Going to Gallipoli

Photo of Adrienne 1Hi everyone! My name is Adrienne and I’m the Children’s and Young Adult Services Coordinator for Wellington City Libraries. This month I have headed to Turkey to attend the 2015 ANZAC Commemorations at Gallipoli. I was fortunate to receive a double pass to the event as part of the Government-run ballot system.

Not only am I a librarian, I also serve as a Medic in the New Zealand Army Reserve and have a history of military service amongst my family, so the event will have special meaning for me.

To plan for my trip to Turkey, and the events on ANZAC Day, I’ve taken advantage of the various services the library has to offer. Here’s what I did…

My first step was to do a little bit of research into my family history. Ancestry Library (access from library computers only) was my first stop as it gives me access to records of family members – births, deaths, marriages, immigration, military service, employment and more. I typed in known family members’ names and had a look at the information and connections returned from the search. While I found no family members that served at Gallipoli, I did come across a number of previously unknown ancestors that fought in World War One, some of which returned home and others that didn’t. It was incredible to find out about my grandfather’s cousins who fought at the Somme.

Next I searched the catalogue to locate books about the Gallipoli battles. There’s an incredible array of materials available – from histories and analyses, personal accounts, battlefield guides, and on the aftermath and impact on New Zealand. One fascinating book detailed New Zealand nurses’ experiences in World War One, titled Anzac girls : the extraordinary story of our World War I nurses (also in eBook). There are also books that portray the Turkish perspective of the battle and it occurred to me that it seems incredible that they let us arrive in our droves each year to celebrate the day we invaded their country. It just goes to show the mutual respect the countries involved have for each other. You can find these books in the 940s section in the Central Library.

I’m intending to tour around Turkey for a couple of weeks after ANZAC Day, so off to the section of travel guides I went. I found guides for Turkey as a whole, but also separately for Istanbul. These have been extremely helpful in planning my trip and making bookings. Travel guides are expensive to purchase, so it was great to use the library ones for planning and to see which guides I liked the best before buying one to take with me.

I also browsed through some language guides (which can be found in the 400s), so I could attempt to wrap my tongue around the Turkish language. I used the Mango Languages app to help with this too (available free to Wellington City Libraries’ members).
Lastly, I had 24hrs of flying to get there, and will have another 24hrs to get back, and many hours sitting on buses in between. There’s only so many movies that can sustain me; eventually I’m going to need to have something to read. I’m planning on travelling light, so eBooks, eMagazines, and eAudiobooks are ideal and Wellington City Libraries has all of these available for free download. There’s so much variety that the most difficult task so far has been choosing which titles to choose. I’ve downloaded a number of eBooks and eAudiobooks from Bolinda and Overdrive, and downloaded some magazines from Zinio.

I’ll be posting some photos, videos, and reports from ANZAC Day at Gallipoli here and on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.