Speak English clearly and confidently with Clear Pronunciation

Our newest online learning resource, Clear Pronunciation, helps you learn all the 43 sounds of English. Take a look at the sounds by themselves, in words, and in sentences – listen, practise, compare, and improve. Through audio and video clips, activities and assessments, you will listen to English speakers with a variety of accents in everyday situations and conversations.

There are two programmes to choose from, Clear Pronunciation 1, which introduces the 43 sounds, and Clear Pronunciation 2, which teaches you to put these sounds together.

Access Clear Pronunciation wherever and whenever you need it on your desktop or your mobile. To get started, find Clear Pronunciation 1 and 2 on our Languages page. Log in with your library card number and PIN and either create your own Clear Pronunciation account in order to track your progress or simply continue as a guest.

Take a look at the introductory video below. A preview of what is to come! Start learning with Clear Pronunciation to speak clearly with confidence.

Small books on big topics – check out the BWB Texts Collection

The BWB Texts Collection is one of the hidden gems in our online collections line-up that we LOVE and think more of you should know about.

Why? Well in a nutshell the collection brings together a diverse group of short and accessible eBooks on some of the biggest and most important issues facing New Zealand. Some of the topics covered include: the housing crisis, climate change, public health, child poverty and inequality. Dive in to discover stories, insights and analysis by some of New Zealand’s best writers and commentators.

The BWB Texts Collection is also easy to access and use. All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to read on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Ebooks have unlimited simultaneous users and are read in your web browser so there is no waiting or downloading – simply click on any title and read!

Some just released titles that you might like to check out are:

Imagining Decolonisation – contributors include: Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas
“Decolonisation is a term that alarms some, and gives hope to others. It is an uncomfortable and often bewildering concept for many New Zealanders. This new BWB Text seeks to demystify decolonisation using illuminating, real-life examples. By exploring the impact of colonisation on Māori and non-Māori alike, Imagining Decolonisation presents a transformative vision of a country that is fairer for all.” (from title description page)

The Climate Dispossessed: Justice for the Pacific in Aotearoa? – by Teall Crossen
“The world is heating up beyond the capacity of some countries to cope. Entire populations of Pacific islands are threatened, jeopardising the sovereign rights of these countries and the security of the region. This book explores what a just response to the risk of climate change displacement in the Pacific could look like.” (from title description page)

Transforming the Welfare State: Towards a New Social Contract – by Jonathan Boston
“Eighty years ago, New Zealand’s welfare state was envied by many social reformers around the world. Today it stands in need of urgent repair and renewal. One of our leading public policy thinkers asks: What might the contours of a revitalised ‘social contract’ for New Zealand look like?” (from title description page)

The Broken Estate: Journalism and Democracy in a Post-Truth World – by Mel Bunce
“A lack of knowledge about the world can be a very dangerous thing…Drawing upon the latest international research, Bunce provides a fresh analysis that goes beyond the usual anecdote and conjecture. Insightful and impassioned, this short book provides a much-needed assessment of the future for New Zealand journalism in a troubled world on issues of justice, tikanga, trade-offs, finance, futurism, adaptation, and more.” (from title description page)

Rebuilding the Kāinga: Lessons from Te Ao Hurihuri – by Jade Kake
Rebuilding the Kāinga charts the recent resurgence of contemporary papakāinga on whenua Māori. Reframing Māori housing as a Treaty issue, Kake envisions a future where Māori are supported to build businesses and affordable homes on whānau, hapū or Treaty settlement lands. The implications of this approach, Kake writes, are transformative.” (from title description page)

#No Fly: Walking the Talk on Climate Change – by Shaun Hendy
“What happens when a leading New Zealand scientist (and frequent traveller) rules out flying for a year? From overnight buses to epic train journeys, Shaun Hendy’s experiences speak to our desire to do something – anything – in the face of growing climate anxiety. #NoFly confronts the hard questions of one person’s attempt ‘to adapt’. Was this initiative merely symbolic? Did it compromise his work, his life? And has it left him feeling more optimistic that we can, indeed, reach a low-emissions future?” (from title description page)

Storytime, now direct to your bubble!

Are your kids missing their Library storytime visits? Well, good news! You and your bubble can now enjoy storytime anytime at home with Storybox Library. Storybox Library features over 300 stories read aloud by a fantastically diverse range Australian and New Zealand storytellers. All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to watch on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

To get you started, here are some stories my bubble have enjoyed this week:

I Just Ate My Friend – written and illustrated by Heidi McKinnon and read by Tim Rogers
This story about a quirky wee monster looking for a friend will have the little ones laughing out loud, especially at the surprise ending! Performed with superb comic timing by musician Tim Rogers.

