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

Tag: Library

Get Your Manga Fix at Newtown Library!

If you’ve trod the hallowed halls of our gorgeous Newtown Library recently, you may have noticed that she’s had a bit of a glow-up of late. The YA section has moved to a fetching and airy new location affording panoramic views of bustling Constable St, and its shelves are now bedecked with a plethora of new manga series freshly plucked from our collection warehouse and brought forth to the good people of Newtown for your edification and enjoyment.

An arrangement of new manga series on the shelf at Newtown Library

Ooh! Aah! So pretty! So many new books to explore!

There’s plenty here to satisfy readers new to the form as well as the seasoned panel-decipherers among you — and don’t forget you can check out the entire WCL manga collection here so you can reserve to your heart’s content. Also, if manga’s kinda your thing, we blog about it pretty often around these parts — check out some of our other posts here.

Anyway, here are the first volumes of some of the manga series you can expect to find on the shelves at Newtown on your next visit:

07-Ghost. Volume 1 / Amemiya, Yuki
“Teito Klein wants to forget his murky past as an orphan and slave and to graduate from Barsburg’s military academy with his best friend Mikage. But when an overheard state secret triggers treasonous memories, he’s forced to flee from the very empire he once sought to defend! Deliberately leaving Mikage behind, Teito escapes to the Barsburg Church. There, with the help of its three bishops, he begins to unravel his role in the story of an evil god, seven ghosts, two rival empires, and his own mysterious past.” (Catalogue)

Children of the sea. 1 / Igarashi, Daisuke
“When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea that she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the ocean’s fish.” (Catalogue)

Magi : the labyrinth of magic. 1 / Ōtaka, Shinobu
“Inspired by One thousand and one nights, Aladdin, together with Ugo and Alibaba, searches in the desert for the mysterious Dungeons and their riches.” (Catalogue)

No matter how I look at it, it’s you guys’ fault I’m not popular! 1 / Tanigawa, Nico
“Tomoko Kuroki naturally assumed she’d be popular when she got to high school…but then cold, hard reality swooped in for the attack. Turns out all the popularity points she’s racked up in her video game dating sims are worth squat in real life, and Tomoko’s far from prepared to navigate high school. How can she possibly hope to impress her classmates when she can’t even talk to them? A new high-school heroine is born (maybe?).” (Catalogue)

Pandora hearts. Vol. 1 / Mochizuki, Jun
“The air of celebration surrounding fifteen-year-old Oz Vessalius’s coming-of-age ceremony quickly turns to horror when he is condemned for a sin about which he knows nothing. Thrown into the Abyss–an eternal prison from which there is no escape–Oz meets a young girl named Alice, who is not what she seems. Now that the relentless cogs of fate have begun to turn, will they lead only to crushing despair for Oz, or will Alice provide him with some shred of hope?” (Catalogue)

Sakura Hime : the legend of Princess Sakura. 1 / Tanemura, Arina
“Princess Sakura has been engaged to Prince Oura since birth. Wanting to escape a life arranged by others, Sakura runs away and finds she’s caught up to her true destiny. She is the granddaughter of a mysterious moon princess who slew demons with her Blood Cherry Blossom sword. All her life Sakura has been forbidden to look at the full moon without knowing why. Then one night, she gazes up at the moon, only to see a demon attacking her…” (Catalogue)

Shugo Chara! 1, Who do you want to be? / Peach-Pit
“Everybody at Seiyo Elementary thinks that stylish and super cool Amu has it all: But nobody knows the real Amu, a shy girl who wishes she had the courage to truly be herself. Changing Amu’s life is going to take more than wishes and dreams-it’s going to take a little magic! One morning, Amu finds a surprise in her bed: three strange little eggs. Each egg contains a Guardian Character, an angel-like being who can give her the power to be someone new. With the help of her Guardian Characters, Amu is about to discover that her true self is even more amazing than she ever dreamed. This volume of Shugo Chara! includes special extras after the story!” (Catalogue)

Library wars : love & war. 1 / Yumi, Kiiro
“In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves – the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!” (Catalogue)

Demon love spell. 1 / Shinjō, Mayu
“Miko is a shrine maiden who has never had much success at seeing or banishing spirits. Then she meets Kagura, a sexy demon who feeds off women’s feelings of passion and love. Kagura’s insatiable appetite has left many girls at school brokenhearted, so Miko casts a spell to seal his powers. Surprisingly the spell works sort of but now Kagura is after her!” (Catalogue)

