Khandallah Heritage Night this week

Come along to the Khandallah Library this Thursday evening (7th November) from 6pm where we will be celebrating the heritage of the greater Onslow area with the rededication  of a memorial scroll in honour of F.L (‘Fanny Louise’) Irvine-Smith.

Born in 1878, Irvine-Smith was a pioneering educationalist who lectured at the Wellington Teachers College and had a notable role in first introducing Māoritanga and NZ History to the primary school curriculum. She is best known for her work as a historian and her book The Streets of my CityFirst published in 1948, her book presented Wellington’s past through a tour of its streets and how they had been named. It was a radical departure from the dry, pedestrian works of local history which had been published to that time and it went on to be re-printed multiple times. However, we remember her for her extraordinary efforts over many years to establish the Khandallah Library. A strong believer in the importance of libraries to the social health of a community, she lobbied the council and walked the streets of the suburb to gather nearly 1300 signatures on a petition supporting the library’s establishment.

As well as unveiling the memorial scroll we are going to take the opportunity to launch a digitised collection of a historic local magazine, The Ngaio and Khandallah Review and its follow-up publication, The Social Review which were published in the early-mid 1930s. Drawn from the collection of the Onslow Historical Society, we worked collaboratively with the society to allow these  extremely rare copies to be made available to the general public for the first time on our digital heritage platform, Wellington City Recollect. They offer a fascinating insight into the local community 85 years ago and will become an invaluable source of local history and genealogical information. Once launched, the digitised magazines will be fully key-word searchable.

Come along to the Khandallah Library on Thursday evening from 6pm to share your memories of the library and the greater area. Light refreshments will be served. There is no need to R.S.V.P but space will be limited. 

Get creative at your library these October holidays!

Are you looking for something fun and creative to do with your tamariki during the school holidays? Your local libraries and community centres have you covered from 28 September — 13 October with a wide range of free activities and events to engage, delight and inspire children and their families. From beeswax wraps to creative writing workshops, robotics and technology playgrounds to board games, arts and crafts to cultivating a mysterious alien garden, Wellington City Libraries is open for creativity and exploration these holidays.

For a full schedule, click here or visit your local library to pick up a calendar. We’ve picked out some of our favourite events below to whet your appetite. What new thing will you create, try out, or learn at the library these holidays?

Building BLOOM is like cultivating an alien garden on another planet – what shapes will you create?

BLOOM
Is it a dinosaur, a spaceship, a chandelier, a cloud? Bloom consists of thousands of identical pink pieces that let children and big kids connect, construct and deconstruct 3D installations with no boundaries or rules. Your whānau is welcome to drop in at any time during these sessions, and BLOOM is appropriate for all ages. BLOOM is proudly supported by Capital E.

Monday 7 October, 11am – 4pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Tuesday 8 October, 11am – 4pm at Newtown Library

These cute robots will have a crucial role to play as you guide them safely through the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

Minotaurs vs. Mini-Robots
Ancient myths + Robots = awesome time! Come along and decode one of the most fascinating myths of Greek Mythology, the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Code Ozobots and navigate them in a dark labyrinth. Can you escape the Minotaur? Let’s find out. Suitable for ages 6+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Friday 11 October, 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Saturday 12 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library

Have something to say, but not quite sure how to say it? Our creative writing workshops are for you!

Creative writing workshops
Our creative writing workshops come in two flavours these holidays: Spring Scribblers and Storm the Castle! In Spring Scribblers, you’ll immerse yourself in the joy of language as you discover how to bring out your unique voice in writing. Storm the Castle! will guide you through the Hero’s Journey as you go through all the main beats that make up nearly every great book and movie. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Tuesday 1 October, 2 – 3pm at Karori Library (Storm the Castle!)
Thursday 3 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre (Spring Scribblers)
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library (Spring Scribblers)
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library (Storm the Castle!)
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library (Spring Scribblers)

Author Talk: In Conversation with Liz Nugent and Kirsten McDougall

Join us for a special evening with two acclaimed storytellers who craft suspenseful tales centred on unforgettable protagonists.

Liz Nugent, who was named Irish Woman of the Year in Literature in 2017, chats to Wellington writer Kirsten McDougall about turning to psychological thrillers after a career in Irish radio and television, and the art of getting inside the heads of monstrous characters. Please note: this is a free event.

When: Thursday, 3 October
Where: Karori Library
What time: 6.30pm – 7.45pm

Liz Nugent has published three novels–Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait and Skin Deep–which have all been #1 bestsellers and have collectively won four Irish Book Awards. Lying in Wait was voted Readers’ Choice for the famed Richard and Judy Book Club.

In 2018, Kirsten’s second book Tess was a finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel and longlisted for the Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Beyond the Page: a literary festival for tamariki and their whānau

Mark the date: from 6-21 July, public libraries from around the Wellington region are excited to be bringing Beyond the Page – New Zealand’s largest children’s literary festival – to the young people of Wellington and their families. 2019 marks the third year that this multi-disciplinary arts festival will delight, engage and inspire audiences and participants in public libraries and community venues from Ōtaki to Island Bay, and everywhere in between.

Beyond the Page is a collaboration between Wellington City Libraries, Hutt City Libraries, Upper Hutt City Libraries, Kāpiti Coast District Libraries, and Porirua City Libraries. This year’s festival will comprise over 140 events, from author talks, workshops, and live interactive theatre to Lego, puppets, stories, music, dance, robots and more. It aims to reflect the ‘other’ side of libraries – the side that fizzes, that is creative, energetic, entrepreneurial, tech-driven, and adventurous – and it’s all totally free!

You can find the full programme of Beyond the Page events on the festival website or follow us on Facebook, but check out some of the highlights below for a taster of what’s on around the city!

On the 10th of July, experience the wonder of Matariki storytelling as you never have before – while riding on the historic Wellington Cable Car! Take a return trip on the cable car (departure times are 10.00, 10.20, 10.40, or 11.00am) and enjoy beautiful stories and waiata from our wonderful Beyond the Page librarians. Be sure to book your free tickets by getting in touch with the Beyond the Page team. Suitable for children aged 3+ with their caregivers.

Bea Lee-Smith from the Royal New Zealand Ballet will be taking you on a magical journey into the world of Hansel and Gretel. Through music and mime, children will learn simple ballet steps and positions. This interactive telling of an old favourite tale will be a great appetizer for you and your family in advance of the RNZB’s exciting new production of Hansel and Gretel later in the year. Suitable for pre-schoolers and primary school aged children.

Next up we have the amazing New Zealand author Donovan Bixley, who has had over 100 books published around the world. His show will have you laughing with amazement as you dive into a world of letters, words, and fuzzy doodles. Suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Next up is the fabulously spellbinding storyteller Tanya Batt. Tanya describes herself as a “green-fingered witch, a word warbler and a story stitcher.” You can join Tanya in one of her imagined worlds as part of this year’s festival, with amazing costumes, live music, and tantalising tales to boot. Suitable for children aged 4+ with their caregivers.

You definitely shouldn’t miss Toro Pikopiko, New Zealand’s most established puppetry theatre company, in their performances of the world’s first Māori rock-art musical for puppets! This incredible show featuring over 80 hand-crafted puppets is bound to inspire and amaze, and is suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

There’s something on for everyone during Beyond the Page this July. We can’t wait to see you there!

Take a look inside the Archives of Gender and Sexuality

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Wellington City Libraries is proud to present an evening talk on our queer resources.

Queer Stories: Discovering LGBTQI+ History at the Library

Newtown Library Friday 14 June 2019 5:30 to 7:45pm

One of the main focuses of the evening will be the Gale Archives of Gender & Sexuality. Parts I and II include a vast array of material produced by the queer community.  There are regular publications of newspapers and magazines, meeting minutes, oral histories, posters and pamphlets. Included are records from the Gay Activists Alliance, an organisation founded after 1969’s Stonewall riots, and ACT UP, a group founded in 1987 in response to the AIDS crisis. This gives researchers the ability to understand the times from first hand accounts.

