Vote now - advance voting at your librariesThis weekend New Zealanders cast their votes in the country’s 51st General Election. The media and the internet are chocka with the personalities, policies, plots, subplots, secrets, lies, dirty laundry and general haranguing that will influence us one way or another on Saturday 20 September. How is it possible make a decision amidst all this fracas?

Well, like everything else these days, there is an online tool designed to help you out. Vote Compass asks your opinion of various issues, gets you to rate politicians and then compiles your answers in a nice, colourful chart. Although this is a poll, it’s still an interesting way to find out what you’re thinking. The only problem for me is that the survey shows I am 65% compatible with one party and 64% compatible with another and, as these were the parties I was thinking of voting for anyway, it hasn’t helped me one iota.

The King's Curse at Christchurch City LibrariesAlternatively, libraries are a politically neutral place to search for accurate information. Online or in the library, you’ll find everything you need to know about the political scene in New Zealand. There is a full set of electoral rolls available to view and you can do advanced voting at nine branches of Christchurch City Libraries.

I am currently reading Philippa Gregory‘s excellent Cousin’s War series and, as I plunge nightly into the terrifying quagmire that was life under the reign one history’s most tyrannical despots, I’m reminded how hard won the right to vote is and what a privilege it is to live in a stable democracy in 2014. It’s totally worth doing some homework and making a sound decision.

This month’s fantasy fiction newsletter includes new titles from Lev Grossman and Terry Goodkind  plus a selection of titles for those who enjoy a bit of blood and gore.

Cover of The House of War and Witness Cover of Severed Souls Cover of The Magician's land Cover of The Shadow Throne Cover of The Book of Life Cover of The Crimson Campaign
read the newsletter online to see all the titles.

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I have written before about blogs being turned into books. At that time it was a bit of a novelty, but no longer. A very random check of the library catalogue comes up with 44 blog titles bought for this year, so far!  These titles range from self-help books to craft and travel. Some are only available as eBooks and are quite possibly self-published.  Others have been picked up by very mainstream publishers.  It makes sense then that when a blog has thousands of followers it will create quite a buzz for the book, creating an easy marketing exercise for publishers perhaps?

Cover of Design Bloggers at HomeCooking, crafting, travelling or dealing with addiction and health issues etc., lend themselves well to a blog format. Alongside the ideas and information around their chosen topic the blogger often includes plenty of human interest; small titbits about their life making the  blog all the more enjoyable as you feel part of the their daily existence. The joy of the blog is therefore the interaction between the reader and the blogger, the up-to-the-minute experiences that you can click into on a daily basis, the highs and the lows shared, not to mention plenty of photos and tutorials.

Cover of Mrs D Is Going WithoutDoes this translate well into a book? I’m not sure. The book enables the author to present the parts of their blog, for example the recipes, crafts or experiences that have had the most online success, and this sounds like a good process. Not so good if you have been an avid follower of the blog as no doubt there will be plenty of repetition. The missing ingredient for me would be what makes the blog unique, and that is the human interaction, the comments from readers and the community that develops around the blog.  That said, the book will reach a different audience perhaps and will of course bring more readers to the blog. A Win-Win as they say.

So if you are interested in giving blogging a go, and are perhaps thinking that you might get picked up by some huge publisher and make your millions, here are some titles to get you started.

Cover of Picture Perfect Social MediaMollie Makes: Blogging: The guide to Creative Content.*  This is a special edition of the Mollie Makes magazine and has some great ideas for those of you interested in the creative crafty side of things.

Picture Perfect Social Media. Great advice for the all important visual impact of your blog.

Blog Wonderful. The author spent a year growing her following and documenting what worked, and what didn’t.

Blogging and Tweeting Without Getting Sued. Sounds like a sensible book to read before you get started!

Every time you post a blog or tweet you may be subject to the laws of more than 200 jurisdictions throughout cyberspace. As more than a few bloggers or tweeters have discovered, you can be sued in your own country, or arrested at the airport heading off to a holiday in another country.

WordPress, the platform we use for this blog also has some handy hints on how to turn a blog into a book.

*To find Mollie Makes: Blogging: The guide to Creative Content in the catalogue, click on View subscription and availability details and look for call number 745.5 MOL BLOGGING 2014.

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Ki a koe hoki
Get you

Kupu (word)

pahi
bus

Mā runga pahi tātou haere ai?
Are we going on the bus?

