#StayAtHome Film Festival: Marilyn’s Picks

Welcome to my choices for the #StayAtHome Film Festival. I chose to focus on documentaries about women and girls fighting against the odds to participate in their chosen sports. As we are all facing changes and restrictions to our life (albeit in our democratic free society of Aotearoa), I thought it appropriate to select films highlighting how women and girls less privileged than us have fought for the same rights we have taken for granted. I hope you enjoy them and celebrate with the participants.

Life Without Basketball

Year: 2018
Length: 89 minutes
Directors: Jon Mercer and Tim O’Donnell

Watch the full film here!

This independent documentary premiered in 2018 at DOC NYC and tells the story of the young female Muslim African-American basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and her fight for a professional career which was in danger of being derailed, as the wearing of hijab was banned. Her resolve has enabled millions of young women living in Muslim majority countries to play basketball.

Burn the Ships

Year: 2017
Length: 88 minutes
Directors: Danielle Miller and Julia Thorndike

Watch the full film here!

As in most other professional sports, women’s professional softball pales in significance to men’s softball when it comes to job security, exposure and funding. Through the eyes of one women’s team, the Akron Racers we see how they go about playing the game they love and their commitment, come what may.

Streetkids United II: The Girls From Rio

Year: 2015
Length: 78 minutes
Director: Maria Clara Costa

Watch the full film here!

This 2014 documentary is a follow up to Streetkids United and is about the parallel World Cup for homeless children, played at the same time as the FIFA World Cup. Focussing on the Favela Street Girls, who were chosen to represent Brazil, the film traces the life-changing experience for these girls as they train and become a team.

Afghan Cycles

Year: 2018
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Sarah Menzies

Watch the full film here!

Following the young female members of the National Cycling Team in Kabul and a group of young women in rural Bamiyan, this film uses the bicycle to tell a story of women’s rights in Afghanistan. These young women risk their lives every time they go out to train and compete in the sport they love.

Warrior One

Year: 2014
Length: 84 minutes
Director: Jon Fitzgerald

Watch the full film here!

This is another well regarded documentary about the Wellfit Girls Challenge where a group of teenage girls from across Florida undergo intensive group training in fitness, interpersonal communication, yoga and social entrepreneurship. The aim is to make these girls who have come from a variety of challenging backgrounds become inspired to become global leaders, and to develop their own unique style of leadership. After the five months is up, they take an 11 day service and adventure trip to Peru. This is well worth viewing and encompasses more than just sport.

Granny’s Got Game

Year: 2013
Length: 74 minutes
Director: Angela Alford

Watch the full film here!

The participants face a different challenge than all the other documentaries featured here as the film looks at a year in the life of a senior women’s basketball team in North Carolina as they get ready for another National Senior Games championship. The women are all in their seventies, fighting the obstacles of age to continue playing. They’ve been playing together for over 20 years and transcend just being a team. They are family.

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Unlimited access to over 3500 online video courses. Topics include writing, directing and editing documentary projects, and much more!

Gale Contemporary Women’s Issues: Contemporary Women’s Issues covers a spectrum of women’s concerns ranging from domestic violence, employment and the workplace, and gender equity to family, reproductive health and human rights from across the globe.

givUS: Offers access to more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, schools, groups, sport clubs and iwi. Part of the Generosity NZ suite of resources – the largest digital search facility for funding information in Aotearoa.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Welcome!

With over 30,000 films available via Wellington City Libraries’ free film streaming services, it can be hard to know where to start. Do you want a movie with drama? Something to scare you? Perhaps you want to be inspired, or distracted, or maybe you just want to be convinced that the mice that have recently overrun your house are really just cute little dust sprites? (Totoro, I’m counting on you!)

