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

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A Call to Adventure: Summer Reading is Almost Here

Welcome, Adventurer

Is reading kinda your thing? How about slaying dragons? Facing off against a centuries-old archmagus in order to steal his arcane codex so you can use the magic contained therein to pull off similar heists in the future sound like a fun and standard start to your summery mornings?

From 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, you are invited to take part in an Adventure — a Summer Reading Adventure, to be precise. In this year’s Summer Reading Adventure, teens aged 13-18 will be able to embark on the journey of a lifetime by reading books; writing, drawing or filming reviews; and completing quests to unlock an epic narrative that you are the protagonist of, one step at a time.

How to Play

All Adventurers, seasoned or otherwise, need somewhere to start. Your first port of call will be to visit your local library to pick up a copy of the Adventurer’s Guide (or you could download it here):

Then, head over to our Summer Reading Adventure website to get started. You can take part in the Adventure in three different ways, depending on how far you’re willing to take your newfound powers:

  1. Log your reading — tell us how many books you’ve read and you’ll earn mysterious tickets that you can cash in to get a chance to win the Grand Prize of your choosing!
  2. Write, draw or film book reviews — get creative and tell us what you thought about the books you’ve read, and you’ll go in the draw to win fabulous spot prizes as you do.
  3. Complete quests — choose your own adventure and complete up to three unique questlines, earning XP and achievements along the way.

The Story Begins…

Each time you reach a milestone in any of the above categories, you’ll unlock a fragment of a grander story — a story in which you are the protagonist — a story which begins with a call to adventure, a creaky door, a mysterious figure, and a fire in the hearth:

The heavy wooden door groans on its hinges as you step into the darkened room, squinting as your eyes adjust to the light. Someone — a sorcerer of some kind? — stands at a desk in front of you, scrolls covered in cryptic symbols and cracked leather tomes spilling from the shelves on either side.

In a dirty hearth to the rear of the room, a hearty fire casts a warm glow on the surroundings. Looking around the room, you see illuminated by the firelight other hopeful initiates huddled around scarred oaken tables, perched on benches, pacing anxiously between the stacks.

The stooped Magus in front of you clears their throat suddenly, and silence falls as dozens of ears strain to hear the fated words, words that so many have travelled so far in the hope of hearing. —Welcome— the being intones, —to the Library of Souls.— At no point does their mouth move, the words projected by some arcane method directly into your mind. —You’ve made it just in time. Now, your Adventure may begin.—

Reaping Your Reward

As with all good Adventures, these quests come with the tantalising promise of reward for your Herculean (or perhaps Sisyphean) efforts. Each quest chain you complete, or reading milestone you meet, will earn you collectible badges, digital achievements, and the chance to win awesome spot prizes, as well as tickets towards one of our four Grand Prize packs.

Prizes for this year’s Summer Reading Adventure have been generously sponsored by our friends at Ben & Jerry’s, Experience Wellington, Circa Theatre, Cerberus Games, OfficeMax NZ, Wellington Zoo, and Light House Cinema.

Check out some of our badge designs below — which ones will you collect?

Youth Nights Come to Karori Library!

You heard it here first, folks! After a successful trial run during Out On The Shelves in June, our popular Youth Nights are coming to Karori Library on the regular!

Starting this Saturday the 20th of August, Karori Library will be open after hours, from 5.00 – 8.00pm, but only if you’re a teen. Bring along your student ID to prove you’re over 14, and the fun shall commence. Our Youth Nights are LGBTQIA+ inclusive and we welcome folks of all stripes 🙂

via GIPHY

If you’ve been to one of these at Waitohi, you know the drill — there’s free pizza, gaming, music, crafts, anime, VR (can you beat the librarians at Beat Saber? Only time will tell…), chill vibes, maybe a spot of D&D or so, and oh so much more! (And did we mention the free pizza?)

We are just so extremely excited to be starting a new season of Youth Night at Karori Library. Who’s to say what Mischief, Hijinks, and General Tomfoolery we might get up to at the library after hours? Some of our favourite episodes from Season Waitohi include:

  • The one where we spontaneously held a wedding (don’t worry, it was fully platonic, even if there was cake. And fancy dress.)
  • The one where we accidentally built a pirate ship out of cardboard boxes and hope (miraculously, it stayed up in the library for like three weeks!)
  • The one where we did a good ol’ fashioned sleepover (complete with bedtime stories of bad Harry Potter fan-fiction, a pot-luck dinner, watching Cats (the bad one), and several rounds of Among Us IRL)
  • The one where we forgot to plan anything so we just sat around eating pizza and ranking the characters of classic ’90s cartoon Gargoyles on a scale according to their relative hotness (Goliath and Demona came first, obviously)

What will Youth Night Season Karori bring? Well, that’s up to you to decide. Email karori.youthnight@wcc.govt.nz if you’d like more info — otherwise, we’ll see you there!

Out On The Shelves 2022

It’s that time of year again! We’re midway through the 2022 Out On The Shelves campaign week, and all around the country, libraries, bookstores, schools, and other organisations are putting on displays and events to celebrate LGBTQIA+ stories, and to help connect rainbow people to those stories and to each other.

This year, the Out On The Shelves campaign runs from 13-27 June, and as well as admiring the beautiful displays at your local library, there’s all kinds of stuff to do! Here are just a few examples:

To whet your appetite, here are some of our favourite LGBTQIA+ books, retrieved from the vaults of these veritable librarians’ brains for your reading pleasure:

Aristotle and Dante dive into the waters of the world / Sáenz, Benjamin Alire
“Aristotle and Dante continue their journey to manhood in this achingly romantic, tender tale set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s America. In Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, two boys fell in love. Now they must learn what it means to stay in love-and to build their relationship in a world that doesn’t seem to want them to exist. In their senior year at two different schools, the boys find ways to spend time together, like a camping road trip they take in the desert. Ari is haunted by his incarcerated older brother and by the images he sees on the nightly news of gay men dying from AIDS. Tragedy feels like his destiny, but can he forge his own path and create a life where he can not only survive, but thrive?” (Catalogue)

Our dreams at dusk. Volume 1 / Kamatani, Yuhki
“Not only is high schooler Tasuku Kaname the new kid in town, he is also terrified that he had been outed as gay. Just as he’s contemplating doing the unthinkable, Tasuku meets a mysterious woman who leads him to a group of people dealing with problems not so different from his own. In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all.” (Catalogue)

Elatsoe / Little Badger, Darcie
“Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe (“Ellie” for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect façade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.” (Catalogue)

The pride guide : a guide to sexual and social health for LGBTQ youth / Langford, Jo
“Jo Langford offers a complete guide to sexual and social development, safety, and health for LGBTQ youth and those who love and support them. Written from a practical perspective, the author explores the realities of teen sexuality, particularly that of trans teens, and provides guidance and understanding for parents and kids alike.” (Catalogue)

Queerly autistic : the ultimate guide for LGBTQIA+ teens on the spectrum / Ekins, Erin
“From coming out to friends and family through to relationships, self-care and coping with bullying, being out and about in the LGBTQIA+ community and undergoing gender transition, this book is filled with essential information, advice, support and resources to help you on your journey, and also works as a primer on all things LGBTQIA+ for non-autistic teens just figuring it all out.” (Catalogue)

