COVID-19: Libraries at Level 2 and closing at 6pm, Wed 23 June

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covid19 logo

Kia ora, our branches are closing early at 6pm tonight so we can prepare them for social distancing when we reopen tomorrow.

From tomorrow, Thursday 24 June, please check in when you arrive, keep 1m apart and keep your visit under 30 mins for everyone’s comfort.

All programmes and events, including the Hive Makerspace are cancelled. Stay safe and kia kaha Wellington.

Libraries at Level 2 Information

NZ Garden Bird Survey 26 June- 4 July

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is happening between 26 June to 4 July.

Would you like to join the rest of New Zealand and make a difference to the environment, while having fun spending 1 hour in your backyard watching birds?

Healthy bird populations can indicate that the environment is healthy. And you can help Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research understand what’s happening in the populations of all the birds around us, in city and garden environments, by counting birds in your backyard.

The best thing about this national event, is that you can also win a pair of Nikon Prostaff binoculars or a nature escape to Wellington.

You can find more details on the Garden Bird Survey website, and use the tally sheet to record your unique findings. The information is also available in Te Reo Māori.  And don’t forget to  join the exciting competition! There are also some cool children’s activities.

Get ready for this event and make use of the library books as helpful guides to help you locate the birds. Also find helpful resources from the citizen science collection blog.

A photographic guide to birds of New Zealand / Moon, Geoff
“A comprehensive guide to birds that includes species accounts which have been updated according to the 4th edition of the Ornithological Society’s official Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. It features photographs of the most commonly seen birds along with detailed information on distribution, habitat, behaviour and breeding.” (Catalogue)

 

How to watch a bird / Braunias, Steve
“As prize-winning journalist Steve Braunias stands on an apartment balcony on a sultry summer evening, a black-backed gull flies so close he is instantaneously bowled over with happiness: ‘I thought: Birds, everywhere. I wanted to know more about them. ‘This book is the result – a wondrous personal journey into the amazing world of birds, and the people ensnared, captivated and entranced by them: the passionate tribe of bird-watchers and twitchers.” (Catalogue)

 

Birds of New Zealand / Fitter, Julian
“An authoritative new photographic guide to the birdlife of New Zealand. this beautiful photographic guide is the ideal companion for travelling birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Featuring over 300 species of bird most likely to be seen in New Zealand, it is the only guide that anyone travelling to this fascinating region of the world will need. * Illustrated with over 600 full-colour photographs and featuring detailed species descriptions and distribution maps * Key information on national parks helps readers to find the best spots to discover each bird” (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

Shorebirds / Arkins, Alina
“Introduces common shore birds of New Zealand giving information about breeding, feeding, habitat, conservation and migration. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Beautiful birds of New Zealand / Ballance, Alison
“This book describes 100 birds, which covers all the NZ birds that you are most likely to see, including some rare and endangered birds. For each bird there is one page of accessibly written and highly informative text with one large photograph facing it.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden in New Zealand / Ell, Gordon
“Birds in the New Zealand Garden was originally published in 1981 (and went on to reprint 11 times). In this highly practical new hardback book, which includes beautiful bird and nature photography by Geoff Moon and others, enticing birds, lizards, butterflies and other animals into your backyard is made simpler than ever, regardless of the size or style of your garden. Tricks ranging from building a bird table or a nest box to raising froglets or establishing a nature pond  tables listing ideal native and introduced shrubs and trees to provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees and more.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Bird words : New Zealand writers on birds
“New Zealand birds have inspired mythology, song, whimsical stories, detailed observation, humour and poetry. From the kakapo, kokako and kaka to the sparrow, starling and seagull, both native and imported birds have been immortalised in print. This is a varied and stimulating selection from the flocks of New Zealand writers who have given our birds a voice. They have brought extinct birds back to life and even enabled the kiwi to take flight on the page.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Whio : saving New Zealand’s blue duck / Young, David
“The blue duck, or whio, is one of New Zealand’s ancient treasures, a beautiful torrent duck that once lived on clear, fast-flowing rivers throughout most of the country. Sadly, this is no longer the case. The blue duck belongs to the not so well known ‘second tier’ of endangered species (including kaka, kea, parakeets and North Island brown kiwi) whose numbers have dropped alarmingly in the last 15 years. Whio tells the story of how a dedicated group of scientists, field workers and volunteers have set about saving the blue duck. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

A naturalist’s guide to the birds of New Zealand / Thomas, Oscar
“This photographic identification guide to 239 bird species in New Zealand, including the most commonly seen, unique and endemic species, is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High-quality photographs from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers climate, vegetation, biogeography and the key sites for viewing the listed species. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Forest and ocean : bird songs. / Melbourne, Hirini “Hirini Melbourne was a tireless advocate of Maori language and culture and led by example. On this album are a selection of his songs in Te Reo, performed by the composer together with simple, intimate guitar accompaniment. Recordings of forest and ocean bird calls are sensitively woven into the recording. These songs are suitable for childrens’ choirs, too… A truly enjoyable album and an excellent resource for primary schools in particular.” (SOUNZ)

1-2-3 bird! / Gunson, Dave
“Racing birds, splashing birds, safari birds and party birds … Be a bird spotter! A fun counting book”. This book is available in both Maori and English.  (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

 

The cuckoo and the warbler : a true New Zealand story / Warne, Kennedy
“The Cuckoo and the Warbler tells the story of one of the most remarkable wildlife relationships in New Zealand, between pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo, and riroriro, the grey warbler. It is a story of tragedy, trickery and faithful care – and it plays out each spring and summer in the forests of Aotearoa. Although rarely seen by humans, the interaction of these two native birds is a striking example of nature’s inventiveness.” (Catalogue)

The indigo bird / Taylor, Helen J.
“Fantail is looking for Takahe, but where can he be? Is he playing with Weka in the snow or splashing in the puddles with Pukeko? Perhaps he’s hiding in plain sight! Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

 

 

New legends of Aoteaora : New Zealand birds / Swadling, Irene
“A collection of six stories told in a traditional style about New Zealand birds and their environment. Suggestd level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

In the garden : explore & discover the New Zealand backyard / Candler, Gillian
“In the Garden introduces young children to common creatures they can find in a New Zealand garden. It is the only guide available for young children and families that shows creatures in their natural habitats, with sections on bees, wasps, butterflies, snails, lizards, and birds.  In the Garden is a finalist in the non-fiction section of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