As with all of our eLibrary resources, access is free with a library card! All you need to do is enter your card number and last name to access these fantastic resources.

And there are some real gems – for example, you can read for yourself documentation from the trials of Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing featured in the Wolfenden Report:

You’ll also find posters from the first Pride Parade – Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day in 1971:

New Zealand LGBTQI history is included too – you’ll find among other topics coverage of the Homosexual Law Reform, the “Moyle Affair”, and news clippings & posters relating to entertainers like the Topp Twins too.

Wellington City Libraries is also proud to be the first public library to feature the third part of the archive: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth CenturyThese historical records are invaluable in showing the historical context of queer culture. Details include the medical and legal construction of sexualities and the reflection of the cultural and social attitudes of the past for gender. 

Contents of the archive include:

  • Private Case from the British Library,
  • Special Subject Units from Sex Research: Early Literature from Statistics to Erotica, a part of Dr. Alfred C Kinsey’s original library.
  • A collection of rare and unique books from the New York Academy of Medicine, a rich combination of materials from the humanities to the hard sciences.

Even if you can’t join us at our Queer Stories event this Friday, you can enjoy looking through these resources online – all you need is your library card.

Queer Stories – Library Event

Discovering LGBTQI+ History at the Library

 

Join us at Newtown Library on Friday 14 June from 5:30 to 7:45pm for an event highlighting queer resources available through Wellington City Libraries. There are snacks to get you through to dinner time and a movie from the queer vaults free to view from around 6pm.

Delving through the WCL collection, we will be focussing on queer culture and history. Our book collection, both print and ebook, features local and far flung icons, authors of fiction and factual material that tell stories of a diverse community that has faced challenges, lived in hiding and spoken it’s truth.

 

The electronic resource, Gale Archives of Gender and Sexuality has a wealth of material to offer those interested in the social, political, health and legal aspects affecting gender and sexuality around the world.

Wellington City Libraries is currently the only public library in the world to provide access to Gale’s third collection: The Archives of Sexuality & Gender: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century which offers over 400 years of fascinating historical material, providing multiple perspectives on the study of sex, sexuality and gender. From early queer posters and playwriting to gender exploration, these historical documents detail a compelling and diverse world.  All this and more on Friday 14 June at Newtown Library.

Movie Nights @ Wadestown

Thursday Movie Nights are back and they’re at Wadestown Library; the nearest library to the CBD. They are every Thursday starting from the 6th June, and the theme of this month’s movies is ‘Night with the Stars’, showing movies starring some of the biggest names in the business.

Wadestown Library may be small but is the hub of a lovely community. It takes only 10~15 minutes by the #14 Bus from lower Lambton Quay or Molesworth Street. The movies start at 5:45pm every Thursday night and the seats are limited (about 15 seats available) so please contact us for more details on the screenings and to book your seat to avoid disappointment, at  Wadestown : 04 4735211.

Branch libraries at Karori, Newtown, Johnsonville and Tawa also show movies (once a month). Please contact them for further information on their screenings.

Visit us at the library on the 29th May – Teacher’s Strike Day

On Wednesday 29th May most schools will be affected by the Teacher’s Strike, so we have put together some events and activities to help keep kids entertained! All our branch libraries will be open (including the brand-new Arapaki!) so come along for some games, storytimes, and of course, lots of books!

Branch Libraries which are hosting activities are:


Cummings Park Library

Pre-school storytime 10:30-11am
Come play chess all day! 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries

Will be showing family movies all day, contact Johnsonville or Tawa library staff for viewing times.