To break a covenant / Ames, Alison
“Clem and her best friend, Nina, live in the haunted town of Moon Basin, known for its accidents and murders that are linked to the now-abandoned coal mine, but when they join their new friend, Piper, and her dad on a trip into the mine, they find themselves haunted by strange dreams and experiences afterwards. The haunting at Moon Basin started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. Life in New Basin is just as fraught: the ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there is more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Seeing gender : an illustrated guide to identity and expression / Gottlieb, Iris
“Gender is an intensely personal, yet universal, facet of humanity. In this vibrant book, queer author and artist Iris Gottlieb visually explores gender in all of its complexities, answering questions and providing guidance while also mining history and pop culture for the stories and people who have shaped the conversation on gender.” (Catalogue)

She gets the girl / Lippincott, Rachael
“Alex Blackwood is really good at getting the girl she wants, but coming from a broken home with an alcoholic mother, she finds commitment difficult – even when she thinks she is in love. Impossibly awkward Molly Parker has a crush on the cool Cora Myers, but she does not know how to even start a conversation, much less make a connection. At college together in Pittsburgh, Alex decides that helping Molly snag Cora will prove to her own flame that she is not totally selfish – but things do not work out as the two have planned.” (Catalogue)

Invisibly breathing / Merriman, Eileen
“‘I wish I wasn’t the weirdest sixteen-year-old guy in the universe.’ Felix would love to have been a number. Numbers have superpowers and they’re safe, any problem they might throw up can be solved. ‘If I were a five, I’d be shaped like a pentagon … there’d be magic in my walls, safety in my angles.’ People are so much harder to cope with. At least that’s how it seems until Bailey Hunter arrives at school. Bailey has a stutter, but he can make friends and he’s good at judo. And Bailey seems to have noticed Felix: ‘Felix keeps to himself mostly, but there’s something about him that keeps drawing me in.’ Both boys find they’re living in a world where they can’t trust anyone, but might they be able to trust each other, with their secrets, their differences, themselves?” (Catalogue)

Rainbow Youth Night at Karori Library

Are you a pizza connoisseur?

This weekend in Karori, we have an after-hours social event for rainbow youth and friends!

Youth Nights are for you if you’re into gaming, making music, watching movies, eating pizza, absolutely smashing Beat Saber on an Oculus Rift, or just generally getting up to mischief and hijinks. You will also probably like them if you like books, I guess.

Come through to Te Māhanga, Karori Library on Saturday 18 June from 5-8pm!

We’re open for 14-18 year olds, mask and student ID are required.

No need to book. See you there!

“The most misunderstood of English villains”: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

This black-and-white drawing of Guy Fawkes was actually created over 200 years after his death by illustrator George Cruikshank! Image: Public Domain

Prepare to blow up… your mind with a veritable treasure trove of information about a gunpowder plot gone wrong. Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night is on this horizon this very evening, November 5th, as an annual celebration with bonfires and fireworks in remembrance of the failed plot to kill the British Government and King James VI and I.

Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes? Guy Fawkes and a group of men were part of a plot to blow up British Parliament to kill the King of England on the 5th of November. However, the government found out about the plot before the attack could take place. The government arrested Guy Fawkes and his conspirators, who were then convicted of treason. To celebrate the survival of the Parliament, they announced a national day, now known as Guy Fawkes Day. The first celebration was held on November 5, 1606. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with feasts, bonfires, and fireworks.

For more information, check out:

If you’d like to read more about the history and alternative stories about Guy Fawkes,  here’s a selection of books at the library:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Gunpowder Plot : terror in Shakespeare’s England.

“The Gunpowder Plot is perhaps the most famous and well-documented event in British Early Modern History. This means the story can be told through original dialogue recorded at the time to a greater extent than any other of the period. This expert retelling of the Gunpowder Plot brings seventeenth-century voices fresh to the page. It shows the complex motivations of the principal figures involved, including the plotters themselves, and tells the story of the plot without the benefit of hindsight.  Today, ‘Guido Fawkes’ has become the face of political disaffection, thanks to his popularity as a mask for protestors. And in a modern world of religious terrorism, this books lets us understand what drove the participants in British history’s biggest home-grown plot.”(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsPity for the Guy : a biography of Guy Fawkes.

“The first fully-rounded portrait of the man behind the Gunpowder Plot for hundreds of years Guy Fawkes has been portrayed as perhaps too extreme a figure — a rabid, bloodthirsty Catholic who not only tried to bomb British Parliament but threatened the English way of life. This biography reveals that he was much more than an evil, shadowy conspirator with an axe to grind. John Paul Davis delves into the evidence and makes a convincing case for new thinking on one of English history’s greatest enigmas. Not only is the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 thrillingly retold, but Guy Fawkes can now be seen as a multi-faceted figure — husband, soldier, lover, adventurer, spy, and possibly the most misunderstood of English villains.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Gunpowder Plot : terror & faith in 1605.

“A bestselling historian’s account of the Gunpowder Plot – ‘History as it should be written’ – Roy Strong.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsRemember, remember the fifth of November : Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot.

“Guy Fawkes is one of the most celebrated figures in English history – but how did a failed Catholic plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 inspire a religious festival, anti-Catholic riots, political protests, novels and pantomimes, and a 60 million annual spend on fireworks?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsFawkes.

“Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Halloween Movies to Make You Feel Young Again

Halloween has arrived and Wellington City Libraries has some spooktacular DVDs in the collection for your viewing pleasure and frightful night in.

Relive your childhood Halloween movie-watching ways with some of our favourite picks from our movie collection below. To complete the experience we recommend a plenitude of popcorn and a whole bunch of blankets to hide under. Even better if you can find your old teddy that used to bring you comfort in the dead of the night.

Let the scare fest begin!

image courtesy of amazon.com1. Tim Burton’s The nightmare before Christmas.

“Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween — but alas, they can’t get it quite right.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.com2. Corpse bride.

“Set in a 19th century European village, this stop-motion animation feature follows the story of Victor, a young man whicked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious corpse bride, while his real bride Victoria waits bereft in the land of the living. Though life and the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colourful than his strict upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in this world – or the next – that can keep him away from his one true love. It’s a tale of optimism, romace and a very lively afterlife, told in classic Burton style.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.com3. Paranorman.

“From the makers of Coraline comes the story of Norman, a boy who must use his special powers to save his town from a centuries-old curse. In addition to spooky zombies, he’ll also have to take on unpredictable ghosts, wily witches, and, worst of all, clueless grown-ups. But this young ghoul whisperer will soon find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.com4. Gremlins 1 and 2.

“Billy Peltzer’s father buys him a new cuddly pet. But heed these three warnings: Don’t ever get him wet. Keep him away from bright light. And the most important thing, the one thing you must never forget: no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs…never, never feed him after midnight.” (Catalogue). In the sequel, “A Gremlin is captured by a mad scientist, who not only helps it multiply, but gives it the ability to talk.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.com5. Addams Family Values.

“It’s love at first fright when Gomez and Morticia welcome a new addition to the Addams household – Pubert, their soft, cuddly, mustachioed boy. As Fester falls hard for voluptuous nanny Debbie Jilinsky, Wednesday and Pugsley discover she’s a black-widow murderess who plans to add Fester to her collection of dead husbands. The family’s future grows even bleaker when the no-good nanny marries Fester and has the kids shipped off to summer camp. But Wednesday still has a Thing or two up her sleeve.” (Catalogue)

6. The Witches (1989) and (2020). image courtesy of amazon.com

In the 1989 version, “Nine-year-old Luke finds that saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy who has been turned into a mouse.” (Catalogue). In the 2021 version, “The darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks him away to a seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world₂s Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe, undercover, to carry out her nefarious plans.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.com7. Ghostbusters 1 and 2. 