One lonely kākāpō : a New Zealand counting book / Morris, Sandra
“Introduces the numbers from one to ten alongside a variety of native New Zealand birds, reptiles and sea life.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

12 huia birds = 12 manu huia / Stokoe, Julian
“12 beautiful huia birds play and sing in the forest. But is that a canoe arriving? A rat sniffling? A ship on the horizon? One by one, the huia start to disappear what will remain? 12 Huia Birds is a captivating celebration of one of our loveliest birds. Through gentle rhyme and colourful imagery it subtly conveys an environmental message and includes links to a 12 Huia Birds app, educational resources and games. This book has both English and Maori versions. ” (Adpated from the catalogue)

Fashion, food, soil and survival: recent New Zealand non-fiction

…close your eyes and you can imagine what it might have been like to wear, how the wearer might have sounded as she walked… crisp silks rustling and swishing, and beads softly tinkling.

― Claire Regnault, Dressed: fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910, p.9

This month we’re feeding our minds with some particularly beautiful pukapuka! They include Claire Regnault’s lavishly photographed history of Pākehā women’s fashion styles during the Victorian era; and the rich anthology of Te Mahi Oneone, uplifting the taonga that is the soil and from which flows identity and hauora (health). Just as the soil needs to be respected so does our kai, and Waste Not Want Not aims to break some food-wasting habits by providing recipes and strategies for loving our leftovers.

We’re also looking forward to dipping into Te Kai a te Rangatira. Created by rangatahi, it looks at what nourishes Māori leadership and includes interviews with over 100 leaders in their fields, including Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Che Wilson, Moana Jackson, Tā Tipene O’Regan, Tina Ngata and Patricia Grace.

Another important collection is Her Say ― maybe you’ve heard of Jackie Clark and The Aunties? They’re dedicated to helping women who are experiencing or have lived with domestic violence, and Clark is responsible for compiling this book and putting the words of women front and centre. Other winter reads are Pauling and Beatty’s lovingly researched Sharing the Mic: Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the second edition of Bateman’s comprehensive field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand.

Happy winter reading e te whānau!

Dressed : fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910 / Regnault, Claire
“This illustrated social history explores the creation, consumption and spectacle of fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand’s 19th century dress culture was heavily shaped by international trends and interactions with Māori, the demands of settler lifestyle and the country’s geographical and environmental conditions. Dressed teems with the fascinating, busy lives of early businesswomen, society women and civic figures.” (Catalogue)

Te mahi oneone hua parakore : a Māori soil sovereignty and wellbeing handbook / ed. Hutchings, Jessica and Jo Smith
“In te ao Māori, soil is taonga. It is also whanaunga – the root of tūrangawaewae and whakapapa. It is the source of shelter, kai and manaakitanga. Through a range of essays, profiles and recipes, this book seeks to promote wellbeing and elevate the mana of the soil by drawing on the hua parakore Māori organics framework as a means for understanding these wide-ranging, diverse and interwoven relationships with soil.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeWaste not want not : fridge cleaner cooking / Burtscher, Sarah
“Waste Not Want Not is a cook book based on the top 10 foods thrown out in NZ. With 1.7 billion dollars of food wasted every year, this book brings the general household 80 delicious recipes and 40 plus tips and tricks on how to stop wasting food.” (Catalogue)
There’s a great article about this book over on RNZ’s website!

 

 

Te kai a te Rangatira : leadership from the Māori world
“The words in this book represent the collective effort of over thirty rangatahi who interviewed more than one hundred Māori spanning the length and breadth of Aotearoa. In both Te Reo and English, it explores the origins and values of Māori leadership, as well as the life experiences that nurture rangatira across different rohe, iwi and hapū.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Her say : survivors of domestic abuse tell their own stories / Jackie Clark and The Aunties
“This powerful new book features the stories of a number of very different New Zealand women, told in their own words. The collected stories chart their narrators’ lives and personal histories, through the lens of having lived with – and escaped – an abusive relationship. It’s a book for all women, showing how owning our stories gives us the power to write new endings. It will challenge, illuminate, and empower readers and the storytellers themselves.” (Adapted from publisher’s description) Available as an eBook.

Image from FishpondSharing the mic : community access radio in Aotearoa New Zealand / Pauling, Brian and Bronwyn Beatty
“From Invercargill to Auckland, community access radio has been broadcasting by, for and about New Zealanders across four decades. Using extensive interviews and in-depth research, Sharing the Mic tells the stories of the volunteers, staff and managers at the heart of access broadcasting and places the history of Aotearoa’s access radio within the wider media and technological changes of the last 40 years.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from FishpondWildlife of New Zealand : a Bateman field guide fully revised and expanded / Fitter, Julian
“The essential fully revised and expanded field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand. This field guide covers most of the birds, mammals and reptiles that you are likely to see, as well as a good selection of invertebrates and a large number of trees, shrubs and other plants. Accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs, the succinct species descriptions contain information on identification, distribution and biology.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Comics in Conversation with Literature: The Immortal Hulk – Part 2

Read Part one in this blog series

The Immortal Hulk is the newest comic to feature Dr Bruce Banner and his green alter ego, and since the series’ debut in 2018, it’s become a massive hit with fans and critics. Written by Al Ewing and drawn by Joe Bennett, the series centres on a new revelation about the character: Bruce Banner can die but the Hulk cannot, which makes them, as the title suggests, immortal.

Thanks to this undead twist, Ewing and Bennett use the story opportunity to turn Hulk into a horror book. The newly-minted Immortal Hulk battles such terrors as radioactive zombies, paranormal possessions, city-destroying kaiju, the Devil, the legions of Hell, and — my personal favourite — Xemnu the Titan, a cyborg yeti alien who can manipulate people’s memories through smartphones.

The other unique angle to The Immortal Hulk is that every issue opens with a quote from a famous book or writer, chosen by Ewing to give thematic weight to each issue and something for the audience to ponder on a close reading. Below, I’ve picked out some of the best opening quotations from volumes four to six of The Immortal Hulk, and linked them to the works of their respective writers so you can find them in our collection.

