From our Business Blog: Dogs in the workplace

Dog wearing necktie and shirt in front of a laptop
Dog wearing necktie and shirt in front of a laptop
Not quite a workplace dog

One of the benefits of working from home more in the last two years, has been the company of the four legged family members. They’ve been introduced in online meetings, lain at our feet while we worked (or walked across the keyboard), and generally provided companionship (although most lack witty conversation and the ability to make coffee).

Now, research is increasingly pointing to a pet in the workplace as being good for lowering stress whilst increasing productivity levels…

Read the full post Dogs in the workplace on our Business Blog

Lunchtime talk: CERT NZ on Internet security and your business

Come along to this presentation by CERT NZ on cyber security! Find out how to identify and keep your businesses safe from ransomware, phishing and other common threats.

This talk is aimed at the business community, but content will also be of interest to individuals — all welcome!

Click through for more details!

Continue reading “Lunchtime talk: CERT NZ on Internet security and your business”

London’s calling : New travel books

The world is opening up again! Browse our new travel books to find your next overseas adventure. Staying home? We have books to help you discover Aotearoa as well — have a browse below!

The book lover’s guide to London / Milne, Sarah
“Many of the greatest names in literature have visited or made their home in the colourful and diverse metropolis of London. From Charles Dickens to George Orwell, Virginia Woolf to Bernadine Evaristo, London’s writers have bought the city to life through some of the best known and loved stories and characters in fiction.” (Catalogue)

Midsomer murders location guide : discover the villages, pubs and churches behind the hit TV series / Hopkinson, Frank
“Following in the Pitkin ‘Armchair’ Film and TV locations series, Midsomer Murders Location Guide highlights the real-life locations behind the fictional Midsomer county – the pubs, churches and villages that make it such an international success.” (Catalogue)

Camino Ignaciano : walking the Ignatian way in northern Spain / Stewart, Murray
“Camino Ignaciano walking and travel guide – expert advice on walking the Camino Ignaciano in northern Spain, following in the footsteps of Ignatius of Loyola through the Basque mountains and including Arantzazu, Laguardia, Logroño, Alfaro, Zaragoza, Montserrat and Manresa. Also includes practical information and details of the twenty-seven stages.” (Catalogue)

Ultimate road trips : Aotearoa New Zealand / Atkinson, Brett
Ultimate Road Trips: New Zealand is your inspirational and comprehensive touring guide to New Zealand, featuring 36 road trips across the North and South islands. From coastal journeys exploring the country’s beaches and bays, to inland adventures through rugged volcanic and alpine landscapes, Ultimate Road Trips: New Zealand is the ideal companion to discovering Aotearoa.” (Catalogue)

Rosamunde Pilcher’s Cornwall / Knappett, Gill
“Discover the breathtaking locations behind Pilcher’s fiction novels The Shell SeekersComing HomeThe End of Summer and more.” (Catalogue)

101 weekends in Europe / Barton, Robin
101 Weekends in Europe, 2nd Edition is a compact and stylish travel guide that details everything today’s modern travelers will want to know about 101 cities in Europe. From classic cities like Paris and Vienna to emerging destinations like Freiburg and Lecce, learn about the culture, sights, shopping experience, accommodations, and cuisine each city has to offer. ” (Catalogue)

Wanderlust road trips : 40 beautiful drives around the world
“Get inspired with 40 of the world’s most incredible road trips, with bucket-list drives in the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. This stunning, hardcover book is packed with full-color photos, charming illustrations, and fascinating overviews of each route, making it the perfect gift for dreamers and adventurers alike. Cruise along the historic Blues Highway in the American South, drive the epic Ruta 40 to Patagonia, or stop for a hike as you road-trip along the Canadian Rockies. Drive to Namibia’s jaw-dropping Victoria Falls, follow the Alsace Wine Route, or hug the Amalfi Coast and soak up views of the Mediterranean.” (Catalogue)

ComicFest 2022 is Sat 7 May! How to ask your questions

It’s the eve of ComicFest! Join us online all day tomorrow (Saturday 6 May) from 9am for this fantastic – and totally free – national celebration of all things comics-related in New Zealand!

ComicFest 2022 website, programme and livestream!

ComicFest artists include Dylan Horrocks, Giselle Clarkson, Jem Yoshioka, Jonathan King, Kay O’Neill, Mary Guo, Michel Mulipola, Sarah Laing and Tara Black.

Although we won’t be together in person, we still want to give you the opportunity to ask our amazing artists questions!

Q&A: Handing you the (proverbial) mic!

This year, our Q&A sessions will be hosted via a moderating platform called Slido. To submit your questions on the day, go to slido.com and enter our participant code ComicFestNZ.

Or, scan the QR code below to enter the chat!

Creativity, belonging and empathy: New personal development books

Build up your empathy muscle, read about the power of connecting with others and learn how to break away from routine and become the person you want to be — have a browse of recent additions to our personal development books!

Inspired : understanding creativity : a journey through art, science, and the soul / Richtel, Matt
“From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times science reporter acclaimed for “bring[ing] scientific concepts to life” (Bill Gates), a pathbreaking new investigation into the mysteries of human creativity.” (Publisher)

A sense of belonging : how to find your place in a fractured world / Liang, Holan
“A sense of belonging – being liked, understood, accepted for who we are – is vital for our mental health. Whether it is fitting in at school, struggling to connect with colleagues in a new job, or just feeling out of place in our own family, we all, at various stages in our lives, find ourselves questioning our identity. For Dr Holan Liang, one of the UK’s foremost psychiatrists, this crisis of identity cuts right to the heart of the modern epidemic of anxiety and depression. In this ground-breaking book, she draws on her own experience as an immigrant to the UK, and on 20 years of caring for patients suffering from a range of mental health conditions, from depression and anxiety to ADHD and anorexia, to explore a radical new perspective on mental health.” (Catalogue)

Tell me more about that : solving the empathy crisis one conversation at a time / Volpe, Rob
“Empathy is in short supply these days–and it’s hurting us. But all is not lost. Just as physical workouts strengthen your body, there are ways to build up your empathy as well. In Tell Me More About That, brand strategist and thought leader Rob Volpe draws on his years conducting thousands of in-home interviews with everyday people to illustrate the 5 Steps to Empathy–the actions you can take to build a strong and reflexive empathy muscle”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Future you / Valintine, Frances
“What does it take to go from imagining a different life to creating one? Entrepreneur and educator Frances Valintine has spent her life trying to untangle why some people don’t embrace change even when they know their future depends on it. Future You shares insights from Frances’s own extraordinary career to show how breaking away from expectation and routine is integral to living a full and successful life. Frances inspires and empowers readers to make bold self-discoveries: to take risks, step off the conveyor belt, open your heart to chance, overcome self-doubt, foster generosity, pass less judgement, think originally, and lead with possibility. Your brain has an incredible power to get you to where you want to be. Your role is to let your brain know the destination, and to be brave enough to begin your future now.” (Catalogue)

12 notes : on life and creativity / Jones, Quincy
“Wisdom and musings on creativity and life from one of the world’s most beloved musicians, producers, and mentors, Quincy Jones’ 12 Notes is a self-development guide that will affirm that creativity is a calling that can and should be answered, no matter your age or experience. … Weaving his story throughout, Jones lets readers in on his own creative process, as well as the importance of letting honesty, hard work, and good relationships drive your career.” (Catalogue)

Comicify Your Life Competition!

ComicFest logo

ComicFest logo

What would your life look like if it were happening on the pages of a comic book? Draw yourself as a comic book superhero, villain, or just an ordinary ‘comicified’ human, and be in to win a bevy of sweet prizes.

Competition Entry Form

This competition is run as part of ComicFest 2022 and open to ages 5+. Category winners and runners-up will be announced on 7 May during the ComicFest livestream, and prizewinners will be contacted so they can collect their prizes from the library of their choice.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

  • Submissions will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 1st May
  • Please submit only one entry per person
  • Entries are open to all Wellington-based library users

Age brackets for entries are:

  • 5-8
  • 9-12
  • 13-17
  • 18+

View Finders Photo Competition for Kids and Teens

View Finders

View Finders - Child with a DSLR camera

This April School Holidays, tell us a story by taking a photo!

From the 16th of April to the 1st of May, we’re running View Finders — a photo competition for tamariki and rangatahi across Wellington City. There are heaps of cool prizes to be won — and a special exhibition to take part in at the end!

We’re taking submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

Continue reading “View Finders Photo Competition for Kids and Teens”

Turbulence and upheaval in 1922: New history books

What did the world look like in 1922, one hundred years ago, coming out of a World War and a pandemic? Time and history march on, but upheaval and change is a constant. Have a browse of this month’s new history books.

The 1619 Project : a new origin story
“The animating idea of The 1619 Project is that the US national narrative is more accurately told if we begin not on July 4, 1776, but in late August of 1619, when a ship arrived in Jamestown bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric and unprecedented system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin. The 1619 Project tells this new origin story, placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country. Orchestrated by the editors of The New York Times Magazine, led by MacArthur “genius” and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.” (Catalogue)

1922 : scenes from a turbulent year / Rennison, Nick
“1922 was a year of great turbulence and upheaval. The world had just emerged from a war that had killed millions of people and a global pandemic that had ended the lives of tens of millions more. Its events reverberated throughout the rest of the twentieth century and still affect us today. Empires fell. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after more than six centuries. The British Empire had reached its zenith but its heyday was over. The Irish Free State was declared and demands for independence in India grew. New nations and new politics came into existence. The Soviet Union was officially created and Mussolini’s Italy became the first Fascist state. In the USA, Prohibition was at its height. The Hollywood film industry, although rocked by a series of scandals, continued to grow. A new mass medium – radio – was making its presence felt and the BBC was founded…” (Catalogue)

The searchers : the quest for the lost of the First World War / Sackville-West, Robert
“By the end of the First World War, the whereabouts of more than half a million British soldiers were unknown. Most were presumed dead, lost forever under the battlefields of northern France and Flanders. In The Searchers, Robert Sackville-West brings together the extraordinary, moving accounts of those who dedicated their lives to the search for the missing. These stories reveal the remarkable lengths to which people will go to give meaning to their loss: Rudyard Kipling’s quest for his son’s grave; E.M. Forster’s conversations with traumatised soldiers in hospital in Alexandria; desperate attempts to communicate with the spirits of the dead; the campaign to establish the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior; and the exhumation and reburial in military cemeteries of hundreds of thousands of bodies. It was a search that would span a century: from the department set up to investigate the fate of missing comrades in the war’s aftermath, to the present day, when DNA profiling continues to aid efforts to recover, identify and honour these men.” (Catalogue)

The war of nerves : inside the Cold War mind / Sixsmith, Martin
“More than any other conflict, the Cold War was fought on the battlefield of the human mind. Nearly thirty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, its legacy still endures: not only in our politics, but in our own thoughts and fears. Drawing on a vast array of untapped archives and unseen sources, Martin Sixsmith vividly recreates the tensions and paranoia of the Cold War, framing it for the first time from a psychological perspective. Revisiting towering personalities like Khrushchev, Kennedy and Nixon, as well as the lives of the unknown millions who were caught up in the conflict, this is a gripping account of fear itself – one which is more resonant than ever today.” (Catalogue)

The forty-year war in Afghanistan : a chronicle foretold / Ali, Tariq
“The fall of Kabul to the Taliban on 15 August 2021 is a major political and ideological defeat for the American Empire. History sometimes presses urgent truths on a country through a vivid demonstration of the facts. The withdrawal from Afghanistan is one such moment…” (Catalogue)

Who lived there? : the stories behind historic New Zealand buildings / McCloy, Nicola
“From basic stone cottages in barren-looking countryside to pretty coastal villas, romantic churches and small-town taverns, New Zealand is full of buildings whose back stories have been lost over the generations. Jane King’s photographs and Nicola McCloy’s words weave the facts back together to present gripping stories of these places and their ups and downs over time. The strength of women, often left to fend for their families with little help or support, and the enterprise of early New Zealanders feature in this fascinating book… Find out about places as diverse as the old School of Mines in Thames, Rush Munroe’s Ice Cream Garden in Hastings; Couldrey House at Wenderholm, near Auckland; the National Tobacco Company in Napier; Mt Cook Police Barracks in Wellington; Langlois-Eteveneaux House in Akaroa; Donovan’s General Store in Okarito; and the Empire Tavern in Dunedin.” (Catalogue)

Join us online for ComicFest 2022 – Saturday 7 May!

ComicFest logo

Join us online on Saturday 7 May for this fantastic – and totally free – national celebration of all things comics-related in New Zealand! Follow the livestream on the day on our YouTube channel, and register your interest in ComicFest at the link below and we’ll send you updates and reminders ahead of the day.

Register your interest in ComicFest

ComicFest this year features a whole galaxy of Aotearoa’s finest graphic artists and authors, and we’re so excited to share the programme with you! A big thank you to our all-important sponsors – National Library, Graphic comics, Gecko Press, Unity Books and Wellington Zinefest.

For more information on all the events at ComicFest, scroll further down the page for our complete programme, but expect panel discussions, presentations, workshops and loads of fun!


Full ComicFest 2022 Programme


Saturday 7 May

ComicFest 2022 logo

9 – 9:15am | Welcome to ComicFest 2022!

A welcome and overview of ComicFest, our exciting guests and options for streaming. We’re so excited to bring ComicFest 2022 to you! Meet your hosts and hear about what we have planned for the day.

