Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Auckland Libraries add to the Trophy Case

Auckland Libraries wins diversity award
29/08/2011 - LIbrary Press release

Auckland Libraries has been recognised for an outstanding contribution to the NZ Diversity Action programme by the Human Rights Commission.
The award recognises the services and programmes Auckland Libraries offers that celebrate the region’s diverse ethnic community.
The commission recently announced the winners of 2011 New Zealand Diversity Awards at the conclusion of its Human Diversity Forum in Hamilton.
The forum brings together community groups, government and business organisations to share experience and work related to race relations and diversity.
The commission recognised the libraries as being inclusive and responsive to the needs of residents, diverse ethnic and community groups and organisations.
“We are delighted to have been recognised, especially for our dedicated multicultural services team that works hard to ensure we offer services and information that cater for all Aucklanders,” says Abigael Vogt, multicultural service development team leader, Auckland Libraries.
Examples of library programmes offered are Samoan storytimes, computer classes in Mandarin, read-aloud sessions for migrants and book groups. Events such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Samoan and Maori Language weeks, World Refugee Day, Matariki, Waitangi Day and Pasifika are highlights of Auckland Libraries’ events calendar.
Auckland Libraries is a network of 54 libraries in locations from Wellsford to Pukekohe and four mobile libraries. It also works with 14 rural volunteer libraries across the region.

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Rugby Legend speaks

You saw it promoted in the local Rodney Times. Now you can talk to the man himself and the authors of his biography. Fred Allen is coming to Whangaparaoa Library on Saturday 17 September at 2.00pm.

Come along to hear Alan Sayers & Les Watkins present the exciting biography of the soldier, player, coach and legend, ‘Fred the Needle: The Untold Story of Sir Fred Allen’.

The well-known rugby hero and local identity will join then Alan & Les in the lounge area of the Library where he will sign copies of his book. You can purchase your own copy of this fantastic book on the day thanks to Whitcoulls.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Top 5 for Friday - About to hit the shelves

I have moved desk. I now have a little cubby hole down at Orewa in the Auckland Council Service Centre. There are pro's and con's in this move. I know I will miss my storytime kids and customer interaction. But I now get to travel all over Auckland, visit lots of libraries and meet some of our fantastic librarians. So stay tuned for tales on a wider scale than before from all around the City.

The other positive is that I sit just around the corner from where all the new books come into the library to be processed. So whenever I lack inspiration for something to put on the blog I will just pop next door and see what is about to hit the shelves. Which is just what I have done this week. So in no particular order...

  1. Sing no sad songs: Losing a daughter to cancer (Sandra Arnold). I think I will cry when I read this book (which I will, especially after just reading the first few pages). But I think I will also find it uplifting. Sandra is a published author and a wordsmith. This is apparent from the first paragraph of the introduction. On 6 April 2002 my youngest daughter Rebecca died of a rare appendix cancer, at the age of 23. For a whole year afterwards I couldn't say her name and the word 'died' in the same breath. though I am a writer and a teacher of writing, I had no words to describe this cataclysmic event in the life of my family. I could no longer read novels, listen to music, or watch films. I stopped dreaming. It hurt to breathe... Leafing through the pages, passages of poignancy leap out at me. I look forward to reading this book.

  2. My Life & other stuff I made up (Tristan Bancks). For something completely different this is ia new children's fiction title. It follows on in the style of Andy Griffiths and Morris Gleitzman with short stories based on the life of Tom. Most girls will probably go 'Yuck!' to and most boys will lap up and laugh over. There is a warning on the story My Nan is tougher that adults should not read it under any circumstances, a random list of nit cures and an indepth investigation of Tom's scab. It think this will quickly make it onto the read aloud lists for many school visits.

  3. Off the Wall: The World of WearableArt. If, like me, you keep meaning to but never manage to find the gap in your calendar to get to the annual Wearable Arts shows, then this is a book for you. This is the third edition of the Wearable arts design book and was produced to accompany the national touring exhibition. From the cheeky to the surreal and using everything from recycled cricket pads and human hair to used tea bags and bones (not all in the same costume), this is a great book to browse or inspire.

  4. Homemade: Over 700 everyday items that are easy to make and will save you money (Reader's Digest). And who doesn't want to save money? There is the added bonus that by using this book you will also avoid artificial ingredients and produce less waste. Divided into sections for the Kitchen, Health and Beauty and Around the House, you can put on some relish, use some of the offcuts for tone your complexion and then when you pour yourself a drink at the end of the day, use a little bit of that vodka in a flea dip cocktail for your pet (page 316 if you can spare the vodka).