If you want to read the comic first, you can order the first volume here or read it on Overdrive here (and check out the previous edition of this blog to read about all the references in the first three volumes). If you’ve read up to volume four, order it here or read it on Overdrive here.


Opening Quotations from The Immortal Hulk

Behold: I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard. I cry aloud, but there is no judgement.

The Book of Job

Catalogue link for The book of Job : a contest of moral imaginations / Newsom, CarolThe Book of Job is one of the most discussed books of the Bible, and also the one most frequently quoted in The Immortal Hulk. In the Book, God tests the faith of a pious man, Job, by robbing him of all his family and possessions, and when Job tries to know why God has punished him, he is only shown how much he doesn’t know. Ewing returns to Job as a motif whenever the Immortal Hulk is being tested, whether it be by shady government black-ops hunting him down, the return of old enemies, or with his own inner turmoil.

Nothing valued is here. What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

Catalogue link for The age of radiance : the epic rise and dramatic fall of the Atomic Era / Nelson, CraigThese phrases aren’t from a work of literature, but from the United States Department of Energy. A growing concern in the organisation is how to warn people in the far future to stay away from nuclear waste disposal sites; these phrases were written to help design pictographs that best symbolise the danger represented by radiation to potentially illiterate future humans. Ewing uses these phrases as opening quotes in the issue where Shadow Base, the government black site hunting the Hulk, create a new version of the classic Hulk foe The Abomination, not knowing the danger they are getting into by creating a Hulk of their own.

I would eat his heart in the marketplace

Catalogue link for Much ado about nothing / Shakespeare, William A running theme in The Immortal Hulk is anger, particularly the double standard invoked when women express it as opposed to men. In issue 19, Bruce Banner’s ex-wife Betty returns as the Red Harpy, a giant crimson bird-woman set on revenge against the Hulk for all the ways he ruined her life. The opening quote of the issue is an expression by Much Ado‘s character Beatrice, wishing that she had a man’s social privilege to publicly hold a man to task for slandering her friend. In Red Harpy’s case, however, she decides to take Beatrice’s metaphor very, very literally…

That stony law I stamp to dust, and scatter religion abroad to the four winds as a torn book, & none shall gather the leaves…

Catalogue link for William Blake, selected poetryIn issue 26, after defeating and taking over Shadow Base, the Hulk decides to use its resources to launch a revolution against the powers-that-be, stating that he wants to ‘end the human world’. His friends and allies, however, are skeptical at whether Hulk’s mission will prove effective. Ewing once more returns to poet and artist William Blake, this time citing a passage from his America: A Prophecy, a book of poetry written about the revelatory potential of the American Revolution.

Such is the condition of organic nature! Whose first law might be expressed in the words, ‘Eat or be eaten!’

Catalogue link for Erasmus Darwin : a life of unequalled achievementIn issue 29, the CEO of the Roxxon corporation sends out a wave of giant monsters to attack Phoenix, Arizona to discredit Bruce Banner and prop up Roxxon’s own Hulk, Xemnu the Titan, as a hero. They are heralded by the above line, a poetic description of nature’s voracity by naturalist Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) from his book Phytologia. It proves literal too, as one monster eats the Hulk whole, leaving him to fight its car-sized internal parasites.

O’Brien’s looking skittish, but he’ll be fine once his blood’s up. Harryhausen is raring to go. Oh–and they didn’t feed Lovecraft today…

The four giant monsters that attack Phoenix all have codenames referencing Hollywood visual effects artists and horror writers:

Catalogue link: King Kong Catalogue link: Clash of the Titans Catalogue link: The complete fiction of H. P. Lovecraft Catalogue link: The vintage Ray Bradbury

See H. G. Parry and celebrate the launch of ‘A Radical Act of Free Magic’, 22nd July

Catalogue link: Hannah Parry's A Radical Act of Free Magic

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be hosting an event with Hannah Parry, in conversation with Casey Lucas-Quaid, to celebrate the launch of her latest novel A Radical Act of Free Magic.

Facebook event for Hannah Parry, in conversation with Casey Lucas-Quaid

Where? Te Awe Library, 29 Brandon Street

When? Thursday 22nd July at 6pm

Event on Facebook

Hannah's website
Hannah Parry

The internationally acclaimed and hugely popular H. G. Parry is truly a star of the New Zealand speculative fiction scene. Her first novel, The unlikely escape of Uriah Heep, quickly gained her a devoted fan base with its Wellington setting and magical host of characters. She has since followed up with A declaration of the rights of magicians, and we’re looking forward to the forthcoming A radical act of free magic — which advanced reviews have already described as “absolutely superb”.

Hannah holds a PhD in English Literature from Victoria University and currently lives in a book-infested flat on the Kapiti Coast, which she shares with her sister and an increasing menagerie of small animals. She lists her hobbies as: books, travelling, history, rabbits, tea, windy days, and Oxford commas (hooray!).

Casey Lucas-Quaid
Casey Lucas-Quaid

H.G. Parry will be in conversation with fellow science fiction and fantasy author, Casey Lucas-Quaid, winner of the 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Short Story (as well as ice hockey reporter, games writer and NaNoWriMo devotee).

It promises to be an entertaining, enlightening, enthralling, and unmissable event, so put it in your calendar and come along!

Browse Hannah’s books:

The unlikely escape of Uriah Heep / Parry, H. G.
“For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob – a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life – hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A declaration of the rights of magicians / Parry, H. G.
“A sweeping tale of revolution and wonder in a world not quite like our own. It is the Age of Enlightenment — of new and magical political movements, from the necromancer Robespierre calling for revolution in France to the weather mage Toussaint L’Ouverture leading the slaves of Haiti in their fight for freedom, to the bold new Prime Minister William Pitt weighing the legalization of magic amongst commoners in Britain and abolition throughout its colonies overseas. But amidst all of the upheaval of the early modern world, there is an unknown force inciting all of human civilization into violent conflict. And it will require the combined efforts of revolutionaries, magicians, and abolitionists to unmask this hidden enemy before the whole world falls to darkness and chaos.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A radical act of free magic : a novel / Parry, H. G.
“The Concord has been broken, and a war of magic engulfs the world. In France, the brilliant young battle-mage Napoleon Bonaparte has summoned a kraken from the depths, and under his command, the Army of the Dead have all but conquered Europe.  In Saint Domingue, Fina watches as Toussaint Louverture navigates these opposing forces to liberate the country.But there is another, even darker war being fought beneath the surface: the first vampire war in hundreds of years. The enemy blood magician who orchestrated Robespierre’s downfall  to bring about a return to dark magic to claim all of Europe. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Find Casey’s work in…

