Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Commonwealth Writer's Prize

The two overall winners of the 23rd annual Commonwealth Writers' Prize will be announced at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival (AWRF), New Zealand, on 16 May 2009. The AWRF will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2009.

The Prize, an increasingly valued international award for fiction, is presented by the Commonwealth Foundation. Each year, a final programme brings regional winning writers and judges together for a series of readings, discussions and other public events, the concluding round of judging and a presentation ceremony for the winning Overall Best Book and Best First Book authors. All eight regional winners, announced in March, will be invited to take part in the programme of activities alongside the final pan-Commonwealth judging. The authors will visit schools, grassroots organisations, charities and prisons, and give readings in a range of bookshops. The week's programme will coincide with the announcement and presentation of the overall Prizes of £5,000 for the Best First Book winner and £10,000 for Best Book winner.

To keep up to date with the programme and events for the 2009 festival bookmark the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival website.

source Booksellers New Zealand

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

What's On over New Years in Rodney

It's time to bid farewell to 2008 and celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox, 2009.


There is plenty happening in Rodney, quite apart from the beautiful beaches, walks and wineries. Here's a quick run down of some things you might like to catch between swims, boating and finishing off the leftovers.


The Great Summer Art Exhibition
An annual festive fixture at the Snells Beach Community Centre, the exhibition is open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm and until 12 noon on Friday 2nd January. Light refreshments are available, the majority of the artwork is available for sale, plus there are raffles and you can vote for your favourite artwork.


Warkworth Rodeo
Another annual fixture, the Rodeo kicks off the New Year again on 1st January at the showgrounds. A great family day out.


Omaha Beach Surf Lifesaving Club are holding a dinner and dance as a fundraiser on Saturday 3rd January. Tickets available from John Williams Ph 0274 349174

I know there must be stuff happening out west and down Hibiscus Coast way as well, but I haven't been able to track any details. So the only thing I can suggest is check out all your community noticeboards, listen to Times FM (89.9 or 96.6) and have a fantastic New Year. See you all in 2009.

Monday, 29 December 2008

More books to movies

Following on from a post a couple of weeks ago, here is the full list of books that have been turned into movies and are opening in New Zealand in the next couple of months.

January 2009
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate diCamillo
Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan
Marley and Me by John Grogan
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Yes Man by Danny Wallace
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

February

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
Valkyrie: The Plot to Kill Hitler by Philip von Boeselager
Q & A: Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

March
Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Dean Spanley by Lord Dunsany

Friday, 26 December 2008

Parlour games

So you've eaten the turkey (or chicken or ham or vegetarian dish) and now you're wondering what to do with the family. You've read all your books and the library doesn't open until Monday. You can't go outside because it's bucketing down. There's nothing on TV and you have no desire to watch the DVD your daughter got for Christmas. Again. What do you do?

Why not try a parlour game? Apparently they are making a comeback overseas as people look for fun, cheap games for the whole family. The classic one I remember playing is 'charades'. Everyone writes down the name of a book, movie or TV show. All the notes go into a hat. The person who is 'up' picks a name out of the hat and then acts it out without saying a word. (Sometimes that was the only time during the day that we could get my sister to be quiet.)
Another one was 'last letter, first letter'. The group pick a subject, then every person in turn says a word relating to that subject. The catch is that the word you say has to start with the last letter of the word the previous person has said. It can get quite competitive with everyone trying to end their words with an 'e'.

The Independent has an article about "Christmas fun: Victorian parlour games". The Guardian online has a guide to games plus a wonderful article from Julie Myerson about why playing games can be so much fun.

Go on, give it a go.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas from around the world

Meri Kihimete. Joyeaux Noel. Feliz Navidad. Kilismasi Fiefia. La Manuia Le Kirisimasi. It's Christmas Eve! There will be lots of traditions, celebrations and happenings out there

The supermarkets are manic (even though realistically they are only going to be closed for one day, everyone is stocking up), the roads are filling and everyone is stocking up on their last minute reading, recipes, viewing and listening material, with the odd jigsaw for the kids thrown in.

Life is busy at Rodney Libraries today before we take a break for Christmas. All Rodney Libraries will be closing tonight at 5pm and be reopening on Monday morning 29th December at their normal times.

All that remains is for us to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas. Laugh loud and stay safe.