“The original “Ghostbusters” and its sequel teamed comedians Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis with director Ivan Reitman, to tell the story of a trio of paranormal investigators who must save the world from the evil clutches of the supernatural.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.com8. The Goonies.

Another oldie but a goodie! Join the Goonies on a swashbuckling adventures! Following a mysterious treasure map into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of bumbling bad guys… and a mild-mannered monster with a face only a mother could love. A family adventure classic from start to buccaneering finish.

image courtesy of amazon.com

9. Labyrinth.

“When young Sarah cavalierly wishes that goblins would take her crying baby brother away, she gets her wish. Now, she must confront Gareth – ruler of a mystical world one step removed from reality, master of the goblins who abducted her brother… and creator of the treacherous labyrinth that Sarah must solve in order to make things right.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.com10. Coraline.

“A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.” (Catalogue).

Extra challenge… from beyond the grave!

Get into the Halloween spirit and dance your socks off zombie-style to Thriller by the late but talented Michael Jackson! Hmmm, I wonder if he would be keen to accept the vacancy of Wellington City Libraries’ library ghost?

Did you know? Wellington City Libraries’  Nao Robots, Frank and Stein, (formally known as Red and Blue) can whip out their own dance moves to to Thriller by Michael Jackson. Read more about them here.

Have a safe and happy halloween!

Suffrage and the White Camellia

Suffrage Day  is a special  day in New Zealand’s history. Sunday 19 September 2021 is Suffrage Day / White Camellia Day.

Why is Suffrage Day celebrated?

On the 19th of September 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year marks the 126 anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New Zealand. The white camellia was the symbol of the suffragists.

Did you know? November 28th 1893 was the day New Zealand women voted for first time.

What is Suffrage Day?

Suffrage Day provides an opportunity for people to celebrate New Zealand’s suffrage achievements and look for ways to benefit women.

How do we commemorate this day?

  • Wearing a white camellia. Why? These flowers were worn by people supporting women’s right to vote in New Zealand.
  • Wear a The Suffrage 125 symbolWhy? The symbol draws on historical colours and icons adopted by women’s suffrage petitioners and presents them in a contemporary form. 
    image courtesy of women.govt.nz

Where can I find information about the suffragettes and and Suffrage Day?

image courtesy of syndeticsHindsight : pivotal moments in New Zealand history.

Four pivotal events in New Zealands history, (Women’s suffrage, Springbok tour, Dawn raids  and Rainbow warrior), are examined through a variety of source materials and commentary that enlivens the event and describes its impact on our society and growth as a nation. Hindsight is a resource for all schools and libraries. These topics are linked to the social sciences and history syllabus Years 7-11. An authoritative and engaging text, with high visual appeal. Buyers will be given access to download resources from our website, that will be updated as required. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe book of gutsy women : favourite stories of courage and resilience.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them–women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book. So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. […] Edie Windsor, Diana Nyad, Rachel Carson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mary Beard, Wangari Maathai, Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai — to us, they are all gutsy women — leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. (Adapted from Catalogue). Also available as an eBook

image courtesy of syndeticsSuffragettes : the fight for votes for women.

‘Queen Victoria is most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad wicked folly of women’s rights, with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor sex is bent’. 1870. It was a bloody and dangerous war lasting several decades, won finally by sheer will and determination in 1928. Drawing on extracts from diaries, newspapers, letters, journals and books, Joyce Marlow has pieced together this inspiring, poignant and exciting history using the voices of the women themselves. Some of the people and events are well-known, but Marlow has gone beyond the obvious, particularly beyond London, to show us the ordinary women – middle and working-class, who had the breathtaking courage to stand up and be counted – or just as likely hectored, or pelted with eggs. These women were clever and determined, knew the power of humour and surprise and exhibited ‘unladylike’ passion and bravery. Joyce Marlow’s anthology is lively, comprehensive, surprising and triumphant.’ (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHidden heroines : the forgotten suffragettes.

The story of the struggle for women’s suffrage is not just that of the Pankhursts and Emily Davison. Thousands of others were involved in peaceful protest–and sometimes more militant activity–and they includes women from all walks of life. This book presents the lives of 48 less well-known women who tirelessly campaigned for the vote, from all parts of Great Britain and Ireland, risking ridicule and condemnation from family and friends. They were the hidden heroines who paved the way for women to gain greater equality in Britain. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsRise up, women! : the remarkable lives of the suffragettes.

“Between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of the First World War, while the patriarchs of the Liberal and Tory parties vied for supremacy in parliament, the campaign for women’s suffrage was fought with great flair and imagination in the public arena. Led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, the suffragettes and their actions would come to define protest movements for generations to come. From their marches on Parliament and 10 Downing Street, to the selling of their paper, Votes for Women, through to the more militant activities of the Women’s Social and Political Union, whose slogan ‘Deeds Not Words!’ resided over bombed pillar-boxes, acts of arson and the slashing of great works of art, the women who participated in the movement endured police brutality, assault, imprisonment and force-feeding, all in the relentless pursuit of one goal: the right to vote. A hundred years on, Diane Atkinson celebrates the lives of the women who answered the call to ‘Rise Up’; a richly diverse group that spanned the divides of class and country, women of all ages who were determined to fight for what had been so long denied. Actresses to mill-workers, teachers to doctors, seamstresses to scientists, clerks, boot-makers and sweated workers, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English; a wealth of women’s lives are brought together for the first time, in this meticulously researched, vividly rendered and truly defining biography of a movement.”–Dust jacket cover. Also available as an eAudiobook.

Click here for more books about suffragettes.

Youth Night Enters the Digital Realm

While our libraries are closed at Level 3 and Level 4, there are a whole bunch of things that just… stop happening. Thankfully, thanks to some of the quick-witted teens who attend our regular Youth Nights at Johnsonville Library, Youth Night isn’t one of them! They have devised a Discord server that will serve to capture some of the magic and whimsy of a typical Waitohi affair, with games, activities, chatting, music and quiet spaces aplenty, with no doubt a smattering of our old friends Mischief and Hijinks to boot. And you won’t even have to leave the comfort and safety of your own bedroom!

The full ~Youth Night 2: Electric Boogaloo~ server will be opened up this Saturday at 3.00pm (yes, going digital means you get to be at Youth Night for longer!) — if you are interested in joining us, please email the youth librarian with your name, age, and which school you go to to receive your invite link.

Wellington On a Plate 2021

Calling all foodies, brace yourself for the most epic food event of the year where you can eat, drink and be Welly! Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) has arrived once again full of culinary goodness of all things food and beverage all throughout the month of August!

https://www.facebook.com/WellyOnaPlate/

What is Wellington on a Plate?

Wellington on a Plate is an event in August where you can Eat, Drink and Be Welly with hundreds of Festival Events, Festival Dishes that showcase the best of Wellington region’s ingredients, suppliers and producers, Creative Cocktails and all the Burgers you could munch your way through. 

How can you celebrate?

  • Eat your way around Wellington. Click here for more information about WOAP eateries.
  • Craft your visit by choosing from over 140 events, with everything from hands-on masterclasses to multi-course degustations and everything in between. Click here for more information about the events.