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. V2
“Ancient myths go high-tech a decade after the New New Zealand Wars. Safe homes and harbours turn to strangeness within and without.Splintered selves come together again – or not. Twelve authors. Thirteen stories. The best short science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand in 2019. With works by: Juliet Marillier, Nic Low, Rem Wigmore, Andi C Buchanan, Octavia Cade, A.J. Fitzwater, Nicole Tan, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Alisha Tyson, James Rowland, Zoë Meager, and Casey Lucas.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Curator Lizzie Bisley on Te Papa’s Surrealist Art exhibition

The Te Papa Surrealist exhibition opens tomorrow — Saturday 12 June! This is your (ultra-rare) chance to see 180 surrealist masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

To celebrate the exhibition’s opening and find out more, we interviewed the exhibition curator Lizzie Bisley, Curator Modern Art at Te Papa. Have a watch below!

Lizzie Bisley, Curator Modern Art, 2019. Photo by Jack Fisher. Te Papa

Te Papa’s Surrealist exhibition runs until 31 October in Te Papa’s gallery, Toi Art. Te Papa is the only venue in the Asia Pacific region to host the exhibition, and as a city we’re incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to view these artworks — which include sculpture, furniture, paintings, graphic design, prints, and photography. (Please note, charges apply.)

This exhibition features major works by all key surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Leonora Carrington, and Man Ray.

To get you fully informed before you go along to the exhibition, visit the library and browse or borrow from our extensive collection of Surrealist books:

Surrealism on our Catalogue

Salvador Dalí, Mae West Lips Sofa, wood, woollen flannel, cotton and brass rivets, 1938. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (purchase with the support of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation and the Rembrandt Association). Photo: Jannes Linders. © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/VEGAP. Copyright Agency, 2020.

The 80s called and they’ve given their magazine back

Wellington City Magazine on Recollect

Wellington City Libraries is bringing the past back to the future with the popular 1980s Wellington City Magazine now accessible online.

Not only will it showcase the big hair, shoulder pads and jazzercize of the era in the capital, but also the cool cats, clubs and cafes, and feature articles and columns from many still well-known contributors.

Wellington City Magazine on Recollect

Wellington City Magazine offers a fascinating insight into Wellington’s culture in the mid-1980s during a time of considerable societal and economic change, says Wellington City Libraries Local Historian Gabor Toth.

“Its first edition was printed at the very end of Robert Muldoon’s final term as the National Government’s Prime Minister in 1984, and came to an end after 27 issues following the share market crash in 1987.

“Published by Henry Newrick, the magazine had an enormous variety of feature articles and regular columns. Its advertising content reflected a boom in the local economy as financial regulatory controls were dropped, the share market rose to new heights and a new generation of high-earning workers, investors and entrepreneurs opened their wallets. The magazine was also highly innovative in its graphic design, page layout and high-quality photograph reproduction.

“The first five issues were called Wellington Cosmo to reflect the fact that Wellington was seen as being a particularly ‘cosmopolitan’ city, a legal threat to change the title as it violated the international Cosmopolitan Magazine trademark, and a failed appeal and injunction, saw it change its title to Wellington City Magazine.

“The magazine had three editors; Lloyd Jones, John Saker and Malcolm McSporran and attracted many talented writers and journalists who often had significant literary, academic or business backgrounds – including David Burton, Ian Wedde, Simon Morris, Lorraine Mexted, Tony Simpson and Bill Gosden.

“The magazine also took on causes, and was one of the first outlets to raise the profile of the St James Theatre when it was threatened with demolition.”

This was a labour of love for Gabor, hand scanning every page and photoshopping the gutter out of the double page spreads, says Manager of Libraries & Community Spaces, Laurinda Thomas.

“Everyone, young and old, is going to get a kick out of these magazines – it’s like a time machine, and everyone can just go online and get transported there.

“So many of the restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas, galleries have been replaced with new ones, but some things that haven’t changed are the political, arts and cultural scene – and the Green Parrot!”

Go to wellington.recollect.co.nz and click on the ‘Collections’ button to see all 27 issues, and keep an eye on Wellington City Council and Libraries social media channels for some 1980s nostalgia to coincide with the launch.

NZ author Lee Murray picks up two Bram Stoker Awards®

A huge congratulations to the fabulous Lee Murray for her double win at the recent Bram Stoker Awards®  — the Oscars for dark writing and the world’s premier literary horror awards!

Catalogue link for Black CranesLee won in the category Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for Grotesque: Monster Stories (link goes to Lee’s website, look for our copy on the catalogue soon); and for Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (reserve your copy now) in the category of Superior Achievement in an Anthology.

Lee’s works and exploits in speculative fiction in New Zealand are numerous and wide-ranging. She has previously received the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel (Into the sounds) as well as Best Collected Work as one of three editors on Te Korero Ahi Kā collection, but Murray’s work isn’t just limited to the page. She has also helped establish key writing communities in New Zealand and been involved with events such as GeyserCon. In 2020, she was made an Honorary Literary Fellow in the New Zealand Society of Authors’ annual Waitangi Day Honours. Her other works include the Taine McKenna military thrillers, and supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra, co-written with Dan Rabarts, as well as several books for children.

Find out more about Murray’s work on her website:

Visit Lee Murray’s website

Below we’ve included our exclusive video featuring Lee Murray and her The Path of Ra co author Dan Rabarts reading their work in our Home With Ghosts series.

