants to while away a Saturday afternoon being entertained by professional musicians without having to drive all the way to the city!

These are great events to take the kids to as musicians interact with the audience throughout the performances, talking about their instruments and what it's like to be in an orchestra.

Venues as follows:-
17 May 4-5pm – Helensville War Memorial – APO Wind Quintet - family presentation - FREE
24 May 2-3pm – Mahurangi Community Centre, Snells Beach – Jade Quartet - for kids - FREE
31 May 2-pm – Centrestage in Orewa – NZ Chamber Brass –quintet - family presentation - FREE

Friday, 9 May 2008

PublishMe - self-publishing seminars next week

A team from will be Rodney next week to run seminars on how to self-publish your work. They are a " book production and marketing system for the self-publishing community...from novels to manuals, we can offer all the publishing assistance you need."

Join them at the following venues for their hour-long presentation.

Tuesday May 13, Helensville Library and Service centre at 1pm.
Wednesday May 14, Whangaparaoa Library and Service centre at 1pm.
Wednesday May 14, Orewa Library at 4pm.
Thursday May 15, Orewa Library at 10:30am.

What's on in the second weekend of May?

On Saturday 10 May...
Vintage Car Club Swapmeet 2008 Warkworth A&P Showgrounds. A time for interested people to view historical vehicles and machinery, swap parts and talk stories.

On Sunday 11 May ...
Chris Lutz Trophy Stanmore Bay Reserve 6am to 5pm. An annual one day fundraising family fishing tournament. $35 adults $20 kids with proceeds to Victim Support.

Annual Mother's day concert, 2pm Centrestage Theatre, Centreway Road, OREWA.
THE CITY OF SAILS CHORUS Auckland’s favourite Men’s Barbershop Chorus
RIKI McDONNELL International Virtuoso Riki has performed with Auckland, Christchurch and NZ Symphony Orchestras and brass and concert Bands worldwide
MIGHTY RIVER HARMONY, Waikato’s award winning Men’s Chorus
Tickets: $20 (Seniors, Students and Block Bookings $18)
Tickets available direct from the Theatre: (09) 426 7282.

Rememember it's Mothers Day on Sunday. Happy Mother's day to all mums out there in Rodney!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Behind the headlines

Personally I sometimes think the media in New Zealand can be both brilliant and frustrating, often within the space of the same column of newsprint. However one thing we do really well in New Zealand is cover international events and the current crisis in Myanmar is an example. The news feeds that are coming back from this country where political parties are generally illegal, access is difficult and the tragedy of the recent monsoon is deepening by the minute, make poignant and often horrifying reading.

Geography was never my strong point (although I can read a map) so when the news came through about the monsoon in Myanmar, I scrambled for an atlas. Of course being in the library is the right place to find one of those, especially as you need one slightly more up to date than my old school atlas.

Did you know there are two places in the library you can find an Atlas? For an Atlas you would like to take home, head to the adult or the children's non fiction shelves and look under number 912. There is a huge scope here from picture atlases for the kids to student ones with country summaries and comparisons, and then atlases on the adult shelves, some of which are virtual works of art. The other place you will find the Atlases is in the Reference section. These are items which are for library use only, often because of their size or potential for research. These are shelved by the same number system so once again you will find them under number 912. We regularly update our reference collections at all libraries so that we can provide the most current information for you. A subject search for Atlas in our catalgoue give a great starting point to find the right one for you to find out where Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is and all about the country.

Hopefully aid organisations will be able to get access today to get in and help the population devastated by the cyclone.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

New Zealand Music at the library

May is always New Zealand Music Month, which is why you are probably hearing more kiwi music on the radio when you tune in.

At Rodney Libraries we have a wide selection of New Zealand artists on CD for you to rent. The music collection is a rental one, but at only $2 for two weeks, it's a bit of a bargain really. Why go out and buy a CD without road testing it first by picking up a copy at your local library to check if you like it. Check what I found when I did a Rodney Library catalogue search for New Zealand musicians.

As well as the actual music, you can also read about the artists and the evolution of this art in New Zealand under lots of different headings. A catalogue search for New Zealand music came up with lots of different subject headings so it is easy to find something you are looking for.

I think I will relive some of my (mis-spent) youth by revisiting Th' Dudes and then relax with a little Brooke Fraser over the weekend. That's if someone else doesn't get to them first.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Reads for Boys

One of the most common questions we get asked in the library is "What can you recommend to get my son reading?". Well, there are a couple of great new books in the library for boys in the 8 - 12 age group.