Maori
Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

16 September 1864
Opening of second Town Hall, built of stone next to the first hall in High Street.

The old town halls, High Street, Christchurch  [between 1864 and 1882] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0020

The old town halls, High Street, Christchurch
[between 1864 and 1882]
File Reference CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0020

18 September 1980
Theatre Royal bought by Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation to be renovated and preserved as a theatre.

19 September 1865
South Island Separation Bill defeated in Parliament by 31 votes to 17. Find out more in Papers Past, including report on the Separation Debate, Daily Southern Cross, 21 September 1865.

19 September 1904
Naxos searchConcert by pianist Jan Paderewski. He later became Prime Minister of Poland. Read Bernice’s blog post on President Paderewski.

20 September 1916
Canterbury Aviation Company founded by Henry (later Sir Henry) Wigram. Read The First hundred pilots – a brief history by Henry Wigram recounting its beginnings.

21 September 1867
Trout introduced from Tasmania. The ova were reared in special covered ponds built in Hagley Park next to the hospital. Salmon were introduced a year later.

More September events in the Chronology.

19 September 1893 – women in New Zealand got the vote.
Kate Sheppard Memorial

Kate Sheppard Memorial

On 19 September 1993 this Christchurch landmark – the Kate Sheppard Memorial – was unveiled. Kia ora to all the women who fought so hard for us to get the vote. Here are the women celebrated on the Memorial:

Photo of Helen Nicol's memorial
Helen Nicol
who pioneered the women’s franchise campaign in Dunedin.
Photo of Kate Sheppard's memorial
Kate Sheppard of Christchurch
, the leader of the suffrage campaign.

Photo of Ada Well's memorial
Ada Wells
of Christchurch who campaigned vigorously for equal educational opportunities for girls and women.

Photo of Harriet Morison's memorial
Harriet Morison
of Dunedin, vice president of the Tailoresses’ Union and a powerful advocate for working women.

Photo of Meri Te Tai Mangakahia's memorial
Meri Te Tai Mangakahia of Taitokerau who requested the vote for women from the Kotahitanga Māori Parliament.

Photo of Amey Daldy's memorial
Amey Daldy, a foundation member of the Auckland WCTU and president of the Auckland Franchise League.

Another group of leaders are Christchurch’s own Women in the Council Chamber and we have brief political audio biographies on Ada Wells, Elizabeth McCombs, the famed Mabel Howard as well as more recent councillors.

Our collection of Unsung heroines highlights local identities. These women were characters in all senses of the word. Bella Button – famed for her horseriding prowess – trained cats to jump like horses. Lizzie Coker, of Coker’s Hotel fame, was remembered as a ‘fantastic creature in elaborate wigs and huge fur coats’.

Other things to explore:

  • A brief diary written on board the Tintern Abbey en route from Gravesend to Christchurch, December 1874 – May 1875 by Mary Anne McCrystal, 1849-1929.
  • Ngaio Marsh – one of Canterbury’s most famous authors.
  • Elsie Locke – one of our Canterbury Heroes, her plaque reads ‘Political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, determined and doughty fighter for the rights of the under-dog, active to the end’.

Our suffrage related stuff

More on votes for women

What did our local newspaper The Press report about women getting the right to vote on 19 September 1893?
Now that Papers Past has The Press digitised for our pleasure we can find out!

It will be an evil day for New Zealand if the female agitators are alone to vote. Why, when I see some of these voluable persons, whom I have the pleasure of knowing, I involuntarily bolt into the nearest shop for safety. What will happen to the State if these join their votes with the hysterical male women who desire to control this demented colony, I tremble to depict.

Letter to the editor, Volume L, Issue 8591, 19 September 1893

20 September 1893 copy of The Press

Women’s Franchise: 20 September 1893. Volume L, Issue 8592

It was passed by a House, the majority of whose members are in their hearts opposed to the change. It has been forced upon the colony, the majority of the electors in which are opposed to the revolution. It has, finally, been forced upon the women of New Zealand, although the majority of them do not want the franchise, and have made no claims to obtain the privilege.

A telegram from Premier Richard Seddon to Kate Sheppard and the Executive of the W.C.T.U.:

Electoral Bill assented to by his Excellency the Governor at quarter to twelve. “I trust now that all doubts as to the sincerity of the Government in this very important matter has been effectually resolved”.

War, disaster and the internet telling you stuff that isn’t true?! It can only be the September History and Current Events newsletter.

Book cover of The Darkest Days Book cover of Female Tommies Book cover of The dog who could fly Book cover of Inside Syria Book cover of A sea in flames Book cover of The big truck that went by

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