Browse Lee’s work:

Black cranes : Tales of unquiet women.
“Almond-eyed celestial, the filial daughter, the perfect wife. Quiet, submissive, demure. In Black Cranes, Southeast Asian writers of horror both embrace and reject these traditional roles in a unique collection of stories which dissect their experiences of ‘otherness’, be it in the colour of their skin, the angle of their cheekbones, the things they dare to write, or the places they have made for themselves in the world.Black Cranes is a dark and intimate exploration of what it is to be a perpetual outsider.” (Catalogue)


Into the ashes / Murray, Lee
” The nation’s leaders scoff at the danger. That is; until the ground opens and all hell breaks loose. The armed forces are hastily deployed; NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his section tasked with evacuating civilians and tourists from Tongariro National Park. It is too little, too late. With earthquakes coming thick and fast and the mountains spewing rock and ash, McKenna and his men are cut off. Their only hope of rescuing the stranded civilians is to find another route out, but a busload of prison evacuees has other ideas. And, deep beneath the earth’s crust, other forces are stirring, ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the sounds / Murray, Lee
“On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?​”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the mist / Murray, Lee
“When New Zealand Defense Force Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom as he becomes desperate to bring his charges out alive. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te korero ahi kā : To speak of the home fires burning
“Here, between the realms of the Sky Father and Earth Mother, hellhounds race, ghosts drift and the taniwha stalks. Home fires drive them back, sparking stories and poems that traverse seconds, eons, and parsecs. Tales of gatekeepers, cloak wearers, and secrets. Of pigs with AK-47s or ruby-hued eyes, of love-struck moa, and unruly reflections. Stark truths and beautiful possibilities. Te Korero Ahi Kā-to speak of the home fires burning-is an anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, showcasing work from award-winning and emerging members of SpecFicNZ (New Zealand authors, poets, artists of speculative fiction. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

At the edge
“Step up, as close as you dare… …to a place at the edge of sanity, where cicadas scritch across balmy summer nights, at the edge of town, where the cellphone coverage is decidedly dodgy, at the edge of space, where a Mimbinus argut bounds among snowy rocks, at the edge of the page, where demon princes prance in the shadows, at the edge of despair, where 10 darushas will get you a vodka lime and a ring side seat, at the edge of the universe, where time stops but space goes on… From the brink of civilisation, the fringe of reason, and the border of reality, come 23 stories infused with the bloody-minded spirit of the Antipodes. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blood of the sun / Rabarts, Dan
“There’s been a gang massacre on Auckland’s Freyberg Wharf. Body parts everywhere. And with the police’s go-to laboratory out of action, it’s up to scientific consult Pandora (Penny) Yee to sort through the mess. It’s a hellish task, made worse by the earthquake swarms, the insufferable heat, and Cerberus’ infernal barking. And what’s got into her brother Matiu? Does it have something to do with the ship’s consignment? Or is Matiu running with the gangs again? Join Penny and Matiu Yee for the family reunion to end all family reunions, as the struggle between light and dark erupts across Auckland’s volcanic skyline.”–Publisher description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Teeth of the wolf / Rabarts, Dan
“Scientific consultant Penny Yee has barely drawn breath before Detective Inspector Tanner assigns her another suspicious death, with Matiu tagging along for the ride. That’s fine as long as he stays outside the crime scene tape, but when one of Matiu’s former cronies turns up dead, Penny wonders if her brother might be more than just an innocent bystander. While she’s figuring that out, the entire universe conspires against her, with a cadaver going AWOL, her DNA sequencer spitting the dummy, and the rent due any day.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hounds of the underworld / Rabarts, Dan
“On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving.  Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.” (Catalogue)

A foreign country : New Zealand speculative fiction
“Strange creatures are loose in Miramar, desperate survivors cling to the remains of a submerged country, humanity’s descendants seek to regain what they’ve lost, and the residents of Gisborne reluctantly serve alien masters. The visions of New Zealand – and beyond – painted in this collection of short stories are both instantly recognisable, and nothing like the place we know. A FOREIGN COUNTRY brings together the work of established authors and fresh voices to showcase the range of stories produced by New Zealand’s growing community of speculative fiction writers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Regeneration : New Zealand speculative fiction II
“Some things are gone forever; but that is not the end. There are new lives to be lived, new discoveries to be made, changes to be fought for, enjoyed, or feared. Experience worlds where existence continues beyond death and much-wanted babies become something else entirely. Where humanity endures in hostile environments, societies adapt to new challenges and inventions, and strange creatures live secretly among us. Travel from a curiously altered Second World War to other universes at the end of time, taking in diverse visions of New Zealand and worlds beyond along the way. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kaiārahi Kohikohinga – Māori reference collection is now available

Our Māori reference collection, one of the country’s best collections of Māori books, can now be requested. These can be identified in the catalogue as held at the Offsite Maori Collection, with a location of heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz.

Please use this email address heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz to make your request and one of our team will retrieve it for you. Don’t forget to let us know your library card number and which branch you would like to view the book at. You will receive two emails, one confirming the request, and the second when the book has arrived at the branch. This is a free request service.

Most books will be available for you to consult for three weeks at the library branch. If you don’t need the books for three weeks, just let the staff in the branch library know and they will return the book for you.

If you need to renew the item for a further 3 weeks, make a request through the same email heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz and the library team will check if there is another customer waiting.

Further details about the collection.

Books at the Climate Crossroads event: recording available now

The climate crisis seeps into almost everything now – that cicada thrum of environmental shift.

Ingrid Horrocks

On a very rainy Tuesday afternoon in May, Te Awe Library was lucky enough to host Ingrid Horrocks, Turi Park, Tim Park and Rebecca Priestley for Books at the Climate Crossroads: Ngā Uruora and Where We Swim.

This fantastic panel event combined literature, science, the climate emergency, history and more as the panellists discussed these two ground-breaking New Zealand titles, as well as their own personal and familial experiences.

If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry–we recorded it for you! Click on the links below to view or listen to the talk via YouTube or MixCloud. And for more info, check out our previous blog about this event.

Watch the talk here:

Listen to the talk here:

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.

“Pure psychic automatism” – Surrealist masterpieces coming soon to Te Papa

Coming to Te Papa on the 12th of June there will be the ultra-rare chance to see 180 surrealist masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

The Te Papa Surrealist exhibition runs until 31 October in Te Papa’s gallery, Toi Art. Te Papa is the only venue in the Asia Pacific region to host the exhibition, and as a city we’re incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to view these artworks — which include sculpture, furniture, paintings, graphic design, prints, and photography.

Surrealist Art at Te Papa Exhibition

This exhibition features major works by all key surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Leonora Carrington, and Man Ray.