Captive hearts. Vol. 1 / Hino, Matsuri
“Carefree Megumi Kuroishi was living a life of luxury until the day a girl named Suzuka Kogami walked into his life. All of a sudden, Meguni finds himself kneeling at suzuka’s feet and prostrating himself like a servant! What Megumi doesn’t know (until that very moment anyway) is that his family is cursed to follow the orders of the Kogami family. Being carried around everwhere and having handsome Megumi act like a slave may seem ideal, but Suzuka just wishes he would stop. Can anything be done about Megumi’s captive state? Or is Megumi doomed to see Suzuka as his master…forever?”” (Catalogue)

Information Literacy and You: Part 3

Using trusted sites and books

The trick for information literacy skills from Gandalf is to keep reading, reading and reading.

And the follow-up skill for reading, is searching, searching and searching. Knowing how to do an information search is critical for accessing and disseminating the appropriate information. Having information needs, i.e. finding out who is in that music video you’re covering for a Music studies report or finding that one massive reference to use in your History essay can make the difference in your exams and assessments. It also helps you discover awesome things when you’re surfing the net or getting books out of the library. There are various reference collections for important areas of knowledge such as the Māori reference and loan collection, or the standard hard-copy dictionary or thesaurus, maps and atlases collection. Not all library’s have extensive access. but they are spread out over the branch’s for you to use.

the follow-up skill for reading, is searching, searching and searching

Doing Google searches for instance in a reference-style, is a great starting way of looking for sources and information. Using the Library catalogue is another search engine function where you can group together keywords, such as relevant subjects or authors you want to explore about. These searches will bring up a list of results, and then with the short blurbs displayed will give you an idea as to the relevancy of the material being resulted. The same principle is used to sort out Google search results and other search engines, such as those within the history archive Recollect from the library website.

The library has several services that you can use to gain reliable information, all with your library card! Just log into the eLibrary section of the Wellington City Library website and scroll down to More Resources, where you will find the section entitled Rauemi ā-ipurangi (the My Gateway online resources https://wcl.govt.nz/mygateway/).

Image of the database frontpage, showcasing the various subjects that databases are to be found within.

The library’s many databases collection. Find the subjects you are interested in today!

There is also available the WCL Recollect platform (https://wellington.recollect.co.nz/), which helps you history buffs access a treasure trove of information, curated by the Library’s resident historian Gábor Tóth. Remember to apply your Info Literacy skills to the search results to further expand your knowledge, also remember if it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. If it’s not relevant, then there’s no need to read it.

Image of the library's historical research database, Recollect.

Screenshot of the Recollect service offered by the library. Use this for historical research.

if it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t

Government-listed websites are also important sources of information, and can contain really useful information, such as on te taiao – the environment. Using places like DOC to find your information, it can make a difference to your understanding and the reports that you write. It also helps you to be a better Aotearoan.

Image of the Department of Conservation website, front page

Screenshot of the official Department of Conservation website.

So, now you have the skills to analyse greater amounts of knowledge specifically, and to withstand misinformation in its many guises. Don’t be fooled by the media and unlimited access to ‘information’, always read beyond the page and think critically about what is being said.

Wellington City Libraries on Tumblr

We are on tumblr! If you’re wasting some time, waste it with us at wellingtoncitylibraries.tumblr.com. There is also useful information.


Lending changes

books to loan and renewYou guys! From Sunday July 1 you might notice some differences when you issue, renew or return items at Wellington City Libraries.

The issue period for books is changing to three weeks – and you will soon be able to renew (for free!!) each item once for another three weeks, if no one else has placed a reserve.

If you’re renewing a YA or Children’s DVD you’ll just need to pay another 80c rental fee to keep it for another week, very handy for some of those longer box sets!

You will have two more days after items become due, before we start charging overdue fees.

Renewing items is easy – you can either renew them online by checking your library card at wcl.govt.nz/card or ask a staff member at your local library.

If you have any questions about these changes and how they’ll affect the items you take out of the library most regularly, please email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or ask at your local library.

YA Authors Rock Out

Hey, did you guys know that Young Adult authors Libba Bray, Natalie Standiford, Dan Ehrenhaft and Barnabas Miller are all in a band called Tiger Beat together? I didn’t! Not until this morning when I saw this video of them performing “YA Song” in the New York Public Library.

