Keep in touch with correct contact details

chalk board question what's your number?Please help us stay in touch by ensuring your telephone, email and address details are up to date and correct. Either complete your details online, or call 04 801-4089 (between 9am-5pm Mon-Fri) to check your details, or talk with a library staff member the next time you are in the library. Remember to check all the library cards in your family.

Occasionally we have important news to share with all customers and we want to make sure you get these messages. For example, early in 2019 we will be changing the way that customers access your library card (to renew or reserve), and login to online services (such as eLibrary resources such as PressReader, or Lynda.com) to be in step with other modern libraries.

Catalogue changes coming soon

Our Classic Catalogue, which has been our mainstay since 2002, will shortly be retired. It was no longer being developed. Our new Catalogue, introduced in mid December is produced by the same company The Library Corporation and offers more features.

New catalogue home screen
It’s smartphone-friendly and presents a lot more information to help you choose what you want to borrow. It still has all the main searches – by title, author, or subject, but it’s easier to see if the book (or DVD etc) is available in the library. Once you’re logged in, you can save your favourite searches, share results on Facebook, or even opt in to save your borrowing history.

Similarly, Kids’ Cat has been replaced with a new version, and the previous version will also be shortly retired.

Please speak with a library staff member if you would like to find out more about the new catalogues and how they work.

In search of wisdom: Recent beliefs books

Whispers and Vanities book cover

Two important books lead the selections for November – gathering diverse reflections and essays on peace-making in Aotearoa, and Samoan indigenous spirituality. They are joined by two books on ancient mythologies, a vision of an inclusive Christianity through the prism of transgender issues, and tools drawn from Buddhist mindfulness teaching to overcome negative self-talk.

Syndetics book coverWhispers and vanities : Samoan indigenous knowledge and religion, edited by Tamasailau M. Suaalii-Sauni, Maualaivao Albert Wendt, Vitolia Mo’a, Naomi Fuamatu, Upolu Luma Va’ai, Reina Whaitiri, Stephen L. Filipo.
“The essays and poetry form a careful assessment of aspects of Samoa’s religious and cultural values, from within and outside Samoa, and respond to an address on Samoan religious culture given by Samoa’s Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Tupuola Tufuga Efi, to the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The address challenges some fundamental aspects of and assumptions in modern Samoan indigenous religious culture.” (Drawn from the publisher’s summary).