Ka kiti ano.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Our National Library

The National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Maatarangi O Aotearoa is our library. It belongs to all New Zealanders and houses some fantastic collections, runs some fascinating exhibitions, hosts tours and provides resources to libraries throughout New Zealand. They don't only do this from their home in Wellington, but 24/7 via their website above, plus through offices in Auckland and the South Island. Currently in Rodney they have been helping the new Primary school at Snells Beach set up their library.

The National Library has its foundations in the General Assembly Library formed in 1858 to serve Members of Parliament. Today's Library was created in 1965 when The National Library, the Alexander Turnbull Library, the General Assembly Library, and the National Library Service were brought together. It's aim is that New Zealanders are connected with information important to all aspects of their lives.

From the start page for the library you can explore the images, information, resources, events and going's on at the library. Sign up as a friend of the Library and receive their regular newsletter. And if you are ever down in Wellington, put a visit to Te Puna as well as a visit to Te Papa on your "to do" list. I hope to do exactly that sometime in 2009.

"Mā mua ka kite a muri; Mā muri ka ora a mua.
Those who lead give sight to those who follow; Those who follow give life to those who lead.
"

Monday, 22 December 2008

Books on the radio

If you want your fix of radio book readings during Christmas week (Monday 22nd to Friday 26th December) the WEEKDAY BOOK READINGS are continuing on the National Programme, all concentrating on unpublished short stories. This is your chance to perhaps discover the next big thing in literature. You can catch the book readings at the following times.
NINE TO NOON 10.45am
AFTERNOONS 2.30pm
ALL NIGHT PROGRAMME 3.15am

Meanwhile the 10.30am Book Review programme on Nine to Noon will discuss The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Colin Beatrice on Monday 22nd, Reporting America by Alistair Cooke on Tuesday 23rd January and a special Christmas Show on Wednesday 24th January.

Christmas storytimes on today!

Kumeu Library and Warkworth Library both have their Christmas storytimes on at 10.30am today.

The special storytimes are a chance for children to dress up in Christmas costumes, sing along with Christmas carols and listen to popular Christmas stories.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The spirit of Christmas

Get into the spirit of Christmas this week with a Christmas movie from your local Rodney Library. Click on the link here to Christmas DVD's and check out our catalogue for all our DVD's with a Christmas theme.

There's something there for children (Hi-5, Mickey, the Muppets and many more) family (The Santa Clause set is required viewing and don't forget the Simpsons), the TV Specials (Vicar of Dibley and The Office to name just two), the Classics (e.g. Carry on Christmas, A Christmas Carol) and adults (Joyeaux Noel, Noel).

My personal favourite is still Love Actually but that just goes to show I am a little bit of a romantic.

If the thought of more Christmas TV is too much, there is still some Christmas music available in the library. A lot has already gone out but click on the link to see what is still on our shelves.

It has taken a little while as I have been so busy this year. But I am now excited about Christmas. I'm going to spend the weekend getting ready for a visit from the big guy to our final storytime of the year on Monday at Warkworth. Maybe he will give me a peek at his Christmas list.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Trouble free partying

It's that time of year again. When Christmas spirit sometimes means more than just having a few laughs with family and friends and can very easily get out of control.

Which is why Rodney District Council has produced a fabulous little booklet, available FREE in all Rodney Libraries and Service Centres called "Your Guide to trouble free partying". It has been made available because we want everyone to MAXIMISE THE FUN and AVOID THE TROUBLE. It's a convenient size for the bag, pocket or glovebox and contains all sorts of great tips on responsible drinking and maps of where Rodney liquor ban areas are.

Rodney District Council - making a positive difference to our communities.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Don't Judge the Book by the Movie

Or the movie by the book in fact. There is plenty of opportunity to compare both over the summer with another bunch of movies based on books, hitting the screens for summer.
Top of the list for me is the much anticipated Twilight , based on the first book in the series by Stephenie Meyer. Vampire fiction has gone in and out of fashion over the years, but has always been around. This series is in heavy demand in the library and although I am not sure from the trailers if some of the casting matches the pictures in mind, I am still looking forward to Twilight the movie which opens in New Zealand on Boxing Day. Meanwhile I am devouring Breaking Dawn which is book 4 of the series. Something for the whole family will be Marley and Me, the movie based on John Grogan's story of a labrador dog with a personality and will, all his own. Rodney Libraries have several different versions of this story, including the picture book and the children's abridged version. Marley and Me the movie opens in New Zealand early in the New Year. The New Year also brings another family movie The Tales of Despereaux based on the book by Kate diCamillo. This is a "modern day fairy tale about a little mouse born under a big castle" and has some very well known voices behind the animations. We have several different versions of the book (click here to see our catalogue) from picture to childrens fiction.