Salvador Dalí, Couple with their heads in the clouds, oil on panel, 1936. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Purchase with the support of: the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation, the Rembrandt Association, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Erasmusstichting and Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht. Photo: Studio Tromp. © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/VEGAP. Copyright Agency, 2020.

About Surrealism

Pure psychic automatism, is how co-founder of André Robert Breton French writer and poet and author of the First Manifesto of Surrealism (Manifeste du Surréalisme) defined Surrealism:

Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.

Surrealism was birthed from the fiery remnants of the Dada movement, which was a direct reaction to the propaganda and mechanised slaughter of the First World War. Dada was a mirror to the insanity of the world at the time: the Dadaists saw society’s embrace of progress and rationalism as the problem, and so the movement was anti-idealistic, anti-rational and anti-aesthetic.

Both Surrealism and Dada shared a lot in common — they both incorporated a condemnation of Western logic and reason. However, whilst the Dadaists were unfocused and often nonsensical with a deep suspicion of meaning, the Surrealists were linked to the works of Freud and Jung and were often attempting to tap into the unconscious subliminal world; trying to create images that represented the dream world’s mysteries and secrets and finding powerful motivation for looking for meaning in those subconscious worlds. Both movements served as core precursors to today’s art world, and many modern art movements such as performance art and post modernism originated in these movements.

To get you fully informed before you go along to the exhibition, Wellington City Libraries has an extensive collection of Surrealist books. We’ve highlighted a few below, but you can also browse them on our catalogue:

Surrealism on our Catalogue


Salvador Dali : 1904-1989 / Descharnes, Robert
“Picasso called Dali “”an outboard motor that’s always running.”” Dali thought himself a genius with a right to indulge in whatever lunacy popped into his head. Painter, sculptor, writer, and filmmaker, Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was one of the century’s greatest exhibitionists and eccentrics. He was one of the first to apply the insights of Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis to the art of painting, approaching the subconscious with extraordinary sensitivity and imagination. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

René Magritte, 1898-1967 / Meuris, Jacques
“The works of Rene Magritte (1898 – 1967) and the ideas that underlie them are a special case both in the history of modern art and in surrealist painting. In the search for the “”mystery”” in which things and organisms are enveloped, Magritte created pictures which, taking everyday reality as their starting point, were to follow a different logic from that to which we are accustomed. Magritte depicts the world of reality in such unsecretive superficiality that the beholder of his pictures is forced to reflect that the mystery of it is not evoked by some sentimental transfiguration, but rather by the logic of his thoughts and associations. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Duchamp book / Parkinson, Gavin
“Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was, without doubt, one of the most influential and controversial artists of the twentieth century. No other figure has attracted such a wealth of often contradictory interpretation and commentary. Associated with Cubism, Dada and Surrealism and widely seen as a forerunner of conceptual art, he avoided being too closely allied with any one movement. Credited with the invention of the ‘readymade’ and a champion of what he termed ‘non-retinal art,’ he was responsible for some of the most iconic works of his era.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Leonora Carrington : surrealism, alchemy and art / Aberth, Susan
“This, the first book on Leonora Carrington (b. 1917), provides a fascinating overview of this intriguing artist’s life and rich body of work. Carrington’s preoccupation with alchemy and the occult, and the influence of indigenous Mexican culture and beliefs on her production are all explored.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Man Ray : photography and its double
“Man Ray delighted the avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s with daring, creative experimentation. He was the first Surrealist photographer, a gifted rebel with an incisive eye and a passion for freedom and pleasure.This outstanding monograph sheds new light on Man Ray’s photographic genius — incredibly, around one third of these images have never before been published. Visually spectacular and intellectually stimulating it shatters the myth — cultivated by Man Ray himself — that his photographic creativity resulted from timely mistakes and chance occurrences.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The age of light / Scharer, Whitney
“A novel inspired by the life of the Vogue model-turned-renowned photographer finds Lee Miller relocating to 1929 Paris, where she becomes the muse and colleague of the mercurial surrealist, Man Ray.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The hearing trumpet / Carrington, Leonora
“The Hearing Trumpet is the story of 92-year-old Marian Leatherby, who is given the gift of a hearing trumpet only to discover that what her family is saying is that she is to be committed to an institution. But this is an institution where the buildings are shaped like birthday cakes and igloos, where the Winking Abbess and the Queen Bee reign, and where the gateway to the underworld is open. It is also the scene of a mysterious murder. Occult twin to Alice in Wonderland, The Hearing Trumpet is a classic of fantastic literature that has been translated and celebrated throughout the world.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Wadestown Library temporary closure, 24-27 May

Photo of Wadestown Library exteriorWadestown Library will be closed from Monday 24 May 2021 to Thursday 27 May (inclusive) for heating installation.

The returns chute will also be closed. We encourage our customers to hold on to their items during this time or to return them to another branch library.

You can visit our nearest branches at:

We look forward to welcoming you back from 10am, Friday 28 May 2021.

Thank you for your patience while we complete this upgrade.

New Titles for Job Seekers

Whether seeking a job or a promotion, the world of employment can be intimidating. From how to format résumés to help writing cover letters, our library collection has a number of books and eBooks to make the process a little bit easier. All books listed here are from the last two years to provide the most up to date advice about employment.

While the titles here cover job seeking and wellbeing, we also have many titles which focus on the more nitty gritty side of job hunting. Feel free to get in touch or talk to a librarian at your local branch if you have any questions.

Book CoverWhy losing your job could be the best thing that ever happened to you : five simple steps to thrive after redundancy

“Being made redundant is one of the hardest challenges you will face. But, with the right support and advice, it could be an opportunity. It can be a moment to stop, think and make positive changes. It might even be the best thing that ever happened to you.”