Syndetics book coverPursuing peace in Godzone : Christianity and the peace tradition, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain.
“This follow-up to Saints and Stirrers brings the history of the Christian-inspired peace movement up to the present. Quaker pacifism, nuclear testing in the Pacific, Maori land alienation and cultural dispossession, apartheid in South Africa, protests at Waihopai and changing attitudes to Anzac Day are some of the topics that are of intense contemporary interest.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn search of wisdom : a monk, a philosopher, and a psychiatrist on what matters most, by Matthieu Ricard, Christophe André, Alexandre Jollien ; translated by Sherab Chödzin Kohn.
“Join these three luminaries as they share their views on how we uncover our deepest aspirations in life, the nature of the ego, living with the full range of human emotion, the art of listening, the temple of the body, the origin of suffering, the joy of altruism, true freedom, and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTransforming : the Bible and the lives of transgender Christians, by Austen Hartke.
“This provides access into an underrepresented and misunderstood community and will change the way readers think about transgender people, faith, and the future of Christianity. By introducing transgender issues and language and providing stories of both biblical characters and real-life narratives from transgender Christians living today, Hartke helps readers visualize a more inclusive Christianity, equipping them with the confidence and tools to change both the church and the world.” (Drawn from the publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving with the gods : on beliefs and peoples, by Neil MacGregor.
“Acclaimed art historian McGregor explores the relationship between faith and society. It examines mankind’s beliefs not from the perspective of institutional religions but according to how shared narratives have shaped societies–and what happens when different narratives run up against each other.” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain, by Miranda Aldhouse-Green.
“Two thousand years ago, the Romans sought to absorb into their empire what they regarded as a remote, almost mythical island on the very edge of the known world — Britain. What homegrown deities, cults, and cosmologies did the Romans encounter in Britain, and how did the British react to the changes? Aldhouse-Green examines the two-way traffic of cultural exchange and the interplay between imported and indigenous factions to reveal how this period on the cusp between prehistory and history knew many of the same tensions, ideologies, and issues of identity is still relevant today.” (drawn from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe triumph of Christianity : how a forbidden religion swept the world, by Bart D. Ehrman.
“From the bestselling author on early Christianity, this is the story of how Christianity grew from a religion of twenty or so peasants in rural Galilee to the dominant religion in the West in less than four hundred years. Christianity didn’t have to become so dominant, it easily could have remained a sect of Judaism. An immensely readable narrative, which upends the way we think about one of the most important cultural transformations our world has ever seen–one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.”(Drawn from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTalk to yourself like a Buddhist : five mindful practices to silence negative self-talk, by Cynthia Kane.
“If you talk to your friends in a negative manner, you will end up without friends. And if you talk to yourself in the same way, you will end up an emotional train wreck. Kane defines negative self-talk as the vehicle by which we pass judgments on ourselves for mistakes and circumstances, even for something as trivial as wearing the wrong shoes with the wrong belt. … Rooted in Buddhist teaching and incorporating contemporary mindfulness teachings, this book encourages readers to overcome both with internalized thoughts and spoken words. ” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside the atheist mind : unmasking the religion of those who say there is no God, by Anthony DeStefano.
“Aims to debunk the theories of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and others, through revealing their inconsistencies. He argues that atheism is a “religion” of its own, complete with a creed, a set of commandments and sacraments, and a rigid moral code with rewards and punishments and a “superstition” of the worst kind.” (Syndetics summary)

Our new catalogue has landed!

catalogue home pageWe’re delighted to introduce you to our catalogue, please give it a try.

Supplied by the same company as our Classic Catalogue, it’s smartphone-friendly and presents a lot more information to help you choose what you want to borrow. It still has all the main searches – by title, author, or subject, but it’s easier to see if the book (or DVD etc) is available in the library.

Once you’re logged in, you can save your favourite searches, make lists (for your summer holiday reading), or even opt in to save your borrowing history.

Shortly it will be available from our home page, but in the meantime, you can find the link on our main catalogue search page or you can bookmark http://catalogue.wcl.govt.nz.

MyLibrary and New Booklists

Person writing in notebook by laptopAs part of our ongoing programme to upgrade our online services, please note that MyLibrary will no longer be available after 31 October 2018.

We have decided to make this step because we now have other ways of providing new book lists, and the MyLibrary service which served us faithfully for many years was becoming dated and difficult to support.

You may like to consider bookmarking our What’s new at the library? webpage. Many of the booklists and subject picks are updated monthly and the quicksearches are dynamic. This means that every time a new item is added within that category, it will appear in the search results. If you had added some additional links to your MyLibrary page, we suggest you copy and paste them into another document (e.g. Word) so this information won’t be lost.

If you would like a more personalised list of catalogue searches or books (or DVDs etc), please note that our new catalogue has this option also. Please ask staff if you would like help to set this up.

Celebrating 125 years of Women’s Suffrage

Political cartoon of suffragette looking at politicians
“The New Zealand Graphic and Ladies Journal, 28 October 1893”; Cartoon by Ashley Hunter.

In September we will join in the celebrations of the 125 Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand. Some branches will display books to highlight this.

On the 19th September, at the Central Library
a) have fun experiencing the times with our photo booth from 10am – 2pm
b) try your hand at making a celebration camellia or badge from 10am – 2pm
c) write some messages about what being able to vote means to you.
d) watch a historical film on the First floor, screenings begin from 10am-2pm
e) chat to Electoral Commission staff who can help you register for the roll or answer your questions 12-2pm

During the two months between the Suffrage Bill passing and 1893 general election, women relished the potential power their vote would give them in deciding the next government. In this cartoon a woman, depicted as a fortune teller, invites leading Liberal politicians (humorously depicted as scared schoolboys), into her tent to have their political futures revealed. The central figure is Richard Seddon, clutching his arm is William Pember Reeves, crouching on the left is Joseph Ward and standing above him with a long beard is Robert Stout. Keep a watch out for the Urban Art footpath billboards around the CBD featuring more political cartoons like this from The New Zealand Graphic and Ladies Journal.