If you don't want a trip to the movies but still want to match up the book and the film, don't forget our extensive DVD collection which contains lots of titles that began life as books. Have a look through our catalogue or ask at your local library.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Library Hours

With school over for almost everyone now, and plans for holidays on the near horizon, its time to tell you that WE AREN'T TAKING A BREAK. Rodney Libraries will be open between Christmas and New Year for all our Rodney residents, and we welcome visitors in to have a browse and lok around as well.

All Rodney Libraries will be closing at 5pm on Christmas Eve (Wednesday) and will remain closed on the Statutory Holidays (thats Christmas Day and Boxing Day) plus Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th December. We will open again on Monday 29th December and all libraries will work their usual hours Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before closing at 5pm on Wednesday for New Year's Day and 2nd January.

All Libraries will be open for their usual weekend opening hours on Saturday 3rd January (and Sunday for Mahurangi East) and then it is business as normal in 2009. Check with your local Library as we all have posters displaying our Christmas/New Year hours.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Keeping the kids amused on long car trips

So you've decided where you're going to take the kids and now you're on your way. Then comes the dreaded question - "Are we there yet?" This is one of the most annoying questions to ever be asked in a car. However, the one statement guaranteed to freak a driver right out is "I don't feel well..." I know this usually caused my parents to execute a swift left hand turn, park the car and open the back door quick smart. I suspect this was caused by my reading habits when I was a child - anywhere, anytime. This included the car on the long trips north. If only my parents had though of an alternative to reading books in the car...

Rather than tempt fate these holidays why not grab a handful of our children's books on CD and keep your kids amused for the long trip?

There are titles for boys and girls, from 3-13. For the littlies, try "Farmer duck" by Martin Waddell or a story from the Hairy McLary series by Lynley Dodd. Older children can choose from their favourite authors like Margaret Mahy, Andy Griffiths and Jeremy Strong. Or they could pick up a series like Horrible Histories, Alex Rider or Harry Potter. That'd be certain to keep them amused no matter where you were going.

A word of warning: you may need to drive an extra block or two so you can listen to the end of the story!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas storytimes on this week

Mahurangi East Library on Tuesday at 10.30am

Wellsford Library on Wednesday at 10.30am


Helensville Library on Wednesday at 4pm


Whangaparaoa Library on Thursday at 6.30pm with special guest Lou Collier


Orewa Library on Friday at 4.30pm

The special storytimes are a chance for children to dress up in Christmas costumes, sing along with Christmas carols and listen to popular Christmas stories.

"Where shall we take the kids?"

It's the last week of school and holidays are approaching. So just in time the age old question from the title today, is addressed in a new book of the same title by a local Rodney author.

Where shall we take the kids? by Gaye Miller the book is advertised as a "useful and much-needed travel guide for families". "Inside this book you’ll find a plethora of suggestions for family-friendly, cheap and cost-free things to do while travelling the country. Pitched at both New Zealand families and those visiting from overseas, the book gives tips to parents embarking on road trips, camping trips, campervan holidays and flights to different parts of the country. Including suggestions for hassle-free transportation, where to find the local information centre, public toilets with changing facilities and much more."

There is even a supporting website (and we have a link through to that from our catalogue as well). Check it out today.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Whats On in Rodney

Santa is visiting Rodney again with the Kumeu Santa Parade on this evening, as is Carols in the Park at Warkworth.

Point Wells is holding a Christmas Fair this evening 5 - 8pm and over the weekend (9am - 2pm both days) at the Hall. Made up of mainly craft enthusiasts it is a great place to meet and greet the locals, as well as picking up a few bargains. As a bonus the Point Wells Library is holding open days during the fair for a used book sale.

There is a carboot sale at Matakana Country Park on Saturday (8am - 1pm), and a Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival at Silverdale Hall on Sunday (9.30am - 2.30pm).

Its also tree decorating time, which is excellent for the children (although I did hear some people talking this morning on TV and saying if you want something beautiful you could do one tree as a centrepiece and give the children their own special little tree to decorate). If you are heading off to do your Christmas Shopping (as my sister-in-law and I am), be careful on the roads, drink lots of water if its hot and hold onto your handbag (just in case). Remember it's the thought that counts not the zero's after the dollar sign. Keep smiling and keep the spirit of Christmas - that smile might just be the gift someone else needed.

Ka kite ano.

Divine Beach Read

There's nothing much that can beat lying in the warm sand, the sound of the waves lapping in the background and a good book (unless it's any of your other favourite spots for reading a good book, but that's a subject for another day).

