Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Kids who code

Coding is a global education trend and it's on the rise. Digital literacy fast is becoming a foundation skill and has been described as the fourth literacy. Coding is the art of understanding the language of computers and telling a computer how to perform complex tasks. Once you understand the basics, the only limitations are that of your imagination. This is encouraging a whole generation to not just use technology but understand how it works and ultimately create it.

Encouraging your child to learn small lessons about coding is a wonderful investment in their education considering the rate of change in the tools and platforms that we use every day. Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. Coding not only teaches children about technology, it also teaches them how to think differently about any problem which supports academic subjects.

Children can so quickly absorb all these wonderful skills through exploration and play - the best way to learn! The library has recently purchased some new eBook titles available for kids wanting to get tech savvy :

Want to learn more? Check out Code Club Australia - a network of coding clubs for Aussie kids 9-11 years. Also, watch this space for future programs related to coding and digital literacy in the library.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Time's 100 Best Children's Books of All Time

There are some classic titles on TIME's 100 Best Children's Books of All Time.  Enjoy a flick through their slideshow and then search the library's catalogue to place a free hold on some of your favourites. There is also a young adult list to check out if you need some inspiration for any insatiable readers in your home. Great books never get old!

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

And the Winner is ......

This years winners of the Ned Kelly Crime Writing Awards were announced on Saturday night and the good news is all three are available in our libraries! Click on the link to access the catalogue record for each title and don't forget you can reserve any titles for no charge.

Winner - Best Fiction

Most police duos run on trust, loyalty, and the desire to see killers in court. But Detective Frank Bennett's partner, the enigmatic Eden Archer, has nothing to offer him but darkness and danger. She doesn't mind catching killers – but it's not the courthouse where her justice is served.

And now Eden is about to head undercover to find three missing girls. The only link between the victims is a remote farm where the desperate go to hide and blood falls more often than rain. For Frank, the priority is to keep his partner monitored 24/7 while she's there – but is it for Eden's protection, or to protect their suspects from her?

Across the city at the Utulla Tip, someone is watching Hades Archer, a man whose criminal reputation is the stuff of legend. Unmasking the stalker for him might be just what Frank needs to stay out of trouble while Eden's away.

But it's going to take a trip into Hades's past to discover the answers - and what Frank uncovers may well put everyone in danger . . .
To find out more visit Candice blog

Winner - Best First Fiction

HIS HONOUR: Mr Jardim, withdraw that comment immediately. 
MR JARDIM: Your Honour, I’m not withdrawing it because it’s got nothing to do with the merits of this case, just as your small-minded treatment of my client has got nothing to do with the merits of the case. I mean, could you have cocked this thing up any worse? Bloody helpless kid and you know she’s back out on the street now. You’re known throughout the state as a heartless old prick and a drunk, and seeing I’ve gone this far, your daughter-in-law’s appointment to the court is widely viewed as a grubby political payoff. Today’s pretty much the lowest I’ve seen you stoop but it’s been a rich field of excrem—
HIS HONOUR: Senior, will you have Mr Jardim removed?
Charlie Jardim has just trashed his legal career in a spectacular courtroom meltdown, and his girlfriend has finally left him. So when a charitable colleague slings him a prosecution brief that will take him to the remote coastal town of Dauphin, Charlie reluctantly agrees that the sea air might be good for him.
The case is a murder. The victim was involved in the illegal abalone trade and the even more illegal drug trade. and the witnesses aren’t talking.
And as Dauphin closes ranks around him, Charlie is about to find his interest in the law powerfully reignited.  
To find out more visit Jock Serong's bio.

Winner - True Crime

Anyone can see the place where the children died. You take the Princes Highway past Geelong, and keep going west in the direction of Colac. Late in August 2006, soon after I had watched a magistrate commit Robert Farquharson to stand trial before a jury on three charges of murder, I headed out that way on a Sunday morning, across the great volcanic plain.

On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father’s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.

In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience – all gathered to bear witness to the truth – players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice.

This House of Grief is a heartbreaking book by one of Australia’s most admired writers. 
 Click here to see all of the Helen Garner titles available in our libraries.

Finally why not check out Stop! You're killing me! a resource for lovers of mystery, crime, thriller, spy, and suspense books. Listing over 2,900 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 32,000 titles), both series (3,300+) and non-series.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tim Winton Island Home - September 23rd

'I grew up on the world's largest island.'

This apparently simple fact is the starting point for Tim Winton's beautiful, evocative and sometimes provocative memoir of how this unique landscape has shaped him and his writing.
For over thirty years, Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. What is true of his work is also true of his life: from boyhood, his relationship with the world around him – rockpools, seacaves, scrub and swamp – was as vital as any other connection. Camping in hidden inlets of the south-east, walking in the high rocky desert fringe, diving at Ningaloo Reef, bobbing in the sea between sets, Winton has felt the place seep into him, with its rhythms, its dangers, its strange sustenance, and learned to see landscape as a living process.
Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life.  It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country's.
Wise, rhapsodic, exalted – Island Home is not just a brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, but a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are.

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Newcastles of the World

There are more than 100 different 'Newcastles' or 'New Castles' around the globe, in many different countries and in many different languages. What started as a project for John Nicolaou, an arts manager based in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1996 turned into a Newcastles of the World summit which is held every two years in a different 'Newcastle'.

The aim is to foster links of friendship, culture, education and tourism, hopefully leading to economic links and benefits. Of all the reasons why towns and cities and their citizens might wish to communicate and exchange, what better reason is there than where we share the same name?

There are also many Newcastles in the non-English speaking world and, following a visit to Newcastle-under-Lyme, it was the Mayor of one of them, in Shinshiro, Japan, who took the initiative to bring the Newcastles together via the Newcastles of the World summit, the first taking place in Japan in 1998 with delegates from Newcastle (South Africa), Neuburg-an-der-Donau (Germany), Neuchâtel (Switzerland). New Castle Indiana (USA), New Castle Pennsylvania (USA), Newcastle-under-Lyme (UK) and Neufchateau (France) joining their hosts in Japan.

Subsequent gatherings were held in Switzerland 2000, USA (Newcastles of Indiana & Pennsylvania) 2002, South Africa 2004 and 2010, UK 2006 (Newcastle-under-Lyme) and 2012 (Newcastle upon Tyne), Germany in 2008 and the Czech Republic (Nové Hrady) in 2014.  Akhaltsikhe (Georgia), Jaunpils (Latvia), Newcastle, Ontario (Canada) and Newcastle, New South Wales (Australia) attended for the first time in 2012, as well as Nové Hrady. Nyborg (Denmark) attended for the first time in 2014.

Our very own Newcastle, Australia has jumped on board to share information and stories with our fellow Novocastrians. You can read the bi monthly newsletter and also contribute to forums which connect and exchange information as well as best practice. If you have any ideas for Newcastles of the World - get involved, Newcastle Library would love to hear about it. 

The next conference will be held in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada from 19-23rd September 2016 and Newcastle Region Library thinks we should start campaigning to bring the Newcastles of the World Summit down under to Newcastle, Australia for 2018!

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.