That’s Not The Monster We Orderedwritten by Richard Fairgray, illustrated by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones and read by Richard Fairgray
What happens when the family next door gets an awesome monster!? Well everyone else wants one as well of course! But what if the monster you order isn’t necessarily the monster you get… Super funny and with a unique and ever so slightly offbeat illustrative style, this was a real winner in our house.

The Terrible Plop – written and read by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner
This is an old favourite. All about a brave little rabbit, a grumpy bear and a mysterious Terrible Plop!

I Am Jellyfish – written and illustrated by Ruth Paul, read by Akina Edmonds
A glittery undersea story about a kind jellyfish who cleverly gets the better of a knife-nosed swordfish who is keen to have her for his dinner! Gorgeous illustrations and lyrical text make this a perfect choice to wind down before bed.

Pig the Pug – written, illustrated and read by Aaron Blabey
Pig is an outrageously selfish pug dog who decidedly does not want to share his toys with Trevor the dashshund. Something unexpected happens but will Pig learn his lesson? 

Room On Our Rock – written by Kate Temple and Jol Temple, illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton and read by Jay Laga’aia
A clever story about a seal-and-pup looking for a place of safety in an uncertain world. Reading front to back and then back to front gives two different thought provoking narratives.

Bear Make Den – written by Jane Godwin and Michael Wagner, illustrated by Andrew Joyner and read by Anne Edmonds
Bear is very industrious and wants to make the perfect den, but finds something is missing. What could it be? A simple, heartwarming story read with a great sense of playfulness by comedian Anne Edmonds.

The Patchwork Bike – written by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van T Rudd and read by Zahra Newman
A resourceful young boy and his brothers show that you don’t need a lot of possessions to have fun. Using everyday items and a creative spirit the brothers work to build the most amazing patchwork bike around.

AND after you’ve enjoyed the story, don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of each story page to discover a related at home activity!

Favourite read-alouds for starting school

Somehow my tiny baby is going to be starting school this coming term! Eek! Is your little one starting school soon too? Here are a few titles I’ve been reading to my daughter to help prepare us both for the big day.

Syndetics book coverCome to school too, Blue Kangaroo! / Emma Chichester Clark.
The Blue Kangaroo books have been around for a while now and the series is a long standing favourite with kids at our libraries. In Come to school too, Blue Kangaroo! Blue Kangaroo is excited about starting school but Lily is not so sure. As the day goes on, she feels more comfortable and actually has fun…so much fun in fact that she leaves Blue Kangaroo behind in the classroom! Not to worry, Blue Kangaroo has a great time re-enacting all the things he watched Lily and her classmates do during the day. The book ends with both Lily & Blue Kangaroo looking forward to the next day at school. What sets this apart from the run of the mill “starting school” titles is that it still manages to tell an engaging story while hitting all the right notes about overcoming first day fears.

Syndetics book coverChu’s first day at school / written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Adam Rex.
Both my 5 & 2 year old love the Chu book series about the little panda with a big sneeze. In this outing, Chu is slightly nervous to be starting school but Mum & Dad reassure him that everything will be fine. At school, as the rest of the class introduces themselves and share what they love to do, Chu is silent, until of course the inevitable happens…The illustrations show everyone at first stunned (as you would be) and then amused by Chu’s very individual talent. Back at home in answer to his parent’s questions about his first day, he answers with a nonchalant “I’m not worried anymore”. A very funny story with great detailed illustrations.

Syndetics book coverI am too absolutely small for school : featuring Charlie and Lola / Lauren Child.
Lola is not convinced she needs to go to school, after all she is extremely busy doing important things at home. Luckily her ever patient brother Charlie is around to persuade her otherwise, using some amusing kid logic – for example, if you don’t learn your letters how will you write to Father Christmas (haha). What I particularly liked about this story was that the voices of Charlie & Lola come through loud and clear and it is Charlie that coaxes and reassures his younger sister, not an adult caregiver. I think there’s something lovely in that and my daughter did too as this was her favourite of the bunch.

Syndetics book coverSyndetics book coverThe class / written by Boni Ashburn ; illustrated by Kimberly Gee.
Starting school / Jane Godwin ; Anna Walker.
These titles offer the same take on the first-day-of-school theme in that they both follow a group of kids getting ready for and experiencing their first day. Both titles try to be relatively inclusive in terms of the kids ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, personalities, behaviours and feelings about going to school. This means your child will likely find at least one character that they identify with, which will hopefully provide lots of opportunities to talk about their own experiences and feelings. Also, if your child is feeling confident about school, it’s a chance to reflect on how others may be feeling and how they can help to be a good classmate.