You can play “spot the literary references” with the lyrics as well. They throw in some Hunger Games and some Catcher In The Rye, what else can you pick out?

Maxed out your reserves on your library card?

Do you often find yourself juggling your ten reserves? If ten’s not enough to keep track of the things you want to read then My Discoveries on the Easyfind catalogue may be the way to go.

Once you’ve got a My Discoveries login (have a look at this tutorial to find out how to create one), you can create lists (“To Read”, or “For School” for example), and add things to those lists, referring back to them when you’re out of things to read. A list looks a little something like this:


Selecting an item from the list takes you to the catalogue record, and from there you can reserve it. Pretty easy!

To find out more, have a look a the Wish Lists tutorial here.

Teen only night! At! Karori!


Just so that you know

All Wellington public libraries will be closed over Labour Weekend – on Friday, the 22nd of October, we close at 7pm and reopen again on Tuesday, the 26th of October, at the usual time. This is so that the library’s computer system can be upgraded. Which means that the online catalogue (and most of the WCL site, actually) won’t be operating for that time also. Blogs will be working, though! (Blogs won’t be working!) Also, no one will be charged overdues for the days we’re shut.

FUN FACT: Labour Weekend originated in Wellington, when a man – nay, a hero! – kicked off the eight-hour working day movement in 1840. Before that people could be made to work all day! Blergh.

George Washington’s Overdue Fine

George Washington by Gilbert StuartAccording to the New York Society Library, George Washington owes about $300,000 in overdue charges for an item he borrowed on the 5th of October 1789 and never returned.

Do you want to avoid a George Washington moment? You might find Library Elf a good thing then – read about how your elf could remind you to return items before they’re due here. There’s also a tutorial showing you all the stuff Library Elf does here.

Think you’ve already had a George Washington moment? Give us a call (801 4060, when the library’s open) or come in and talk to us. It might not be as bad as you think. (At the very very least you’re not in nearly as much trouble as the first president of the United States!)

Ten Books Containing Libraries or Librarians

1 The Chosen One, Carol Lynch Williams. Kyra reads books from the mobile library, which might seem not exactly rebellious, but it is when you’re in a cult and reading books is forbidden.

2 Andromeda Klein, Frank Portman. Andromeda’s life is a quirky mess, but when books start going AWOL from the library she’s onto it, possibly with the help of her dead friend Daisy who may be trying to send her messages. The story of a teenage occultist who finds herself pitted against dark powers, including some “friends of the library”.

Libraries and romance
3 Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, Deb Caletti. Not only does it feature a librarian – Ruby’s mother – but also a bookclub. A book geek full house. Never fear though, it also features lots of romance (historical and current). Deb Caletti is often compared to Sarah Dessen, who’s the next suspect.

4 The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen. Macy chooses between a boring and safe life (involving a job at the organised library) and a more unpredictable and interesting one (involving a job in disorganised catering). The choice also involves two boys.

5 Cupid’s Arrow, Isabelle Merlin. Fleur’s mother inherits a fabulous library from a famous French author. Retrieving this library from Avallon in France brings mystery, romance and, the publisher’s website says, an “interactive web element”.

6 The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffeneger. The last word in romantic books featuring librarians. Henry works at the Newberry in Chicago, which is serious library stuff.

Libraries and fantasy
7 The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner. Not giving too much away, but one of the characters who may or may not be Gen lives in the library in Eddis, since his/her close-ish relatives have a history of being vile to him/her, and he/she is probably insufferable back.

8 Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr. The tireless and devoted Seth proves to be a useful researcher and, like a lot of useful researchers, visits the library to find out stuff (and to be harassed by faeries he can’t see).

9 Harry Potter…, J K Rowling. The library is the ultimate solution, according to Hermione. A bit like a cup of tea, but ultimately containing more information.

10 Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, Brandon Sanderson (a children’s book). The evil librarians are trying to take over the world. Because if you’re trying to do that, librarian is the obvious career path (under the radar, see).

Let me know about any more.

Lazy Readers

Not into reading long books? The Lazy Readers’ Book Club is an American site with, well, lazy readers in mind. Not that you are, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time. If that’s the case, you might like to browse their recommendations: the books are generally under 250 pages long.

Found via Contra Costa County Library.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?

