Happy 20th birthday Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) library!

This week on Wednesday 22nd of FebruaryKilbirnie library plaque we celebrate 20 years since the current Ruth Gotlieb/Kilbirnie library opened its doors. Let’s take the opportunity to have a look back on the history of one of Wellington’s busiest branch libraries and the important role it has played in our community for many years.

Interest in the need for a Kilbirnie library was first raised with the Council in 1912, but it wasn’t until 14 years later in 1936 that the Lyall Bay library was opened on the corner of Wha Street and Onepu Road. The library operated there until 1983, when it moved to a new premises just down the road. Kilbirnie library 1997The new Kilbirnie library at 101 Kilbirnie Crescent was then built and opened in 1997. Three years later it was renamed as the Ruth Gotlieb library to recognise Mrs Gotlieb’s outstanding contribution to library services in Wellington. Ruth is still a regular library user, who enjoys visiting “her” library each week!

Here in Kilbirnie, we serve a diverse range of library patrons. We are a very multi-cultural suburb, with locals originating from all sorts of overseas locations, such as Asia, India and the Pacific.Kilbirnie library 2017 We also have high populations of both elderly residents and children, which is reflected in our users. Maybe you’ve even visited us with your class from school? The Kilbirnie library has a great collection with something for everyone, and a team of friendly librarians just waiting to help you find the perfect book. If you visit the Ruth Gotlieb library this week, be sure to wish us a very happy 20th birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seaweek 2017: Healthy seas, healthy people

We are already in the middle of February, and that means Seaweek 2017 is fast approaching! Seaweek will begin on Saturday 25 February, and run through until Sunday 5 March. Started in 1992 by The New Zealand Association for Environment Education, Seaweek is held in late February each year.

 

The purpose behind Seaweek is to grow an understanding of the importance of looking after our precious oceans, and to encourage people to get involved in local activities and initiatives. Protecting the sea is especially important in New Zealand, as we are totally surrounded by ocean and the fishing industry contributes greatly to our economy. Not to mention that lots of Kiwis enjoy fishing for sport and fun, as well as swimming during summertime. When we treat our oceans with care and respect, we also ensure that Kiwis in generations to come have the same opportunities that we do (this is called sustainability).

 

Seaweek is funded entirely through sponsorship and charitable donations. If you would like to lend a helping hand this Seaweek, there are lots of events happening around New Zealand that you can get involved in. Visit the Wellington region events page to find out more. You can also head on over to the catalogue to learn more about sea life and how to protect it.

 

So come on guys, let’s work together to keep our oceans safe and beautiful!

Image courtesy Oren Rozen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44095424

 

Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

It’s that time of the year again with the Chinese New Year festivities beginning on Saturday 28 January and running through to Wednesday 15 February. This year is the year of the Red Fire Rooster, which represents inner warmth and insight, as well as family ties. Find your year of birth here to discover which of the 12 Zodiac animals you are!

 

 

The Chinese New Year, sometimes called the Spring Festival, has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is considered the most important event on the Chinese calendar. It is also celebrated by many of China’s neighbouring countries, such as Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines.

 

 

People in China and other countries celebrate this important occasion in all sorts of different ways. However, a couple of very popular traditions include a reunion dinner with family on the eve of the Chinese New Year, and many families do a thorough clean of their homes in order to sweep away bad things and make room for good fortune in the year ahead. Fireworks are also a common way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

 

 

In Wellington, we celebrate the Chinese New Year with a festival day which is free to attend. Sample some special Chinese food, take part in the kids activities, or watch the parade as it proceeds from Courtenay Place to Frank Kitts Park. There might even be some fireworks in the harbour! Check out all the details for the Wellington festival day here.

 

 

Check out our wide collection of Chinese New Year books on the catalogue, and get involved this Chinese New Year!

Hot new back to school reads!

Whether you are still in holiday mode or gearing up to head back to school, Wellington City Libraries have got you covered when it comes to juicy reading material!

You need some great reads so you can brag to your friends about what’s cool when you get back to school, and start up a new trend.

Read on for a taste of some of the awesome new fiction we have coming to a shelf near you…

 

The Fairy Caravan by Beatrix Potter

A new edition of a 1929 creation from beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter (she wrote the Peter Rabbit books).

Meet Tuppenny the guinea pig, who leaves home determined to start a new, more exciting life. He is soon adopted by an animal circus who are travelling the countryside, performing for the animals of the farms and fields. Join Tuppenny and his new friends for many magical adventures and enjoy the beautiful illustrations hidden away in the middle of the book. Perfect for those who love animal stories!

 

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

The first book in the ‘Song of the Lioness’ series from popular fantasy fiction author Tamora Pierce.

Alanna has always craved the adventurous life only allowed to the boys of her village, while her twin brother Thom dreams of learning the art of magic, a special skill reserved for girls. So they switch places, a decision that will change their lives forever. Join Alanna as she begins on her road to knighthood, filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil.