Syndetics book coverSchool’s first day of school / story by Adam Rex ; pictures by Christian Robinson.
This book offers a unique perspective on the first day of school – from that of the new school building itself. The school isn’t quite sure if it wants children and teachers inside its walls, but is surprised – and hurt – to find that some kids don’t want to be there either. One reluctant little girl has to be carried in by her mum, making it clear that she doesn’t like the school (well, maybe the school doesn’t like her either!). Despite this inauspicious start, they both slowly begin to enjoy themselves. The girl even draws a glittery portrait of the school, winning over its bricky heart. At the end, the school talks to the caretaker and decides that it is very lucky indeed to be a school 🙂

Syndetics book coverThis is my home, this is my school / Jonathan Bean.
As you might have guessed from the title, this book gives a peek into the homeschooling experience. The illustrations show lively scenes of activity & creativity, where the the main character, a little boy, explains that his home is his school, his mum his teacher, his dad the reliever and sisters his classmates. The boy goes on to explain “we have a lot of classrooms”as the family is shown cooking in the kitchen, visiting the library, painting on a hilltop, fishing in a creek, playing music and looking at the stars. My daughter was intrigued to learn about homeschooling and loved the author’s homeschooling family photos at the end of the book.

We know it can be a challenge to choose books at the library when you have little kids, so let us do the hard work for you. You can reserve books for your kids on their library card for free (there’s a $2 charge for reserving on an adult’s card). This means we’ll find the books and send them to whatever library you choose to pick up from. So you can whizz in and pick up a big stack and whizz out again if you’re short of time, or just add them to the others you choose when you come for a longer visit 🙂 If you want to reserve some or all of the titles above, just click on the underlined link and it will take you to our catalogue and from there you will find the ‘place reserve’ button under the title/author information.

What are your kid’s favourites? We’d love to hear them!


PressReader – the new improved PressDisplay

pressreader-appFrom September, the PressDisplay database will become PressReader. You will still get same day, unlimited access to full-page replicas of thousands of newspaper and magazine titles from NZ and around the world, but the look of PressReader is much more mobile friendly and customisable to view on your computer or mobile device. You can also choose to take advantage of a range of new features such as bookmarking, instant translation, keyword search and greatly improved social sharing.

Fantastic New Magazine Content

As well as the vast array of newspaper content, PressReader provides full access to as many magazines as newspapers with some great NZ titles, including NZ Listener, NZ Woman’s Day, Cuisine, Metro, NZ House & Garden, NZ Gardener, Little Treasures, NZ Rugby World, and Next. Overseas titles include Mojo, Q, BBC History, T3, Elle, Mollie Makes, Playstation Magazine, SFX, GQ Australia,Vogue Australia and Top Gear. And just like Pressdisplay, over 60 languages are represented in the newspaper & magazine content.

Accessing Pressreader

In the browser:

  1. Use your library card details to access the PressReader website
  2. Once on the PressReader site, you’ll need to log in to the site itself again so it can create your PressReader account. Again, this uses your library card details:
    1. Click ‘Sign in’ in the top right-hand corner
    2. Click on the ‘Library and Group’ button
    3. In the ‘Select Library’ box that pops up, search for ‘Wellington City Libraries’ > Click on our Library logo to select this as your library
    4. Enter your Library card number, and your surname as your ‘PIN’, and click the ‘Sign in’ button
    5. When prompted to set up an account, enter your details so that you can save favourite newspapers and magazines. Alternatively you can choose “No Thanks” and not set up an account.

Apps for Android and iOS:

You can download the app for Android and iOS devices below:

You may notice some slight differences between Pressdisplay and Pressreader – once you select a title, you can now ‘turn’ the pages by clicking and dragging the next page into the centre screen. Thumbnails of the pages that used to be on the right of the paper can now be found at the bottom of the screen, with the table of contents.

More information: Pressreader Help Centre, Pressreader videos, iOS user guide and for Android user guide.

If you have any questions about using the new Pressreader, please let us know at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz


New zines!

So little time, so many awesome zines. I’m hoping to have a bit more time over the holidays to do some proper zine reading – but for now here are a few zines that I’ve been excited about lately.

play-a-long songbookThe Play-A-Long Songbook: Number One: Wellington by Isobel Cairns, with transcriptions by Mark Turner

Hello this is a great idea! The Play-A-Long songbook (but we’re calling it a zine just because) is a lovingly produced A4 compendium of radness. It compiles lyrics, chords and melodies for five songs from some of Wellington’s best known artists – Disasteradio – Wet Wings – Secret Knives – The Sing Songs (with our very own 2nd floor librarian Jeremy!) – Seth Frightening. Also features awesome drawings by one of our favourite zine authors Isobel Cairns.

extraExtra Curricular (issue 10) edited by Ellie Smith

Merry Christmas! The newest issue of Extra Curricular has hit the zine shelves. Each issue has a theme and issue 10 encourages you to dip your toes into the whole self sufficiency thing. I had a completely lovely time listening to some tunes and browsing through its pages full of stories of regular* type folk creating and doing such inspiring (and yes, self sufficient) things, like – soap making, beer brewing, bread baking, fashion designing, herbal medicine concocting and beekeeping. Beekeeping looks awesome btw, we should so do that! I could live in Extra Curricular. It is good for the soul.