And just in time for summer comes the second book by New Zealand's latest Queen of Chick Lit. Michelle Holman has followed up her hilariously successful first novel Bonkers with the equally funny romance Divine.

The plot follows Tara Whitehead whose husband leaves her - because he wants to be a she. Tara and her daughter escape from Auckland society to the rural Waikato town called Divine. Here Tara indulges her shoe fetish with floral gumboots, learns the true meaning of strip grazing and meets a whole herd of easily recognisable characters. It is light hearted, witty and often had me chuckling out loud.

Read more about both the book and the author in this Stuff.co.nz article. I personally can't wait for her next novel.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

"First catch your weka" by David Veart.

"First catch your weka : a story of New Zealand cooking" by David Veart.

This is a highly entertaining and informative look through New Zealand history as demonstrated by the food we ate. Loosely arranged into chapters by decade, it explores New Zealand society and attitudes to a variety of things - the sexes, Maori, immigrants, alcohol, animal parts, self sufficiency, healthy living etc. My favourite description of New Zealanders is as a nation of 'carnivorous bakers'.
Near the end of the book Veart wonders why we have "never bridged the hemispherical gap and developed a southern winter festival." (pg 275) He suggests that Matariki would be the ideal time for an "...indigenous lunar festival, with pork, kumara, potatoes and a lot of fish." I think this is a great idea and will be trying it out next year.
I picked this book up because of the title but I kept reading for the writing. Highly recommended.

"Analyzing more than 150 years of recipes and cookbooks, this study chronicles the culinary history of New Zealand, looking at curious dishes such as boiled calf's head and stewed liver with macaroni, to the more traditional favorites such as homemade jams and chutneys. It explores what makes New Zealand cooking distinctive, and examines how the culture has changed, from the prevalence of whitebait and mussels in the 1920s, to the arrival of Asian influences in the 1950s, and finally to the modern emphasis on fresh ingredients and fusion cooking."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

What does Superman Read?

The answer to this and many other questions on the reading habits of super heroes will be answered during Rodney Libraries Summer Reading Programme.It's all fun for you too with incentives for reading through December and January, puzzles, colouring in and a party at the end with our own local Super hero Storyteller Stu Duval for all those who complete the programme.

The Summer Reading programme is free and places are always in hot demand. Feedback from parents is always positive and many say they see real progress in their children’s reading over the holiday period. For all school-age children Summer Reading is a great way to keep up the reading habit and develop a lifetime love of reading.
Registrations opened last weekend, but there are still plenty of places available. Places are allocated on a first come basis and it is important that both caregiver and child attend to register. At registration the child will receive their "Superheroes READ" pack and be on the way to completing their summer reading mission. At each of the four report-ins (staggered during the holidays) they will talk about their reading with one of our friendly librarians and receive a surprise incentive.

If you want to know more about the programme, just phone your local library.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Christmas Storytimes around Rodney Libraries

Christmas starts early at the libraries with Christmas Storytime sessions.

Wellsford Library, on Wednesdays 10th, 17th and 24th December, at 10.30am
Mahurangi East Library, on Tuesday 16 December, at 10.30am
Helensville Library, on Wednesday 17 December, at 4pm
Whangaparaoa Library, on Thursday 18 December, at 6.30pm
Orewa Library, on Friday 19 December, at 4.30pm
Kumeu Library, on Monday 22 December, at 10.30am
Warkworth Library, on Monday 22 December at 10.30am


The special storytimes are a chance for children to dress up in Christmas costumes, sing along with Christmas carols and listen to popular Christmas stories.

Lou Collier, the winner of the Rodney Live talent quest will also be singing at the Whangaparaoa Library storytime session on 18 December.

A New Zealand Christmas

Get right into the spirit of Christmas with this new book which has just been unpacked at Rodney Libraries central.

A New Zealand Christmas (Sarah Ell) covers a history of Christmas in New Zealand where it is more likely to be sand than snow that revellers have to contend with. Although some traditions have been kept from the northern hemisphere, other's (such as the Kiwi Christmas tree the pohutukawa) are all our own. Author Sarah Ell has not only drawn from personal experience, but also from the archives of the Alexander Turnbull Library to put together this wonderful book.
There are a whole lot of other Christmas books on display at all our local Rodney Libraries. If you see them sitting on display tables or under trees, they are there for you to take out and use. There is still time to get creative for the big day with your crafts, work on that fabulous christmas menu to impress or grab a couple of picture books to while away the hours with the grandchildren.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Beedle the Bard is here!

