Friday, 28 January 2011

Top 5 for Friday - Celebrating Auckland

It's Anniversary weekend. Auckland and Northland celebrate with a Public holiday which has been around since 1842 when Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson gave us all the day off. This stems from a decision in 1841 when the government designated the 29th of January as Auckland’s official anniversary day and coincided with the date of his arrival in the Bay of Islands in 1840. And that's your history lesson for today (although if you want to know more, I got this information from a Yellow Pages website)

On to our Top 5. There is plenty to choose from when you consider the volumes of books and other resources on our shelves of Auckland and Aucklanders from the land, the air, the sea, at work and at play, yesterday, today and even into the future. In no particular order, here are five of my favourites.
  1. Tamaki-Makaurau : myths and legends of Auckland landmarks / Edith Phillips-Gibson ; illustrated by Loc Keokatavong. The Auckland area has many wondrous landmarks, passageways, caves and pa sites. Accompanying these formations are equally wondrous tales of how they were formed, whether it be by natural forces or by the ancient Maori people who lived in the area. The myths and legends in this collection are retold here as they might have been in earlier times. There are stories of enemies sworn, of taniwha roaring, of lovers forlorn, of courageous people and of landmarks that are today explored by many visitors and residents of New Zealand's largest city. I love the connection between the oral tales of yesterday with the places of today that myths give us. Despite, at times, New Zealand being quite a young country, we have a wealth of these tales if we just take the time to listen to them (or read them).
  2. Edible Auckland : foodie adventures from Pokeno to Mangawhai / Jennifer Yee. A glovebox-sized guide to the Auckland region's best foodie outlets. Each entry includes full contact details, range of products and trading hours and is listed in alphabetical order and can be found within its relevant chapter, i.e. central, north, east, west or south Auckland... Plan a gourmet weekend escape, day trip or just a few hours tasting your way around specialty food and cooks stores. With Edible Auckland in the glovebox you'll never be lost for where to shop for good food and produce - and you'll never have an excuse to go hungry! I can personally vouch for several of the entries in this book (and would like to have the time and opportunity to sample many more). I can't think of many better ways to get set about a tour of Auckland (unless it involved books or libraries).
  3. The life and times of Auckland : the colourful story of a city / Gordon McLauchlan. Since pre-European times, Auckland has been culturally different from the rest of the country. Today, it is culturally and ethnically diverging further. Its city life is a rowdy coming together of diverse people, implicit with opportunity and excitement. As Gordon McLauchlan describes in this book, Auckland's past is no different from its present. This lively people's history, packed with colourful stories about the place and its people, tells how it got to be where everybody seems to want to live. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to histories of the city. This is one of the 21st Century examples of a very readable non-fiction book. An honourable mention in the history category would go to From Tamaki-makau-rau to Auckland / R.C.J. Stone which covers the pre-European history of the region.
  4. City of volcanoes : a geology of Auckland / E.J. Searle ; edited and with geographic notes by R.D. Mayhill. Readable account of the development of Auckland's landscape and its remarkable collection of tiny volcanic sites. To this edition has been added material discussing the realtionships of landforms with other natural features and people. I find the idea that Auckland is built on a field of volcanoes fascinating and just a little disturbing. This book is adult non-fiction, but if you are looking for something a little lighter or for children, try Maria Gill's Rangitoto : te toka tū moana : the rock standing in the ocean.
  5. Hidden gems of Northland / Martin Robinson Whether you prefer a leisurely ramble through local museums, glow-worm caves or country churches, or if you'd rather hit the bike trail, scuba dive or lounge with the locals in the cosiest pubs, "Hidden gems of Northland" opens up a treasure chest of curiosities and activities to be discovered North of Aucland. Being an 'Aucklander' is quite a new thing to me. I started out as a North Aucklander and (just quietly) will probably still cheer for the Taniwha's of Northland over the North Harbour or Auckland rugby teams. So in this Top 5, I am not prepared to forget that it is also Northland's Anniversary Day. I can definitely recommend visits to lots of different parts of Northland, from the Kaipara Harbour where I grew up, to Ahipara up near the top of the country and back down to the East Coast to events such as the annual Jazz & Blues Festival in the Bay of Islands, stopping for chocolate at Makana on the way past. Unfortunately the weather forecast means this might not be the weekend to take a trip away, but raincheck it for later in the year.