Whatever your cinematic needs, Wellington City Libraries has got you covered! Over the next few weeks our librarians will be presenting hand-picked selections of some of their favourite films in a variety of genres. To take part, all you need to do is make sure you’re a Wellington City Libraries member (click here to find out more), then sign up to both Kanopy and Beamafilm.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for associated resources: for example, did you know Lynda.com has a wide variety of courses on how to make films yourself?! Discover more with the #StayAtHome Film Festival, coming soon to a library blog near you!


Tips on remote working – try Lynda.com free courses with your library card

Kia ora koutou katoa — I’m Marilyn Domney, the Business Information specialist here at Wellington City Libraries. Over the next while, I will be featuring relevant and useful resources available remotely and completely free to all our library customers via our Lynda.com.

Lynda.com is a video tutorial service the library subscribes to on your behalf that provides access to over 3,500 instructional videos on many topics including computer software, design, video editing, animation and business skills.

Log in with your library card number and PIN — for those of you who already have a library card, your pin number is the last four digits of your phone number. Don’t have a library card just yet? You can join online. If you encounter any problems please contact us and we’ll do our best to help.


(To benefit from our free subscription please go to Lynda.com only via the link we’ve given above, otherwise Lynda.com is a subscription based resource. You can find Lynda.com on our Business Online Databases page.)

Now since so many people are working from home, I thought some e-learning courses on how to get the best results from working remotely would be a great place to start. All Lynda.com’s courses are available to target your own individual needs, so whether you are beginner, intermediate or experienced, or looking for a short or long-term course, Lynda.com has it all.

Make sure to sign in above before clicking the links below!

Remote working – getting started

Learning Path

Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success
Optimize working remotely, whether you’re new to remote work or not, and whether you’re leading a team or part of a team involving distributed team members. Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments.


Working Remotely with Mike Gutman
Learn best practices for working remotely. Use today’s cloud-based tools to stay productive, build culture, and work seamlessly with your team — anywhere there is internet.

(16 Courses, March 2020)

Remote working – empower yourself and your team

Learning Path

Become a Successful Remote Worker
Developing a professional career that embraces work flexibility is not just a dream. A partnership between FlexJobs and LinkedIn Learning, this learning path is designed to help you achieve a fulfilling career and the work flexibility to lead the life you want.

(4 Courses Feb 25, 2020)


Leading at a Distance with Kevin Eikenberry
Lead effectively from a distance. Get tactics and strategies for empowering remote teams and team members, as well as teams that consist of remote and in-person employees.

If you have any other queries, we have a wealth of free curated online resources available remotely for our customer. I also offer an hour’s free research per separate topic for anyone with a Wellington City Libraries’ card. More in-depth research is available as well.

StayAtHomeFest: Comic Creators #1!

The moment has come. You know what we’re talking about: your secret dream of writing and drawing a graphic memoir of your childhood, full of precise, personal details, bright, expressive imagery and a bold title that sums up the first 18 years of your life in a single sentence. It won’t be easy. Many have tried, and many have failed. But we believe in you. You can do it! Just take that work notepad and scribble out all those old meeting minutes; steal the felt-tip pens from your child or flatmate’s bedroom. Then settle down and get started–we’re waiting to read it!

(You could also check out these interviews with some of our favourite cartoonists and associated resources first, if you need inspiration–or a distraction…)


Most cartoonists have a FAQ section on their website, but not all FAQ sections have the question “What is it like to have a banned book?” But that’s exactly what happened to Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer, a coming of age story of two teenage girls that was one of the most challenged books of 2016. It’s also been called an “emotional tour-de-force of a comic, a perfect snapshot of the strange purgatory that lies between childhood and adulthood.” Enjoy!

Overdrive cover This One Summer, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (eBook)
“Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens – just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy – is caught up in something bad…” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Overdrive: Did you know Jillian Tamaki grew up reading Archie comics, and is a big fan of Riverdale? Have a look at Archie–and the Riverdale comic adaptions–through Overdrive!

RBdigital: As well as her illustration, comic and blogging work, Jillian Tamaki also does embroidery. Take up your own crafting via RBdigital’s craft magazine selection.