The latest Harry Potter offering The Tales of Beedle the Bard is only a slim volume and is a collection of fairy tales that were mentioned in the final Harry Potter book as having been left to Hermione by headmaster Albus Dumbledore. The volume contained clues that helped in the final mission to destroy Lord Voldemort.

Copies of the book in the library will be slightly less impressive than this volume (photo courtesy of abc.com.au) which was one of the seven originally handwritten by author JK Rowling for charity. She said that it was demand from Harry Potter fans that prompted her to publish her latest work. Proceeds from the collection of fairy tales, which has a global print run of 7.5 million copies, will go to a charity for vulnerable children in Eastern Europe co-founded by Rowling.

The full Reuters article can be read here http://www.stuff.co.nz/4783465a4501.html. As with all our Harry Potter books on publication, there is a waiting list but if you click on the title of the book in the first line, this will take you to our catalogue and you can put in a request for yourself, or simply ask next time you are in the library.

New courier van

Keep an eye out for the new RDC Courier van as it travels the district. You may have seen the previous van with the yellow 'courier' slashes. The new one has green 'courier' slashes and pretty pictures.

More pictures of the van on our Flickr page.

Friday, 5 December 2008

What's on in Rodney

Santa and his helpers are busy this weekend visiting Helensville and Warkworth for their Santa Parades tomorrow.

Artisan Market Day at the Helensville Art Centre. Saturday 6th Dec from 9.30am to 2pm.

Glorit Hall community Christmas Party from 6.30pm on Saturday evening. All welcome. The good old traditional "ladies a plate please" and Santa is scheduled to stop by around 7.30pm.
'A Christmas Concert' is being presented by the Kowhai Singers and the Matakana Children's Choir at the Mahurangi Community Centre, Saturday 6th Dec from 7.30pm. Tickets $15 available from the i-SITE, choir members or at the door.

Church in the Park is being held at the Goodall Reserve, Snells Beach on Sunday 7th Dec. 11am to 1pm with live music, entertainment, kids programme and prizes. Combined with a free sausage sizzle and an inspirational message, all welcome to enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

Carols by Candlelight on Sunday 7th at Pakiri Church from 7.30 pm

Hibiscus Coast Country Music Club feature Music in the streets in Hillary Square Orewa at 10am on Saturday before their Club Day in the Orewa Community Centre on Sunday from 1pm.

Coming up during the week Carols by Glowsticks at the Wellsford Primary School on 11th December, Orewa Primary School Christmas Market also on the 11th from 6pm and the Creative Dance Open Day at Orewa Community Hall from 3.30 to 5.30 pm on 9th December.

Its incredibly busy at this time of year so take care and have patience on the roads, and remember to slip, slop, slap if you are going out in the sun.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

I can see my library from here!

If you've been watching the news recently you'll have seen that New Zealand now has its own version of Google Street View. This is a nifty piece of mapping that links ground level pictures with locations.

For example: if you go to the Events Calendar and look at today you can see that Whangaparaoa Library has a Rhymetime on at 10:30am. Clicking 'Map' (on the right) brings up a large scale map of Auckland. You'll have to remove the 'Whangaparaoa Library' part of the address before the map will narrow it down to the right location for you. Then, click on the picture and you'll see the Main street in Whangaparaoa with the library to the right. Cool!

There's also the ability for you to add your own location on the map. I've tried to do it with Whangaparaoa Library which technically should mean that it comes up in the list of options when the map first displays. At least, I think that's what it's supposed to do. It did say it would take a few minutes...

Have a go yourself and let us know what you've been looking at. (My friends have been looking at public buildings like the Auckland War Memorial Musem - I've been looking at my house!)

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Are you wondering...

... what books to buy the children for Christmas? Then you should check out a new blog that some of our local Rodney authors are collaborting on.

www.kidsbooksnz.blogspot.com is a new site which every month reviews new books for the children and young adults market. The blog introduction says:

"Each month we will select the latest top quality children's books written by New Zealand authors and review them under these headings:
* Picture Books
* Chapter Books 6-8 year olds
* Chapter Books 8-12 year olds
* Young Adult Books 13 years+
* Non Fiction Books
You'll find out what makes them so good, whether they're age appropriate and how they fit into the school curriculum (if appropriate). I hope it inspires you to buy or borrow them!"

The team of reviewers includes Maria Gill and Lorraine Orman (who recently visited Warkworth Library), Vivienne Lingard and Christine Hurst. As well as book reviews there are also links through to some other New Zealand children's websites.