If you want to find out about walks, museums, wine, golf courses, history, etc of Auckland or Northland, the easiest way is to do a keyword search in our new catalogue and use that as your starting point.

Have an awesome, safe (and dry) weekend everyone. Ka kite.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

G'day - Namaste

This week is a real United Nations one. Yesterday we were up in the northern hemisphere with the Scots. Today we head west to a celebrations with a couple of other countries.

They are our nearest neighbours, many of us have spent time there and we LOVE to beat them at whatever sport is going. Today the Australians break our the barbies and head to the beaches to celebrate Australia Day. They have had a hard time of it lately (and that is not just the loss of the Ashes to England), so a little bit of lightness will go down well across the ditch.

There are more different subject headings than the computer can cope with when I type Australia into our catalogue for a subject search. Some are quite curious (Australian bottles or Australian eccentrics) but others speak for themselves (Australia Discovery and Exploration). Australian fiction, especially the books set in the outback are also very popular. Authors such as Peter Watt, Tamara McKinley, James Roy and Bryce Courtenay are just the tip of the iceberg and some of my favourites are the childrens and young adult authors such as Mem Fox and John Marsden.

Meanwhile, further west, India is celebrating Republic Day which some websites call the "culmination of Ghandi's dream". It is a vast and colourful land, which I have not visited but friends who have come home with telling of a vast tapestry of people and cultures all interwoven into the largest democracy in the world.

Just as with Australia, a subject search in our catalogue for India brings up a wide variety of resources from fiction and non-fiction to books, music and DVD's. Read the book Q & A by Vikas Swarup and then watch the movie that was made from it Slumdog Millionare. Visit and view Bollywood through the library and check out our multicultural resources to see if we have reading in your first language. We have 27 different languages in our collection so check out this link to our website to see if yours is included.

Wherever you are in New Zealand or the world, have an awesome day everyone.

Anniversary and Waitangi Weekend Hours

With the exception of Botany Library, all Auckland Libraries branches will be closed on Auckland Anniversary Day and Waitangi Day.

Auckland Libraries branches (that includes all former Rodney Libraries)
Monday 31 January - Closed
Sunday 6 February - Closed

Botany Library
Monday 31 January - 10:00am - 5:30pm
Sunday 6 February - 10:00am - 5:30pm

Mobile Library
Monday 31 January - Will not run
Sunday 6 February - Will not run

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Och - laddies and lassies

'Tis the day when we celebrate all things Scottish. The 25th of January is the birthday of Robert Burns, famous Scottish poet and Auckland Libraries are celebrating with Burns Night events in some of our city libraries. Here's the news from our website.

Auckland Libraries invites you to celebrate Burns Night, the anniversary of the birthday of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, born on 25 January 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland.

View a display of Scottish national costume, as well as a selection of resources on Scotland and Robert Burns, at the Waitakere Central Library and the New Lynn War Memorial Library

Find out more about Robert Burns and Scottish history
Who was Robert Burns?
History of Scottish settlers in New Zealand
Early Scottish settlers in West Auckland
St Andrews Society of New Lynn
Scottish place names in West Auckland
Websites on Scottish genealogy

Discover more about Robert Burns and Scottish history and genealogy with our booklist of suggested titles

Sign up now for our NextReads Historical Fiction monthly eNewsletter - January's eNewsletter features a selection of recent and recommended titles set in Scotland.

If the links don't work from this Blog post then head on over to this News Item from our Auckland Libraries website and link through from that page. You might want to bookmark the home page for future reference.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Cometh the hour. Cometh the Man

It's not an original quote (in fact there is quite some discussion about who can be credited with the original words - but that's a whole other subject for another day).

