Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pokémon Go at Newcastle Region Library

If you've visited the Civic precinct in Newcastle over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed an unusual number of people wandering and staring at their phones. That's because Pokémon Go fever has hit Newcastle! Hundreds of people have been converging on Civic Park and the surrounding area to take part in this latest cultural phenomenon, that allows players to catch, collect, evolve, train and battle their favourite pocket monsters. Although playing Pokémon is generally considered the domain of kids, plenty of adults are having fun reliving their childhood and trying to collect all 151 Pokémon.

A Doduo jumping out at a patron at Hamilton Library.

Many branches of Newcastle Region Library have become hotspots of Pokémon activity. Hamilton, New Lambton, Wallsend and Adamstown branches are all pokéstops, where you can load up on useful items such as pokéballs for catching new Pokémon, and various potions for treating Pokémon wounded in battle. Lambton Library is even a pokégym, where players train up or battle their creatures against other teams. Plenty of Pokémon have also been located hiding in the shelves at City branch - a Nidorino has been eluding staff in the Adventure & Travel section over the last few days. Come in and see if you can catch it before we can!

A Nidorino in the Adventure & Travel section at City Library. Still not caught! 

The app utilises augmented reality technology which takes a computer-generated image - in this case, a Pokémon - and superimposes it on the user's smartphone camera to make it look like the creature is right in front of them in the real world. It is not the first time this technology has been utilised. Previously, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and Melbourne implemented the Disney Fairies Trail app, which allowed visitors to use their smartphones to seek fairies whilst exploring different areas of the Gardens. Retail stores are also experimenting with the idea to set up virtual fitting rooms for their customers.

Load up on pokeballs, potions and razz berries at Hamilton Library. 

The Pokémon franchise itself is nothing new. It was created in 1996 and was popularised in Australia through a trading card game. The creation of Japanese video game designer, Satoshi Tajiri, Pokémon was directly inspired by his childhood hobbies of collecting bugs and playing video games. Considered reclusive and eccentric by his peers, Tajiri was dubbed 'Mr Bug' for his seemingly obsessive behaviour. Tajiri has recently confirmed he has Asperger's Syndrome and is a great example of someone who has found a passion in their life and used it to build a successful career.

Choose a team and battle it out at the pokegym at Lambton Library.

If you're having fun playing the app and would like to check out more Pokémon related media, you can access a range of books, graphic novels and DVDs through Newcastle Region Library's catalogue, including the original Pokémon movie and a number of different guides to the world of Pokémon.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Newcastle Library know's every kid in Australia has the ability to code so we are encouraging all our youngest patrons to give it a go! Code Club Australia is getting little Australians ready for tomorrow, Wednesday 20th of July to set a world record of getting the most number of children coding at once during the night of a full moon!

There will be two activities to chose from: one in Scratch and one in Python. Jump on over to https://codeclubau.org/moonhack and sign up. Keep an the Library's Whats On calendar for future coding programs.

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

True Australian Stories

Australians are renowned for great storytelling, reflected in the plethora of true stories released in recent times by Aussie authors. The Book Chook has been busy collecting the best of these and making them available in the Newcastle Region Library collection. The topics are as diverse as the authors themselves - from an irreverent dissection of Tony Abbott's tenure as Prime Minister by journalist Andrew P. Street, to a compelling account of a young Muslim woman's experience working on a remote oil and gas rig. There is sure to be something in The Book Chook's list to take your fancy.

Yassmin's Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Written by a former Young Australian Muslin of the Year and Young Queenslander of the Year, Yassmin's Story tells how a young Australian Muslim woman went from working on a remote Queensland oil and gas rig to founding Youth Without Borders, an organisation helping young people work for positive change in their communities.

A Mother's Story by Rosie Batty
also available as an e-book

 A moving account of Rosie Batty's relationship with her ex-partner, who would one day murder their son. It details the emotional abuse inflicted on her by Greg Anderson and culminates in her worst nightmare when he kills their 11 year old son, Luke Batty, at cricket training.

Warrior: A Legendary Leader's Dramatic Life and Violent Death on the Colonial Frontier by Libby Connors
also available as an e-book

An historical account of a group of Aboriginal warriors fighting back against the European settlers invading their traditional lands. Libby Connors details the struggle of legendary warrior Dundalli and his willingness to die to protect his country.