“Eleanor Tweddell works with organisations and individuals going through redundancy. In this comforting and enlightening book, she draws on her experience, as well as conversations with her clients, to show how we can learn to adapt and thrive during one of our most difficult and transformative experiences.” (From catalogue)

Coming back : how to win the job you want when you’ve lost the job you need

Coming Back Book Cover

“Bestselling author and four-time Pulitzer Prize-nominee Fawn Germer offers advice about how to present yourself in the best possible way and make sure you stay relevant and valuable as an employee.” –Newsweek

“Powerful tactics (and some much-needed tough love) calls to action, helping professionals who feel they’re in a stalemate in their careers learn, re-tool, connect, grow, and get ready to work again.” –Forbes

“A street smart, inspiring, practical, and utterly honest book for renewing or resuming your career.” (Extract from catalogue)

#Entry Level Boss book cover#EntryLevelBoss : a 9-step guide for finding a job you like (and actually getting hired to do it)

“Banging your head against the wall with the job search? #ENTRYLEVELBOSS will help you stop freaking out. Miserable in your current role but no idea what to do next? With this book you’ll be able to make a decision, no personality tests required. Convinced that you are the most unhireable person on this planet? That’s statistically improbable – and you’ll be amazed at how employable you’ll be by the time you have finished reading.” (Extract from catalogue)

Long life learning : preparing for jobs that don’t even exist yetLong Life Learning book cover

“Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs That Don’t Even Exist Yet offers readers a fascinating glimpse into a near-future where careers last 100 years, and education lasts a lifetime. The book makes the case that learners of the future are going to repeatedly seek out educational opportunities throughout the course of their working lives — which will no longer have a beginning, middle, and end. Long Life Learning focuses on the disruptive and burgeoning innovations that are laying the foundation for a new learning model that includes clear navigation, wraparound and funding supports, targeted education, and clear connections to more transparent hiring processes.” (Extract from catalogue)

Own it. Love it. Make it work. Book coverOwn it, love it, make it work : how to make any job your dream job

“If you experience the ‘Sunday night scaries,’ count down the days to the weekend, or dread the thought of another day at work, maybe you can only see two options to escape your current misery: quit your job or stay and suffer.”

“There is another option.”

“In Own It. Love It. Make It Work, one of America’s top productivity consultants, reveals why you don’t have to rely on your company, nor your boss, for your professional fulfilment. Instead, you can take ownership of your career, your life, and your happiness–right now.” (Extract from catalogue)

Exploring True Crime

Do you love to read true crime? Kath, one of our lovely librarians, has put together this round-up of her true crime picks. Have a read and let us know your favourites in the comments!

It’s no secret that the true crime genre has exploded over the past few years, particularly thanks to a number of podcasts that have not only taken deep dives into significant crime stories, but have even managed to solve a few incredibly intense ones.  Now more than ever, there are many new true crime books to delve into if you’re a fan of the genre.

That said, the genre has been around as long as crime and books have existed, so there are plenty of good books to work your way back through if you’ve caught up with all the recent best sellers.

I’ve selected some that I’ve enjoyed over the years, many of them from my country of origin, Australia.

Murder in Mississippi / Safran, John

This is one of the best true crime books I have ever read.   John Safran, an Australian satirist and documentary maker, played a prank on a white supremacist in Mississippi as part of his TV series John Safran vs God. The footage was canned for legal reasons and he thought that was the last he’d have to do with Richard Barrett.  It came as a shock then to find out a while later that Barrett had been stabbed to death by a black man, one that he owed money to and had allegedly propositioned.  Not content with just researching the story of Barrett’s murder, Safran headed to Mississippi to interview all involved, including the killer… and managed to get himself tangled even further into the story while he was there.  What follows is a riveting exploration into what happened, why it happened and why on earth Safran found himself in the situation he had got into.  An absolute page turner!

A scandal in Bohemia / Haigh, Gideon

In the 1920s Mollie Dean was a young, independent woman, a poet and aspiring novelist who was the lover and muse of acclaimed artist Colin Colahan.  And then one night in 1930 she was brutally murdered by an unknown killer.  When police investigated, they found a tangle of bohemian lifestyles, abusive family and sexual freedom that was to shake Melbourne to the core and inspire music, literature and theatre long into the future.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil / Berendt, John (Audiobook)

A delicious, steamy melange of high society, rednecks, con artists, voodoo, antiques and a stunning black drag queen who metaphorically slays all in her path.  This New York Times bestseller was made into a film starring John Cusack and the Lady Chablis, the actual drag queen featured in the book.  This book reads like fiction, but it’s all true, and like the aforementioned Safran book, the author John Berendt manages to get himself embroiled in the story.  Another riveting story.

His bloody project : documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae, a historical thriller / Burnet, Graeme Macrae

His Bloody Project is technically fiction, but it has been created from extensive research into a true crime case and the community around it.  A fantastic historical thriller explores a triple murder in a small Scottish farming community around the time of the highland clearances.  There is no question that 17 year old Roderick Macrae committed these brutal murders, but what led him to do so? What secrets were being kept by the villagers of Culdie?  Graeme Macrae Burnet has used the historical documents of the time to piece together the story and speculate on the reasons behind this dramatic occurrence in a tiny village community.

Tamam Shud : the Somerton man mystery / Greenwood, Kerry

Written by Kerry Greenwood, author of the Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman novels, this is the story of the most mysterious unsolved murder in Australian history.  In 1948 a body was found on a beach in Adelaide, and even now, it is not known who he was.  But around him, were so many bizarre details.  A tiny scrap of paper with the words “Tamum Shud” sewn into the lining of his suit.  A code written in a book of Persian poetry… the same book that the piece of paper in his suit had been torn from.  All the labels had been cut from his clothing.  Kerry Greenwood delves into this story to try to solve it after all these years, and leaves us with almost as many questions as we have answers!

The tall man / Hooper, Chloe

Chloe Hooper takes a close look at the case of Cameron Doomadgee, the Palm Island man who was found dead in a watch house cell after swearing at a white police officer, Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurly, and the long and difficult efforts to bring him to trial.  Indigenous deaths in custody have long been a contentious issue in Australia and the Palm Island case was a flashpoint in Indigenous rights.  This would have been a very complex case to research and even more difficult to write as sensitively as Chloe Hooper has. A totally engrossing read that literally made me hold my breath in parts.

In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences / Capote, Truman

Let’s face it, In Cold Blood is the OG of the true crime genre as we know it today.  Truman Capote took crime reporting and turned it into literature.  Investigating the 1959 murder of the Clutter family and the men who carried out that murder, Capote himself got embroiled in the community of Holcomb, Kansas and the lives of the two murderers, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock.  There is an intimacy to the way that Capote writes about those involved in this case that set the tone for crime writing well into the future.  As well as a captivating tale, it’s a fantastic way to look at the way the true crime genre was born.