The political year kicks off formally today with the visit by all the big-hitters to the home of Ratana. And when I heard all the broadcasters contemplating this annual pilgrimage, it got me wondering just what I did know about the man who founded both the Church and the political movement.

Throughout history, certain individuals with a rare passion for justice and a gift of insight have been able to rally and motivate people through periods of great social change, sometimes defying all odds and being greatly misunderstood in the process. Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana was such a man, called to prominence at a pivotal time, with a message for the Maori people and for the wider world. After a profound vision he became a healer of people's physical ailments and a lifter of ancient curses; and he was also a leader in healing the 'land sickness' of the Maori, after decades of land confiscation by the Government and the Crown. As founder of the Ratana Church and the Ratana movement, he led his followers in the quest to unite all Maori under one God, and to restore the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of the nation, giving Maori equal rights to British citizens. This is part of the publishers description for the book Ratana The Prophet by Keith Newman. But it is just one of the resources we have on botht he man himself and religion that has grown based on his teachings. A Keyword search for Ratana produces several more, although some of these are valuable editions and can only be accessed in the special collections in the library.

You can also access a wide range of resources through either the Libraries Digital resources or from websites such as NZ History online.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Top 5 for Friday - What Warkworth are reading

It's getting really late in the day and has been incredibly busy here at Warkworth (not helped by someone's bright idea that we should take the Library to the Warkworth A & P Show tomorrow and the accompanying organisation necessary to make it happen). Which is really just me trying to make excuses for being so late with the Blog today. But never fear - inspiration is here.

Today's Top 5 centres around what the librarians of Warkworth Library are reading.
  1. In Great Waters - Kit Whitfield. In a tense, divided court, a young princess watches her mother struggle to hold the throne. On a remote coastal estate, a scholar finds a child washed up on the shore. Anne. Henry. A Christian princess of the royal blood. A pagan bastard, groomed all his hidden, lonely life to make a grab for the crown. In this work of stunning imagination, Kit Whitfield has written a fictional history at once familiar and alien. Since the ninth century, when the deepsmen invaded Venice, an uneasy alliance has held between the people of the land and the sea. That alliance was brokered by the warrior queen, Angelica, half landsman, half deepsman, the mother of the royal houses of Europe. Now, centuries later, no navy can cross the seas without allies in the ocean - and without deepsmen guarding its shores, no nation can withstand invasion. The hybrid kings keep the treaty between both sides, protecting their people from the threat of war. The royal blood is the key to peace, and ferociously protected. The penalties for any landsman who tries to breed with a deepsman are severe; the fate of any 'bastard' child, born of such an illegitimate union, is terrible. But the royal house of England is staggering, collapsing under the weight of centuries of inbreeding. Anne prays for guidance, a way into the future without hatred or bloodshed. Henry holds with fierce certainty that only the strong survive. But if either of them is to outlive the coming conflict, they may need more than faith alone... Gail has just finished this and said it was fantastic.
  2. The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our place in nature - David Suzuki. This is the revised 2008 edition (we also hold the original 1997 publication). Since this title was first published, global warming has become a major challenge for humanity. In this new, extensively revised and amplified edition, David Suzuki reflects on these changes and examines what they mean for our place in the world. The basic meaasge remains the same: we are creatures of the Earth, and as such we are utterly dependent on its gifts of air, water, soil and the energy of the sun. These elements are not just external factors; we take them into our bodies, where they are incorporated into our very essence. As with any self respecting librarian, Gail has more than one book on the go and this is the second, showing up hints of a past as a science teacher.
  3. The Ship of Destiny. Book 3 in the Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb. The dragon, Tintaglia, has been released from her wizardwood coffin, only to find that the glories of her kingdom have passed into ancient memory. Meanwhile, Malta Vestrit navigates the acid flow of the Rain Wild River in a decomposing boat, accompanied by the Satrap Cosgo and his Companion Kekki. Sally is re-reading her way through some of her favourite fantasy series. (I know there are people out there who don't believe in it but I love revisiting favourite books and reading them)
  4. The Secret life of words: How English became English - Henry Hitchings. Sally is our scholar and she also has more than one book on the go. Journey into the history of English and discover how words have been absorbed into our language to make it what it is today.
  5. Dead Sea - Brian Keene. Julie definitely has more than one book on the go (and that's not counting the audio books she listens to driving to and from work). She told me she her plans for this weekend are to finish up her holiday reading and this book is one of them. The streets of the city are no longer safe. They are filled with zombies - the living dead, rotting predators driven only by a need to kill...and eat. Some of the living have struggled to survive, but with each passing day their odds grow worse. For Lamar Reed and a handful of others, their safe haven is an old Coast Guard ship out at sea. This is part of a series and as she has a stronger stomach than I do, she is hereby designated the reviewer of the zombie genre.

