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.

#MatarikiMash challenge #3: Monday 18th June

Nau mai, welcome to week two of our literary tweet #MatarikiMash challenge for 2018! Your words for today are:

  • hui (gathering, meeting)
  • āpōpō (tomorrow)
  • hīkoi (walk)
  • kiwi (native bird)

Head over to Twitter to join in! (@wcl_library)

Wondering what’s going on? On Mondays and Wednesdays for four weeks, test your imagination and your skill with language, and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for the 4 weeks of Matariki, every Monday and Wednesday.

We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each morning, and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story or poem, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.

We’ll be retweeting entries through the day as they come in.

Matariki Mash

Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea:

New Zealand Book Council

#MatarikiMash Challenge #2: Wednesday 13th June

Nau mai, welcome to the Wellington Libraries second #MatarikiMash challenge for 2018! Your words for today are:

  • pā (fort)
  • pō (night time)
  • mahi (to work or activity)
  • kai (food)

Head over to Twitter to join in! (@wcl_library)

Wondering what’s going on? On Mondays and Wednesdays for four weeks, test your imagination and your skill with language, and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for the 4 weeks of Matariki, every Monday and Wednesday.

We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each morning, and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story or poem, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.

We’ll be retweeting entries through the day as they come in.

Matariki Mash

Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea:

New Zealand Book Council

#MatarikiMash is back!! Here is challenge #1

Nau mai, welcome to the first #MatarikiMash challenge for 2018! Your words for today are:

  •  awa (river)
  • raumati (summer)
  • noho (to sit)
  • pounamu (greenstone)

Head over to Twitter to join in! (@wcl_library)

Wondering what’s going on? On Mondays and Wednesdays for four weeks from today, test your imagination and your skill with language, and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for the 4 weeks of Matariki, every Monday and Wednesday.

We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each  morning, and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story or poem, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.

We’ll be retweeting entries through the day as they come in.

Matariki Mash

Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea:

New Zealand Book Council

Kamila Shamsie: Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018

Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018. The prize was previously known as the Bailey’s and the Orange Prize. The author is described as creating a book that “spoke for our times. Home Fire is about identity, conflicting loyalties love and politics.” Commended for her mastery, the book is written in five parts, each voicing their truth in the tale. Based on the struggles of Antigone who wrestled with loyalty to family or the ruling elite, this modern setting places characters sensitive to ethnicity, religion and ideologies. British Muslim characters, with family connections to extremism, face prejudice and personal dilemma in reaction to family, the state and justice.

Home fire / Shamsie, Kamila
“Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London – or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to – or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love? A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide – confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.” (Catalogue)

A note for our Brooklyn borrowers

From Monday 11 June there will be road and construction works outside Brooklyn Library. The Greater Wellington Regional Council, together with Metlink are working with Wellington City Council to upgrade the pavement/kerb and bus shelter at the front of the library. This includes replacing the existing bus shelter (attached to the front of the library) with a new, modernised hub shelter.

It is expected to take around four weeks to complete these improvements. During this period, library access will be unaffected during opening hours. Once completed, the replacement shelter will look like this:

Brooklyn Library with proposed new bus shelter

 

New audio gear for our music equipment lending collection: The Deluge

Libraries are no longer just places to get books. Need a PA system for a party, a speaking engagement, or a wedding? Playing a live or studio gig? Need to do some recording in the field, or hook up some gear to your laptop and make a new album at home? The new Library Music Equipment collection has what you need. We love Wellington music at Wellington City Libraries and we are here to help you make it.

The Deluge is an all-in-one, stand-alone, portable synthesizer, sequencer and sampler designed for the creation, performance and improvisation of electronic music, created by Wellingtonian Rohan Hill, and developed by Synthstrom Audible Limited, a boutique electronics manufacturer from Wellington, and is the latest addition to our Music Equipment Lending Collection

Deluge Kit:
Case Contents:
• Synthstrom Audible Deluge
• Instruction booklet
• USB Cable
$50 for 4 days/Overdue charge: $10 per day

Terms and Conditions to borrow this equipment are in place to ensure the safe use of the equipment and its timely return. A library fee ($50) will be payable to borrow for this equipment and borrower discounts (e.g. Community Services Card), do not apply. If the equipment is returned late, overdue fines will be payable ($10 per day).

To make a booking, fill out the Music Equipment form, telling us your details, specify the Deluge Kit (agreeing to the terms and conditions) and a staff member will contact you to confirm your pickup time.

[Note: Those who attended the Deluge workshops we held in May for New Zealand Music Month, were given the opportunity to pre-book a session with the Deluge. As a result it is now booked out until September. Bookings can be made any date after that.]

Celebrating Matariki 2018 at Wellington City Libraries

Matariki ahunga nui – Matariki, provider of plentiful food

As the month of June rolls upon us, marking the end of the traditional harvesting time, we pause for reflection as the constellation of Matariki will soon reappear in the sky to mark the start of the Māori New Year – a time for remembering the past, reflecting on the present, and gathering hopes for new beginnings. At Wellington Central Library we have organised the following free events and promotions to mark and celebrate Matariki.

            • Emerging Winter Food Traditions
              Our first event is about food preservation and fermentation which fits so well with Matariki as the time following harvest.
            • An introduction to whakapapa research resources
              The next event is a look at resources for researching whakapapa and some examples of how these resources can be used, this again fits with the ideas of whānau coming together at Matariki.
            • He Taonga te Reo – What’s in a name?
              A presentation on the intricacies of naming places in today’s democratic society :  he kōrero by Neavin Broughton
            • #MatarikiMash
              In the lead up to Matariki we will also be running our twitter word play promotion “Matariki Mash” from 11 June where we invite you to play along by creating a story that uses the four selected Māori words for the day (don’t forget the hashtag #matarikimash).