  5. The Marvel Encyclopedia: The definitive guide to the characters of the Marvel Universe. Updated and expanded and just in time for Comic Book Month which kicks off in the libraries in September (oops - spoiler). An A to Z of the characters, the groups and their worlds. Heroes and villains with their back stories and a journey through the decades of trends within Marvel. A fantastic fact file (and Yes - there is a companion DC Universe encyclopedia).

Have a great weekend everyone. Hope there was something in this list for almost everyone.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Events at Rodney Libraries.

As well as the Storytimes, Rhymetimes and Wriggle and Rhyme sessions held at our Libraries over the next couple of weeks, there are a couple of other things you might like to consider.

Mark Bayley family history talk
Auckland Libraries and the Hibiscus Coast branch of New Zealand Society of Genealogists present Mark Bayley at Whangaparaoa Library. Mark, a leading genealogist from the UK, will speak about family history research. This will be held on Thursday 1 September from 10am to 12 noon and is a free event. For further details contact the Staff at Whangaparaoa Library Phone 09 427 3710 Email or just turn up on the day.

Kumeu Bookclub
Join the Book Club at Kumeu Library. The next meeting is Thursday 25 August from 7pm to 8pm. The group reads one book for each meeting discussion and refreshments are served. As well as reading and discussing the book of the month they also share other good books that they have read. For further details contact the Kumeu Library staff Ph 09 412 7995

To find out about events specifically in the Rodney area, this is the events page link.

Or sign up for the monthly What's On E-newsletter for information on library events and exhibitions around Auckland.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Kiwi Historic Fiction

La Rochelle's Road by Tanya Moir is a book that captures both the beauty (and harshness) of the New Zealand landscape in the mid to late 1800's and the struggle of the early settlers against both that landscape and the search to find their place in the new country.

Central to the struggle are the Peterson family who travel to the Banks Peninsula in 1886 to start a new life and the man that they purchased the land off Etienne La Rochelle. There are elements of scandal, love, disaster, ethnic, class and culture clashes and a variety of different colourful characters along the way.

A well researched and evocative first novel from Tanya that is worth picking up.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Top 5 for Friday - Kiwi Jazz and Blues

I had a fantastic break in the winterless north at Paihia last weekend (at least it was until about 2.15 pm on Sunday afternoon when within the space of one song the temperature turned snowy). It was the annual Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival (the 26th year of the event) and it is from this that I take the inspiration for this weeks Top 5.

I never thought I was much of a fan of jazz and blues. And there are certainly some types of both jazz and blues that I couldn't sit and listen to for an extended period of time. What I do like about most of it though, is that it is music with personality and emotion. Whether it is the upbeat tempo of the swing jazz to the deprivation of the honky tonk blues, when you can hear the words that tell the story of everyday people living everyday lives and the musicians make their instruments talk - you can't beat it. So here are some of my new and rediscovered favourites (at least those that have made CD's and that have music in our collections)

  1. Kokomo They started life as Kokomo Blues and are now just Kokomo. And they are quite simply the best. With a uniquely Kiwi brand of blues as well as classics from the deep south of America in the 1920's. Kokomo have an extensive back catalogue and I am pleased to see that we hold most of them. Their latest album contains one of their new songs It all comes round, as well as the timely Tintin's in Love and Plastic Jesus. They are irreverant, fun and have the best harmonica player in New Zealand.

  2. Grant Haua All the best musicians this weekend seemed to come out of Tauranga. Grant Haua was one of them. His brand of blues is intensity personified. He loves his guitars but he attacks them with passion in some of the fastest fret and finger picking that I have ever seen. He does have his own album out (recently released) but can be heard in Auckland Libraries collection in Walk on Water (which just happens to have been produced by the same Studio as Kokomo and features some of the Kokomo boys on backup).

  3. Brilleaux The last of the Tauranga trio, these guys are both high energy (the Saturday night show went at a million miles an hour) but can also do acoustic (the Sunday afternoon gig) with a brand that owes more to the early British Blues scene such as Rolling Stones and Slade. They have just released a live album.

  4. Kniki and Mike Beale were just one of the several Australian acts which crossed the ditch for the Festival and they were certainly my pick in the blues category (although if dixie is more your thing then the Dixie Street Jazz Band is worth a look as well). A strong voice and great guitar work from this duo and I can't wait to hear Kniki's take on Janis Joplin in a new album due out next year.

  5. That's Life You won't find any recordings from this Kiwi quartet of jazz musicians, who have been playing in various guises for more years than they will probably admit to (at least they didn't to us). They do it because they love it. They do it with humour and personality - the music sings and the audience responds. A trip to Sky City where they play monthly may be on the cards for the girls.