Cartoonist and lecturer Thi Bui was born in 1978, just three months before the end of the Vietnam War. Bui and her family fled to America, and it is this story of escape, as well as the difficulties faced upon arrival in the States, that became the focus of Bui’s acclaimed 2017 graphic novel The Best We Could Do. The Best We Could Do has been described as “one of the first great works of socially relevant comics art of the Trump era.”

Overdrive cover The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui (eBook)
“This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

MasterFILE Complete: Thi Bui recently went to the island of Lesvos in Greece to learn about the refugee situation there. Follow her at her website, and learn more via MasterFILE Complete.

Story Box: Did you know that Thi Bui has also illustrated a children’s book, Chicken of the Sea, with her son? Check out more children’s stories via Overdrive and listen to readings via Story Box Library!


Reviews can be important for writers and illustrators; who doesn’t want to hear that people have engaged with–and like–your work? But author Emil Ferris took this a bit further when Forbes declared that her debut work, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, was of such quality that it was not only “one of the most profound, ambitious and accomplished creative works to appear in any medium this decade” but would transform graphic literature! (For more info, check out ‘I didn’t want to be a woman – being a monster was the best solution’.)

Discover More:

Oxford Art Online: Are you inspired by art galleries as much as Emil and Karen? Visit Oxford Art Online through our eLibrary!

Kanopy: Classic horror movies have also had a distinct impact on Emil Ferris’ work: watch them for yourself on one of our free film streaming services.


When Lynda Barry received her MacArthur fellowship in 2019, not one but two strands of her career in comics were highlighted: the groundbreaking work she’s produced since Ernie Pook’s Comeek was first released in 1979–including The Good Times Are Killing Me and One! Hundred! Demons!–and her ongoing role as a teacher. Her celebrated workshop on writing and creativity, ‘Writing the Unthinkable’, has been described as “freaky, vivid, and a lot of fun”–and also a lot of hard work!

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Did you know Lynda Barry has a course on Lynda.com? It’s true! Have a look via the link!

RBdigital: In 1991 Lynda Barry’s essay on the Gulf War (entitled “War”) was published in Mother Jones. Read the original essay here and check out the latest edition of Mother Jones via RBdigital.


If you found yourself having nightmares after seeing the dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you have one person to blame: Dave McKean. Designing dementors is in fact a very small part of McKean’s output, which has included the distinctive covers for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, illustrating the most successful graphic novel ever published (Arkham Asylum, 1989), producing the graphic comic Cages, directing three feature films and much, much more!

Overdrive cover The Sandman (1989), Volume 1, by Neil Gaiman (eBook)
“NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Whether you love McKean’s films, illustration, photography or writing, Lynda.com has a tutorial to match!

Naxos Jazz Library: Did you know McKean founded the jazz label Feral Records? For more jazz–including iconic works by Chet Baker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane!–visit our premiere jazz streaming service.

Ancestry database now available at home

Staying at home may mean you are doing some of those things that have been sitting on your ‘To Do’  list for a long time.  If one of those tasks has been to sort through old family photos and papers and that gets you thinking that it’s time to research your family history but sadly the library is closed, then we have great news for you!

With kind permission from the people at Ancestry and Proquest, Wellington City Libraries’ cardholders will be able to access this amazing family history database from their own homes.  Usually, Ancestry is only available using our Library subscription from a library computer, but from now until the 30th April you will be able to have the same free access we can usually provide at the library in the comfort of your own home bubble.


Ancestry Library is a research database for genealogists and family history enthusiasts aiding you to trace your family history, with records from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

That includes historical births, deaths and marriages and electoral rolls.

To access the free library Ancestry database go here and login with your card details.  If you don’t have a library card yet you can register online to become a library member.

There are also lots of helpful links and advice on our genealogy page here  and our heritage page here.

Have fun but a word of warning – starting family research and the thrill of the hunt can be quite addictive, so be careful you don’t get lost chasing leads down too many rabbit holes!!