 

How Harry Riddles Mega-Massively Broke the School by Simon Mayle

Book two from the hilarious and equally ridiculous ‘Shoutykid’ series (we also have books one, three and four by the way).

Harry’s dad has been nagging him to do more sport and less gaming, which is really dumb because Harry sucks at sports but is totally awesome at gaming and has been working on a new zombie game that could make him a mega-millionaire. So he’s written to some famous sports stars for advice (and also to some other people in the hope of getting rid of his sister Charlotte). Told through emails, letters and text messages, this one is sure to tickle your funny bone!

 

Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Joe Sutphin

A new release from number one bestselling author James Patterson.

Isaiah, a blue haired mouse that was raised in a science laboratory, is super smart but scared of almost everything. When he escapes, leaving his family behind, Isaiah finds himself alone in the big wide world and more terrified than ever. However, he soon meets a girl that is just as unusual as he is, and who teaches Isaiah that even someone small and frightened like him can have the power to change the world.

 

Don’t forget, reserves are free when you use your Children or Young Adult card!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discover your green thumb and get into gardening this summer!

Gardening is a fun activity to get involved in during the summer months, and one that many people all around the world find very fulfilling.

Gardening is also really good for you in all sorts of ways. Firstly, gardening outside is a great way to get out in the sun and soak up some vitamin D, just don’t forget to be sun smart and chuck on a sunhat and sunscreen before you head outside.

Gardening is  good exercise and an enjoyable way to keep busy and stay active in the summer months. It is also a fun introduction to science and enables us to learn about the natural world around us using all of our senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound).

But best of all, gardening makes you happy! In fact, scientific experiments have shown that when you connect with soil, your brain releases a feel-good chemical called serotonin that actually helps to improve your mood. How cool is that!?

Gardening is also a very rewarding activity, as you get to watch all of your hard work grow and flourish (and it might even end up on the dinner table).

Gardening can be a peaceful activity to do on your own, but you can have fun gardening with a friend or family member, or even in a group. You might know someone that likes gardening, perhaps your Grandparent or a neighbour, that you could help out their garden.

If you have limited outdoor space at your house, try starting small using a planter box, an old car tyre, or plant straight into a bag of compost.

The libraries have HEAPS of awesome books on gardening to inspire you and help you get started. Check out the catalogue to find out what’s available in your local branch library and don’t forget children can place reserves for free using your library card all summer long!

Summer safety summed up

Summer is finally here! BBQs, long evenings, sunbathing, swimming and days at the beach are just some of the things we’ve been looking forward to. But as exciting as this time of year can be (especially once school finishes for the year –  wahoo!) it is really important that we keep reminding ourselves about keeping safe in the sun, in the water and at the beach.

Sun SmartSun safety

Exposure to UV (ultraviolet) radiation is what causes our skin to burn and potentially lead to skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in New Zealand. We have to be especially careful here, because the UV levels in our country are higher than other countries around the world, so it is easier to get sunburnt in a short amount of time. Although it is good for us to get out in the sun to build up the vitamin D in our bodies, it is really important that we keep our skin protected.

During daylight savings months (September to April) it is recommended that we wear sunscreen, particularly during the middle of the day (between 10am and 4pm) when the sun is at its hottest. It is a good idea to wear a sunhat at all times outside, and cover up whenever possible. This could mean sitting under an umbrella or a tree, and throwing a t-shirt on over your togs when you’ve finished swimming. The sun can also damage your eyes, so a pair of sunglasses is also a great summer addition. Check out the Sunsmart New Zealand website for more sun safety tips.

 

Water safety

Taking a dip is a great way to cool off during the hot Summer months, but sadly a large number of kiwis and people from overseas drown in New Zealand every year. We are lucky to have lots of wonderful places to swim, be it rivers, beaches or swimming pools, but we must always remember to keep ourselves safe from harm while in the water. Learning to swim, using appropriate equipment like life jackets and arm bands, and keeping an eye on others (especially young children) is the first step to preventing drowning.

If we are swimming in a river, we can also check for shallow rocks, floating trees or other debris, and fast flowing currents before jumping in to ensure that it is a safe spot. When swimming at the beach, getting caught in a rip that can pull you out to deeper water is a very scary possibility. Check the water before you get in for discolouration or a rippled look – this could indicate a rip. However, your best bet is to swim between the flags, where trained lifesavers can keep an eye on you, and never go deeper than you feel comfortable. The Water Safety New Zealand website has answers to any other water safety questions you might have.

 

And don’t forget, if the weather is bad there’s no need to be stuck at home because you can always visit our libraries for some summer fun.

 

 

Get crafty this Christmas with homemade gifts

The giving of gifts at Christmas time is a long held and well-known tradition across the world.