We are proud to be a part of the Suffrage 125 national event programme.

 

Customer Survey Results 2018

small thank you heartThank you very much to all customers who provided feedback and filled out our annual customer survey. This was sent to a group randomly selected from our adult registered members who had given us their email contact addresses. Just over 4000 responses were received back. We always are keen to learn from you what your priorities are for improving what we do. Here are the full survey results. [1.4 MB, PDF]

Some results we’ve noted
– Overall satisfaction ratings of our services and staff are consistent with last year.
– Satisfaction with eBooks increased from 80% in 2017 to 86% this year. We continue to add new titles, both fiction and non-fiction, as publishers make them available for us to purchase.
– Overall you are satisfied with the range and variety of the physical collections (86%). Each year, we add close to 100,000 new items to the collection, and this remains one of our top priorities. Satisfaction is highest for the children’s collections, at 95%.
– Satisfaction with wifi increased from 84% in 2017 to 87% this year after a big programme to increase it across branch libraries.
– Nearly half of the respondents (47%) would like more space devoted to casual seating.
– 70% of customers prefer printed fiction (over eBook), and it was similar for non-fiction, with 71% preferring the printed format. We weren’t sure if the type of material made a difference, so this information will be used to plan our collections.
– Our monthly newsletter was the most favoured option to hear about library news or activities. If you haven’t already, subscribe to this free enewsletter called Your Library, or read the latest edition here.

We really value the time and consideration you give to us when making this feedback. Thank you for helping us keep in step with your expectations. We continue to use the customer survey throughout the year as we review services and plan team work.

People of Faith: Recent Beliefs Picks

This latest edition features biographies on seekers, to well seasoned spiritual believers. Some life experiences have raised deep questions whilst others have strengthened their commitment.

The spiritual Mandela : faith and religion in the life of Nelson Mandela, by Dennis Cruywagen.
“In the first book of its kind, an acclaimed South African journalist and former parliamentary spokesperson for the ANC shares how Nelson Mandela balanced his Christian faith with his political views, exploring how the beloved leader reconciled his own beliefs with the hard truth that religion had often been used as a tool to oppress his people.” (Catalogue)

Born with wings : the spiritual journey of a modern Muslim woman, by Daisy Khan.
“Khan details her faith journey, beginning with the strong guidance of her supportive family in her native Kashmir, where religious practices were deeply felt. But after she moves to the U.S., questions and doubts began to surface for Khan. Finding Sufism renewed her and served as a starting point for her activism. Khan’s extensive research on her faith led to one of her core beliefs: that, despite perceptions to the contrary, Islam elevates the status of women. Today, she is the executive director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality and Equality… A thought-provoking read.” (Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWhy I am a Hindu, by Shashi Tharoor.
“Opening with a frank and touching reflection on his personal beliefs, he lays out Hinduism’s origins and its key philosophical concepts…. Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of extremism and unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture will be imperilled if Hindu ‘fundamentalists’, the proponents of ‘Hindutva’, or politicised Hinduism, seize the high ground. … Written in Tharoor’s captivating prose, [this] is a revelatory and original contribution to our understanding of religion in the modern era.” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Paul : a biography, by N.T. Wright.
The details of Paul’s life are scant at best, and while Wright presents plenty of historical background material, he bases much of his insights on the picture revealed by Paul’s writings. In this very readable account, Wright is careful to acknowledge that his thoughts are calculated probabilities, but speculations none the less, as he tries to understand the man most responsible for spreading Christianity across the Gentile world.

