Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween treats

Whether you love Halloween, hate it, or choose to ignore it, it's a great excuse to share a spooky story or two. Here's some of the favourites at my house at the moment.

A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
The repetition makes this book extra spooky, as you follow along with the dark, dark journey. With a great, unexpected ending.

Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King
Honour Book in the 2015 CBCA  Book of the Year: Early Childhood
A lovely story about friendship and adversity. Watch Chanelle Sheehan read it in the Story Box Library (you will need to log in with your library card number first).

Emu's Halloween by Anne Mangan, illustrated by David Cornish
An Australian take on Halloween, with a bit of stress from Emu that it might not be scary enough.

My Dead Bunny by Sigi Cohen, illustrated by James Foley
Notable in the 2016 CBCA Picture Book of the Year
This one is for older readers, about a bunny who comes back from the dead. Watch James Foley read it in the Story Box Library (log in with your library card number).

These books, and more, are available at the library. Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website to find them!

What are your favourite spooky stories to share?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


WARNER BROS. PICTURES/ Album / Universal Images Group
Think of your happiest memory you can. Now... are you a dragon or a dragonfly, a ferret or a falcon? J.K. Rowling's latest addition to Pottermore (the digital heart of the wizarding world) allows members to complete a quiz (written by Rowling herself) which reveals your Patronus!

As Professor Lupin tells Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban, the Patronus is ‘a kind of Anti-Dementor – a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor.’ It’s also ‘a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon – hope, happiness, the desire to survive – but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it.’

Rowling's Patronus is a Heron and the Library got a Owl which we thought was very fitting. Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet? Place a hold and stay in the wizarding world just a little longer.

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Roald Dahl is for Grown Ups, Too!

With today marking the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl, children the world over are celebrating 'Dahl Day' through a range of activities, exhibitions and events. Here at Newcastle Region Library, we're joining in the fun, with some phizz-whizzing activities planned for the school holidays.

Although his most popular works are found in the junior section of libraries and book shops, Dahl did not always write with a juvenile audience in mind. His first forays into storytelling were written for an adult audience. His first published work, 'Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying' was based on his experiences in World War II as a Royal Air Force pilot. Another collection of short stories 'Switch Bitch', was first published in Playboy magazine and explored the darker side of Dahl's sense of humour. Although much of his adult work was in short story form, he also penned 3 autobiographies, with the last ('My Year') being written during his last year of life.

Ronald Durmont/Hulton Archive/Getty Images/Universal Images Group

So, whilst the kiddles are enjoying the exploits of Dahl's more acclaimed characters such as Matilda, The BFG or Willy Wonka, why not kick back yourself with one of Dahl's more 'mature' creations? Browse through Newcastle Region Library's Roald Dahl collection via our online catalogue. You may discover something gloriumptious!

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Spring Fling @ Wallsend District Library

Wallsend District Library is shaking off winter, and getting ready to celebrate all things SPRING with our annual spring festival. Once again, the library will be filled with displays, live trees, floral arrangements and community talks.

12-23 September 2016

What's on?
So many things!

Goodbye Winter Exhibition
The 'Goodbye Winter' Exhibition is a showcase of digital photographs presented by The Photographers Learning Forum, an Internet based group of professional photographers who give their time and expertise to help and mentor newcomers to the wonderful world of digital photography.
The Photography Learning Forum is based in Newcastle and operates through Facebook. The Forum provides free assistance and guidance to amateur photographers via on-line learning. Professional photographers provide their skill and expertise to the community. Participants can ask questions via online forums, video tutorials and photographic exercises. If you have recently purchased a digital camera they can show you how to use it effectively.
Cost: Free
Bookings not required, just drop in.
12 September - 15 October

Guided tour of Summerhill Waste Management Centre
Have you ever wondered what happens to the contents of your red and green lid bins? Now is your chance to find out by taking a free guided tour of the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.
Newcastle Region Library is offering a free one hour guided tour of the Summerhill Waste Management Centre. The tour departs from Wallsend District Library and provides a behind the scenes look at Newcastle's landfill and resource recovery centre.
Presented by: Newcastle City Council
Cost: Free
Bookings essential.
Monday 12 September, 11:00am-12:30pm - Book your spot
Tuesday 20 September, 11:00am-12:30pm - Book your spot

Community talk: Wallsend Flood Plan
Tuesday 13 September, 10:30am
Presented by Nathan Evans, Newcastle City Council