For more great true crime reads, click here.

Ancestry Library – at home access extended till 30 September 2021

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

Normally only available in-person at our libraries, during the last year, with kind permission from the people at Ancestry and ProQuest, Wellington City Libraries’ cardholders have been able to access Ancestry from their own homes. This access was due to expire, but has now been extended until 30 September 2021.

Log in to Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library includes online access to historical births, deaths and marriages and electoral rolls, and you can follow all kinds of family history leads through scans of these documents and more.

Login to Ancestry Library with your library card details and get started tracing your family history today! You can also find more helpful links and advice on family history research on our Genealogy Topic Guide.

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

Browsing our collections from home : some tips

Too many results when you search the catalogue, and you’re not sure which book to reserve? How do you choose the best match for your interests? Here are some ideas for you to try.

  1. Use the advanced search link from catalogue.wcl.govt.nz/ which gives you more options to try or combine different types of search (eg title starts with …).
    Catalogue search…
  2. In the search results page, use the left hand menu to narrow down the results by location, what’s available to borrow today, format (such as book), subject (to exclude fiction, for example, if you’re interested in growing roses), or publication year (if you’re interested in newer items. You can select more than one of these filters.

    catalogue search showing filter options

  3. Swap to a flow view as shown in red above. This may be quicker to scan covers across the top of the screen.
  4. Once you’ve identified a possible item, click on the title link. Select the Related option from the left hand side, and for many books there are additional details such as contents pages, further descriptions from the publisher, author information, series information, together with reviews from readers or sources such as the Guardian or Publishers Weekly. If you’d like to add your own review to any book, there’s a link to do that directly from this page.
    catalogue page showing where to find reviews
  5. Ask one of our librarians working at the Off-site Storage (Te Pātaka) to select a few titles on your topic via this request form. These items will be delivered to the library branch you have chosen, and will work like a reserve : you will be notified when they arrive and have a week to pick them up. This request service is free, but other fees may apply (for example if DVDs are requested, the standard issue fee will apply, uncollected items will incur the expired reserves fee).
    Request form

One of our library team will be happy to show you how to use any of these options if you’d like more help.

Read and listen to te reo Māori stories with Lingogo

Lingogo is an app that lets you read and listen to Māori stories, and it’s free to access through your library membership! It’s great for both beginner and intermediate learners of te reo Māori, and every story has native speaker audio attached for those who prefer to listen.

Leading research shows that reading and listening for pleasure is hands-down the most efficient way to acquire a new language, so download the app to enjoy great stories and immerse yourself in te reo Māori!

To get started:

  1. Download the Lingogo app to your Apple or Android phone or tablet from the Google Play Store (Lingogo) or Apple App Store (Lingogo)
  2. Choose ‘Wellington Libraries’ and enter your library barcode number to log in and access the Lingogo collection
  3. Once logged in with your library barcode number, browse and explore beginner and intermediate-level stories in te reo Māori.
  4. Tap sentences for the English translation and tap the headphones icon to hear the sentences read aloud in te reo Māori.
  5. For an eAudiobook experience, read the story to the end and tap the ‘Extra for experts’ button to listen to the full story in te reo Māori.

Dyslexia-friendly books for young people

Wellington City Libraries actively collects dyslexia-friendly books for young people. Many of our branches maintain special displays to make them as easy as possible to find.

We asked our Children & Youth Services Coordinator, Stephen Clothier, for information on this collection — read on for dyslexia-friendly book information from Stephen…

Stephen Clothier There is a rapidly-growing publishing scene internationally for books published in formats friendlier to young people with dyslexia, with publishers like Barrington Stoke and DB Australia publishing exclusively in this area.

What is a dyslexia-friendly book? Dyslexia-friendly books typically have some or all of the following features:

  • Non-white paper
  • Sans-serif font (some books use specially-designed dyslexia-friendly fonts that work by reducing the symmetry between commonly mistaken letter pairs: b/d, p/q, n/u)
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • Variable line lengths
  • Uncluttered page design for maximum clarity

Many of our branches maintain special displays of dyslexia-friendly books to make them as easy as possible to find, but you can also find them for yourself on our catalogue.

Try the following searches — and remember that you can reserve these books to be collected at the library branch of your choice:

For Kids:

For Teens:

Some recent titles

Here is a selection of great dyslexia-friendly titles recently added to our collection:

A bad day for Jayden / Bradman, Tony
“Mum won’t get out of bed. His best friend has dumped him. And school work is just too difficult. Jayden wants to do the right thing – but how can he when it feels like the world is conspiring against him? Everything is going wrong, and when a supply teacher turns up to take his class, Jayden’s sure things will keep on getting worse. But Mrs Wilson is not quite the teacher Jayden expected … can she help turn his bad day around?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Anna Gain and the same sixty seconds / Bass, Guy
“Ever-punctual Anna Gain is never late, and she’s certainly never late for the school bus. Every day she catches it in perfect time. But not today. After a series of absurd events cause Anna to miss the bus, she’s transported one minute back in time – only to be stuck re-living the same sixty seconds again … and again … and again … Is fate trying to teach Anna a lesson? And will she ever escape?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Clever cakes / Rosen, Michael
“It pays to be able to think on your feet, especially if you’re about to be eaten alive or cheated out of a valuable prize! And in these hilarious comical adventures by storytelling legend Michael Rosen, two clever kids are more than a match for a hungry grizzly bear and a bored and arrogant king! Read along as two super-smart kids triumph in these perfectly packaged fairy tales with a twist…” (Catalogue)

The slippery schemes of Sushi Man / Barlow, Steve
“Take on the role of a shape-shifting MEGAHERO in this fully interactive, wacky, choose-your-own-destiny adventure story. You and your mega-computer sidekick, PAL, must save the world from Sushi Man and his own sidekick, Wasabi Boy. This evil duo has started poisoning and controlling the population. Can you possibly morph into the right shapes to take down this out-of-control pair of baddies? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Animal farm / Orwell, George
“Orwell’s powerful, unnerving and timeless allegory of oppression and rebellion, brought to life for a new age of readers in a stunning dyslexia-friendly edition.” (Catalogue)