Stalking God : my unorthodox search for something to believe in, by Anjali Kumar.
“Anjali Kumar, a pragmatic lawyer for Google, was part of a rapidly growing population in America: highly spiritual but religiously uncommitted. But when her daughter was born, she became compelled to find God – or at least some kind of enlightenment. Convinced that traditional religions were not a fit for her, and knowing that she couldn’t simply Google an answer to ‘What is the meaning of life?’ Kumar set out on a spiritual pilgrimage, looking for answers… Narrated from the open-minded perspective of a spiritual seeker rather than a religious scholar, Kumar offers an honest account of some of the less than mainstream spiritual practices that are followed by millions of people in the world today. Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Shunned : how I lost my religion and found myself, by Linda A Curtis.
“Linda Curtis was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and is an unquestioning true believer who has knocked on doors from the time she was nine years old… Then one day, at age thirty-three, she knocks on a door – and a coworker she deeply respects answers the door. To their mutual consternation she launches into her usual spiel, but this time, for the first time ever, the message sounds hollow. Curtis tries hard to overcome the doubts that spring from that doorstep encounter, …but ultimately, unable to reconcile her incredulity, she leaves her religion and divorces her Witness husband – a choice for which she is shunned by the entire community, including all members of her immediate family. Shunned follows Linda as she steps into a world she was taught to fear and discovers what is possible when we stay true to our hearts, even when it means disappointing those we love.” (Catalogue)

An explorer’s guide to Julian of Norwich, by Veronica Rolf.
Medieval scholar Rolf introduces us to Christian theologian and mystic Julian of Norwich as the first woman to write a book (let alone a spiritual autobiography) in the English language. Julian was probably a member of the merchant class, rather than a nun which is commonly assumed. Rolf places Julian in her social context as she prays alongside the Hundred Years’ War, and the Great Plague’s destruction of one-third of human life.

Holy rover : journeys in search of mystery, miracles and God, by Lori Erickson.
Erickson travels the world as a writer specializing in holy sites – journeys that led her on an ever-deepening spiritual quest. Her pilgrimages have taken her to several continents : Martin Luther sites in Germany, Machu Picchu in Peru, Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, and The Temple of Artemis and House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey to name a few.

Farewell to the library bees

beekeeper Cenna checking the beesIt is with heavy hearts that we advise that the Central rooftop is no longer home to our bees and their hives. Council reluctantly had to make this decision due to the forthcoming extensive building works in Te Ngākau Civic Square which will probably extend across years rather than a few months due to earthquake strengthening. This move will be for the foreseeable future, at least until the environment is more settled.

We have loved having the bees and working with Cenna Lloyd (professional beekeeper from Local Flavour Urban Honey company) who has been visiting and caring for the bees while they were part of our team!

If you are thinking of exploring adding bees to your property, here are some titles to browse:


Practical beekeeping in New Zealand, by Andrew Matheson.
This is a classic title which has just been updated in its 5th edition. This is the main local guide to keeping bees in New Zealand, and is suitable for both amateur and professional beekeepers but also the interested general reader with information about many beekeeping subjects, not only hive management.

The rooftop beekeeper : a scrappy guide to keeping urban honeybees, Megan Paska,
“This explores the ease and charm of keeping bees in an urban environment. Its approach is a practical manual – but is well illustrated, with checklists and plenty of tips and good advice. Covering all aspects of urban beekeeping, this book also includes plenty of sweet recipes for delicious treats, tonics, and beauty products to make with your honey.

Keeping bees in towns & cities, by Luke Dixon.
Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities features everything an urbanite needs to know to start keeping bees: how to select the perfect hive, how to buy bees, how to care for a colony, how to harvest honey, and what to do in the winter. Urban beekeeping has particular challenges and needs, and this book highlights the challenges and presents practices that are safe, legal, and neighbour-friendly. The text is rounded out with profiles of urban beekeepers from all over the world.” (Catalogue)

Save the bees with natural backyard hives : the easy and treatment-free way to attract and keep healthy bees, by Rob McFarland
Save the Bees offers different, easy and healthier ways to keep your own hive. Their approach is fresh, modern and easy for anyone to do. Learn step-by-step how to acquire a colony, care for it and reap the reward – that incredibly delicious, all-natural, chemical-free, unprocessed, honey.