StayAtHomeFest 2020: Day Three

It’s the start of the second week of lockdown: if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably run out of coffee. And olive oil. And anything resembling a vegetable. But you don’t want to go out unless you have to, so it’s time to start combining the ingredients you’ve got left: tofu and powdered cheese butter; tuna and hot cross buns; pasta and Nutella. Keep at it–who knows what interesting food combo you may inadvertently discover!

Meanwhile, we’ve also got our third day of StayAtHomeFest, combining talks from some of our favourite authors with links to eBooks of their work via Overdrive. We’ve also added links to associated digital resources in case you want to do a bit more exploring. So grab whatever’s left at the back of your cupboard (Is that garlic? An old Easter egg?) and join us for Day Three of this socially-distanced digital event!


Since he published his first book in 2003, Robert Macfarlane has been one of Britain’s foremost nature writers. His most recent work, Underland: a Deep Time Journey has been called “one of the most ambitious works of narrative non-fiction of our age”, and was included in the Guardian‘s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century (at #56, just ahead of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.)

Overdrive cover Underland, by Robert Macfarlane
“In Underland, Macfarlane delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, memory and the land itself. He takes us on a journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface. Traveling through ‘deep time’ – the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present – he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Gale in Context: Environmental Studies: Underland is an exploration of both the world beneath our feet and also the time we live in. Continue this exploration of our geological age with our premiere environmental database.

Oxford English Dictionary: Macfarlane’s fourth book, Landmarks, examines the language of landscape–did you know the word feith refers to a watercourse running through peat in a way that resembles veins? Discover more magical descriptions via the Oxford English Dictionary!


If you had to read one short story collection on a Halloween evening, you’d struggle to find a better one than Mariana Enriquez’ Things We Lost in the Fire. And not just because of the dread that underlies her work–although there’s plenty of it!–but also because of the powerful political realism. As Enriquez herself explains, “There’s something about the scale of the cruelty in political violence… that always seems like the blackest magic to me.”

Overdrive cover Things We Lost in the Fire, by Mariana Enriquez (Audiobook)
“An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.” Short stories include “The Dirty Kid”, “The Inn”, “The Intoxicated Years”, “Adela’s House”, “Spider Web”, “End of Term”, “No Flesh Over Our Bones”, “The Neighbor’s Courtyard”, “Under the Black Water”, “Green Red Orange”. (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Discover More:

Pressreader: As well as writing novels and short stories, Mariana Enriquez is also a journalist at Página/12. Browse more Argentinian newspapers–as well as a range of other international titles–via our free full-page eNewspaper database.

Academic Search Elite: Mariana Enriquez has also talked about the importance of psychogeography in her work. Discover more about psychogeography (“a way to delve into the soul of a city”!) at Academic Search Elite.


There are a lot of descriptions of Kelly Link’s writing out there: the MacArthur Foundation called her work “surreal and fantastical with the concerns and emotional realism of contemporary life”; Publishers Weekly described it as “Like Kafka hosting Saturday Night Live”; Neil Gaiman simply declared her a “national treasure”. So what exactly can you expect from this Pulitzer-nominated author? Read on to find out!

Overdrive cover The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, by Rich Horton
“This volume of the year’s best SF features stories by some of the genre’s greatest authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Nancy Kress, Jay Lake, Margo Lanagan, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, Sarah Monette, Lucius Shepard, Jo Walton, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, F&SF, The New Yorker, Tor.com, and other top venues, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: When she’s not writing, Kelly Link manages Small Beer Press. Learn more about the publishing industry, and how to publish your own eBooks, thanks to Lynda.com.

Novelist Plus: Link’s work has been described as uniquely difficult to categorise, and is sometimes classed as New Weird. Find out more about this genre–and what New Weird works to read next–via Novelist Plus.


When Kai Cheng Thom’s debut work, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir was released in 2016, it was described as “a genre-breaking refusal of the idea that the only stories trans people have to tell are their autobiographies.” Since then, Thom has published not only a children’s book and poetry collection but also I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World–recently named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association!.