                       Here are some more details about these events.

            • Monday 18 June
              Central Library – Ground Floor, 12.30 pm
              Emerging winter food traditions

              Matariki poster 1 - Emerging Winter Food Traditions

              For this korero we have invited Kelda Hains and Lois Daish who will engage in a structured conversation on themes that include the popular and trending topics of preservation and fermentation.

              Lois Daish is a well-known local writer of cook books and you can read about her influence on the Wellington hospitality scene here and her appointment to Life Membership of New Zealand Guild of Food Writers here and in a food blog here.

              Many of us carry a memory of her food column published by the New Zealand Listener and I’m sure there are many of us who have collected these recipes into folders and books that are now sitting alongside the cookbook collection at home. Luckily many of these recipes have also been gathered together in her cook book A Good Year – available at Wellington City Libraries and spanning her 23 years with the Listener.

              When Lois was presented her life membership award Lauraine Jacobs, described her as someone who “has always cooked and written with sincerity and simplicity and empowered people to cook well every day.”

              Lois was also a hands-on restauranter, with cafes at venues in Wellington from 1980s onwards. It was Lois who first gave our other presenter Kelda Hains her first opportunity to work in a restaurant, in her Brooklyn Bar and Grill in the 1990s. Since then, Kelda, in partnership with two others has spent 20 years at the Nikau Café, where she has honed her culinary skills and developed a deep fundamental belief in supporting local growers and their fresh produce to form a basic and essential basis for all her cooking. Her book Nikau Café is also available at Wellington City Libraries.

              Kelda and her business partners have expanded their business interest to a new café in Aro Street called Rita where the kaupapa of fresh produce is embodied in her set menu dining. Through her experiments with traditional bottling/preserving she has evolved a passion for preserving by fermentation: beginning with sauerkraut and expanding to kohlrabi, celeriac, Korean kimchi, chick peas and koji rice. While this topic is a little fearsome for some of us, during this presentation Kelda will demonstrate her fascination with this process and you can read more about her love of these processes here.

              Tuesday 19 June
              Central Library – Second Floor, 12.30 pm
              An introduction to whakapapa research resources

              Matariki poster 2 - Whakapapa

              Library staff will demonstrate the world of online and published resources that are available for whakapapa research at your public library.
              Nau mai, haere mai. Come, sample our Land Court Minute Book indexes and bound minute book volumes (Wellington, 20 volumes, or microfilms covering a wider geographic area), our in-house database of Māori births, deaths (1913-1961) and marriages (1911-1952), and hidden treasures through online access to NLNZ’s PapersPast, Te Ao Hou, AtoJsonline, Donald McLean letters, Maorilandonline, and many other sources.

              Friday 22 June
              Central Library – CYA area, 12.30 pm
              What’s in a name?


              Neavin will discuss processes and meanings behind the selection of Te Reo Māori names for Civic Square, a sea walkway, the city wards, and other prominent features of the city.
              It is exciting to peel back the layers of history of places and objects that our eyes flick over ever so casually, without our stopping to ask: the ‘what’ or the‘why’ -of the stories behind those names.

              Starting Monday 11 June
              Twitter wordplay with #MatarikiMash

              Matariki Mash
              We invite you to test your imagination and your skill with language and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for 4 weeks as part of the Matariki celebrations.

              How does Matariki Mash work? We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each Monday and Wednesday morning on Twitter (you can follow us at @wcl_library) and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.

              Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea.

              New Zealand Book Council

Pulitzer and Booker Prize-winning author Philip Roth dies aged 85

Syndetics book cover
Pulitzer and Booker Prize-winning author Philip Roth has died at the age of 85. Roth drew much of his inspiration from his Jewish background as well as his hometown of Weequahic in Newark, New Jersey. Over the course of his career he was lauded as one of America’s greatest–and most controversial–novelists, especially for his sexually explicit novel Portnoy’s Complaint which scandalised America and turned Roth into a major celebrity.

Roth wrote prolifically over the course of his career, which he self-consciously ended in 2009 after publishing more than 30 books and winning the Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 work American Pastoral. This body of work included several highly-acclaimed historical novels, however the question of identity, especially in the huge melting pot of America, was his lifelong writing obsession.

“Roth is an extremist. He loves to shock, to go beyond the limits of acceptability. That’s why he’s so funny. But it’s also why he’s not to everyone’s taste,” wrote author William Skidelsky in the Guardian in 2011.

Tom Wolfe, one of America’s leading literary figures, has died

Syndetics book coverSyndetics book coverThomas Kennerly Wolfe, one of America’s leading literary figures, born 2 March 1930, has died on 14 May 2018. He was perhaps best known for his novel The Bonfire of the Vanities which was about the fall of a young Wall Street trader. It is often described as the novel that defined the 80’s and turned Wolfe into a superstar author, a role he relished with his famous flamboyant suits. He was however very far from a one book wonder. The Right Stuff was his non-fiction account of America’s first manned space flights and was turned into a multiple Oscar winning movie. Likewise, his account of Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters’ LSD soaked voyage of discovery across America in the sixties came to be one of the books that defined the flower power generation in much the same way as The Bonfire of the Vanities did for the 80s.