Karori Library

Pre-school storytime 10:30 – 11:00 am
Big Lego blocks out for play 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Fun with Robots 2:00 – 3:00 pm


Miramar Library

Crafterschool session 3:00 – 4:30 pm


Newtown Library

Let’s Go Lego 3:30 – 4:30 pm


Kilbirnie Library

Pre-school storytime 10:30 – 11:00 am
Board game fun 3:30 – 5pm


All of these are free with no bookings required, just come on in!

Eavesdropping Underwater: an Interview with Olivia Price!

Why do scientists eavesdrop on whales and dolphins? What can recordings of whale and dolphin sounds tell us? How do you even record the sound that these creatures make? And what’s it like to go to Antarctica?

Join us on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa for a FREE talk by NIWA scientists Dr Giacomo Giorli and Olivia Price to hear the answers!

As part of the build-up to Eavesdropping Underwater, we interviewed Olivia Price about her role as a Marine Physics Technician for NIWA.

Can you tell us a bit about your role at NIWA?

I work within a team of physical oceanography technicians to maintain, deploy and recover science equipment that records information about our oceans’ physical properties (i.e. temperature, salinity, oxygen). These properties can tell us a lot about ocean currents and features which provide food and the right kind of conditions for marine life to thrive.

You’re a Qualified PADI Dive Master. What does that entail? How deep have you dived?

I started with a PADI Open Water course in 2014 and have been hooked ever since! A Divemaster certification allows me to act as an assistant to a Dive Instructor and has taught me rescue diving skills. My Divemaster assessment was in Milford Sound, which was the best diving I have ever done! We dived alongside sheer underwater cliffs to 38m (PADI limits are 40m) and saw a very special black coral – that underwater looks white. These corals have been building their underwater forests in Milford for 200 million years.

You were part of a recent journey to the Antarctic onboard a NIWA research vessel. Can you tell us what living on board was like in those conditions?

NIWA’s flagship vessel, the Tangaroa is a multi-purpose research vessel designed to investigate New Zealand’s marine resources and environment. Inside the accommodation, you would never know you’re in Antarctica until you look out the window. It is toasty warm and the cooks aboard are known for their epic meals. With very limited internet/phone access and not seeing another ship for six weeks, it felt like our crew were completely isolated from the rest of the world. This isolation and extreme cold conditions meant we needed to prepare for any kind of emergency- so there was plenty of survival training before we left port and plenty of drills aboard. As we steamed south, each day got longer until we were experiencing 23 hours of daylight. Even then the sun didn’t fully set, instead skimming the horizon. This meant plenty of hours for whale watching and spotting icebergs!

As well as passive acoustic moorings, the “whale listening posts”, you also use physical oceanographic moorings & an ASL echosounder. Can you tell us the difference between these, what they measure and what you hope to achieve from the data recovered?

Passive acoustic moorings (PAM) take a bit of explaining, which will be easier to convey with pictures on Saturday. The physical oceanography moorings have a set of instrumentation on them recording physical properties (i.e. temperature, oxygen and salinity) that will help give an insight into how fresh water coming off the Ross Ice Shelf is interacting with our deep oceans. On the mooring is also some current meters that measure the strength and direction of water flow. The Ross Ice Shelf is particularly important as it is the largest freshwater reserve in Antarctica!
The ASL is an acoustic sounder that measures the amount of Antarctic krill in the water by sending and listening out for sound pings. These krill are a key food source for the Adelie Penguins that live on Cape Adare.

The voyage also focused on some of the tiniest organisms in the ocean – the phytoplankton and bacteria. Can you talk about how data on these is collected, and what it is for?

These amazing little organisms are collected using a CTD Rosette which has a bunch of bottles on it that allows us to collect water samples at different water depths. Several scientists worked hard to analyse phytoplankton and bacteria community structure across the Ross Sea. Although these organisms aren’t visible to our eyes, there are ridiculous amounts of them in the ocean and they are incredibly important. Phytoplankton produce around 70% of the air we breathe, I like to call them the humble trees of the ocean!