Overdrive cover I Hope We Choose Love, by Kai Cheng Thom
“In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author’s characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Gale Archives of Sexuality and Gender: “I wanted to… write my life, but to do so in a way that put relationships between trans people, rather than the expectations of cis people, front and centre.” Discover more via the Gale Archives of Sexuality & Gender!

Libby: Want to read Kai Cheng Thom’s work on your phone or tablet? Then don’t forget to download Libby, Overdrive’s fantastic eBook and eAudiobook app.


There have been a number of books written about Trump’s presidency since his inauguration in 2016, but perhaps none have been quite as well researched, detailed or “unsettling” as Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker’s A Very Stable Genius. Learn more about Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Carol Leonnig and the writing of A Very Stable Genius via the Slate Political Gabfest–and below!

Overdrive cover A Very Stable Genius, by Carol D. Leonnig
“For the past three years, Rucker and Leonnig have chronicled the ways President Trump has reinvented the presidency in his own image. They take readers inside Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and the Trump legal team’s scramble for survival, behind the curtains as the West Wing scurries to clean up the President’s mistakes and into the room to witness Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders, and assess the consequences.” (Adapted from Overdrive Catalogue)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Interested in becoming a journalist yourself? Head to Lynda.com to see what skills you’ll need, including courses on video journalism, social media, article writing and more.

RBdigital: Explore some of the world’s best investigative reporting via RBdigital, our free eMagazine resource–with titles including the New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones and the Listener.

StayAtHomeFest 2020: Day Two

It’s day two of quarantine and you’ve already eaten all the Toffee Pops. And the Squiggles. And the Chocades. (Don’t worry, it happens to all of us.) And besides, you’ve still got StayAtHomeFest 2020 to help you get through!

StayAtHomeFest 2020 combines talks from some of our favourite authors with links to eBooks of their work via Overdrive. We’ve also added links to associated digital resources in case you want to do a bit more exploring. So make yourself a mug of lapsang souchong, dig out that old packet of Chit Chats from the back of the cupboard and settle in for Day Two of this socially-distanced digital event!

(Day One of StayAtHomeFest 2020 can be found here.)


The pressure has been on Tommy Orange since the success of There There in 2018. Luckily for readers, he’s not only running 10 kilometres a day, he’s also in the process of finishing the sequel to his debut novel! While you’re waiting, check out this great profile he recently wrote in Esquire.

Overdrive coverThere There, by Tommy Orange
“Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and hoping to reconnect with her estranged family. That’s why she is there. Dene is there because he has been collecting stories to honour his uncle’s death, while Edwin is looking for his true father and Opal came to watch her boy Orvil dance. All of them are here for the celebration that is the Big Oakland Powwow. But Tony Loneman is also there. And Tony has come to the Powow with darker intentions.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Did you know that as well as writing, Tommy Orange also composes music?! Develop your own music composition skills (and more) with Lynda.com.

ProQuest Research Library: Learn more about the 1969 Alcatraz Occupation featured in There There via our in-depth research database.


“What if I forget my lines, trip up the holy steps, or accidentally step back onto the sacred Cosmati Pavement, causing the Abbey ministers to cry out (like I did during rehearsal)?” It’s not easy to perform in Westminster Abbey, but for poet, academic and former New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh, it’s just part of life!

(And if you haven’t seen it already, check out Mophead, Tusitala Marsh’s recently-released graphic memoir–featured below.)

Overdrive cover Fast Talking PI, by Selina Tusitala Marsh
Fast Talking PI is the first ‘singular, confident and musical’ collection of poetry by Auckland writer Selina Tusitala Marsh. ‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. The list poem is a favourite style, but she also writes with a Pacific lyricism entirely her own.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

MasterFILE Complete: Read more about Selina Tusitala Marsh’s work via this collection of full-text magazines, journals and reference books.