Aussie Grit by Mark Webber
also available as an e-book

Mark Webber reveals the behind-the-scenes struggles of being a Formula One legend and the true Aussie grit needed to win the pinnacle prize of the F1 circuit, the Monaco Grand Prix.

Other Aussie true stories recommended by The Book Chook...

Enemy by Ruth Clare
Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull by Annabel Crabb^
Thicker Than Water: A Memoir of Family, Secrets, Guilt and History by Cal Flyn
Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover*^
Talking To My Country by Stan Grant*
Avalanche by Julia Leigh
The Convict's Daughter: The Scandal That Shocked a Colony by Kiera Lindsey
The Long Run by Catriona Menzies-Pike*
Allegedly by Sarah Monahan
Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara
Chasing Asylum by Eva Orner
Hello Beautiful! Scenes From a Life by Hannie Rayson
Bad Hair Year: Beating a Brain Tumour, Breast Cancer and Healing a Broken Heart by Bambi Smyth
The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott by Andrew P. Street*
Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski^
The Ice Age: A Journey Into Crystal-meth Addiction by Luke Williams

*also available as an e-book
^also available as an e-audiobook
Visit our eLibrary for access

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wonderful winter reads

The colder weather has finally arrived and our libraries have some brilliant reads to curl up with this winter. You can reserve items on our online catalogue, or call in to a branch for a browse. New titles are arriving all the time, making for a wonderful winter of reading!

The Addisons - Julia and Tonio, ten-year-old Dewey, and Uncle Robbie - are driving home after collecting Robbie from yet another trip to rehab. When a terrifying blizzard strikes outside the town of Good Night, Idaho, they seek refuge at the Travelers Rest, a formerly opulent but now crumbling hotel.
With nowhere else to go, they decide to stay the night. But once inside, the family becomes separated and the hotel begins to work its eerie magic. As Julia and Tonio drift through the maze of the hotel's spectral interiors, Dewey ventures outside. Meanwhile, a desperate Robbie quickly succumbs to his old vices. As they desperately try to reach each other, they relive the same day over and over again. The mother, Julia, holds the key to their release - but can she save her family from the fate of becoming Souvenirs - those citizens trapped forever in Good Night - or, worse, from disappearing entirely?

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and--with her twin, Anya--unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.
As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today's world--and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.
The Last Days of Magic introduces us to unforgettable characters who grapple with quests for power, human frailty, and the longing for knowledge that has been made taboo. Mark Tompkins has crafted a remarkable tale--a feat of world-building that poses astonishing and resonant answers to epic questions.

What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit...indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki's dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.
Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She's finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.
Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once--there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he's eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven't spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?
Imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly--and often hilariously--about the ties that bind families of all types together

Back to Moscow is a dazzlingly original, witty and ultimately haunting debut. Months after his arrival in Moscow, doctoral student Martin hasn't written a word of his thesis on the heroines of the Russian classics because, for him and his expat friends, the cheap, bright lure of nightclubs, vodka and real women is predictably hard to resist. It's the early 2000s and the city is storming into the twenty-first century - the grim old soviet certainties are fading as money and an assertive political elite rise to power. Martin finds himself torn between opposing sensibilities: on the one hand, the limpid appeal of Lena, and her insistence on the Mysterious Russian Soul; on the other, that of his research supervisor Lyudmila Aleksandrovna, diligent, serious, caught in the shadow of a soviet past. Can the fates of Anna Karenina, Pushkin's Tatyana or Chekhov's three sisters help him understand the women in his life? Martin's restless explorations turn into a half-grasped search for meaning as Moscow leads him to dark and unexpected places tinged by Russia's ever-present sense of impending tragedy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Listen to something different

Discover classical music, jazz and opera with Naxos Music Online, Newcastle Library's new music streaming service. Naxos includes thousands of recordings both traditional and new, along with biographies, cover notes and opera story lines.

Library members can access the service with a password, just phone 4974 5340 or contact us online for details . Sessions are limited so please logout when you have finished listening to a recording.