And that's us for the week. Call and say hi to myself and Gail if you are at the Warkworth Show tomorrow. Or you could just visit your local library and have a wander. If you haven't been for a while, you might be surprised at whats on offer.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Libraries on Location - Warkworth Show

The sun is shining and it is that time of the year where rural New Zealand traditionally celebrates everything country with the A & P Show circuit coming to a town near you.

This weekend Warkworth dusts itself off with the main show day on Saturday the 22nd and an Equestrian Day on Sunday for the horse events which can't be catered for on Saturday. There will be fun, games, animals, competitions, food and trade stands. And just like the last couple of years, the library will be there too.

Gail and I will be at the Show all day (hopefully with sunscreen and not umbrellas) showing off books, music, talking books and all the other resources that the Auckland Libraries give you access too. You will be able to sign up for your new library card on the day and take books out if you see something you fancy (or put your name down for one of the latest releases).

I will be running a Family Storytime at 10.30am in front of the Library site with all my favourite songs and stories so make sure you visit then to help me sing along. We're not in the library for this one so we can make as much noise as we want.

I love A & P Shows. Any excuse for a hotdog and some candyfloss. Plus it's a great gathering and meeting place. I always catch up with people I haven't seen for ages. Come and see the best that the country has to offer on Saturday in Warkworth.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Hopping into the New Year

Apparently 2011 is my year. I was born in the Year of the Rabbit (I'm not going to tell you which one) and the soon to be celebrated Chinese New Year (which begins on the 3rd of February) welcomes this year.

As we get into the two week celebration we will tell you more about the festival. But in the meantime, here are some of the events that are being run.

Storytime sessions:
10:30am - 11am, Monday 7 February - Warkworth Library
10:30am - 11am, Tuesday 8 February - Mahurangi East Library
10:30am - 11am, Wednesday 9 February - Wellsford Library
10:30am - 11am, Wednesday 9 February - Whangaparaoa Library
11am - 11:30am, Thursday 10 February - Orewa Library

For more information on these and other activities, watch out for the displays and brochures in your local library or go to the Events Link on our website

Monday, 17 January 2011

The First One

It's only two weeks into the new year and I have already discovered my first Top 10 book for 2011. Which is a pretty big statement considering there is a lot of year and a lot of reading still to go, but I am pretty confident about this one.

In present-day Cambridge, Abi, a recently ordained priest of the Church of England, is appointed to a notoriously difficult parish. The priest in charge is the charismatic but fundamentalist Kier. He objects to her mysticism, her practice of healing in particular. When she sees a vision of a congregation in an old church, Kier accuses her of witchcraft, but Abi soon sees more visions; an entire Roman family history, dark with betrayal and a promise of bloody revenge. With foreboding forces building up to violence, Abi must battle the approaching terror along with her own personal demons, drawing upon the expertise of Druidry and shamanism from a questionable source! (Library Summary)

It's hard to describe this book without giving too much away. The story follows the typical Erskine format of melding past and present, with spirits to be put at rest in both tenses. The author also skilfully deals with the subject of religion in these settings addressing the differences, and similarities between christianity and the so-called paganism of early Britain. Whereas I have found several Erskine books incredibly dark and full of fear, Times Legacy was different in that it seemed to be full of light and have a slightly gentler touch. This was despite the rage and turmoil apparent in several of the characters, and the uncertainty of Abi's questions about her visions.