DigitalNZ: DigitalNZ has millions of local texts, videos and audio recordings–including fantastic performances from Tusitala Marsh. Check them out via the link.

Story Box Library: “All 11-year-olds should have the opportunity to see and hear poetry in a way that explodes their world.” Discover more poetry and stories for kids via Story Box Library!


You know you’ve written something interesting when your book causes shoving matches between strangers, but that’s exactly the impact Kiley Reid’s debut novel Such a Fun Age has been having since its release. It’s been called “a bold, urgent, essential exploration of race, class, labor, friendship, identity and self-delusion, both deliciously readable and incredibly complex.” Check it out before the movie arrives!

Overdrive coverSuch a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
“When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer, Alix, resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When a connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, each other, and privilege.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Kanopy: As well as working on her second novel, Reid is also writing the screenplay for Such a Fun Age. Discover more book-to-movie adaptions via Kanopy, our free film streaming service.

BWB Books: Kiley Reid describes her writing as addressing “class, money, and race”. For more works looking at these topics, check out the BWB Books database.


Did you know that Iliana Regan’s culinary memoir Burn the Place was the first food title to be longlisted for a National Book Award since Julia Child’s nomination in 1980? But then, not every work about food explores such a powerful range of topics (while still having time to take readers foraging for mushrooms in the fairy-tale forests of childhood!).

Overdrive coverBurn the Place, by Iliana Regan
Burn the Place is a galvanizing culinary memoir that chronicles Iliana Regan’s journey from foraging on the family farm to opening her Michelin-starred restaurant, Elizabeth. Her story is alive with startling imagery, raw like that first bite of wild onion, and told with uncommon emotional power. It’s a sure bet to be one of the most important new memoirs of 2019.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Gale Archives of Sexuality & Gender: Burn the Place has been described as a book that combines stories about gender and sexuality with food and cooking. Discover more stories of gender and sexuality via our fantastic new database.

Lynda.com: Did you know that Lynda.com has resources specifically for restaurant owners–as well as for a range of other businesses?!

Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center: Burn the Place has also been described by the New Yorker as a “memoir of addiction”. Investigate more addiction-focussed resources via one of our key health databases.


Between 2008 and 2012, Francisco Cantú worked as a US border patrol agent on the US-Mexico border. His book The Line Becomes a River exposes the violence of past immigration policies towards both migrants and refugees, as well as his own psychological well-being. “This is work that endangers the soul…”

Overdrive coverThe Line Becomes a River, by Francisco Cantú
“In this extraordinary account, Francisco Cantú describes his work in the desert along the Mexican border. He tracks humans through blistering days and frigid nights. He detains the exhausted and hauls in the dead. The line he is sworn to defend, however, begins to dissolve. Haunted by nightmares, Cantú abandons the Patrol for civilian life – but he soon faces a final confrontation with the world he believed he had escaped.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Mango Languages: As well as writing and teaching, Francisco Cantú is also a translator. Begin your own language exploration with our free language-learning database.

RBdigital: Francisco Cantú’s essays have appeared in Best American Essays and magazines including Harper’s. Download the latest copy of Harper’s via our free eMagazine resource.

StayAtHomeFest 2020: Day One

It can be tough being stuck at home. You need plenty of food, you need exercise, you need social support (and, it seems, you need a large stockpile of toilet paper). But there’s something else you need, too–the arts! Presenting: StayAtHomeFest 2020!

StayAtHomeFest 2020 combines talks from some of our favourite authors with links to eBooks of their work via Overdrive. We’ve also added links to associated digital resources in case you want to do a bit more exploring. So make yourself a coffee, move the cat from the best spot on the couch and settle back for Day One of this socially-distanced digital event!


What better way to start than with the legendary Isabel Allende? The Chilean-American author has written 24 books, sold more than 74 million copies of her work and won over 60 awards. Her latest novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, has been described as “a masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging”–perfect for times like these.