The Dumpster Saga (Craig Harrison) is a humorous Kiwi adventure about 15 year old Ben and his pesky younger brother Chesney. When Chesney appears with a plastic helmet with a propeller on top the weird stuff starts. There are aliens, zombies, costumed bears, runaway budgies, police visits, parents, money to earn, friends and parties. As Ben says "And then the weirdness begins, which is going to throw my life into an unstoppable series of totally insane and idiotic events, like I've been dropped into a tumble dryer set on full spin." This book is a finalist in the 2008 New Zealand Post Book awards.

Another book which will appeal to this age group, but especially the boys, is Why I hate school by Michael Fatarsky (Kris Stanhope). Michael has 243 reasons (and counting) why he hates school, from the flat soccer balls and broken pencil sharpener to the teachers and the girls in his class. Break is too short and lunchtime is too crowded. But slowly he makes a new friend who helps him see some of the good stuff as well. This book won the Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a first childrens fiction book by a New Zealand author recently.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Rodney Live!

Rodney Live
So you think you can dance? Or perhaps sing? Then this is your opportunity to show Rodney that you’ve got what it takes to perform or entertain in front of a live audience. ‘Rodney Live’ is seeking local talent for a series of new and exciting shows being held throughout Rodney. There is no age restriction and all types of performers including singers, dancers, bands, cultural groups, comedians and poets are encouraged to register their interest by 22nd May. One of the special features of Rodney Live is the availability of a professional house band.
Rehearsals and performances are free and will take place in Wellsford, Warkworth, Orewa, Kumeu and Helensville between May 22nd and June 28th.The final show will be choreographed and performed at Centrestage in Orewa, with $2000 worth of prizes available including $1000 in cash. For further information please contact Nick Roberts on 09 420 7846 / 021 420 784 or email for dates, venues and conditions of entry.

Friday, 2 May 2008

What's On this Weekend

Wouldn't it be nice if the sun would shine this weekend? Especially as I am heading up to Whangarei on Sunday to umpire some netball trials. Wet soggy shoes are an experience I can well do without.

Back in Rodney there are plenty of things to keep everyone busy.

The 75th Jubilee Celebration of The Kaipara Memorial RSA in Helensville.
75 years ago the Helensville Branch of the Returned Soldiers Association was formed. This if their Jubilee weekend. It starts today with a meet, greet and registration (including a roast dinner and dessert). Saturday has various daytime activities, afternoon tea, followed by a Dinner and Dance in the War Memorial Hall. Music by the Band of the Royal New Zealand Artillery Regiment. On Sunday turn up for the Church Service, Parade, lunch and dispersal. There is probably still time to register so check in at the RSA in Commercial Road or contact Reg Phillips, Manager, 09 420 8888 or email

The Auckland Cycle Challenge - Sunday 4 May 2008
Helensville is definitely the place to be as all courses will start and finish at The Parakai Hot Springs, Nr Helensville. A well established event regularly attracting 1000+ cyclists, it has secured its place firmly on the Auckland road cycling calendar. Hot pool admission is complimentary to all riders. All new course routes for 2008 with a new 150km event which is not for the faint hearted! Catering for all levels of experience with 25km, 55km, 100km and 150km options. Cash prizes plus generous spot prizes. The popular team of 4 riding together category is available in the 55km and 100km races, and a new challenging 150km ride has been added, which can be done individually or in a relay (team of 3). The two longer events kick off at 7.30 am. Watch out for cyclists if you are travelling near State Highway 16 as they will be on the road as far north as Wellsford, down to Kumeu and through Peak Road Kaukapakapa.

The ARC are holding a planting day out at Tawharanui Regional Park from 10am to 3pm. For more details phone 09 366-2000.

And if all else fails, why not wander along to your local library and find a book, magazine, some music or a DVD or just spend time reading amongst the shelves. All Rodney libraries are open Saturday morning (Whangaparaoa and Orewa are open until 4pm) and Mahurangi East is also open Sunday morning.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

What's on in the Library on Thursday 1 May?

Helensville Library and Service Centre

10.30 am – Kiwi Kids love Kiwi dogs

Orewa Library

Storytime for preschoolers at 11 am

Warkworth Library

10.30am – Help us act out a Kiwi story “Wacko Kakapo”

Wellsford Library

10.30am – We are reading “The Girls in the Kapahaka” and making poi.

Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre

Rhymetime for babies at 10:30am