Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Tag: Online Databases

Check Your History with Bridget Williams Books

You know those little white books with coloured spines you see by the counter at bookshops?  -back in the day when you were allowed to leave your house to go to bookshops and libraries, two weeks and a different world ago- Well, those little books are some of the amazing books published by Bridget Williams Books (BWB).

I think that lots of people never really think about the people who are involved in editing and publication.  They slip under the radar a lot. We think about the person or people who wrote the book and who end up reading it but the truth is that a LOT happens to the book between someone writing it and you reading it! If you’re a creative writer or do much writing for school you’ll probably know that it is an entirely different headspace and process between writing and editing. I wrote a very rough draft of this blog post in a scrappy old paper book before I ever touched the keys.

Bridget Williams has been publishing in Aotearoa/New Zealand since 1976. If you’ve ever read or seen The Oxford History of New Zealand, Tangata Whenua:  An Illustrated History or A History of New Zealand Women, she has been involved in all of these. These days she is the director and publisher of BWB and continues to be part of the creation of some of the most important local writing that’s being made.

BWB has a focus on telling stories from this country and puts emphasis on publishing with and for Māori. They are interested in exploring the experience of people who live on these islands and being a platform for voices that have historically not had a platform to speak from.

(Side note: Try looking at all the books on your/anyone’s bookshelf and count how many of them are: written by someone from Aotearoa/New Zealand, written by women or genderqueer people, written by indigenous people, published in New Zealand, have an LGBTQ+ author or content … Also how many different languages are on your bookshelf?)

As you can’t run down to the library right now (even though I know you really really want to) and check out these books in person, what you do have access to is their  amazing online resources. If you’ve got a research project for school, or are just looking for some words to fill the extra time you’ve got at home, these are awesome resources to explore: just plug in your library card number and your PIN and you’re good to go!

Bridget Williams Books – Text Collection: for all your bookish needs — we all know you have them!

Bridget Williams Books – The NZ History Collection: for all your historical needs.

Bridget Williams Books – Treaty of Waitangi Collection: for all your Te Tiriti needs.

Fashion Friday

zinio3

Zinio is here!
What is Zinio you ask? weeelll…

Zinio is a magazine database that the library now has.  It’s not just any old magazine database though.  It has full story and image magazines (much like Press Display is for newspapers).  And there are popular magazines you’ll want to read too – fashion mags included are Australian Vogue, US Elle, Grazia (South African, so a bit different), Nylon, Harpers Bazaar, Peppermint, Yen, Esquire, I could go on.

The best thing about Zinio is that it’s free to take out the magazines (or rather download them to your account and then read on your computer, smartphone, tablet, ipod – there’s an app) and you can keep them forever.  YES, FOREVER.

All you need to start is your library card.  Then you can find Zinio on our website, on our Mygateway page (under Magazines).  From there you create an account on the library Zinio page.  After that you need to create a Zinio account (you can you the use the same details for both accounts; you must use the same email address for both accounts).  Finally, you’ll need to download the Zinio app if you’re using a tablet, ipad or smartphone. ( If you need any help take a look here for setting up and starting the app).

And away you go!

School’s back, oh well

The library is here to help! We’ve got information, and trained professionals who know how to use it: libraries are useful places when you’re studying. Here are some helpful things:

  • The teen blog study stop pages – full of useful links and tips.
  • Mygateway.info – if you’ve never visited then you really should, it’s like a virtual reference collection with a huge amount of online databases (many that you can only access with your library card – google won’t help you find these treasures). They’re sorted by subject, a helpful jumping-off point.
  • Anyquestions.co.nz – librarians online to help discover the answers to tricky reference questions, Monday to Friday, 1 to 6pm during school time. If you’re looking out of hours, there’s the manyanswers database which is a good starting point.
  • The teen blog book lists page – for if you’re looking for some fiction to read.

All the best for the school year.

BreakOut

BreakOut is a database of “scholarships for school, polytechnic or travel grants; sports and arts schemes; personal grants; personal development funds; and academic and non-academic funding” (that covers everything I guess!) for New Zealanders, young and old. You can access it (and loads of other databases) through mygateway.info, provided you have a library card.

About an Author: Sarah Dessen

We recently-ish did a post about a Top 100 YA fiction list, in which Sarah Dessen featured strongly. So what about Sarah Dessen then? Who is she and why is she so popular? Here’s a very brief summary.

Sarah Dessen is the writer of (currently) nine novels for young adults, all of them stand-alone (which is unusual, since it seems everyone thinks you have to write series to be popular). We have them all! She studied creative writing in college (lucky her) and her first book, That Summer, was completed while she was waitressing (good job for writers: write during the day, wait at night).

Sarah Dessen fans (wittily called dessenites) love her for her realism, her focus on interpersonal relationships (the catch-all subject for fiction), and, yes, her books are a little bit romantic. Of Just Listen, possibly her most critically well received novel, one reviewer wrote, “Annabel and Owen’s finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power”.

If you’re wanting to make a serious study of Sarah Dessen’s works then the place to go is the Literature Resource Centre. This is one of the online databases you can get at through MyGateway.info. The Literature Resource Centre is a fantastic resource: there are reviews (separated into reviews and more highbrow literary criticism), biographical articles and interviews, plus much more. Great for your NCEA reading log.

Sarah Dessen on t’internet:
Website | TwitterBlog | Facebook

Into Photography?

Are you studying Photography or just keen and naturally talented? We asked Françoise, library staff member and photographer, about photography books and resources and she’s given us a list (yay, list) of recommended reading and viewing.