Overdrive cover A Long Petal of the Sea, by Isabel Allende
“Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War. Together with his sister-in-law he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile. When opportunity to seek refuge arises, they board a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda to Chile, the promised ‘long petal of sea and wine and snow’. There, they find themselves enmeshed in a web of characters who come together in love and tragedy over four generations.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Kanopy Films: As well as writing for the page, Allende has authored numerous screenplays, and had several novels adapted for the screen. Discover more via one of our free film streaming services!

Mango Languages: Want to read Allende’s work in the original Spanish? Check out Mango Languages, our free database for learning languages on the go.

Gale World History In Context: Did you know Isabel Allende’s stepfather was one of the first people to meet the SS Winnipeg when it reached Chilean waters? Learn more at one of our premiere historical databases.


Next up is UK writer Max Porter. Porter is primarily known for his debut novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers, winning him the Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year Award and a shortlisting for the Guardian First Book Award–but did you know he also edited Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries? His most recent work, Lanny, has been described as “a joyously stirred cauldron of words.”

Overdrive cover Lanny, by Max Porter
“Not far from London, there is a village. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. It belongs to families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here, such as the boy Lanny, and his mum and dad. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Beamafilm: Did you know Lanny is being made into a film starring Rachel Weisz? Discover more book adaptations with the second of our two film streaming services, Beamafilm.

Oxford Art Online: Explore Oxford Art Online’s images, drawings and maps and you’ll be drawing like Lanny and Mad Pete in no time!

Gale Literature Center: Porter’s use of language has been compared to James Joyce’s Ulysses. Discover more about the connection via our comprehensive online literary site.


Pulitzer finalist Suketu Mehta burst into Best-of lists last year with his groundbreaking This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, a book laying out a powerful argument for mass migration as a form of global justice. The work has been called “among the most comprehensive, clearest, lucid and persuasive arguments in favour of immigrant rights yet written.”

Overdrive cover This Land Is Our Land, by Suketu Mehta
“Drawing on his family’s own experience, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. He juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of labourers, nannies and others, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before.”
(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

New York Times: Suketu Mehta lives in Manhattan, and luckily we’ve got access to his hometown newspaper and its archives! Explore the New York Times via the link.

RBdigital: Mehta’s work has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and Harper’s. Check out the latest copies via RBdigital, our free eMagazine resource.


Over the last four years, Vincent O’Malley has helped to fundamentally change how many people view the New Zealand Wars, arguing that the Waikato War should be seen as the defining conflict in New Zealand history. Both The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 and The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa have been bestsellers across the country.

Overdrive cover The Treaty of Waitangi Companion, by Vincent O’Malley
“Since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 it has become the defining document in New Zealand history. From the New Zealand Wars to the 1975 Land March, from the Kingitanga to the Waitangi Tribunal, from Captain Cook to Hone Harawira, The Treaty of Waitangi Companion tells the story of the Treaty and Māori and Pākehā relations through the many voices of those who made this country’s history.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

BWB Books: Go deeper into Aotearoa’s history with free access to some of Bridget Williams Books’ most popular titles, including O’Malley’s fantastic The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 and The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa.

Raraunga Kōrero–Māori Databases: Browse an index of clippings collected by T.F. Grey, as well as an index to articles from the Dominion and Evening Post dating back to 1930. Rohe/iwi mentioned include Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Mataatua.

Wellington City Recollect: The team at Wellington City Libraries have been digitising historic photos, pamphlets and postcards from the Wellington region–look through them right here!


Before the US publication of Flights in 2017, Polish author Olga Tokarczuk was described as “probably one of the greatest living writers you have never heard of.” Two years and one Nobel Prize later, Tokarczuk has become a powerful literary figure beyond her country of origin, with English language readers waiting eagerly for the translation of The Books of Jacob, due in 2021.