Honourable mentions go to all the school and youth bands that turned up this year - more than ever before. I am going to be parochial and say that I thought Music @ Mahu were the most polished, but I also caught the Aotea Comb Youth JazzBand and the Pakuranga College Jazz Band and they were pretty special too.

If Jazz and Blues are your thing (or music in general), we have an awesome collection of CD's, sheet music and DVD's at Auckland Libraries.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

R.I.P. Sir Paul Reeves

The State funeral was held today for a man of much mana. Sir Paul Reeves passed away over the weekend and the sincerity of the tributes that are being paid to him are revealing as to the heart of the man and his standing, not just in New Zealand, but internationally.

A keyword search in the Auckland catalogue Reeves, Sir Paul. The most interesting to me would be the Replay Radio interview and the biography of his wife Beverley Playing the part.

A wealth of information about Sir Paul, his life and his thoughts can be found through the Libraries Digital Resources, especially such databases as The KNowledge Basket and Matapihi.

He tangata kii tahi
A man who speaks once


Monday, 15 August 2011

Weeping Waters

Did you see the awesome film last night on Tangiwai? Despite the fact that I had very heavy eyes (will let you know the reason why for that later in the week), I stayed riveted through the whole thing, and may even have shed a tear at the end. This wasn't guy gets girl and everyone lives happily ever after stuff. This was New Zealand history, our people, our country, our pain and our triumph.

The tale told last night is recounted in book form in What are you doing out here : heroism and distress at a cricket test / Norman Harris ; with a foreword by Bob Blair.

If you want to know more about Tangiwai check out the Libraries holdings under this subject headings link.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Quick reads for Kids

For the children who aren't as good at reading or are a little more reluctant, the trick for parents can be to find a book that will make them want to read it but is not all froth and fairies. These three quite different books fit the bill as they are thin, the text is larger, bolder and easier to read, but this takes nothing away from the content and stories contained within the covers.

Cody's Unexpected Catch (Des Hunt). A great first chapter book adventure, with themes of conservation and consequences. The beauty of this is that it is Kiwi. Cody and Wiri go whitebaiting, but what they actually catch are redbait... and greenbait... and purplebait. What is the mystery behind the coloured whitebait and what else is happening on the beach during the holidays.

Do Not Push (Kyle Mewburn). Another first chapter book by a Kiwi author with a theme of consequences. The action could take place anywhere, but New Zealander kids will definitely be able to relate. If you found a big red button in the middle of the forest with a sign on it saying "Do Not Push", what would you do? Everyone at the Library Roadshow yesterday admitted that they would probably give it just a little push. To find out what happens next and how much of a surprise Cam gets from his having pushed the button, you have to read the book.

Against the Odds (Marjolijn Hof). Slightly more advanced and with a subject matter more serious that the first two books, this award winning first novel has been described as powerful, sad, and funny all at the same time. Kiki's father is a doctor who travels to dangerous faraway places to help, no matter how much Kiki asks him not to go. When he goes missing and after a conversation with her mother about the odds of something happening to him being small (or big), Kiki undertakes her own mission to increase the odds of her father coming home. This Dutch novel has been translated into 12 languages.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

LIANZA Children's Book Awards Winners Announced

The Library & Information Association (LIANZA) has paid tribute to some of New Zealand’s most famous writers and artists in their annual LIANZA Children's Book Award Winners. (drum roll please)

Hill and Hole by Kyle Mewburn and Vasanti Unka, (Puffin Books) has won the 2011 Russell Clark medal. The judges said that Hill & Hole is an inspiring treasure that conveys envy, affection and contentment of a hole and a hill. The content and calibre of illustrations are stunning with multi layered original paintings and collage. Pene Walsh said “this book has all the makings of a classic, one that will be treasured by today’s children in 50 years time”.

Northland based Diana Menefy received the LIANZA Esther Glen medal, New Zealand’s oldest book prize for The Shadow of the Boyd, (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd). Based on a true story The Shadow of the Boyd tells a powerful tale from our colonial past, the bitter clash of two cultures from the point of view of Thomas Davidson, an apprentice sailor who survived the infamous massacre of the Boyd.

Fierce September by Wellingtonian Fleur Beale,(Random House New Zealand) received the LIANZA Young Adult medal and poignantly deals with a community’s transition into life in New Zealand where they don’t know everyone, where life has changed fundamentally and they are living isolated like refugees. Fierce September can be read as a standalone novel but Belynda Smith, judge and panel convenor, is holding her breath for a third book in the Juno series.

The Te Kura Pounamu was awarded for the first time to a graphic novel, Ngarimu: te tohu toa researched and retold by Kawata Teepa and illustrated by Andrew Burdan, (Huia Publishers).