Create your own burgers, drinks and culinary goodness in the comfort of your own home, with the help of the following books:

Cook up a storm the Welly and Kiwi way with:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe great New Zealand cookbook.

“Featuring over 200 recipies, from tried and true classics to contemporary cuisine that reflects New Zealand’s ethnic diversity and fresh local produce, the Great Zealand Cookbook is a unique celebration of kiwi cuisine. Eighty of New Zealand’s finest cooks, chefs and bakers let us into their homes and their hearts as they share their favourite recipes they make for people they love. Each recipe is accompanied by stunning original photographs shot entirely on location that truly capture the essence and nature of this beautiful country of ours. Cover artwork by renowned New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCuba Street : a cookbook.

“Cuba Street – a cookbook celebrates the flair and flavours of Cuba Street, the colourful heart of Wellington’s café scene. Take a gastronomic journey up the street and enjoy and eclectic mix of recipes, provided by over twenty of your favourite bars and eateries. They’ve given up their secrets, published here along with interviews, profiles and more. This book is an absolute must for foodies, locals and visitors to Wellington. It offers a unique insight into Wellington’s best-loved district, its heritage, hospitality, and the people who make it so special.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsThe Cuba Street project.

“Cuba Street has many faces. Restaurants, cafés, record shops, fashion outlets — and the bucket fountain. Cuba Street has iconic status in Wellington – its colour and character over the last few decades have made it a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. From the late lamented Matterhorn and Mighty Mighty, to Midnight Espresso, Logan Brown and Ombra, the street is filled with places and people worth remembering.” (Catalogue)

Get your burger on!

image courtesy of syndeticsBurger Wellington : the best burgers from New Zealand’s culinary capital.

“Burger Wellington has long been an integral part of the WOAP experience. Weve gathered together 47 of the regions best burger recipes from some of its most celebrated eateries. The recipes are edited by Lucy Corry, award-winning Wellington writer and columnist. Lucy regularly writes on food for Fairfax Media, Cuisine (incl restaurant reviews), NZ Life & Leisure, Frankie and Smith magazines and for her own blog The Kitchen Maid. Safe to say, she’s a passionate foodie!” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of sydneticsBurger lab.

“Burger Lab examines the precise elements that make up the ultimate burger: the perfect squishy bun; a pickle that has just the right level of crunch; the exact quantity of mayonnaise and ketchup to deliver maximum flavour; and the ultimate wagyu beef pattie that’s meaty, juicy and umami-intense. Featuring the sought-after recipes from the menu of a cult burger joint, as well as 18 additional mouthwatering constructions that include: soft-shell crab with green mango salad; tonkatsu pork with fennel & apple; Reuben with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese & thousand island dressing, and more, plus recipes for condiments, chips and milkshakes to wash it all down – Burger Lab will change everything you thought you knew about burgers.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsXXL : epic food, street eats & cult dishes from around the world.

“Through 70 incredible dishes – covering snacks, burgers, mains, desserts and drinks – Billy taps into the contemporary street food scene. This is not food for the faint-hearted or those into ‘clean eating’ or ‘the paleo lifestyle.’ These are honest-to-goodness recipes that are bold on flavour, size and, yup, calories. Dig in if you love great comfort food and street eats from all corners of the globe as well as pimped-up classic dishes.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHot dogs, hamburgers, tacos and margaritas.

“With more than 100 recipes, from quick and easy to classic to more gourmet fare, including some more unusual ingredients, this book brings all of your fast-food favourites together in one place (alongside some awesome accompaniments like fries, coleslaw, mash, and milk shakes) — making it the perfect companion for casual weekends and entertaining friends (or just yourself, if you’re feeling greedy).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

For all you veggies and vegans, check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Naked Kitchen veggie burger book : delicious plant-based burgers, fries, sides, and more.

“The Naked Kitchen Veggie Burger Book celebrates the burger in all its versatile glory–served on freshly baked buns, crumbled atop salads, added to pasta sauces, baked into taquitos, and more! Spanning a number of different ethnic influences, from Mexican to Mediterranean to Asian, these burgers are as nutritious as they are fun, flavorful, and redolent of homey goodness. The Naked Kitchen duo also present their favorite burger buns, condiments and toppings, sides and salads, fresh beverages, and “beyond burgers” recipes — for a superlative burger experience.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsVegan junk food : a down and dirty cookbook.

“Not all vegans do yoga thrice daily or thrive on kale juice. This book is for anyone curious about cooking meat-free, who DGAF about carbs. This is the anti-vegan cookbook for vegans. Almost every vegetarian and vegan cookbook focuses on the whole wheat/kefir/green cleanse/salt lamp/lentil aspect of living a cruelty-free diet. But what about those of us who actually dream of a greasy burger all day and all night, but simply can’t justify eating animal products? Or those of us who just wanted to opt out of the environmentally unsustainable meat industry? Or anyone who is just keen to broaden their culinary horizons and dip a toe in the waters of veganism? If any of these ring bells, then this is the cookbook for you.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMostly plants : 101 delicious flexitarian recipes from the Pollan family.

“Following the advice of family member Michael Pollan –“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”–this book offers an approach to eating which doesn’t give up meat entirely but builds a diet that shifts the ratio from animals to plants, creating delicious and nutritious meals sure to appeal to everyone.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGreen burgers : creative vegetarian recipes for burgers and sides.

“Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just trying to cut down on meat, veggie burgers make a tempting, filling meal. And as Martin Nordin explains, they’re far from boring – in fact, because there are no rules or blueprint, you’re free to push the burger boundaries. In Green Burgers, Martin shares recipes packed full of flavour and nutrition – from the classic BBQ Portobello Burger to the Courgette Burger with Wild Garlic. Experiment with unexpected flavours such as Courgette Kimchi and Deep-Fried Plantain. The delicious patties are just the beginning – try making your own Charcoal Burger Buns, top your burgers with Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut, and serve with Roasted Sweet-Potato Chips. With chapters on burgers, buns, sides, pickles and sauces, Green Burgers has all you need to make the perfect plant-based burgers and sides at home.” (Catalogue)

We heard you like books…

… so we’ve scheduled in a teens-only Open Hour for the Central Library collection at Te Pātaka, our collection and distribution centre in Johnsonville, during the school holidays. Come along on Thursday 22 July at 3.00pm to get lost in the stacks and bring back as many books as you can carry.

You can see the main post about the Te Pātaka open days here, but we thought you, our redoubtable readers, would appreciate the opportunity to occupy the building without those pesky adults (and children) getting in your way. Just make sure to register by clicking here and entering your deets.

You are, of course, very welcome to come along to any of the other sessions on offer as well, but certain parts of the collection will only be on offer at certain times due to the configuration of the warehouse’s rolling shelves. Check out all the times and dates on offer here.

Just look at these absolute angels. Come and hang out with them among the stacks!

COVID-19 Update: All Teen Events Postponed

Hey there folks! This is just a quick update to let you know that the remainder of our events for Out On The Shelves have been postponed in response to today’s announcement that Wellington will be entering Alert Level 2 from 6.00pm tonight. Once we have found new dates for these events, we will make the announcement here and on our social media channels. The following events are affected:

  • Wednesday 23 June, He Matapihi Library — Rainbow Zine Workshop (new date t.b.a.)
  • Friday 25 June, Arapaki Library — Youth Night Quiz: Pride Edition (new date t.b.a.)
  • Saturday 26 June, Johnsonville Library — Youth Night Quiz: Pride Edition (new date t.b.a.)