Special storytime - Hunter Wetlands
Celebrate Spring with our special storytime featuring the Hunter Wetlands Centre. Meet turtles and frogs and enjoy stories, songs and a Wetland themed craft activity.
Cost: Free
Bookings essential.
Wednesday 14 September, 10:30am-11:20am - Book your spot

Community talk: Hunter Wetlands
Now in its 31st year, the Hunter Wetlands Centre is continually re-imagining how it helps Novocastrians and visitors alike to conserve and protect our wetlands and wildlife.
Dr. Stuart Blanch, Chief Executive Officer, Hunter Wetlands Centre, will talk about what is happening this Spring at the Centre, including what their volunteer team are working on, what wildlife is about, and some their upcoming projects during the Spring and Summer period.
Presented by: Dr Stuart Blanch, CEO, Hunter Wetlands Centre
Cost: Free
Bookings essential. 
Thursday 15 September, 11:00am-12:00pm - Book your spot

Community talk: Put a Spring in your step with fresh fruit and veg
Mary from The Fresh Ingredient will discuss seasonal spring fruits and vegetables and demonstrate how to create a nutritious tasty salad. The Fresh Ingredient won the Hunter Local Business Awards for Most Outstanding Fruit and Vegetable retailer in 2012, 2013 & 2015.
Presented by Mary, The Fresh Ingredient
Cost: Free
Bookings essential.
Wednesday 21 September, 11:30am-12:30pm - Book your spot

Floral Arrangement Demonstration
Alyn from Everything Floral will create a floral arrangement from native flora. Come along and learn the tips and tricks for creating a stunning floral display.
Presented by Alyn, Everything Floral  
Cost: Free
Bookings essential. 

Thursday 22 September, 11:00am-12:00pm - Book your spot

Food Carving Demonstration
Be amazed at the Thai art of food sculpting. Expert staff from Top Thai Restaurant will demonstrate the culinary art of sculpting fruit and vegetables.
Presented by: Top Thai Restaurant
Cost: Free
Bookings essential.
Friday 23 September, 10.30am-12:00pm - Book your spot

To see what other amazing things are happening, visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

How to get Brad Pitt whispering in your ear

First of all, you could try asking Angelina. But if that doesn’t work, try an Audiobook. Yes, Brad Pitt is one of the many famous voices narrating much loved titles (which we’ll get to in a bit). First things first: is listening to an audiobook cheating? Apparently not, according to a recent article published in NYmag  'As far as your brain is concerned, Audio books are not 'cheating' ' . A great article to read that swiftly dispels the anti-audio opinion held by some resistant readers. 

Justin Guariglia / National Geographic Society / Universal Images Group

Whilst podcasts are the new cool, the humble Audio Book is still copping some flak. No more says Newcastle Library! The way we consume literature is changing and audio has come a long way from the nauseating narrators on cassette tape. You can now sun bake on the beach whilst Brad Pitt reads you Cormac McCarthy or take a walk whilst immersing yourself into the mind of the artist with Patti Smith. 

Have a road trip with the kids planned? Listen to Kate Winslet read Blyton's The Folk of the Faraway Tree or dive back into the wonderful world of Roald Dahl. Finding it hard to sleep? Stephen Fry can tuck you in with some Harry Potter. Of course if you'd prefer a giggle, Bossy Pants by Tina Fey is a top pick or William McInnes reading his book Holidays; a warm and funny celebration of Australia's favourite passtime. Perhaps you prefer a cult classic? Why not try Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem narrated by Diane Keaton.

With an ever expanding catalogue filled with wonderful Audio Book titles Newcastle Library's Audio collection has never been easier to access. Whether you want to listen on CD in the car, phone, or tablet, Audio Books are at your fingertips and all you need is your library card. Visit our eLibrary to get started or drop into any of our branches with your device and we can set you up!

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

History Week - Neighbours

To celebrate History Week the Local Studies Library will be holding a special talk at Wallsend District Library.
The theme of History week 2016 is Neighbours.
We will be exploring  the careers of some of the Mayors and Councillors of Newcastle's suburban councils whose volunteer work helped to establish our communities.

Supporting Your Community
Monday 5 September 2016
10:00 - 11:00am
Wallsend District Library's multi-function room

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Great Reads for Dad

With Father's Day this weekend, we've put together a list of great reads for Dad to chill out with. From an exploration into the past power and glory of Constantinople to an old-school surfing memoir, we think we've found something to appeal to every Dad this Father's Day.

Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler
also available as an e-audiobook

Richard Fidler is well known to Australian audiences for his stints as radio interviewer (Conversations with Richard Fidler, ABC Radio), TV presenter (Race Around The World, ABC TV) and as the much abused guitarist in provocative comedy trio the Doug Anthony All Stars. Now, he tries his hand at blending travel memoir with an historical reconstruction of Constantinople in 'Ghost Empire'.

Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia II and the Pacific War on Japan by Mike Carlton

'Flagship' is the third book in Mike Carlton's series, delving into the history of the Royal Australian Navy. Following on from 'Cruiser' (2011) and 'First Victory' (2014), this new instalment examines the battlecruisers HMAS Australia II, HMAS Canberra I and HMAS Shropshire and their encounters against the Japanese during World War II.

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

'Barbarian Days' is the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning memoir by journalist William Finnegan. Whilst an accomplished author of a number of books examining international politics, this is Finnegan's first attempt at telling his own story. The narrative is set against a backdrop of surfing culture and takes the reader beyond a routine account of his travels into an exploration of the social history of remote Polynesian islands and the discovery of what may well be the world's greatest wave.

Other titles now available at Newcastle Region Library

The Dry by Jane Harper
44 Days: 75 Squadron and the Fight for Australia by Michael Veitch
Men and Their Sheds by Craig Wetjen
Holden: Our Car 1856-2017 by Will Hagon
The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference by Paul Morley *
Bullseye by James Patterson
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick *
The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home
How Far Can You Go?: My 25-year Quest to Walk Again by John Maclean

Bedtime Stories for Dad and the Littlies

Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey
A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson
Daddy Cuddle by Kate Mayes
Where's Dad Hiding? by Ed Allen
Dave's Cave by Frann Preston-Gannon
Wild Pa by Claire Saxby
Grandpa is Great by Laine Mitchell

* Also available as an e-book
Visit our eLibrary for access

Find these titles now at: Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Australia! Story Country

Book Week 2016 is upon us, and the theme for this year is Australia! Story Country. With lots of fabulous books to explore in the Short List, Newcastle Region Library has also found time to bring you some exciting activities!

Some book lovers with Wallsend District Library's Book Week display
Digital Story Making 
Create your own picture book using the Storybird app. Local author Katrina McKelvey will be there to help create amazing stories.
Suitable for children 8-12 years.
Free event, bookings required.
To book, click on the appropriate link:
Monday 22 August 4:00-5:30pm @ Wallsend District Library
Tuesday 23 August 4:00-5:30pm @ City Library
Wednesday 24 August 4:00-5:30pm @ New Lambton Library

Children's Book Week: Special Storytime
Join us for special storytimes featuring short listed Book Week books. Enjoy stories, songs and craft.
Perfect for children aged 3 - 5 years.
Free event. Bookings not required, just drop in!
Tuesday 23 August 10:30-11:15am @ Hamilton Library
Wednesday 24 August 10:30-11:15am @ City Library
Wednesday 24 August 10:30-11:15am @ Mayfield Library
Wednesday 24 August 10:30-11:15am @ Wallsend District Library
Thursday 25 August 10:30-11:15am @ Stockton Library

Australia! Story Country The Play - Family Session
Our talented library team present a selection of Book Week picture books using drama, humour, stories and song. Enjoy our Book Week play, and come dressed in your favourite costume.
Perfect for K - 2 students.
Free entry. Bookings essential.
Wednesday 24 August 4:00-5:00pm @ Wallsend District Library.
Book tickets to family session.

School Sessions also available, at various branches.
Book tickets to school sessions.

To find out what else is on, where our branches are located, and to place a hold on some of those short listed books, visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Withering-by-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue by Judith Rossell

Eleven year old Stella Montgomery resides at the Hotel Majestic in Withering-by-Sea with her three terrible Aunts. Set in Victorian times, the Aunts are 'taking the waters' and  partaking of other water treatments designed to increase health and vitality, and attempting to teach Stella correct deportment, manners and other accomplishments suitable for young ladies in between these treatments.

One night, as Stella is sneaking out of her room to recover her Atlas (of which the Aunts definitely would not approve!), she witnesses something terrible, and is plunged head first into an adventure (which includes singing cats, magicians and dancing girls, among other things).