Kay's comic self-portrait

9:15 – 10:15am | Meet Everybody’s Favourite Axolotl, Dewdrop — with Creator Kay O’Neill

Kids (and big kids) are welcome to join the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning illustrator and graphic novelist Kay O’Neill (author and illustrator of The Tea Dragon Society series) to help create friends old and new for their character, Dewdrop the Axolotl.

Suggested for: ages 4+

10:15 – 10:30am | Announcing the ComicFest drawing competition winners

Join us as we announce the winners of our ComicFest drawing competition!

Winners will be announced for the four age-based categories: 0–8, 9–12, 13–17 and 18+

Michel's comic self-portrait

10:30 – 11:30am | How to Draw Heroes — a Masterclass with Michel Mulipola

A how-to masterclass with Michel Mulipola who will show you he goes about drawing and creating heroes. Crack the code of superhero creation in this live workshop!

Michel Mulipola is a Samoan comic book artist who has two big passions in life — comics and wrestling — and who, when he gets the chance, likes to combine the two. His works often feature Pasifika wrestling heroes and recent historical heroes.

Michel will demonstrate the tools he uses to digitally create whilst drawing live (and live streaming) on the big screen! Bring pen and paper, and join in with Michel as he provides story-telling tips, panel composition ideas and illustration guidance.

Suggested for: ages 8+

Jem's comic self-portrait

11:45am – 12:45pm | Weekly Webcomics — Tips and Tricks with Jem Yoshioka

Join Jem Yoshioka, the talented webcomic artist behind Circuits and Veins and Folk Remedy as she takes you through the tools of the trade, and provides tricks and tips for getting your webcomic online.

Photo of Jonathan

12:50 – 1:20pm | Storytelling with Jonathan King

Jonathan King until very recently was best known as the acclaimed film director of films such as the hugely successful dark horror comedy Black Sheep and the remake of the NZ Children’s classic film Under the Mountain starring Sam Neill.

But that all changed when he released his first ever graphic novel in 2020 — The Inkberg Enigma. Aimed at children eight and up, it’s hugely enjoyable for adults too.

Come along and hear more from Jonathan about storytelling — from all his different creator perspectives.

1:30 – 2:30pm | New Voices, New Perspectives — a Panel Discussion

Featuring Mary Guo, Tara Black, Jem Yoshioka, and chaired by Sam Orchard

The world of graphic art is changing at an amazingly rapid pace — a veritable revolution has been happening in recent years. Developments have included: new definitions of what comprises a graphic work, new platforms with global reach for people to view your work and new high-tech tools to create your works.

This panel features some of the New Zealand artists at the vanguard of these changes, discussing the new opportunities for artists, the challenges inherent in these changes, and — finally — how artists go about taking full advantage of these new frontiers.

Giselle's comic self-portrait

2:45 – 3:45pm | Giselle Clarkson — from commission to ComicFest artwork

Once you get a commission, how do you go about generating creative ideas that meet that brief? Indeed, how do you get a commission in the first place? And what do briefs usually entail?

All will be revealed in this event with the incredibly talented graphic illustrator Giselle Clarkson.

Giselle’s illustrative works include: The Gobbledegook Book: A Joy Cowley Anthology, Egg and Spoon: An Illustrated Cookbook, Secret World of Butterflies and Hazel and the Snails.

Suggested for: ages 8+

Dylan's comic self-portrait

3:50 – 4:10pm | Dylan Horrocks — Comics in New Zealand and Memoir

Dylan Horrocks is a cartoonist best known for his graphic novel Hicksville and his scripts for the Batgirl comic book series. His works are published by the University of Auckland student magazine Craccum, Australia’s Fox Comics, the current affairs magazine New Zealand Listener from 1995 to 1997, the Canadian publishers Black Eye Comics and Drawn and Quarterly, and the American publishers Vertigo and Fantagraphics Books. He currently serialises new work online at Hicksville Comics.

Hear what Dylan has to say about comics in New Zealand and memoir.

Sarah's comic self-portrait

4:15 – 4:45pm | Sarah Laing — Comics and Memoir

Sarah is a Wellington-based writer and illustrator who has had novels, short stories and the graphic memoir Mansfield and Me published. Her collection of comics from the past ten years, Let Me Be Frank, was published by VUP in late 2019. She also the co-editor of Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics and has illustrated a number of children’s books.

Hear what Sarah has to say on comics and memoir.

4:45 – 5pm | ComicFest wrap-up and thank yous!

And that’s a wrap from us for 2022! Hear all our thank yous to our wonderful guests, and to you, our very excellent audience. We hope you enjoyed ComicFest 2022!