More information about the awards and the winners can be found on the LIANZA website

Friday, 5 August 2011

Top 5 for Friday - New Picture books

Sally and I have been busy chuckling our way through the unpacking of new picture books which have been arriving at the library this week. Here are five of our favourites, some of which may find their way to our Libraries Roadshow at Warkworth Primary school next week.

  1. The Naughty Corner (Colin Thompson). An irreverant look at the people who get sent to the Naughty Corner and if they deserved it or not. It gets quite busy in the naughty corner of this particular house and many of the readers will identify with the situations. Wonderful illustrations with great facial expressions bring life to the text. Although irreverant it is not to the scale of Go the **** to Sleep (which is not and was never meant to be a picture book for children). A similar humour can be found in Dog did it (Lynne Garner and Mike Brownlee) but The Naughty Corner is our favourite book of the week.

  2. When I woke up I was a Hippopotamus (Tom MacRae and Ross Collins). Easy to read aloud, rhyming text tells the story of a small boy who fantasises he is different creatures, mainly to get out of things he doesn't want to do. At the end of the day his parents convince him that it can be a positive game and join in with the fun.

  3. No Bears (Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge). On one level this is simply a little girl who wants to read a story without any bears in it... and she does. However with very clever illustrations, a bear appears in every page of the book and even saves the day. If you examine the pages closely you can search for many different fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. A multi-layered success.

  4. Get Well Friends (Kes Gray and Mary McQuillan) contains simple text but plays on words in relation to the pictures. For instance, Cynthia the centipede is poorly as she sprained 98 ankles playing hockey. Similarly Thank you for looking after our pets (Tim Hopgood) plays on the characteristics of all the different animals while the author is away. Both are simple and good fun.

  5. Clem always Could (Sarah Watt). Facing your fears is something we all have to do. Learning to swim if you are scared of water (or being made fun of) is just one of them. With our coastlines and waterways in New Zealand, it is a hurdle that needs to be overcome. This is a book that will help you introduce the subject to reluctant swimmers, addresses the fears with a mixture of light humour and sensitivity and concludes with a positive outcome. Well worth a look.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

What's on in August

Our latest "What's On" e-newsletter is out. Here are some excerpts and some events in libraries around Auckland to mark on your calendar.

Family History Month
Enjoy workshops that aim to continue your love of family history research, or let you discover the fun of it for the first time. Some of the talks are finding your Croatian roots , Family Search with Judy Jones, Flesh on the genealogical bones with Auckland Museum’s Bruce Ralston, Beginning family history research and Social media for family historians. The full schedule of events can be found on this website link. Seonaid Lewis, Auckland Libraries specialist family research librarian will be visiting Whangaparaoa Library for two workshops (12th and 15th of August) so look for those details or ask at the library.

Authors and Poets visits
Meet Lauren Kate 5.30pm, Thursday 11 August // Central City Library
Spend an evening with Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series which has taken the world of young adult fiction by storm. She stops in Auckland on a world tour for her new book, Passion.

An afternoon with John Marsden 2pm, Sunday 14 August // Central City Library
Join us at 1.30pm for light refreshments. Meet the international bestselling author John Marsden, whose hit novels include the Tomorrow series and The Ellie Chronicles.

Joy Harjo poetry reading 6pm, Thursday 18 August // Central City Library Join us at 5.30pm for light refreshments. Don’t miss this chance to hear internationally known and award-winning poet, Joy Harjo, in performance on a rare visit to New Zealand.

Meet thriller writer John Hart 6.30pm, Tuesday 23 August // Takapuna Library
Join us at 6pm for light refreshments. Author John Hart talks about his latest book, Iron House. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, buy books and get autographs.

Lunchtime concert series 12.10pm - 1pm, Thursdays // Central City Library
Every Thursday, come and enjoy concerts by up and coming musicians and students of the highest calibre.
4 August: Auckland Suzuki Cello Academy
11 August: Students from Avondale College
18 August: University Cello Students
25 August: Students from Diocesan School

Other Events
St Johns - First to Care: 2pm, Wednesday 3 August // Orewa Library Janis Dixon, a St John home health representative, talks about St John' services including Caring Caller, first aid courses and Life Link medical alarms.
Old Fashioned Games: 4pm , Wednesday 24 August // Highland Park Library What sort of fun and games were available back in the 19th century? You can find out by joining guests from Howick Historical Village for some fun, old-fashioned games from the 1860s!
New Exhibition: Auckland Akarana ‘The wonderful isthmus’ exhibition. 13 August - 13 November // Central City Library. Auckland Akarana is a new Sir George Grey Special Collections exhibition that highlights wonderful features of Auckland from the 1800s through to the more modern times.

If you want to get regular updates of whats happening in the library, sign up here for our E-Newsletter