What was your favourite wildlife memory from your journey on the Tangaroa?

It is so hard to pick one as we saw a lot of beautiful animals! A moment I will never forget is when we reached the edge of the sea ice at dusk and saw multiple groups of Adelie penguins swimming and leaping into the ice for the night. I felt like I had jumped into a David Attenborough scene.

For more insights into Olivia’s work, join us at Eavesdropping Underwater: the Sounds of Whales and Dolphins on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa!

Eavesdropping Underwater: an Interview with Giacomo Giorli!

Why do scientists eavesdrop on whales and dolphins? What can recordings of whale and dolphin sounds tell us? How do you even record the sound that these creatures make? And what’s it like to go to Antarctica?

Join us on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa for a FREE talk by NIWA scientists Dr Giacomo Giorli and Olivia Price to hear the answers!

As part of the build-up to Eavesdropping Underwater, we interviewed Dr Giacomo Giorli about his role as a marine mammal acoustician. Dr Giorli’s work has taken him around the world, from studying dolphins in the Ligurian Sea to investigating predator-prey relationships in the waters of Hawaii. He has continued this work at NIWA, including involvement in a pioneering underwater sound project that recently gained national headlines.

What first drew you to oceanography?

Curiosity. I grew up close to the sea, and I was just curious about it.

What makes you most excited in your current job at NIWA?

The possibility to study many species in the Southern Ocean that we know almost nothing about, and the incredible amount of technology that we have at NIWA to conduct research.

You recently discovered clicks from unknown beaked whales in the Cook Strait. What would you like to do next to follow up this research?

That work was the result of a study conducted by all the researchers that authored the paper, and not just my “discovery”. It was a collaborative work. One important thing to note is that we did not discover unknown or new species of beaked whales (as many people always think). We recorded echolocation signals from beaked whales in Cook Strait that were not previously described in literature. We know the signals are from beaked whales, but we do not know what species of beaked whales are producing them. I guess a natural follow up to this research would be to identify the species that are using these sounds.

You’ve also studied the foraging behaviours of sperm whales and other toothed whales in Hawaii. What was it like completing this research, and what were the results?

That research is far from completed. In reality what I was studying in Hawaii was just the tip of the iceberg of deep sea predator-prey studies involving deep diving toothed whales. The toothed whale species studied in that research are species that dive very deep to search for food. They can dive deeper than 1 km. Because of this, it is essentially impossible to observe their behaviour directly. One can go in the African savanna and observe predator behaviour directly. Think about cheetahs hunting. We all are familiar with videos of cheetahs chasing impalas. What I want to point out is that when you have to deal with working in the deep ocean in general, making observations is incredibly challenging. We face the problem of observing how deep sea prey drives the distribution and behaviour of their predators.

In Hawaii, I tested new acoustic technology that would allow researchers to understand how prey availability and type could influence the behaviour of the deep diving predators (toothed whales). Data indicated that sperm whales, for example, foraged more where they had chances of finding larger prey, rather than where they had chances to find more prey. It seems counter-intuitive that they would rather go in a place where there is less potential prey. It suggests that these predators are somehow picky in choosing their prey.

As well as whales, your work also involves recording sounds from creatures as tiny as marine algae. What are the similarities and differences in working at these different scales?

The research I did on algae with my colleagues in the U.S. was a laboratory experiment. We did not go to sea. Algae do not have a sound generator like vocal cords. The sound is produced by oxygen bubbles that are expelled from the algal tissue during photosynthesis. However, the signal processing techniques we used to analyse the acoustic data are pretty much the same used for cetacean bio-acoustics research.

If money wasn’t a problem, what would be your ideal research project?

I guess the ideal research project in Marine Sciences is the one that ends well without failures of instrumentations and other things that can go wrong at sea.

For more insights into Dr Giorli’s work, join us at Eavesdropping Underwater: the Sounds of Whales and Dolphins on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa!