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.....

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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What will you learn next?

Newcastle Region Library is unlocking learning in Newcastle because lifelong learning is for everyone! This year Adult Learners’ Week is celebrating its twentieth anniversary taking place Nationally from the 1st  to 8th of September. Each year Adult Learners’ Week in Australia is celebrated with hundreds of events nationally designed to celebrate the benefits of learning – in the home, at work and in the community – and to highlight the range of adult learning options available for all Australians.

This year the theme of Adult Learners’ Week is 'Unlocking learning - Lifelong learning for everyone’. This theme addresses the common misconception that learning ends with schooling. Adult Learners’ Week is about showing the breadth of opportunities available for adults who want to learn. It also demonstrates how learning benefits you, me, our communities and society as a whole.

Start learning this September at Newcastle Region Library (click the link for more details):

Learning is a lifelong activity and can be a real joy as you expand your skills, knowledge and interests. Newcastle Region Library is here to help! #unlockinglearning

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Roland Pope Collection

On Friday night the Library opened what is one of our most rare and visually stunning exhibitions that celebrates the legacy of Dr Roland Pope and the foundation of the city's cultural collections : A Gift to the City - The Roland Pope Collection.

This partnership exhibition, held across both cultural institutions, Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Region Library celebrates the 70th anniversary of Dr Roland Pope's generous donation of art and literature in July 1945 that established the foundations for the art gallery and library collections.

Pope's gift of 2000 books and almost 200 works of art was gifted to Newcastle, a city he had no particular ties with - the provision that a library and a art gallery be built by Newcastle City Council to house this important gift. Whilst this wondrous collection speaks for itself... it is the story of Dr Roland Pope and his vision for our city its rarest procurement.

Please come along and join some of the great programs being offered by the Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Library.

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Newcastle Youth Council

Newcastle Youth Council (NYC) is an advisory Committee of Council that provides an opportunity for young people to participate in local decision making and provide a forum for young people to discuss and provide input.

The Youth Council aims to:
  • Reflect the interests of young people
  • Raise awareness on issues affecting young people
  • Organise activities in which young people can participate
  • Provide an advisory group for organisations wishing to develop programs and activities for young people
  • Allow for interaction between people with diverse interests and backgrounds.
The Youth Council provides an opportunity for young people to develop leadership skills through planning youth initiatives and staging events during Youth Week each year.

NYC membership is currently full, however we are always happy for new Facebook friends, so we can discuss youth issues and share the many great youth initiatives in Newcastle. Please like our Facebook page. 

If you are super keen to join, fill in an application form, available on Councils website and when a spot opens up, we will be in contact. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 Man Booker Prize Podcast

Are you a podcast listener? Don't miss The Man Booker Prize podcast which is a exciting new audio series which takes as its focus the prize’s tagline, Fiction at its Finest, and looks at the very best from the world of books. Throughout seven podcasts, Joe Haddow, Producer of the Radio 2 BBC Book Club, will offer listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the prize.

The latest episode is out this Friday (7th August) and will feature judges Michael Wood and Sam Leith talking about selecting the longlist, authors Paul Ewen (aka Francis Plug) and Sarah Waters, and Chris White from the Waterstones Book Club. If you missed the episode one, featuring Viv Groskop, Richard Flanagan’s stunned reaction to winning in 2014 and an inside look at the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, catch up now on iTunes and SoundCloud.

With guest recommendations from the magnificent backlist to as-it-happens interviews at key news announcements, this is your ultimate Man Booker guide in the run up to the big day on 13 October, when the 2015 winner will be revealed.

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 Man Booker Prize Longlist

Which of the Man Booker Prize 2015 longlist are you reading?

The longlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced on 29 July 2015 and has been praised by many as a truly diverse and deserving Man Booker ‘Dozen’.
The long list features a international spectrum of the novels, with the long list featuring three British writers, five US writers and one apiece from the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, India, Nigeria and Jamaica. Marlon James, who currently lives in Minneapolis, is the first Jamaican-born author to be nominated for the prize. Laila Lalami, now based in Santa Monica but born in Rabat, is the first Moroccan-born.