Judith Rossell's fascination with the Victorian era is evident in this extremely well-researched novel. Lots of lovely references to candles, oil lamps, new indoor plumbing...

Be warned - this is the first of a series, the second is in the process of being written, and you WILL want to know what happens next! Don't let that put you off though. The next one, Wormwood Mire, is due out in October!

Winner of the 2015 Indie Book of the Year Children's & YA
Winner of the 2015 ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children
Winner of the 2015 Davitt (Best Children's Crime Novel) Award
Honour Book in the 2015 CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers 
Shortlisted for the 2014 Aurealis Award

Category: Junior fiction

Who'll want to read it? Aimed at children aged 9+, fans of Lemony Snicket, the Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis,  and Tensy Farlow by Jen Storer will really enjoy this.

Publisher: ABC Books

Available as a hardcover book, or as an eBook.
Find it now, at Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

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 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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Good news for creative people

Newcastle Library's digital magazine collection has expanded to include even more art, design and popular culture titles.

PressReader now features Collective Hub, Art Almanac and Cosmos along side Computer Arts, 3D World, Italian and French Vogue, Mojo, hooray and hundreds more magazines. These titles can be read online via the library's emagazines webpage using your library card or visit a Newcastle Library branch or the Civic Digest Cafe and use the free wi fi to open the PressReader app and activate seven days of free magazine downloads.

New to the Zinio digital magazine collection are The New Yorker and Artist Profile. They join titles such as Dumbo Feather, Juxtapozed, Yen and Architecture Australia. To download from the Zinio collection go to the library's emagazines webpage and register a Zinio account with your library card.

Soak up what's new in colour, text and design now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

eSafetyWomen - Taking control of technology

With a disturbing increase in the use of technology to harass and stalk Australian women, a new initiative -eSafetyWomen- has been launched by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to help inform and empower women to take control of technology.

The site focuses on knowing how to use technology safely to maintain privacy, socialising online and what to do if you are experiencing harassment.

eSafetyWomen will continue to be updated with new information and resources as they become available.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Happy Star Wars Day!

It's no surprise Star Wars fans have declared 4th May to be Star Wars Day, taking one of the most popular movie quotes of all time ("May the force be with you") and transforming it into a pun (May the fourth) that fans worldwide use to celebrate possibly the most loved space opera of all time.

The first recorded use of "May the Fourth Be With You" dates back to 1979, 2 years after the original Star Wars installment was released, when a London paper used the phrase to congratulate Margaret Thatcher's election as British Prime Minister on the 4th May. Now, the day is used by fans to celebrate and binge on all things Star Wars and there is no lack of resources to get your fix - the official Star Wars universe comprises not only the 7 movies released thus far, but animated series, books, graphic novels and games. There are plenty of great spin offs to get into as well, such as the hilarious Lego Star Wars movies - in particular check out 'The Padawan Menace' and 'The Empire Strikes Out'. Plenty more from the Star Wars universe can be found on the Newcastle Region Library catalogue. If that's still not enough to keep you going, you only need to wait until the end of the year for the new movie 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' to be released.

As Star Wars canon is ever expanding, you'd be forgiven for losing track of characters and their relationships to each other. There are some great online resources to help you navigate this galaxy of intrigue including Wookieepedia, a Star Wars encyclopedia
contributed to and edited by fans.

And if one day of celebrating Star Wars isn't enough for you, you can carry on tomorrow and celebrate the 'Revenge of the Fifth' ;-).

JennieH, May the Fourth, 2016

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Monday, May 02, 2016

New in the eLibrary - My Career Match

One of the secrets to a successful career is matching your personal style to a career that you love.

My Career Match  is a free online career and resume tool for Library members. Just login with your Library card and complete a 15 minute survey. You will then receive a personalised report describing the careers best suited to you. Career information is linked to an Australian Government website that provides up to date information on education requirements, employment opportunities and more. The resume report provides tips, templates and an online resume builder to help you secure the job you want.

My Career Match and other great resources for learning are located in the Search area of our  eLibrary.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Jerry Knight and Hypnotherapy

Join us for an inspiring talk with Jerry Knight as he describes his journey from the Royal Navy to a career in Clinical Hypnotherapy.