1 The Genius of Photography, by Gerry Badger (770.9 BAD)
This landmark book explores the key events and images that have marked the development of photography. What is it that makes a photograph by Nan Goldin or Henri Cartier Bresson stand out among the millions of others taken by all of us every single day? The Genius of Photography examines the evolution of photography in its wider context: social, political, economic, technological and artistic. A great reference book on this evermore influential artform.

2 A Century of Colour Photography, by Pamela Roberts (770.9 ROB)
This comprehensive collection offers fine examples of the art of colour photography, covering every major technical and artistic development in colour photography over the last 100 years, since the Lumière brothers made the autochrome process commercially available in June 1907.

3 Contemporary New Zealand Photographers, by Hannah Holm & Lara Strongman (770.9931 CON)
Designed to accompany the exhibition that toured New Zealand in 2006, this book is a must for anybody interested in photography today in New Zealand. All the major contemporary photographers of the country are featured here with text and some key images. An essential reference.

4 Magnum (779 MAG)
Founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and other eminent photographers, Magnum is an agency of elected photojournalists who independently photograph what they choose rather than what they are assigned. Regarded as the best of their profession, their images can have a lasting impact on viewers and be truly inspirational. Magnumdegree is a book about history and humanity, journalism and art, offering a vision of the contemporary world at the beginning of the new millennium. It contains over 600 colour and black-and-white photographs by 69 Magnum photographers, including original contributions from Cartier-Bresson.

5 Street & Studio: An Urban History of Photography, by Ute Eskilden, Florian Ebner and Bettina Kaufmann (779.2 STR)
The street allows photographers to conceal cameras and catch subjects unaware, in informal settings. By contrast, the studio permits both photographers and subjects to present carefully composed images to the world through elaborate staging and technical tricks. Street and Studio provides a revealing look at the history of photography through the contrasts and tensions between these two traditions.

6 The Polaroid Book, by Steve Crist and Barbara Hitchcock (779 POL)
In existence for over 50 years, the Polaroid Corporation’s photography collection is the greatest collection of Polaroid images in the world. Begun by Polaroid founder Edwin Land and photographer Ansel Adams, the collection now includes images by hundreds of photographers throughout the world and contains important pieces by artists such as David Hockney, Helmut Newton, Jeanloup Sieff and Robert Rauschenberg. The Polaroid Book, a survey of this remarkable collection, pays tribute to a medium that defies the digital age and remains a favourite among artists for its quirky look and instantly gratifying, one-of-a-kind images.

7 Digital Photography Masterclass, by Tom Ang (775 ANG)
One of Britain’s best-known photographers, Ang has hosted a popular BBC TV series called A Digital Picture of Britain and won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. In this book, the author teaches how to look at the world with a photographer’s eye and offers tutorials, photographic assignments, and step-by-step image-manipulation exercises. A perfect introduction for budding photographers.

8 Fashion & Advertising, by Magdalene Keaney (778.92 KEA)
In these workshops, World’s Top Photographers discuss and explore the technical and artistic aspects of photographer: lighting, composition, colour, tone and imaging. Stunning images and in-depth interviews plus checklists and tips-and-hints panels make this book a beautiful and practical manual.

9 Henri Cartier-Bresson in India, by Henri Cartier-Bresson (779.9954)
From 1947 through the 1980s, founder of Magnum, Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed all aspects of India’s multi-facetted society, from refugee camps to the Maharaja of Barodea’s birthday celebration. His gift of observation and connections infuse all these photos, revealing the essence of a country that has captured the world’s imagination.

10 Handboek: Ans Westra Photographs, by Ans Westra, Luit Bieringa and Cushla Parekowhai (770.92 WES)
Born in the Netherlands, Ans Westra came to New Zealand in 1957. In a few short years she was to embark on her life-long photographic journey documenting the lives and cultures of New Zealanders. This book is an in-depth insight into more than 130 documentary images by one of the most influential photographers of this country.

11 Life, by Lennart Nilsson (779.949611 NIL)
Lennart Nilsson took the first image of a living human embryo in the 1960s and stunned the world. Life is an amazing book of images documenting human life from DNA through fetal development and birth. The second half of the book focuses on the human body, its organs, tissues, and the things that eventually threaten life – bacteria and viruses. Science meets Art in this incredible journey to the centre of the human body.

12 Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, by Wim Wenders, Peter-Klaus Schuster and Nicole Hartje (779 WEN)
For many years, famous German Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Buena Vista Social Club) has taken an old panorama camera along with him on his travels. The result is a collection of landscapes and cityscapes, photographs of architecture and nature where few humans appear, taken in the United States, Japan, Australia, Israel, Cuba and Germany.

13 Africa, by Sebastiao Salgado (779.996 SAL)
This stunning book, entirely in black and white, is a photographic document of Africa by Sebastiao Salgado, but also a homage to the history, people, and natural phenomena of this continent. Renowned Mozambique novelist Mia Couto describes how today’s Africa reflects the effects of colonisation as well as the consequences of economic, social, and environmental crises. Moving and inspiring.

Françoise has also kindly subcategorised them for us like so –

  • General (Historical, Overview, Theme): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Techniques, How-to: 7, 8
  • Individual Artists: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
  • New Zealand: 3, 10

Want more?
Visit the library Art Resources page for books, magazines, useful websites and other tools, including art-related online databases. Oxford Art Online, for example, is great for searching for biographical information on famous photographers (you’ll need to enter your library card number and surname to access).

All the news fit to print

The Times Digital Archive (scroll to the bottom of the page) has all news articles printed between 1785 and 1985 scanned and is fully searchable. Obviously it’s going to be useful as a study resource – if you’re looking at early New Zealand history, for example – but it’s also worth seeing what else you can find. ‘Jack the Ripper’, ‘ Titanic sunk’, ‘Neil Armstrong’, ‘New Zealand earthquake’, ‘Oscar Wilde libel’ …