* regular not in a boring way, but in a hey, you can probably maybe one day do this sorta way

christchurch zineChristchurch Post Earthquake Reaction: Zine Expression by Jennifer Holdaway

I’ve been meaning to share this zine since it came across our desks a few months ago. It thoughtfully brings together photographs of the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake with a few carefully chosen poetic words and phrases. To me these collages really expressed both the sadness and emptiness that must be felt by the Christchurch people but also conveyed a real sense of emerging hope. Simple and heartfelt, this zine also includes a beautiful ‘wrap around’ poem by Jennifer.

Need help preparing for IELTS? Introducing: Road to IELTS

  • Need help preparing for IELTS?
  • Know someone else who does?

Wellington City Libraries now provides FREE access to Road to IELTS, an online preparation and practice website.

There are over 100 hours of interactive activities, advice videos from British Council experts, hints and tips on question types as well as downloadable practice tests. It is comprehensive, up to date and aimed at the challenges you face in preparing for either the General or Academic tests.

You’ll need:

  • Your library card
  • An internet-connected computer
  • A web-browser running Flash 10.2 or higher

Get started over on our Languages Databases page.

What is IELTS?

Log in to IELTS

IELTS – the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication.

There are two tests – General and Academic:

The General test is for candidates wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.

The Academic test is for those candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration.

For more information on IELTS generally, visit the IELTS website

Road to IELTS

Some zines lately….

Hello, it’s been a while but here are some zines I’ve been reading lately.

survival guide to being social 1Epitaph for my heart: a survival guide to being social, number four by amandapandajapanese

Reading this zine, I found myself nodding in agreement several times. The author describes many situations that will be common to the non-social among us and gives some useful advice. The accidental blank (not to be confused with ‘the blank’ – a form of social abuse), selective and deliberate Alzheimer’s (where you are constantly confronted by people who don’t remember your name), inane questions (usually about your love life and usually from relatives) and eyeballing (when a stranger looks you up and down with no indication of approval or civility) are all covered in some detail.

TinkerbellTinkerbell is missing (again): one cat’s tale of adventure by The WaterBear Appreciation Society

From the award winning team behind the Neighbour Cats zine, comes a heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting zine following the journey of local cat Tinkerbell. The story is told through filiers delivered to the author’s letterbox and covers multiple disappearances and reunions spanning years.

powered milk 1Powdered Milk, volume 5 by Keiler Roberts

Keiler Roberts parenting comic is a sweet yet realistic look at life as a new mother. From Microcosm Publishing: “In volume five Keiler navigates the strange and parasitic worlds of depression and insomnia. She also tackles the touchy subject of public breastfeeding and deals with calm-baby-envy at a MCA comics art show. Powdered Milk is a refreshingly candid and oft-times hilarious look at juggling life as a working artist and the increasing demands of motherhood (and the resulting mental strain).” See more of Keiler’s work here.

fieldtripThe Field Trip to Nowhere by E.Rodda

This is a lovely little zine of handwritten thoughts and poetry, accompanied by delicate illustrations. What also struck me was the dedication “This book was written for Zora Patrick. I read her zine at lunch time on the library carpet, it took me faraway from the library carpet and reminded me that making things thoughtfully is a good thing.”

Needless to say we library zine people love this sort of story!

Take more time to enjoy eBooks and eAudiobooks

ereader-on-booksYou may have noticed that we’ve made some changes to our issue periods and renewals. Happily for our eLibrary users, eBook and eAudio loan periods have been boosted to match books in print. All titles in our OverDrive and Bolinda collections can now be issued for 3 weeks! All of them are still absolutely free to borrow, with no overdue charges and free reserves.

Keep up to date with our new eBook and eAudio arrivals through the News Blog staff picks archive.

ZINEFEST this Saturday!

Carla, Vita, Jeremy and I are excited to be taking part in another Wellington Zinefest (It’s totally the highlight of the zine librarian’s calendar!) Vita is on the organising committee and tells me that there are more stall holders than ever before – so you are practically guaranteed to find the perfect zine for you! And you know what? If your budget won’t let you buy all the glorious zines you want then you can always borrow zines from the Library stall. It’s almost the same as owning them (except that you have to bring them back to us in 4 weeks time!)  What about it? Will we see you there?   

Wellington Zinefest 2011, Saturday 19th November, 12-5pm, Mighty Mighty, 104 Cuba MallWellington Zinefest poster 2011

Zine Inspiration

Hey, did you know that some of your favourite glossy magazines began their lives as cut and paste zines?

Example 1: Carla discovered that the glamorous, cutting edge fashion and culture magazine  i-D started its life as a cut and paste fanzine dedicated to street style punk in 1980s London. The first issue (August 1980) was put together by hand in the home of i-D founder Terry Jones and the 2000 copies printed were distributed out of the back of a car!  Check out the first issue. It looks pretty much like a zine, was clamped together with three staples and cost only 50p.

ID insidei-d-cover-issue-one6

Example 2: Bust Magazine, now a slick, celebrity filled, women’s lifestyle/feminist magazine, started as a photocopied, stapled, black and white zine in 1993.

Example 3: Bitch Magazine, started in 1996 by three friends frustrated by the lack of smart analysis of feminist pop culture – so they decided to create a zine and write it themselves!

These are just 3 examples that we know of but there must be heaps of others. Zine inspiration, yes?

More info and images from i-D magazine can be found in this great book we spotted while on the Arts reference desk the other day: iD : i-D covers 1980-2010 and we have both Bust and Bitch Magazines at the Central Library.

Brand new zines!

We’ve been getting a whole lot of new zines in over the last couple of weeks. These are a few we’ve enjoyed reading over the Easter break. Available in the zine collection now!

Spoonful: A Happiness Companion, edited by Thea spoonful zine

Spoonful is a lovely little zine from Australia. It is a little bit of a lot of things – crafting, good thoughts, inspiration, short stories, objects of affection and tea! – “happiness in a spoonful” as they say. We have issues 1-4 in the zine collection now, issue 4 just hot off the press. See more of what Spoonful is about on their website. (Steph)

King Cat comics and stories, by John Porcellinoking cat zine

I’ve been hearing good things about King-Cat comics for a while now and after reading issue 70 I can say that it’s all true. Issue 70 is filled with many little moments from John’s life that everyone can relate to – visiting the dentist, drinking, a day in the suburbs, remembering high school hijinks etc. I think he must keep a little journal of all the amusing things that happen to him because a lot of the stories are drawn over a year after they happened. Find out more about King Cat comics and stories here. (Steph)

7,000 year of African Art, by Duncan Vahid McNaughtonafrican art zine

A few weeks ago I found a really beautiful book about African art at the library. I realised how little I know about African art. I find myself mainly exposed to a very Western focused approach to art. There are not that many other options really, except for a few old school Art books that explore tribal art from Africa and other exotic destinations. Duncan Vahid McNaughton’s zine celebrates African art in a very distinctive and innovative way: black and white collages. His zine is beautifully assembled; it is indeed a fine piece of art. These collages make me remember how much more I would like to learn about African art and culture in general, and how I would like to incorporate it to my everyday life. Duncan’s zine is truly inspiring as well as visually pleasing. (Carlita)

Extra Curricular, edited by Ellie Smith (Perhaps more of a magazine than a zine? Fine line I’d say, but we’re calling it a zine because we desperately want it in our collection!)extra curricular zine

There is only one thing to say about this gem – L.O.V.E. Oh something more? Well Extra Curricular is a tri-annually published Auckland zine “for and about people getting creative with their spare time”. Does it sound like you? Perhaps? Well once you read Extra Curricular you will be so full of inspiration that you will quite possibly spend the evening looking up pottery classes on the internet or pulling out that old bag of wool and knitting needles hiding behind your yoga mat in the wardrobe. We got issue 5 in the mail last week and it is a beauty with a featurette on ceramics, a visit to a lovely vintage and handmade goods store, an article about mad keen crafters going the distance for thier craft, an interview with the wet hot beauties (a synchronised swimming group) as well as all the usual recipes, fashion and how to projects. Visit the Extra Curricular blog to find out more . (Steph)

Queen Mother Adventures, nos 1 & 2 with bonus Kate Middleton in her own words comic, by David O’Connellqueen mum adventures zine

This is a very topical little comic right now isn’t it? Well I have a fondness for the royal family so these comics by David O’Connell were right up my street as they say. The Queen Mother is depicted as a gin drinking, horse betting, corgi loving sweetie who manages to get herself into some unusual situations –involving the seedy side of Soho, and royal ghosts! As an added bonus you will learn some interesting royal facts too. Very funny and much recommended. (Steph)

An Audience With…Isobel Rose Cairns

Isobel writes the awesome and lovely zines – Things We Have in Common and I Like the Light in Here. They are both beautifully designed and packed full of interesting goodness that we think you should read right away!

ionlyclosedHow did you first get into zines? Did someone suggest you to make one?