The longlist is:


Chair of the 2015 judges, Michael Wood, comments: ‘We had a great time choosing this list. Discussions weren’t always peaceful, but they were always very friendly. We were lucky in our companions and the submissions were extraordinary. The long list could have been twice as long, but we’re more than happy with our final choice.’ Lorna Bradbury, the Telegraph's book reviews editor, remarks: ‘This is a strong list that celebrates innovative novels from established writers as well as introducing us to some new voices.’ Justine Jordan writes in The Guardian: ‘this year, the new internationalism has led to a list with admirable balance and wide imaginative reach.’

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 15 September and the 2015 winner will be announced on Tuesday 13 October at London’s Guildhall, televised on the BBC.

Place a hold on all of these titles today via the library's catalogue!

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Local Stories

Recent donations to the Newcastle Library's Local Studies Department have inspired us to look back. Alderman Robert George Kilgour was a member of the Newcastle City Council, with one brief break of a few months, for 28 years. In that time he was Mayor seven times; no other member has sat on the city's Mayoral chair for so many terms.

Born in Cooks Hill on January 31 1867, his father was Mr James Kilgour, one of the first school teachers of the district. Selected as the Mayor 1915, he was described as a "straight goer and an upright honourable citizen." He was elected with hopes to complete the construction of the Ocean Baths and Hunter Street this being a great feature for Newcastle, as the city was destined to become one of the most popular watering places in the state.

Ald. Kilgour along with his wife took a most active and honourable part in the local government life of the Newcastle District. His contributions were widespread due to his enthusiasm and devotion to his community in difficult periods. During Ald. Kilgour's occupancy of the chair, the Pneumonic influenza epidemic was spreading all around the world. Largely forgotten, the toll was 31 million globally. 

In Sydney as well as Newcastle the reported cases were recorded on March 15th, with an increase to sixty three cases five days later in Newcastle alone. Newcastle, even in the worst days of the epidemic, was never subject to the coordinated government planning afforded to Sydney. The country areas were forced to rely on council or voluntary organisations, mainly church groups, to perform the nursing and patrolling functions which were administered by state officials in metropolis. The Newcastle Council organised Influenza Executive Committee that constantly laboured under the difficulty of the securing sufficient funds from the state headquarters, and throughout the epidemic was forced to rely on credit.
Council arranged for women to visit the homes of the ill and render any necessary aid. The women of Hamilton established a kitchen where food such as beef tea, custard and jelly was prepared and distributed amongst the needy, and other councils soon followed its example. Three hundred people were provided for by the Hamilton depot alone. These kitchens relied on funds donated by the public or on gifts of foodstuffs.

With the hospitals overcrowded and an established preference for home nursing in any case, it was almost impossible to obtain an accurate idea of just how many has succumbed to the disease. The deaths reported represented only those who died in hospitals, but the optimistically low reported death rate was consistently belied by the pages of funeral notices in the Sydney and the Newcastle Morning Heralds.

In Newcastle medical practitioners notified two thousand, four hundred cases, with four hundred and ninety four registered deaths, i.e. death ratio of approximately 6% of the population, this in a period of less than half a year! Ald. Kilgour and Mrs B Kilgour efforts in this arduous time were noted by all effected.

In three of his terms the World War was in progress.

He worked hard for the formation of the Newcastle District Ambulance Transport Brigade and the Newcastle Show Association had the benefit of his service. Here we show you a picture of a cake slice presented to Alderman R.G. Kilgour on Laying of Foundation Stone for Newcastle Ambulance 1923 and a box of business cards printed for Ald. Kilgour with simply 'Mayor of Newcastle.'

Click on the image for more detail

Please visit our Local Studies department to dive deeper into Newcastle's history.

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.