And I can tell you that Rodney Libraries already has most of the books they review on our shelves (or going through processing to get there) as we speak. It's a great blog with some really insightful reviews.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Extended loans for Christmas and New Year

If you are checking your books out this week and in the leadup to Christmas, you may notice that the normal four weeks issue has been extended out to 12th January.


Christmas and New Year are always so busy for everyone. The last thing you need to be thinking about is when your library books are due back. So we decided to do something about that to help you out and give our customers extra time so you don't have to worry about your library books while you are away enjoying the festive season.

This means that books (and all other items that normally have a four week issue period) taken out this week will be due back on 12th January.

What about the magazines and multi-media items you ask? We haven't forgotton them. Items that normally get issued for two weeks (magazines and music) that get checked out on or after Tuesday 9th December, will not be due back until Friday 9th January 2009. And items with a one week issue period (DVD's and computer games) that get checked out on or after Saturday 20th December, will only need to be back by 5th January 2009.

However - we aren't going on holiday over the Christmas and New Year period. The Libraries will be open. Stay tuned to our blog, website or posters in the library to check out our holiday hours. We are pretty much business as usual, except for the statutory holidays and the weekend between Christmas and New Year. Full details will be posted in December.

Monday, 1 December 2008

"The magician of Hoad" by Margaret Mahy.

Margaret Mahy's latest book goes on sale today - just in time for Christmas!

The magician of Hoad by Margaret Mahy.

"A hero‚ an ageing magician‚ a farm boy‚ a noble daughter and a mad prince meet on the edge of a city of tents. So begins an intricate tale of a boy with a troublesome eye‚ who is capable of extraordinary things.
Forced from home‚ twelve−year−old Heriot′s unwilling steps lead to Diamond‚ first city of the Hoadara‚ who conquered his people generations before. By tradition‚ King and Hero share power in an uneasy alliance . . . and the resolution of their struggle will ultimately bring pain‚ terror‚ love and loss to the five who met that dusty day.
Forced to serve the King as his magician‚ and strangely bound to Dysart‚ the mad prince‚ Heriot is isolated within the walls of Diamond‚ until he finds Cayley‚ a wild‚ ambiguous rat−of−the−city. Two lonely souls forge an unlikely friendship in the shadows of the city both are forced to call home. But when children become adults‚ childish games become deadly serious and when incipient madness erupts in chillingly violence Heriot is forced to explore the very heart of his magic.
In this superbly cerebral fantasy for older readers‚ Margaret Mahy′s masterwork will surprise and thrill with its exploration of darkness‚ and delight with her undisputed mastery of the language of the heart and soul.
" from the HarperCollins website.

Free Internet Access coming in 2009

Rodney libraries will be able to offer free broadband access at libraries from 2009 as part of an exciting national initiative to improve New Zealanders’ access to the internet and the digital world.

The Aotearoa People’s Network (APN) is a collaborative programme between public libraries and the National Library of New Zealand to provide free internet access through public libraries. Rodney District Council’s application to APN to have computers installed in its libraries has recently been approved.

It is expected that computers will be installed to provide free internet and computer access from early 2009 onwards. APN will also provide printers and meet the cost of providing high speed internet connections for at least the first two years of the programme. Free training for library staff on how to use the computers, printers and assist computers users is also part of the initiative. In addition to the free computers, Rodney libraries will continue to provide internet and computer access from computers operating in the libraries which will be available for paid usage.

The 2006 census showed that 34% of Rodney residents do not have access to the internet.

“The announcement that our application to APN has been successful is fantastic news for Rodney residents,” says Vicki Clarke, Rodney Libraries Acting Manager. “While many people in our community have access to the internet, we can sometimes forget that there are a large number of residents living in Rodney who don’t have access yet.”

“Free broadband access will particularly benefit those on limited incomes who don’t have the internet at home, people who may not feel comfortable using computers without support and residents in rural areas where high speed broadband is not accessible,” Ms Clarke adds.

RDC is one of 30 local authorities, to date, who have successfully applied to have computers gifted as part of the APN initiative.

Christmas storytimes

The Libraries will be running special Christmas storytimes with stories, songs and fun. Come and jingle your bells with us and get in that Christmas spirit! There may even be a visit from the big guy...

Helensville - Wednesday 17, December 2008, 4pm

Orewa - Friday 19 December 4:30pm

Kumeu - Monday 22 December 10:30am

Warkworth - Monday 22nd December 10.30am