I made my first zine at the first Zinefest event in Wellington. I spent all day at the zine making table and struggling with the photocopier and finally I had my first little zine, which I called Upset. And then I realised that zines were the perfect thing for doing writing AND drawing!

Photocopying zines can be tedious, hard work while making illustrations can be lots of fun… What parts of the zine making process do you like and dislike the most?

Yes, I think I would have to say that I’m not too good with the photocopier. I’m a bit better than when I first started but something always seems to get messed up! With some of my zines I’ve put them together the night before Zinefest so I don’t have time to do illustrations, but I like them! And I like interviewing people, and also getting glue on my fingers. I don’t like spending ages typing everything out on my typewriter though.

What do you like and dislike about zines in general? And what do you think about them as a medium?

I like that they’re so very versatile and that they can be used for so many things. I like that they’re self produced and compact. I like being able to draw and write, and it’s good that they’re cheap to produce, although I would like to start experimenting with nicer papers. It’s sometimes hard to make them interesting to other people; I think that I just have too much fun making them and don’t think about who will read them.

Continue reading “An Audience With…Isobel Rose Cairns”

An Audience With…Jon Drypnz

massage 3Jon is one of the artists behind the collaborative zine ‘Massage’ – an atmospheric urban art/graffiti zine. Find out more about Jon and his work on his website. Thanks for answering our questions Jon! 

Describe an average day:

A bus ride to Wadestown. Then cooking and delivering food. After this, you would find me in my studio drawing and painting. And if it is an extra lucky day I would probably be painting some walls with friends.

Describe your work:

You could maybe describe my work as ‘Post Graffiti Pop Surrealism, and I depict the notion of disevolved humans.  I feel like most humans are ignorant to the world around them, and lack simple self care. I believe this can be seen in most people, in yourself, I know I see it in myself.  It seems to be a universal human characteristic. This concept can also be perceived as a reflection of how I understand modern society. However, when you see my work, you may not instantly see this as an obvious regergitation of this understanding, because I want to poke a little bit of fun at our own demise.


How did you first get into zines? 

It was a bit accidental. Our zine ‘Massage’ was based on creating a collective portfolio with some friends. It feels more like a collection of our work rather than a zine, which seems to be appealing to a wide audience at the moment.

What do you like about zines?

I guess like most people I like the fact that they are an easy and cheap way of sharing your personal ideas / intrests.

Is there anything you don’t like about zines as a medium?

I think a vast majority of them can be very similar.

massage 6How do you get inspiration for a zine?

We just produce work without focusing too much on the outcome, the outcome is not our main goal. The process of creating content, that then might happen to be used, is what matters the most.

Tell us about some of our favorite zine…

I do not really have a particular one. I do like Ed Templeton’s work. It is the photography and social commentary ones in particular that usually grab my attention, or zines about strange cats, especially the ones done by Wellington locals, Heather and Zach.

Do you have any last words?

I would have a single little man floating cross-legged, knowing all that he surrounds. His expression would be of sombre recognition of his surroundings, but with a hint of realization that it would all turn to custard at any moment.  He would be a simple fellow with a head larger than it should be because he began to think he knew everything once, and even though he knew better now, it was like his mother used to say  ‘Do that any longer dear and it will stay like that’. 

He will then sit hovering over the places where he wished he could always be, next to streams and beaches on the signs that reminded him of where those places were. 

He would be human but simplified, he would be human but his humanity has left him, he would be human if only he could remember what it was he was meant to do, he would be human if only it was that simple.

An Audience With…Hayden Currie

BookHayden produces the awesome zine comic ‘Book’ along with Matt Henley and James Rowsell. We have numbers one and three of Book in the zine library waiting eagerly for you to discover (sorry we have no idea what happened to two!). Thanks for answering our questions Hayden!

Describe an average day:

Since I’ve got a new job I wake up really early. My current job is pretty brainless; I just have to stick posters around the city. I only focus on getting them straight. Before the zine fest I was working very hard on Book, our latest zine. We really wanted to get the zine finished and it was hard work but lots of fun. Soon after the zine fest I started this new job, so I have been really tired for the last few weeks because I did not get a chance to rest in between. I tend to do some illustrations before going to work. To do so I have to wake up really early. But I think it is really important for me to draw, even if I need to wake up so early.

Describe your work:

I would say that it is mainly a satire or really crude humour. For example, the stuff in Book is a kind of cartoony and funny as well as a raw critique of our society.  But I think other people would be better than me at describing my work.

How did you first get into zines?

It was a bit accidental. James and I started to print out our first zine in an A5 format because it was cheaper. Then we sold it at the 2008 zine festival and it went really well. So I guess we just wanted to make a comic and distribute it in a cheap way and the result was a zine.

What do you like about zines?

I really like the fact that they are small and easy to carry. They are a great cheap form of showing your own work. The zines I like the best are the ones that manage to combine good illustrations and entertaining stories. Overall I tend to prefer zines with really nice art.

Is there anything you don’t like about zines as a medium?

Yes, I think many of them do not show a lot of thought about entertaining other people. It looks like they have been written as a personal diary and then turned it into a zine. The final product seems to be a compilation of personal stuff, interests and thoughts. I find this very boring and superficial.

steph book photo

How do you get inspiration for a zine?

I think I get inspiration from a basic reaction to things from popular culture. I find inspiration in everyday culture and I think most things in life are quite funny and ridiculous.  Let’s take for example Miss Green Consumer, a character from Book, who tries to make a difference through consumer’s choice. I personally find the idea that you can save the world by buying something eco-friendly quite ridiculous. Miss Green Consumer goes through a series of accidental adventures, it is actually really funny.

monsters 1

Tell us about some of your favorite zines…

Monsters by Ken Dahl is one of those zines that has a great story and really nice drawings. I highly recommend it.

– Carla


I went to my first Richter City roller derby bout last year and it was amazing! So you can imagine my excitment when I spied a roller derby zine to add to our collection.

by Helen Nash, Poison Arrow and Sky RockitRollerama by Helen Nash, Poison Arrow and Sky Rockit is a zine from the UK roller derby scene but it has a global focus with articles about roller derby leagues in the US, Australia and Middle East. It also has a good mix of serious and fun articles, for example a piece on the growing number of skaters dropping their derby names (Helen Wheels, Dee Dee Capitator, Acid Reign) in favour of skating under their real names; roller derby etiquette and how watching The Breakfast Club can improve your game. For sure there is a lot packed into this zine for skater girls but also heaps to interest those of us who are most happy cheering from the sideline.

Issue one of Rollerama is out on the shelves now. Does anyone know of any other cool roller derby zines? Is there a Wellington roller derby zine? ‘cos if there is we would love to get our greedy hands on it!

We talk with Wellington Zinefest organiser Kim Gruschow

Kim from the Wellington Zinefest Committee 2010 (also Lady Fest co-organiser) very kindly answered some of our questions about all things zinefest.

How did Wellington Zinefest get started?

In New Zealand there had been zine events, such as Auckland’s Small Print, Zinefestbut never much in Wellington. In  2007  Kylie Buck was working at the Wellington City Library, they had just started their zine collection and she and I organised the first Wellington Zinefest, which was also a nice welcome platform for the Library Zine Collection.

What is most challenging about organising an event like Zinefest?

There hasn’t been any notable struggles this year really, there are four of us on the team this year, three of us have organised Zinefest in previous years, so we know or at least sort-of know what to do now. The first time round was the hardest probably because everyting was new

What are zine people like to work with?

Zinemakers are all kinds of people, there are nice reserved thoughtful types, but there are also those who got into zines through punk music like me….

What cool things will be happening on the day?

There is a workshop about interesting zine construction methods and a chat about the history of zine events, distros and people in New Zealand over the last few years. The Comics Show, which is a documentary about comics in New Zealand will also be screening throughout the day, and once again the lovely folk of Wellington City Libraries will be present with some of their zine collection. There is also an afterparty at Watusi with bands Teen Hygiene, Widows, Paper Ghost & Natural Glow all of whom have close ties with zine-making and self-publishing.

Why do you think there has been such a revival of zine culture?

I think there has been a real turn towards DIY culture in general, particularly with crafts but also with music production and other creative arts. People realize that it is an easy and empowering and inexpensive way of sharing what they do. I think the presence of zines in Wellington, through the library collection, the annual Zinefest, and shops in New Zealand like the High Seas (sadly about to close ) must be very encouraging too.

Are there any zines you are hanging out to see/buy at the Fest?

I’m looking forward to the third Book, a comic made here in Wellington which is being unleashed at Zinefest. Infinity Bag has new work that I am really excited about seeing too.

Thanks Kim!

Wellington Zinefest Committee 2010. Left to right:  Matt Whitwell, Bryce Galloway, Claire Harris and Kim Gruschow
Wellington Zinefest Committee 2010. Left to right: Matt Whitwell, Bryce Galloway, Claire Harris and Kim Gruschow

Wellington Zinefest THIS Saturday!

Stalls at the zinefest 2009News on the street is that this zinefest will be the best one yet! There will be an opportunity to make your own zine, zine/comic movies to watch and of course many many awesome zines and CDs to buy – including the world’s smallest zine!
We are super-duper excited to be bringing zines from our collection of over 1,000 to join in the fun and creating a comfy reading area for you to relax and recover from all the DIY fun.  If you are gonna be there this Saturday, make sure to visit Jeremy, Vita and I in the zine reading area.

Save the date

It’s nearly Wellington Zinefest time again! zinefest picSo make a note of this date : Saturday November 20th at Mighty Mighty from 12-5pm.

If you haven’t been before – Zinefest is a market day where you can peruse and purchase an array of local, national and international zines.

It will be cool I promise! Sponsored once again by Wellington City Libraries 🙂

Zines: An Audience with… Yelz

Yelz-interviewSo it’s been a looong time since our last zine interview, but Carla was lucky enough to catch up with Yelz recently (of Around 21 fame) and asked him a few ziney questions.

Describe an average day:

After a hearty and oaty breakfast with lots of honey and raisins I tend to doodle some stickers to loosen me up and prep me for the day.

If I’m working a full day at ‘work’ I usually don’t get too much drawing or painting done, and I spend the day daydreaming about what I want to be doing the rest of the week. This might involve looking for walls to paint, and sketching and painting if I have a commission or there’s a show coming up.  I like street-art missions the best during summer and tend to paint more in the studio during winter.

How did you first get into zines?

I don’t know if I’m that ‘into’ zines yet. Lately my girlfriend has been getting them out of the library though, and she has great taste so they are a growing sensation. I get very excited about the little wee booklets now.
Also this year my friend drypnz started creating his ‘massage’ zines with PNTR. This immediately spoke out to me and I realised I had something public and personal to illustrate as well, so the zine process began.

What do you like about zines?

Raw thoughts, poetry, pictures and doodles

Is there anything you don’t like about zines as a medium?


How do you get inspiration for a zine?

I have to feel like something that I’m doing is vital to public interest or appeal, or to my own I guess. For “around” it was very easy to get inspired, when your doing an arty info zine about endangered animals, those feeling fuel you through the process pretty easily. I’d like to keep collecting data and doing sketches, and do an ‘around’ zine perhaps for every country I reside in for a while. It seems it’s a good way to learn about a place and its natural history.

Tell us about some of our favorite zines…

There’s some pretty cool zines lying around at the mo –
‘The Ultimate questions’ – a collection of humorous and sadistic Kiwi collages.
‘Massage magazine’ filled with the best upcoming NZ street artists, photographers and the like
‘The weakly mushroom’ is also present in my room, filled with philosophical thoughts and doodles.

And there’s some issues of  ‘around’ left, if you would like a copy send me a mail at holla@ilikeyelz.co.nz.

Kia ora.

Thanks for the ad!!


Around 21 by Yelz

A brand new addition to our zine collection is Around 21 by the very around21a covertalented Yelz. Yelz moved to New Zealand a few years ago and quickly found a strong connection with native birds. He started to illustrate them with an amazingly unique style. The first page of this zine has a listing of all NZ’s native birds that are quickly disappearing. This zine is beautiful and meaningful. I wonder if Yelz knows how highly talented he is and how moving his art can be. This is for sure another Librarians’ choice!

By Carlita

Check out more of his amazing work here.

Fred’s Fair

Fred's Fair posterLooking for something cool to do this Saturday? Well then, you should pop along to Fred’s Fair. I’m not sure if Fred himself will be there, but a diverse range of artists (including some well known zinesters) will be!

The fair is a collaboration between the Adam Art Gallery and the Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society and was put together to pay tribute to musicians and artists who are committed to the production of the ‘object’ as a means of communication and connection to the community. Understandably, the ‘object’ is something that we ziney folk are very fond of!

So come and join in the festivities as local musicians, writers, artists, poets and publishers join together to present their wares.

Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society
46 Frederick Street, Wellington
Saturday 9 October 2010

(Amazing Poster Art by Kerry Ann Lee)

Hello Sandwich!

Hello Sandwich: Tokyo Guide by Ebony Bizys

When I found this zine it already had a “Librarian’s choice” sticker on it and it definitively deserves it!HelloSandwich1

This little zine is really informative, so if you are planning to go to Tokyo or you know someone heading in that direction, Hello Sandwich is “the guide” to read.

For every neighborhood that the zine covers there is a small map of the area as well as a concise description of where to go and why.

Also, if you do not know any Japanese do not panic because Hello Sandwich will provide you with a list of survival phrases.

This zine is super kawaii and really useful.

If you like the zine you will probably enjoy the blog too.