I have been a fan of Barbara Erskine ever since reading Lady of Hay back in the 1980's. However, this latest offering is without doubt (and at least to me) her most satisfying read. There were still questions at the end, but that was okay. It just added to the experience. Definitely a five star read.

If you want to know more about Barbara Erskine, she has a website

Friday, 14 January 2011

Friday Top 5 - ALA Award Winners 2011

The prestigious American Library Association awards were announced earlier this week, so this weeks Top 5 looks at five of the winners.

  1. John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature goes to Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.
  2. Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children is awarded to A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead. Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day--'Ah-choo!'--he woke with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn't make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.
  3. Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults goes to Ship Breaker written by Paolo Bacigalupi. In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl. This book is also available as an audio book (including as downloadable media).
  4. Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2011 winner is Tomie dePaola, author and illustrator of over 200 books.
  5. Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. This year it was awarded to the profilic and incredibly popular author Sir Terry Pratchett.
These were not the only awards that were announced. For the full list go to this ALA Press Release. Sounds like a couple more books here that I will be adding to the infamous TBR (To Be Read) list.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Kumeu Kids Monopoly Reviews

Here are a couple of great reviews from the Summer Reading Programme participants out west.

The book Laura enjoyed most was The naughtiest Girl saves the Day by Enid Blyton
The book was rated exciting, with her favourite character being Elizabeth and the least favourite character was Arabella. She particularly liked the part when Elizabeth woke up and heard a crow calling "fire fire". She ran to Daniel's room and saw there was smoke coming from inside his room. She got a wet towel, covered her face with it and went into Daniel's room. She picked up the unconscious boy and dragged him out of the room. the teachers praised her majorly. It is a real comedy, funny and lifelike. Great story for people to read between age 8-13 years

Meanwhile Daniella had to read a non-fiction book about animals and choseRabbits by Michaela Miller. Daniella wrote "I enjoyed all of the book. It taught me a lot of facts about rabbits that I didn't know. Things like: people used to only keep rabbits as food up until 400 years ago when they started to keep them as pets. I also learned that wild rabbits live in groups and also that there are many different kinds of rabbits such as lop-eared and angora." She recommends this book because there are lots of cute rabbit pictures and easy to understand information about rabbits.

Great reviews girls. Keep them coming.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Water water everywhere

I spent an hour or so on a local beach yesterday with one of my best friends who is visiting from Australia. The Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane to be exact. She agreed it was a great time to be holidaying in New Zealand (sunshine and no rain) but slightly nervous about returning home. In fact she was not even sure she would be able to get home as large parts of the Bruce Highway north of Brisbane are impassable. Last night I watched both the local news and SKY News Australia (channel 90 running continuous coverage) with friends who have just returned from some of the areas which are now looking like being the worst affected.

Floods. We've had some big ones here in New Zealand but what is happening at the moment in Australia is on an enormous scale. Think of the area between the Brynderwyn Hills in the North to Taupo in the South and then consider that area being underwater. It's just slightly scary, isn't it?

If you want to know more about floods, the weather patterns that cause them and their ongoing effects, you can of course visit your local library (either in person or online). Here are a few starting points.

The new Library catalogue link A keyword search for Floods brings up not just books, but websites, DVD's, e-books and microfilm images from the Auckland Libraries collection. You can narrow the search down by clicking on different words in the tag cloud on the left hand side of the screen, or by refining the search using the headings on the right hand side (i.e. books only, adult, time period, etc).
The classic catalogue link A subject heading search allows you to look at the subjects in a more familiar screen. Click on any of the subject headings and the books or other material that we hold on that subject will appear so that you can see if they are right for you and if they are available.
The Digital Library Would you like to find out more through the web about floods and flooding in New Zealand and around the world? This is the link that can help you access a wide range of resources including newspaper and journal articles, photographs, etc. Scroll through the different resources (some require you to be a library member and enter your barcode to access while others are freely available). For historic images Matapihi is freely available.

In the meantime, our thoughts are with the people of Queensland as they prepare for the peak in Brisbane and continue their struggle with Mother Nature.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Library Monopoly Book Reviews

As part of one of our Summer Reading Programmes, the participants have to provide us with a short book review. This has led to some very interesting discussions around the district and is a great chance for the librarians (that's us) to interact with the children and find out what they like and reading and why. Here are some extracts from Warkworth Library reviews.

The Hardy Boys: Dude Ranch O'Death by Scott Lobdell.
Miles found this book very exciting and gave it a five star rating. He recommends it because it is a "story with lots of action and humour, and the graphics help you interpret the story". (This is a graphic novelisation of the children's chapter book and is an excellent way to introduce longer stories to reluctant and emergent readers).

The Famous Five Adventures by Enid Blyton
Emily had to read a mystery book and she enjoyed trying to work out what was going on in this book. She said the part she liked best was when things started to make sense (to her this was around page 130). It had adventure, true friendship and a tiny bit of sadness which made it a good read - another five star recommendation. (We have a huge collection of Famous Five books both in print and in audio).

The Adventures of Tin-Tin by Herge.
Indiana and Tynan both landed on Fun Books and chose to read some of the Tin-Tin adventures. They thought they were really exciting, sometimes funny and once you started reading them you wanted to know more. (We have Tin Tin in Portugese, Spanish and French as well as English, so check out our catalogue).

Over the next two weeks I will be posting some reviews from the children at other libraries so look out for those.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Farwell to some greats

Over the extended festive season, literature lost several prolific and respected authors.

Ruth Park was born in New Zealand but spent much of her life in Australia where she published 10 award-winning adult novels, 35 books for children, two volumes of autobiography and several works of non-fiction. Read more about her life and legacy in this NZ Herald tribute

Harvey McQueen was a poet, editor, anthropologist and educator. He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. There is a tribute on the TV3 news website.

Dick King-Smith (real name Ronald Gordon King-Smith) is probably best known for penning the Sheep-Pig on which the move Babe was based. As well as being a soldier, farmer and teacher he was a prolific author and pets ranging from rats and mice to pheasants and dogs. There are world-wide tributes being paid to this extremely popular children's author. Read more about his life in this article from the Telegraph.

Rest in Peace. Your legacies live on in the words you have left behind.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Popular Resolutions #3 - All the Rest

This week we are covering off library resources which will help you keep to some of the most popular New Year's Resolutions that you have made. So far we have dealt with Giving Up (smoking, drinking, etc) and the Health Kick (weight management, exercise, etc). So today let's look at some of the others.
  1. Time Management. This goes to the heart of resolutions such as more time for family and friends and activities that you want to pick up this year. If you are anything like me there never seems to be enough time to fit in all the things I want to do (and read all the books I want to read). Unfortunately there is no magic wand that can be waved but there are plenty of books to help you get organised, de-clutter and which give you lots of different hints on how to find extra minutes in your day. We all have different lifestyles and personalities so what works for one person might not work for another. Have a look through our collection under the subject heading of Time Management.
  2. Friends and Family. One of the main things people want more time for is to spend with Family and Friends. In our busy world today, sometimes those minutes aren't large which makes it difficult, especially if there are tensions to be sorted out. The key to any relationships is quality time and communication and we have a range of resources to help you through this minefield. Look under subject headings such as Families and Friendships to help you out with ideas.
  3. Travel. You don't have to have come into the library very often to know that we have shelves of books, travel guides and DVD's to help you plan your next holiday, give you ideas on where to go next or tell you tales of other peoples adventures. Travel Guidebooks is a good place to start but anywhere in the non-fiction shelves from Dewey numbers 910 to 919 will help you out. This is where you find your Lonely Planets, Rough Guides and all the things in between.
  4. Saving. Of course to be able to head away on holiday, you need to have saved a little bit of dosh to pay for the memories you are going to create. That means budgetting and saving. Or maybe this is the year you are going to buy the house, car, boat... that you always wanted. Personal Finance is one key term you can use to find resources to help you plan to reach your goal. Budgets - Personal is another one.
  5. Learn Something New. If you want to start doing more photography, cooking, crafts or sport. If you want to know more about our world, the past world or other worlds. A new langauge, new friends or new music. Helping others or helping yourself. The library is your one-stop shop for information to help you with all of this. All you need to do is step inside the door or you can even do it from home by checking out our website for a range of digital resources.