When you use the library catalogue do you sometimes feel a bit like there’s this needle you lost and the last time you saw it was in that rather large haystack over there? Well, never fear; we’ve come up with a list of hints (some big, some small, some obvious, some notso) that should make looking for stuff a bit easier. The page is here.

If you yourself have some handy hints that you’d like to share then let us know.

Gooooooooooooogle Books

Google Books is a pretty cool book-specific search engine (including magazines) which you can use to, as the name suggests, search for info on books. Being Google it’s pretty neat and tidy and easy to use, although (being Google) you still have to use your brain a bit when you sift through the information it gives you – it’s quantity rather than quality with Google, remember!

So what does it give you? Type in the title of a book and you’ll get a page with a synopsis, book cover (just to check you’ve got the right one I guess), a list of online reviews and references from web pages… plus the option to buy online (using Amazon or Fishpond) or check to see if it’s at your local library*.

If you have a Google account you can even create a library of items so you can keep track of what you like and what you’ve read.

This is all extremely useful if you’re doing an extensive book review – it saves you a lot of trawling and cuts to the chase.

* This is done via worldcat. Worldcat is a catalogue of every possible book/CD etc you could imagine which links to libraries around the world – you just have to type “New Zealand” in the location information field and then select “Wellington City Library” and you’ll end up directly in the WCL catalogue page for that particular book. Cool.

Databases: read interesting news online!

Press Display* is, like, the most popular newspaper resource at work, it has to be said. At the touch of a couple of keys (namely your library card number and surname) and one or two mouse clicks you can read newspapers from around the world, from Angola to Zimbabwe (the Angolan newspapers appear to be in Spanish or Portuguese or some such, but I can tell you that the Business Weekly (1 December issue) in Zimbabwe was very happy that Germany was doubling aid).

The papers are in full colour, with all their photos and all. New Zealand papers available include the Clutha Leader, the Kaikoura Star and the Motueka News. They even have the Hutt News and the Upper Hutt Leader (two leaders?).

It’s too easy to use really – either pick a paper or search a topic: if you want more on *that* book or *that* movie then in moments you can enjoy articles from newspapers as diverse as The Gulf News, The Guardian (Charlottetown, Canada), Corriere della Sera (??) and the Philippines Daily Inquirer.

You will be the most informed person you know.


* It’s the resource at the top of the “Newspapers” section of MyGateway.

Databases: Fiction Connection

Wellington City Libraries has access to a whole range of databases (located in mygateway) that don’t get used nearly enough, so we thought we’d highlight some for you so you can have a go. First up I thought I’d find something not too study related: Fiction Connection. This one’s at the top of the Books & Authors list in My Gateway (you need to use your library card number and last name as username and password).

Fiction Connection is a stupidly easy to use tool (it’s also got a quick tour, just in case). You search for an author or book title and get a list, as per your average library database (in fact it uses Aquabrowser, like our Easyfind search), then you can hit the “find similar” button to (as the name suggests) find similar titles. For example, I was told if I enjoyed Nation by Terry Pratchett then I might like to try Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve or Apocalypse by Tim Bowler (which we don’t have, oops) or, or…

You can get fancy and refine your search, for example by location, setting, time frame, topic, or you could just use it like a slightly rigged lucky dip.

You’ll never run out of things to read this summer.

my gateway

Your own little Library Elf

Library Elf is a free service that will email you when a reserve has come in, or if any items are overdue or – and this is especially handy! – a few days before something is due, so that you may return it before we start charging our reasonable overdue fees. There is a demo here. All you need to do is to sign up; it requires your library card number and surname to access the library’s database and your email address to mail out reminders.

Be aware, however, that it’s not connected to Wellington City Libraries (it is based in Canada), and you ought to check their privacy policy first.

Internet Public Library

The Internet Public Library logoThe Internet Public Library is “the first public library of and for the Internet community”, linking to many sites on nearly any subject you can think of. They have an excellent Teenspace, with articles, links, and pages specifically for teens. They have a FAQ of embarrassing questions and a rather cool Poetry Wiki. Take a gander! They don’t charge overdue fees.

If it’s good enough for Terry Pratchett

Roleplaying games are games in which the players take on imagined roles and play collaboratively. Dungeons & Dragons is probably the most well-known RPG out there. In addition to D&D (which aren’t in the young adult collection), we carry these gaming books: