Every year we seek out new electronic content that may help with your educational or recreation needs. This year we have seen a bumper crop with:

Freegal: A service that lets you legally download and keep music MP3s and music videos MP4s from the Sony Music catalogue. It has well-known artists like One Direction, Stan Walker and Pink – to the not so well known like Christian rappers Spoken Nerd and metal band Bride of the Monster. Something for everyone!

National Geographic: Kids:  We have the Virtual library version for grown ups  but we also wanted kids to have access to this world-class scientific organisation. If they didn’t how else would they find out that the  2011 tsunami  swept a motorbike from Japan to Canada or that in 2012 a super strong hurricane made the Mississippi river flow backwards?

Business Insights: Global: Did  someone say boring? Money makes the world go round and this resource provides access to international business information for those who dabble in such things. It includes statistical data sources, news articles and academic journals organised by country, company and industry.

Australian Art Sales Digest:  This allows you to access art market information for Australian and New Zealand including past, current and forthcoming auctions, market statistics and news.

All you need to access these and many more electronic  resources at the Source is your library card and password / PIN. Have a looksy. You would be amazed at the range and quality of resources we have just for you! 

Logo of Oxford Art OnlineWhen I think of Oxford University I think of stone buildings, towering spires and grown men walking around with black capes on discussing clever things. My Oxford is a sort of older person’s Hogwarts without Harry Potter. In reality, Oxford University is a terribly advanced place having embraced the online world to spread its genius. We can see this at our library with:

  • Oxford Art Online
    Information on all things artsy including architecture, design, fashion and crafts. Includes a range of New Zealand and Pacific content;
  • Oxford Music Online
    The hills are alive with music reference and research within this resource;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
    The life details on the ‘great and the good’ and even the ‘bad and unusual’ who left their mark on the British empire;
  • Oxford English Dictionary Online
    Find spellings, definitions, pronunciation and examples of use. They even explain the  use of the word  bootylicious! Those professors are bodacious (also in the dictionary);
  • Oxford Reference Online
    Oxford reference works combined into a single cross-searchable resource covering every known subject. Very clever and very easy!

Not everyone can strut through the hallowed halls of  Oxford University but with the above collection you don’t have to! All the answers are here just waiting for you to start asking the questions all from the comfort of your sofa.

Picture of music notesIf the experts are to be believed, an earworm is a piece of music that repeats in a person’s mind, long after it stops being played. I asked my colleagues if they ever got earworms.  The answer was “Yes”. “No”. “Maybe”. “Sometimes”. “Never”.  No-one would tell me which songs gave them earworms.  I think that they were worried that I would find a recording of the offending song and start playing it, or worse still, sing it.

Only Jolene gives me earworms and I think that is because my life is well ordered.  Every morning is the same. I wake up in the morning light, I pull on my jeans and I feel alright. Okay, maybe I get them occasionally.  Every now and then, I find I’m working nine to five. Oops, earworm. You wouldn’t believe what happened to me on Monday Monday ba-da ba-da-da-da. That’s the Mamas & The Papas and that can’t possibly count as an earworm. I drove to work in my toot toot chugga chugga big red car. Not fair, I don’t have young children. 

Cover of The Wheels on The BusI got to where I usually park, but someone has paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Parking lot, very handy; earworm, not so much. As I pulled into the car park, the bus went by.  I couldn’t help but notice that the wheels on the bus went round and round. Huge earworm. Yuck. Without thinking, I stop at the curb, look to the right, look to the left. Where did Hector the Traffic Cat come from? I then decide to get a coffee from Alice’s Restaurant, because you can get anything you want from Alice’s Restaurant. Mega earworm.

There doesn’t appear to be any way to avoid earworms, so my advice is to drown them out with good music from our collection. We have a great collection of CDs. You can also download and keep music for free from Freegal, or check out our many other music resources in the Source.

Cover of Music OnlineCover of Contemporary World MusicCover of Smithsonian Global Sound for LibrariesIcon of Naxos Music LibraryIcon of Oxford Music OnlineCover of Classical Music LibraryCover of American SongCover of Jazz Music Library

I always wanted to be a vet when I was a kid so  I loved National Geographic magazine. Then I grew up and met biochemistry and dissections at university and my dreams changed.  National Geographic continues to produce amazing material through the National Geographic Digital Archive which includes:

National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-Current

  • online access to all articles, maps and images.