In addition, Tūhura/The HIVE at Johnsonville Library will be closed until we return to Alert Level 1 — so no weaving, 3D printing, laser cutting, or booking of the music studio for now.

Stay safe, and remember to use the NZ Covid Tracer app whenever you’re out and about.

Out on the Shelves at Your Libraries

Hello friends!

This week the Out on the Shelves Campaign Week begins, and when they say week, they really mean two weeks. This Campaign Week is a time for libraries (amongst others) to really highlight Out on the Shelves, to make some colourful displays, and to run some awesome events.

Now, I’m sure you’re getting super excited already, but you might not even know what Out on the Shelves is! Well, let me explain.

Out on the Shelves is an online reading resource created by InsideOUT to help rainbow young people find, read, and recommend positive and affirming stories with good representation in them. We’ve had enough of “Bury your Gays“, thank you very much! If you want to know a bit more, then check out this video:

If you’re looking for your next book to read, then check out the booklists. If you’ve read a wonderfully queer book recently and don’t see it on any of the Out on the Shelves booklists, then you can go ahead and make a submission!

If you’re a writer you can enter the writing competition, or if you want to try your hand at Zine making you can create a page for the 2021 Rainbow Zine.

But wait, there’s more!

Do you like books? Do you like movies? Do you like quizzes? Do you like hanging out at the library with a bunch of other Cool Kids and some extra cool (if I do say so myself) librarians? Do you remember how I said earlier that the Campaign Week is a great time for libraries to run awesome events?

If you do, you’re in luck! We’ll be running a range of events at four different libraries across the city.

Youth Movie Night: Pride Edition
To celebrate Out on the Shelves 2021, Wellington City Libraries are hosting a YA movie night. The film will be LGBT+ themed, but otherwise it is a complete secret! Venture to a late-night library screening near you for popcorn, pals and a pride-fuelled time. For ages 13-18.

Join us at 6.00pm to get settled down with some snacks, and we’ll start the movie at 6.30pm.

Rainbow Zine Workshops
Join us for the zine-making afternoons for young adults and try your hand at writing, poetry or art! Enter the Out On The Shelves writing competition, write a book review for the official 2021 Rainbow Zine, or check out our LGBTQI+ book collection.

Youth Quiz Night: Pride Edition
To celebrate Out on the Shelves 2021, Wellington City Libraries are hosting a Pride quiz extravaganza! There will be pizza, prizes, and plenty of quizzical challenges. Coming to a library near you! For ages 13-18.

Show up and grab a table with your team, or just show up and we can help you find a team!

So come along, make new friends, grab a bookmark booklist, and have fun!

Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival 2021

Winter has arrived in Wellington, and the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival is back again, in its fourth year,  during the week of the 11th to the 21st of June, and there’re heaps of exciting events happening in the Capital!

What is the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival?

The Lōemis (pron. lew-mis) festival began in 2016 and is held annually in Wellington in the lead up to the winter solstice.

For eleven days, the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival observes the longest nights of the year with a hearty mix of feasting, theatre, music, monstrous creatures and a fiery waterfront procession, based around the winter solstice, which falls on 22 June.

For more information on what events are on, check out the Lōemis website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, why not get into the “festival” season with:


image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrating the southern seasons : rituals for Aotearoa.

“Provides information and insight … of the customs, symbols, stories and meanings relating to the seasonal changes from both European and Maori perspectives … contents include the meeting point: the coming together of Aotearoa New Zealand’s two dominant cultures … an overview of seasonal celebrations, guidelines on how to structure seasonal rituals … a calendar for Aotearoa New Zealand, suggested rituals for Aotearoa New Zealand today, an overview of Celtic and Maori traditions” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year of festivals : how to have the time of your life.

“Takes you around the world in pursuit of festivals in all their flamboyant color and variety. Discover music, camel races, feats of endurance, manic street parties and monumental food fights. From the sublime (Venice’s Carnevale or India’s Krishna Janmastami) to the absurd (Finland’s Wife-Carrying Championships or Australia’s Beer Can Regatta), the best of the famous and little-known alike are represented here. Organized by month and week to help you to plan a great festival experience at any time of year. Country and Festival indexes allow you to also search by the destination of your next vacation, or by the name or theme of the festival you want to experience.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics50 festivals to blow your mind.

“Join the world’s biggest water fight in Thailand, become a reveller on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and party at Rio’s world-famous carnival. Whatever you like to celebrate, you’ll find a gathering somewhere on the planet to suit. Lonely Planet collects the greatest, weirdest and most jaw-dropping festivals around the world to set your sights on” (Catalogue).


Also, why not join in on “the Lōemis workshop fun”,  in the comfort of your own home… or library by creating your masterpieces, (mask making, Mexican style treats, culinary goodness, puppetry and house building), with some help from the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsPowermask : the power of masks.

“Since the 1990’s, Walter Van Beirendonck has been fascinated by masks. A mask changes your identity, raises a particular atmosphere and has instant impact. Artists like André Breton, Pablo Picasso or even Breughel were inspired. Power Mask – The Power of Masks goes deeper into the different facets of masks: the link between Western art and African masks, the supernatural and the rituals around masks, masks in fashion, masks like fetish, and more” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLa Boca Loca : Mexican cooking for New Zealanders.

“Lucas Putnam and Marianne Elliott opened their Mexican restaurant, La Boca Loca in April 2011, with a clear goal: to bring the freshest flavours of Mexico to Wellington using fresh and locally available ingredients. Their customers loved the taste of their freshly prepared Mexican food and many wanted to learn to make it themselves at home, so this book makes it possible to recreate and share the taste of Lucas’s childhood.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsPuppetry : how to do it.

“A practical, accessible and inspiring guide to using puppetry in theatre — the perfect entry point for anyone looking to use puppets in their productions, to explore what puppets can do, or to develop their puppetry skills” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe econest home : designing & building a light straw clay house.

“An EcoNest is not just a home–it is a uniquely beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This complete practical guide explains how EcoNests combine light straw clay natural building techniques with the principles of Building Biology, provides fully-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for designing and building your own, and is packed with inspiring photos of completed projects” (Catalogue)


Keep warm and stay safe this winter!

Come and do some art at Newtown Library

We’re super stoked to be working with the kind and talented folks at VIVITA to run all kinds of cool events for kids and teens around the city this year. During the last school holidays, they ran a seriously awesome and engaging 5-day workshop on board game creation at Johnsonville Library (check out the video below), and next on the agenda is TRASH ART at Newtown Library.

Yep, you read right. Trash Art. Inspired by the work of phenomenal photographer and environmental activist Mandy Barker, who gained great notoriety in the art world for taking plastic pollution out of the Pacific Ocean and turning it into incredibly intricate photographic sculptures, VIVITA has decided to run a global series of events around turning trash into art, to raise awareness about plastic consumption, its harmful effects on the environment, and how we can fight back. In New Zealand, this is all boiling down to a one-day workshop at Newtown Library on Saturday 5 June, 10am – 1pm, where you’ll go on a journey (literally, like, outside) to capture the good, the bad, and the ugly of consumption and waste in our community, and bring that waste back to the library to turn it into art. What you create will be captured by a professional photographer and included as part of an international exhibition across 8 countries (including New Zealand) in September this year.

The event is totally free, but you do need to be between the ages of 9-15 to attend. If you’re keen, make sure you click here to register, because spots are limited and they are disappearing fast!

Check out Mandy Barker’s incredible work by visiting her website to see what kinds of wondrous things you will learn how to create, using our very own local trash in Newtown.

Star Wars Day: A New Hope for us all?

Attention all Jedi, Bounty Hunters and Rebels! Star Wars Day is happening again on May the Fourth, which is observed and celebrated by fans of the Star Wars franchise.  
image courtesy of starwarsnewsnet
This year, you can celebrate by visiting your local library, relive and check out fiction, (as well as non fictioncomics and movies) all related to anything and everything from the Star Wars universe!

Read the following fiction:

image courtesy of syndeticsForce collector.

“In this Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker young adult novel set just before The Force Awakens, a restless teenager sets out to discover what connection his mysterious Force powers have to the fabled Jedi and what the Force has in store for him.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLeia, Princess of Alderaan.

“The story of how Leia Organa comes to join the Rebellion. Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia has been taking rigorous survival courses, practicing politics, and spearheading relief missions to worlds under Imperial control so that she becomes formally named heir to the throne of Alderaan. When her parents begin acting strange, sixteen-year-old Princes Leia sets out to uncover their secrets, putting her in the path of the watchful Empire. She finds herself facing the choice of dedicating herself to the people of Alderaan, including the man she loves, or to the galaxy at large which is in desperate need of a rebel hero.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsAhsoka.

“Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance.” (Catalogue)


Read the following non fiction:

image courtesy of syndeticsHow Star Wars conquered the universe : the past, present, and future of a multibillion dollar franchise.

“Why do most people know what an Ewok is, even if they haven’t seen Return of the Jedi? How have Star Wars action figures come to outnumber human beings? How did ‘Jedi’ become an officially recognised religion? When did the films’ merchandising revenue manage to rival the GDP of a small country? Tracing the birth, death and rebirth of the epic universe built by George Lucas and hundreds of writers, artists, producers, and marketers, Chris Taylor jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett’s helmet, all to find out how STAR WARS has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe making of Star Wars : the definitive story behind the original film : based on the lost interviews from the official Lucasfilm archives.

“After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling science fiction saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials of the thirties, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history, and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for thirty years – a story that has never been told as it was meant to be. Until now.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars encyclopedia.

“This comprehensive guide to the Star Wars series of films follows on from the re-release of the first three films. Everything from the smugglers’ spaceport on Abregado-Rae and technical explanations of the Millennium Falcon’s acceleration compensator is covered.” (Catalogue).

Watch the films: The nine-part Skywalker saga!

Original trilogy:

image courtesy of amazon.com.image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.com

Star Wars [original trilogy]

Relive the exhilarating action, spectacular battles and ultimate triumph of good over evil that make Star Wars the greatest space fantasy adventure of all time – and the ultimate entertainment experience for every family. The Star Wars original trilogy episodes continue the saga with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo leading the rebel Alliance to claim victory over the Empire and win freedom for the galaxy.

A New Hope: “In a galaxy far, far away, a psychopathic emperor and his most trusted servant – a former Jedi Knight known as Darth Vader – are ruling a universe with fear. They have built a horrifying weapon known as the Death Star, a giant battle station capable of annihilating a world in less than a second. When the Death Star’s master plans are captured by the fledgling Rebel Alliance, Vader starts a pursuit of the ship carrying them…”

The Empire Strikes Back: “Darth Vader is helping the Empire crush the rebellion determined to end the Empire’s domination of the universe. The rebels are based on Hoth, and when troops arrive to wipe them out, Han Solo and Princess Leia flee to Cloud City. Luke Skywalker, in a bid to strengthen his knowledge of the force, finds Yoda, one of the finest Jedis ever. Will they be able to get back together and halt the Empires progress?”

Return of the Jedi: “As the Emperor himself oversees the construction of the new Death Star by Lord Darth Vader and the evil Galactic Empire, smuggler Han Solo is rescued from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt by his friends, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Chewbacca. Leaving Skywalker Jedi training with Yoda, Solo returns to the Rebel Fleet to prepare for to complete his battle with the Empire itself. During the ensuing fighting the newly returned Skywalker is captured by Vader. Can the Rebels, and their new found friends, the Ewoks, help restore freedom to the Galaxy?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Prequel trilogy:

image courtesy of amazon.com

Star Wars [prequel trilogy].

Relive the nonstop excitement, thrilling discoveries and ultimate triumph of good over evil that make Star Wars the greatest space fantasy adventure of all time – and the ultimate entertainment experience for every family. The Star Wars prequel trilogy episodes begin the saga with young Anakin Skywalker’s descent to the dark side as he transforms from child slave to Jedi apprentice to Darth Vader, the most feared villian in the galaxy!

Phantom Menace: “Set thirty years before the original Star Wars film, Episode I introduces Anakin Skywalker, a boy with special powers, unaware that the journey he is beginning will transform him into the evil Darth Vader.”

Attack of the Clones: “Set 10 years after the events of The phantom menace and the galaxy has undergone significant change, as have Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padme.”

Revenge of the Sith: “Torn between loyalty to his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the seductive powers of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker ultimately turns his back on the Jedi, thus completing his journey to the dark side and his transformation into Darth Vader.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sequel trilogy:

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Force Awakens:

“As Kylo Ren and the sinister First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing when the galaxy needs him most. It’s up to Rey, a desert scavenger, and Finn, a defecting stormtrooper, to join forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca in a desperate search for the one hope of restoring peace to the galaxy.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of amazon.comThe Last Jedi.

“The Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure. Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of amazon.comThe Rise of Skywalker.

“When it’s discovered that the evil Emperor Palpatine did not die at the hands of Darth Vader, the rebels must race against the clock to find out his whereabouts. Finn and Poe lead the Resistance to put a stop to the First Order’s plans to form a new Empire, while Rey anticipates her inevitable confrontation with Kylo Ren.” (Catalogue)


Check out the official trailer for Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which arrives on the Disney channel on May 4th, as well as the trailer for popular Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, which  follows the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.



Enjoy!… and May the Fourth be with you!

Introduction to Warhammer

During the school holidays, we have all kinds of cool stuff going on under the banner of General NerderyNow, we would hardly be doing that title service if we ignored the kingpin of all things nerdy and wonderful: Warhammer 40K.

Ain't no party like a Warhammer party.

Warhammer is a miniature wargame set in the fantastical realms of a far future society in which human civilisation has stagnated and is beset on all sides by aliens, supernatural creatures, arcane powers, and Lovecraftian horrors. Since its inception in 1987, it has become the most popular miniature wargame in the world.

The excellent folk at Te Awe Library on Brandon Street are staging an Introduction to Warhammer event on Sunday May 2, 2-4pm, so you can learn all about the game, the hobby, the world and its characters, and receive a free figure to paint and take home, either to add to your army or start a new one. We are generously supported by the kind and dedicated bunch at Warhammer Wellington — your source for all your (other)worldly needs.

To register for this event or to find out more, email the team at Te Awe Library, or message us on Facebook or Instagram. To find out what else we have going on for the school holidays, visit our calendar or check out our blog.

The Mad Mage of Merton: A D&D One-Shot for the Holidays

During the upcoming school holidays, on Sunday the 2nd of May, we are incredibly lucky to have the talented, creative and yes, magical, Dungeon Master and podcaster extraordinaire Julz Burgisser join us to run a D&D one-shot for you folks out there who are new to the game. Julz will be running a campaign of her own making, The Mad Mage of Merton, set in the homebrewed World of Isen created by Brad Zimmerman. Find out more about this mage, Julz herself, and our event, below.

Maybe you can play D&D, Will Byers! And if you do it at Johnsonville Library, you won't even be sucked into the Upside Down!

The Mad Mage of Merton

The Mad Mage of Merton’s Terrifying Tower is a well known landmark on the outskirts of the city of Merton, separated from the town by a small forest. Rising into the sky upon the cliff face, it seems impossibly tall and now it seems like the Mad Mage has pierced the heavens themselves. Thunderstorms surround the tower and Merton has been hit with a wave of static electricity that holds the town at a standstill of frizzy hair and an inability to touch anything metal without getting zapped and flying across the room. They’ve called for help to the best and most famous mystery solving adventurers they know, the Wistal Whistles! (*ps. That’s you!) Can you stop the Mad Mage’s latest experiment before he blows up the whole town? You’ll have to play to find out!

Set in the homebrewed World of Isen, created by Brad Zimmerman. Session DM’d by Julz Burgisser who plays Marley Kraff in the D&D 5e actual play podcast ‘Fate of Isen’ available for download on iTunes, Spotify and all good podcasting apps. See www.fateofisen.com for more details on Isen.

The Mad Mage of Merton is a homebrewed one shot basic monster encounter adventure created by Julz, based in The World of Isen created by Brad Zimmerman. The one shot is played over 3 hours, with pre-generated level 4 characters.

What you need to know:

  • This one-shot is for teens aged 14-18 who have not played D&D before. We hope you get hooked!
  • The game is set at Level 4, as the game has been designed to teach about all the different types of problems you may come across in a typical D&D dungeon.
  • You do not need to bring anything along to play. Character sheets, pens and dice will be supplied for the length of the game. However you are welcome to bring your own dice, rollers or trays if you have them.
  • We’ll be playing for a while! So make sure you think about maybe bringing a drink or a snack for your comfort.
  • We keep our players’ safety in mind at all times and run a respectful table with safety tools to keep it that way.
  • Spots at this event are strictly limited. Please email johnsonville.library@wcc.govt.nz to register.

This Dungeons and Dragons One-Shot with Julz Burgisser is part of General Nerdery, our April school holiday programme for kids and teens. Click here to check out the full schedule of events!

Join us for the mayhem and magic of the Mad Mage of Merton!

These School Holidays, General Nerdery Awaits

So the April school holidays are only a couple of weeks away. We thought we would cordially invite you to join us in revelling in our collective General Nerdery throughout the holidays.

This .gif will never not give us life. Amen.

Everyone has something that they get nerdy about. For some it’s board games and tabletop RPGs (here’s lookin’ at you, D&D kids), for some it’s comics or movies (or movies about comics), for yet others the thrill of creation and expression will be what gets their Spidey-senses a-tingling. The good news is, we have a pile of events to suit you, whether you’re a digital nerd or more of a hands-on type. Dear reader, this is your chance to let out your inner geek and let them strut around with the rest of us! Read on to find out more, or click here for the full breakdown of what’s on where.

Tara Black x Dylan Horrocks: Talk and Draw!

Talk and draw with Tara Black in discussion with Dylan Horrocks
If you’re a graphic artist, zine artist or comic book fan, this event is a must-see! Come along to hear Tara Black in conversation with Dylan Horrocks. Part workshop, part overview, part discussion — join us for what promises to be a fabulous, informative, and entertaining event.

We’ve already blogged extensively about this event — click here for the full and juicy deets!

  • Johnsonville Library, Saturday 17 April, 1.00-2.00pm

Arapaki Games Night

Join us at Arapaki Library on Manners Street for a night of boardgame fun! People of all age groups are welcome, and you can come along as an individual or as a group. We have a great selection of games, but you are welcome to bring your own favourites to share with others as well. BYO snacks!

  • Arapaki Library, Monday 19 April, 5.00 – 6.45pm

Embroider Your Own Patch

Join us at Johnsonville Library during the school holidays to learn how to embroider your own patch that you can sew onto your clothes, schoolbag, or jacket! Wear your nerdy finery with pride and chill with like-minded folx in the library while picking up a rad new skill and levelling up your DEX stat at the same time! We’ll provide the materials; all you need to do is turn up!

  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2.00 – 5.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 27 April, 2.00 – 5.00pm

Experience VR!

Virtual reality (VR) offers us a new and exciting way to learn about and experience the world around us. From 3D painting and virtual sculpting to exploring some of the world’ most extreme location (and, okay, maybe a bit of Beat Sabre thrown in for good measure), this is your opportunity to experience VR from the safety and comfort of your local library.

  • Karori Library, Tuesday 20 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, Thursday 29 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm

Zine Make ‘n’ Swap

Come on down to Arapaki Library on Manners Street every Tuesday evening to spend some time making zines and socialising with other local zinemakers. We’ll supply plenty of materials, but feel free to bring your own as well. Once you’ve finished putting your zines together, you can swap with other zinemakers and/or donate your completed zines to the library, which people will then be able to browse and borrow!

  • Arapaki Library, Tuesday 20 April, 5.00 – 6.45pm
  • Arapaki Library, Tuesday 27 April, 5.00 – 6.45pm

Chess!

If you enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, come along to Arapaki Library on Manners Street and join us for some games of chess! We have two chess sets available, or you are welcome to bring your own, for an evening of challenging games. People of all age groups and ability levels are super welcome.

  • Arapaki Library, Wednesday 21 April, 5.00 – 6.45pm
  • Arapaki Library, Wednesday 28 April, 5.00 – 6.45pm

Fort Night

Okay, we baited you, it’s not what you think it is. Come along to Tawa Library to literally turn the teen section into a giant box fort. That’s it. That’s the event. You’ll love it, we promise! Maybe you’ll even love it so much that you want to do it twice!

  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Thursday 22 April, 4.00 – 6.00pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Thursday 29 April, 4.00 – 6.00pm

Teen Zine Machine

Wellington Zinefest’s Lucky Drop Zine Machine has its temporary home with us at Johnsonville Library. Join us for this special zine-making workshop to learn how you can write and construct your own zines, either to take home or to add to our library’s collection! Your work will be proudly displayed alongside other works of ziney genius such as ButtsJudith Collins on Race, and Butts. Did we mention we have a zine called Butts? We’re not exactly setting the bar high here!

  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 23 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 30 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Nature Heroes: Board Game Creation Workshop

Johnsonville Library is excited to work with VIVITA Aotearoa to bring this VIVISTOP Mini pop-up programme to the library. During this 5-day workshop, you will learn about the concepts of design thinking, engage in creative problem solving, learn to use software and hardware and other tools in the library’s Tūhura HIVE Makerspace, and then apply these lessons to the creation of a board game centred around the theme of conservation.

This workshop is FREE, but space is limited to 15 participants. Click here to register. Nature Heroes: Board Game Creation Workshop is suitable for young creators aged 9-15.

  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 27 April to Saturday 1 May (inclusive), 10.00am – 12.00pm

Waitohi Youth Night

Come to our after-hours Youth Night to find a space to be yourself in all your nerdy glory, and meet other like-minded teens. Check out the coll tech in Tūhura | The HIVE, record music, play games, watch movies, read a book, or just hang out — our space is yours! And yes, we will feed you pizza.