New Lambton Library
Thursday 5th May
Free Event

Bookings on Eventbrite: Jerry Knight, or phone the library on 4904 3340

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Janeites by Nicolas Freeling

"Believe me. There's no-one like Jane in a tight place." Nicholas Freeling, The Janeites, page 43

Where has Nicolas Freeling been all of my life? I recently finished The Janeites, the last book he wrote before he died in 2003. Oh woe. Now I need to track down the rest of his books, starting with Love in Amsterdam starring Inspector Van Der Valk.

When I started The Janeites I thought I'd stumbled upon a weird or badly edited novel. So I slept on it and started again the next day. Within two chapters I never wanted to the leave the world of Dr Ray Valdez and William and Josephine Barton - Janeites all three. Ray is "no Superman ... but has a talent for winning. In the research world, where they seek to grip on the crab he is not thought of as an unusual technician. The Oncology people hold him in respect because he has a talent betimes thought uncanny: he can often outguess them when the crab - a champion at this game - looks to be winning.".
 This comic novel touches on the political worlds of Paris and Strasbourg, with a dash of romance and intrigue. Josephine has left William because he is "too good", but later she finds out he has "the crab" (cancer).  "Crab" genius Dr Ray Valdez prescribes green tea and readings from Jane Austen. The crab recedes. Many adventures for the three are entwined in this story. Affairs of the heart, a dangerous descent, jealousy, a bashing, retribution and naïve misplaced revenge. It doesn't end well for everyone...

Library members can borrow The Janeites as an eBook. For assistance call any of our branches.

Publisher: Arcadia Books Limited, 2002


Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy π Day! - 3.14

Founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, π (or pi) Day celebrates a constant and irrational number which has fascinated mankind for over 4000 years.

π represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It is commonly represented as 3.14, hence π day is celebrated annually on March 14th. π is a constant number because regardless of the size of the circle the value for π remains the same. It is also irrational as it can not be expressed as a fraction nor be calculated precisely as a decimal. To date, π has been calculated to over 10 trillion decimal places, taking a computer 90 days to perform the calculation.

Presently, Newcastle is home to a world renown π expert; Jonathan Borwein is a Laureate Professor at the University of Newcastle who regularly publishes academic articles on π, exploring its mathematical uses and meanings as well as its place in popular culture. You can find out more about Borwein and his publications here.

π can be found just about anywhere. We seem to have an endless fascination with this number, referencing it over and over in popular culture. Explore the following items available at Newcastle Region Library and see if you can uncover the π references within.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (book, DVD movie)
Probably the easiest place to find a π reference, Martel names the protagonist in his prize winning novel Piscine Patel, shortening his name with direct mathematical reference to π.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (book, DVD movie, DVD series)
The first in a 'trilogy' of 5 books, we follow Arthur Dent and his best friend Ford Prefect as they escape the demolition of Earth and set out to locate the President of the Galaxy with the aid of a computerised guidebook called the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. If you struggle to find the π reference, you may need to look closer at the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything. The reference is fairly obscure but given Douglas Adams' playfulness with all things obscure, it is unlikely to be a coincidence.

Matrix Reloaded (DVD movie)
Neo races against the clock to save the inhabitants of Zion from a machine army of sentinels set on destroying them. Whilst negotiating the unusual and complex characters of the Matrix, Neo must find the Keymaker in order to save the last of the free humans.

Twin Peaks (DVD TV series)
This series follows the FBI investigation into the murder of popular teenager Laura Palmer, but the real draw is the quirky vision of creators David Lynch and Mark Frost and their ensemble of curious characters. It is often suggested that a certain character's fondness for a particular pastry is a direct reference to the mystery that surrounds π.

Torn Curtain (DVD movie)
This cloak and dagger mystery from Alfred Hitchcock depicts an American Scientist defecting to the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Whilst embroiling the audience in the political and military intrigue of the Iron Curtain, the protagonist is actually on a secret mission to steal a mathematical formula and escape back to the West.

The Simpsons (DVD TV series)
With many of this show's writers holding advanced degrees in mathematics, it follows that 'The Simpsons' is chock full of mathematical innuendo. So much so that a book, 'The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets', was published to shed light on many of these references. For π, check out the episodes 'Bye, Bye Nerdie' (season 12, episode 16) and 'Simple Simpson' (season 15, episode 19).

You can find the above books and DVDs at Newcastle Region Library. Check them out on the catalogue