So that's the New Years Resolutions sorted. Good luck with yours. I have to go and find some help with mine. Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Ka kite.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Popular Resolutions # 2 - The Health Kick

The key words for today are 'More' and 'Better'. Yes - today we are talking about diet and fitness.

After seeing a couple of comments recently on Facebook, I decided to change around the way I was thinking about these particular resolutions which are so popular. Normally I think of it in terms of Less food i.e. concentrating on the negatives. Which is why I thought if I changed them around to More exercise equals better fitness and Better health choices (i.e. diet) results in better health (i.e. a more acceptable weight) and more energy.

Exercise and Fitness - There are over 500 different resources to be found at Auckland Libraries under the subject heading of Exercise ranging from books (including audio books) to DVD's. The activites range from simple walking to martial arts, pilates and yoga to racquet and ball sports. Some of the more intriguing titles include Fit in your jeans by Friday, a DVD by Kim Kardashian and The kitchen gym : get lean while you clean by Anne-Marie Millard. If that sounds a little tame there are always the Spartan Warrior or Navy Seal workout programmes to make you sweat.

Diet - For a lot of us it is a four letter word, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are over 200 diet books alone in our catalogue and thats without going anywhere near a subject heading like Nutrition or into the cooking section. It has to be said there are a lot of Fad diets out there so it does pay to make an informed and healthy choice when you are starting a weight loss programme. A catchy title might be a good read but not necessarily the right choice for your lifestyle. For that reason and because there are over 800 resources to choose from, I personally am going to head to Nutrition to get my information.

Motivation - The thing that stops me from achieving either my fitness or weight goals is usually that I run out of puff, not just literally but also mentally. So although most good diet and exercise books include ideas to keep you on track, I have added this one in here. Check out subject headings such as Motivation and key words such as Attitude to give yourself a kick in the right direction.

Catch me for a run down on how the library might help you with some of those other popular New Year's resolutions tomorrow. Ka kite.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Popular Resolution 1 - Giving it up

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had an excellent New Year break and made it to where you were going and back again safely. I enjoyed the sun and the beach (Martin's Bay has got to be the best beach in the world) and relaxing with with several good books.

Obviously it is that time of the year where we all do New Year's resolutions. So I am going to cram the Top 5 (or if I can manage it 10) resolutions that we all make into three posts this week and point you in the direction of some library resources that could help you. Today we start off with the Number One resolution - Giving it up!

Smoking - Allen Carr is the guru of "Giving up Smoking" books but they are also the most popular and therefore the hardest to get your hands on. Instead of putting it off until the book comes in (excuses!!), grab one of the other ones off the shelf to help you in the meantime. Simply type Smoking Cessation into our catalogue as a subject search (or just hit on the link) and you will find plenty of other books to encourage and motivate you.

Alcohol - Most of us have seen the ads on TV. If your friends and family don't like some of your 'mates' then maybe it is time to do something about it. Click on this link for Alcohol and consider if the way you are drinking needs to be modified.

There are plenty of other habits and addictions that are bad for us. Click on the following to find information in the library about just a few:

Tomorrow - my big 2011 resolution (or maybe I will call it an aspiration in the hope that it will make a difference to me keeping it for longer than a couple of weeks). Fitness and diet.

Ka kite