Some people believe that this started as a Christian tradition to reminder us of the gifts given to baby Jesus by the three wise men at his birth. However, other records date back to ancient Roman celebrations when people thought that their generosity would bring good fortune in the year to come.

Either way, exchanging gifts has become an expectation, and Christmas can be an expensive time of year for many families. A great way to save money and make gift giving more personal is to create your own Christmas presents, and with school holidays starting in the next few weeks you might just need some extra activities to keep you busy!

Making your own gifts for Christmas also allows you to get really creative and give something your own signature style, and there are so many different directions you can go in.

Some cool ideas to get you inspired are: sweet treats like fudge or gingerbread cookies, artwork or sculptures, jewellery, candles, cosmetics or even a home-sewn soft toy. Just chuck a colourful ribbon on it and, voila! A thoughtful, inexpensive gift that your friends and family are going to love.

 

We have a great selection of Christmas craft and cooking books for kids, so head over to the catalogue to start searching and reserving your copy today!

                

Happy Birthday C. S. Lewis!

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on the 29 of November 1898 (that’s nearly 120 years ago now). His mother died when Lewis was just 10 years old, and he received his education in boarding schools and with private tutors.

As a small child, Lewis played a lot with his older brother Warren, and the two boys created an imaginary land called ‘Boxen’, which they continued for many years. Perhaps these early experiences were the inspiration for Narnia?

 

C. S. Lewis married once to an American writer named Joy Davidman. Joy sadly passed away from cancer only four years later. Lewis died in 1963 after suffering a heart attack, exactly one week before his 65th birthday.

Lewis was most famous for writing poetry and novels, but also worked as a university teacher. He was very spiritual as an adult, and wrote a lot about Christianity. C. S. Lewis published a total of 74 books in his lifetime for both children and adults, his most famous series being ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, which were published between 1949 and 1954 when Lewis was in his early 50s.

 

Since his death, C. S. Lewis’s stories have continued to be very popular and are considered to be classics in British literature. Some have even been made into movies! If you would like to read or listen to a book by C. S. Lewis, head over to the catalogue to check whether any are available in your local library, or place a free reserve.

Read up on Earthquake facts

It’s been a pretty scary couple of days here in Wellington (and all over New Zealand) after the big 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit on Monday morning! Maybe it even woke you up? I thought this would be a good time to refresh our knowledge on earthquakes and what we need to do in an emergency.

 

So, what IS an earthquake?

 

The surface of the earth is covered in large rocks (or plates), which we call the earth’s crust. Earthquakes happen when these rocks move, causing a great release of energy that travels through the earth.

 

The edges where different plates in the earth’s crust meet are called fault lines, and these are often where earthquakes are most likely to centre, although people will feel them from a long way away.

 

After a major earthquake, it is also normal to feel lots of smaller aftershocks for days or even weeks afterwards. An instrument called a seismograph records and measures the size of an earthquake. Geonet keeps a record of all the earthquakes that have occurred across the country, so check out their website to see just how many aftershocks we’ve had in the past couple of days!

 

Because we never know when an earthquake might happen, it is really important that we are prepared and know what to do when an earthquake hits.

 

The first thing you need to remember if you feel an earthquake is to drop. If you are close to a sturdy table or desk, you can crouch underneath, otherwise cover your head with your arms to protect yourself from things that could fall on you. Lastly, hold your position until you feel the shaking stop, or until an adult tells you it is safe.

 

Drop, cover, hold – pretty easy right? You might like to have a quick practice now.

 

If you are interested to learn more about earthquakes, or how and why they happen, we’ve got lots of great books available through the catalogue. You might also like to read this information from Civil Defence about how to be prepared for an emergency, or check out the science kids website for more earthquake facts.

Stay safe out there!

 

LOVE your leftovers…nom nom nom

November is ‘Love your Leftovers‘ month, a special event created by the folks at Love Food Hate Waste to encourage kiwi families to eat their leftover food. Every year in New Zealand a whopping $870 million worth of uneaten food goes to waste when people throw it away.  That’s enough to buy over 60 private islands in the Carribean! Meanwhile, we also have many families who struggle to buy groceries each week.

 

 

There are a few things that YOU can do to help, and one of the big ones is making sure that good, edible food is not going into the rubbish bin. It might not be very exciting to eat the same food two days in a row, but there are lots of easy ways to jazz up your leftovers to create a tasty new meal, and it might even save you some money.

 

 

Couldn’t finish those vegetables? Try reusing them in an omelette or putting them on top of a pizza. Cooked too much meat to feed the crew? Try creating a new flavour of pie. You can even chuck those potato peels in the oven for a delicious crispy snack. For more inspiration, check out these leftover recipes. And don’t forget, freezing food is a great way to store it for later!

 

 

Wellington City Libraries are supporting this wonderful event by creating book displays that encourage using leftovers. Keep an eye out for one in your local library, or head over to the catalogue to start searching (and reserving for free!).