During Youth Night, the library is closed to other customers. You need to be over 14, so make sure you come ready to show your school ID at the door.

  • Johnsonville Library, Saturday 1 May, 5.00 – 8.00pm

Dungeons and Dragons One-Shot with Julz Burgisser

Join superstar Dungeon Master and podcaster Julz Burgisser for this Dungeons and Dragons one-shot for teens. Pre-generated characters will be available to choose from, so we get into the game as quickly as possible, and no prior D&D experience is required. Character sheets, pens, and dice will all be provided — but make sure you bring a drink or snack, as we’ll be playing for a while!

This event is for teens aged 14-18 who are wanting to try D&D for the first time. Please register your interest by emailing johnsonville.library@wcc.govt.nz as spaces are strictly limited.

Find out more about Julz, and this one-shot, here!

  • Johnsonville Library, Sunday 2 May, 12.00 – 3.00pm

Tara Black x Dylan Horrocks: An Event You Don’t Want to Miss

So, you’re an artist. Or a writer. Or both. Or neither — maybe you just like looking at stuff and reading stuff and want to know more about how it works! Maybe you’re into comics, or manga, or general illustration, or live drawing, or all of the above. Maybe, just maybe, you’re wanting to find out how you can take your passion for drawing or writing and turn it into your life’s work, your livelihood, your source of creative (and financial) nourishment. Or maybe you just want to sit in on a conversation with two very cool and talented people and be swept away by their wit and craft.

Regardless of which category you fit into above, we have the event for you: Talk and Draw with Tara Black and Dylan Horrocks, Saturday 17 April, 1.00pm at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Community Hub. Part workshop, part overview, part conversation — join us for what promises to be a fabulous, informative, and entertaining event, with two of the biggest names in New Zealand comics.


Photo: Ebony Lamb 2020

If you don’t know Tara Black, you should — she is one of the most distinctive and unique graphic artists working in Aotearoa. Alongside her excellent webcomics (I’m particularly partial to The Blue Fury, in which the ghosts of Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield get their kicks out of haunting a first-year English teacher) and her extremely weird and cool new book This is not a pipe (VUP, 2020), Tara is known for doing live illustrations of events around Wellington City. I reckon that’s a pretty awesome way to make a living.


The Eisner Award-winning Dylan Horrocks, of course, is one of the most talented and versatile cartoonists working in the scene today. His works range from the meta-comic tour-de-force that is Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen (VUP, 2014) to the iconic Hicksville (Black Eye Comics, 1998), which I choose to believe draws some inspiration from my own home town of Hastings, which may have been briefly known as Hicksville in the early 1870s, with a healthy dose of work on the Batman and Batgirl comics in the early-mid 2000s.

Come along and join us for this Most Ambitious Crossover Event In Comic Book History (okay not really, but it will still be really cool!), and of course check out Tara and Dylan’s books below!


This is not a pipe / Black, Tara
“I’ve decided to document my life in pictures. It’s hard to draw the pole, because of the pole. Beth has a pole through her arms. This is not a metaphor. A metaphor would be a lot less inconvenient. On the other side of the room, Kenneth is creating a new religion. He thinks narrative is the operating principle of the universe. He also thinks he’s the hero of Beth’s story. Beth is worried he’s going to leave her. The creatures living in the pole may have stolen her cat. Tara Black’s comic is surreal, dark, sad, perversely joyful, and if you bet someone they couldn’t find another book remotely like it, you would win. It’s a little bit about being married to Kenneth. It’s a little bit about losing your cat. It’s definitely not about the pole.” (Catalogue)

Hicksville : a comic book / Horrocks, Dylan
“World-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry. However, behind his rapid rise to success, there lies a dark and terrible secret, as biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger’s hometown in remote New Zealand. One of the best graphic novels of the past decade.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Incomplete works / Horrocks, Dylan
“Daydreams, fantasy, true love, and procrastination feature strongly in this selection of Dylan Horrocks’s shorter comics running from 1986 to 2012. It is both the chronicle of an age and a portrait of one man’s heroic struggle to get some work done.” (Catalogue)

Sam Zabel and the magic pen / Horrocks, Dylan
“Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds. Accompanied by a young webcomic creator named Alice and an enigmatic schoolgirl with rocket boots and a bag full of comics, Sam goes in search of the Magic Pen, encountering sex-crazed aliens, medieval monks, pirates, pixies and–of course–cartoonists. Funny, erotic, and thoughtful, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen explores the pleasures, dangers, and moral consequences of fantasy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What’s On for Wellington Pride?

Wellington Pride Festival logo, dark field, rainbow design surrounding

Join us for the Wellington Pride Festival 2021!

This month, from 13-27 March, is the Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e te Whanganui-ā-Tara. As New Zealand’s longest-running Pride festival, Wellington Pride is the annual celebration of rainbow pride in our city, featuring LGBTQIA+ performers, historians, writers, artists, musicians, and — of course — librarians doing their thing for the community. Wellington City Libraries always joins in on the fun, and this year we have a selection of awesome events that you might be interested in coming along to. Check out the deets below!


Queer Stories: Discovering LGBTQIA+ History at the Library
Friday 19 March, 5.00 – 7.30pm
Newtown Library

Join some very cool librarians as they trace how LGBTQIA+ stories are told through the library’s collections in print, online, and on film. The event will conclude with a free screening of a queer film from our collection, and we anticipate rainbow cupcakes will be consumed voraciously!


The Queer History of Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Thursday 18 March, 5.30 – 7.00pm
Te Awe Library

Join us for an evening of sharing Wellington’s queer and takatāpui oral history. We’ll being hearing kōrero from historians Will Hansen and Roger Swanson, both involved in the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ), as well as Kay’la Rian representing Tīwhanawhana celebrating the organizations 20th anniversary. More speakers to be announced!


Queer Experience and Expression
Thursday 25 March, 5.30 – 7.00pm
Te Awe Library

Hear from a variety of local queer and takatāpui artists about their experiences through their unique form of artistic expression. Celebrate the LGBTQI+ perspective that comes through in all varieties of expression. We’ll be hearing from illustrator Sam Orchard, Wellington-based artist and musician Olga Lapin, and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere — artist, LGBTQ+ activist, scholar and NZ politician with the Green Party.


Rainbow Storytimes with Hugo Grrrl and Friends
Sunday 14 March, 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Monday 15 March, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library
Saturday 20 March, 2 – 3pm at Kilbirnie Library
Sunday 21 March, 2 – 3pm at Te Awe Library

Okay, okay, I know if you’re reading this you’re probably not a kid, and you’re probably thinking these events are for kids. And they are! But they’re also for you. Come along for a most enchanting hour of stories, songs and games with some of Wellington’s most excellent drag performers, including Hugo Grrrl, Harlie Lux, Amy Thurst, and many more. So wholesome, so fabulous, so great — even if you’re not a kid, you’ll dig it! And if you’re an aspiring drag artist yourself, you should come along to see how it’s done!


Out in the City
Sunday 27 March, 11am – 5pm
Michael Fowler Centre, 2nd floor

Yes, your favourite library again has a stall at your favourite LGBTQIA+ community event of the year — Out in the City (it used to be called Out in the Park if the name sounds a little unfamiliar). We’ll be there all day handing out our signature queer literary icon badges (as well as the usual rainbow library ones!), and talking about LGBTQIA+ books, movies, online resources and more. Come and say hi!

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