Overdrive cover Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead takes place in a remote Polish village, where Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her dogs. When members of a hunting club are found murdered, she becomes involved in the investigation. Duszejko is reclusive, preferring the company of animals; she’s unconventional, and is fond of the poetry of William Blake…” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Pressreader: Olga Tokarczuk’s Nobel Prize win was covered extensively by some of Poland’s media–but not by the newspapers of the country’s nationalist right. Compare the difference via Pressreader, our free full-page newspaper database.

Gale in Context: Environmental Studies: Looking for the most up-to-date environmental info after reading Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead? Check out Gale in Context: Environmental Studies, including full-text articles from New Zealand and around the world.

Gale LitFinder: Suddenly hooked on William Blake? Read his complete works via Litfinder!

Temporary closure of He Matapihi Molesworth Library

“We are supporting the National Library in reducing the spread of Coronavirus, so he Matapihi Molesworth will be closed for the next two weeks,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “We ask customers to use our Arapaki Library in Manners Street, or one of our 11 branches in the interim”.

“People can renew their items by contacting our Libraries team and we are waiving overdue fines until the library reopens.”

“If customers have reserved items to pick up from He Matapihi, one of our Libraries’ team will be in touch to arrange for you to pick it up from either Arapaki Library in Manners Street, or one of our 11 branches around Wellington.

Contact Wellington City Libraries by calling 801 4040 during office hours or email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Learn more on the National Library website. and this library website

COVID-19 coronavirus – keeping yourself safe

**If you do have concerns about your health in relation to COVID-19 please contact a health professional. For health specific questions, you can call Healthline directly on 0800 358 5453.

All libraries will be closed temporarily from Sunday 22 March to support efforts in reducing the spread of Coronavirus. 

Where to Find Good Information

Three health organisations who can provide authoritative information about COVID-19 are the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, and Wellington’s own Capital & Coast Health Board.

The Ministry of Health website is the definitive source of information in New Zealand and provides the latest updates, advice, and guidelines on symptoms, prevention, treatment, travel, home care, and self-isolation. The World Health Organisation has a very comprehensive and useful Q & A page covering wide-ranging topics related to Covid-19, and Capital & Coast provides practical information and guidelines on how you can look after yourself. It also provides a summary of their page in New Zealand Sign Language.

On this library website you can access a number of health and research databases with your library card that can help you to learn about COVID-19 and coronaviruses. Our online health resources include:

Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center: A consumer health resource providing authoritative information on a full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative medical practices

Consumer Health: Health and wellness from mainstream medicine to complementary, holistic and integrated medicine, including a number of full text health magazines.

Alternatively, visit our Health online resources page for a list of all our recommended resources.

What you can do while your local library is closed, or you need to self-isolate

Your library card provides access to a great array of online resources. From film streaming to learning new skills, the resources listed below will help keep you entertained and informed. All resources have a Quick Start Guide and Help information so that everyone from beginners to digital natives can use them.

Beamafilm: Streaming film — over 500 international movies and documentaries, with a strong Australasian focus.

Kanopy: Streaming film — over 30,000 titles from around the world. Includes Kanopy Kids.

Libby: OverDrive’s new simplified site and app. Read and listen to  eBooks & eAudiobooks — over 50,000 titles available.

PressReader: Same day access to full-page replicas of newspapers & magazines from NZ and around the world in 60+ languages.

Lynda.com: Unlimited access to over 3500 online video courses. Topics include IT, business, design & more. Learn a new skill!

RBdigital: Over 200 eMagazine titles for reading online or offline — across all genres.

Mango Languages: Learn over 70 new languages on the go!

Naxos Jazz Library: Streaming music — over 210,500 tracks of jazz from more than 17,930 CDs. Includes over 32,000 jazz artists.

For Kids and Teens

If you have children with you during self-isolation try some of these amazing online resources:

Story Box Library: Streaming story times — preschool & primary school age stories read aloud on video by amazing authors & storytellers.

Kids’ eReading Room: Overdrive’s Kids’ eReading Room — our main website filtered just for kids’ material.

Teens’ eReading Room: Overdrive’s Teen eReading Room — our main website filtered just for material for teens.