National Geographic People, Animals and the World

  • Full-text books on travel, science, history, animals and cultures;
  • Full-text National Geographic Traveler magazine from 2010 onwards;
  • Videos, maps, atlases and downloadable images.

National Geographic Kids

You can search this as a standalone product or through the National Geographic Archive. Geared toward 6-14 year olds it includes:

  • National Geographic Kids magazine 2009-present;
  • National Geographic Kids books;
  • Downloadable images perfect for homework.

You can find these through the catalogue or at the Source 24/7.
All you need is your card number, PIN and a sense of wonder!
Who doesn’t want to know that bolts of lightning can shoot out of an erupting volcano?

There are few people who don’t have some kind of relationship with music. I have always been quite passionate cover of The Man Called Cashabout all types of music. I’ll listen to pretty much anything, except for thrash metal, most hip hop (but some I like), trance and, as I am a heathen, most classical music. I’ll also sing like no-one’s listening. Sadly for some, they actually are.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life – Berhold Auerbach

My particular passions at present would have to be Appalachian music (part of the Bluegrass genre), Johnny Cash, those with interesting voices such as Iris Dement, Gillian Welch and Tom Waits and many New Zealand artists. I’m a sucker for a sad song or a good love song, and it has to take me on a journey, just like a good book.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent – Victor Hugo

Luckily for me, Christchurch City Libraries caters to just about musical taste and not just in the traditional CD format.

Cover of Clawing at the Limits of Cool

Online resources available to library members range from downloadable songs from the latest artists through to obscure academic tomes for the study of even more obscure genres and artists in Classical or Jazz.  Below is just a taste of what you can find online through our web site.

  • Freegal: lets you legally download and keep  MP3s from the Sony Music Catalogue. You can download up to three each week.
  • Naxos: The largest online streaming of classical music. Anything from libretti and synopses of over 700 operas to 164 full length videos.
  • Smithsonian Global Sound: A virtual encyclopedia of the world’s musical and aural tradition, including spoken word, natural and human made sounds. Here you’ll find anything from Calypso to the sound of a frog being eaten by a snake.
  • Fine Arts and Music Collection: Magazines, academic journal, audio, images and news for music as well as drama, art, history and film making.
  • Music Online: Contemporary World Music from every continent, you can find everything from Bollywood to Arab Swing and Gospel.
  • Oxford Music Online:  A gateway offering users the ability to access and cross-search multiple musical references.
  • American Song: A history database that allows people to hear an feel the music from America’s past

Add to these online resources our catalogue of CDs from Opera, through to Jazz and World music,  Pop, Blues, Musicals and Country. We have concerts, operas and classical music on DVD to watch as well.

There are musical scores, biographies about well known artists, and books on the history of music.

So come searching through our catalogues, or pop into your local library and find some treasures.

Who do you love to listen to? Which artists from which genres and time periods? How do you choose to listen to music?

The All Music Guide has called New Zealand born jazz musician Alan Broadbent:

An unsung hero of acoustic piano.

Broadbent has played with, and composed and arranged music for, some the greats of the jazz world – Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Natalie Cole and Scott Hamilton among them.

He has visited New Zealand a number of times and on one occasion I was privileged enough to hear him at the Christchurch Town Hall. Judging by this one performance I could only call him a virtuoso. The complexity and grace of his improvisations left me quite stunned. He does indeed deserve to be much better known.

Fortunately the library can provide you with a chance to get to know our hero’s work through both CDs and via our streamed music resource Music Online. On The Jazz Music Library (part of Music Online) his albums cover genres from Bop to Smooth Jazz, Fusion and Contemporary, while our CDs are mostly of his own trio or collaborations with artists like Mel Torme and Michael Feinstein.

Try Ballad Impromptu composed by Alan Broadbent and played by The Alan Broadbent Trio from the Album Personal Standards

There were some crazy people out there that said the e-book would be the death knell of libraries – what they didn’t realise was that e-books would simply be another service we offer our customers. The best thing about our e-book and audiobook service OverDrive is that it is free and accessible off an easy to use platform. If you get stuck, there are screens of help. The quality content covers all fiction and non fiction areas. Like so much else in libraries, we are trying desperately to make you happy and give you what you want.

We started in October 2009 with a collection of only 360 downloadable audiobooks. In August of 2012 this year we have over 1,700 audiobooks and 2,730 e-books. You will be pleased to know we continue to add to this collection at around 100 titles per month to try and match growing demand.

If you haven’t used this service yet do have a look. There is something for everyone from picture books for the squealies to a bit of romance  for the lovelorn to adventure for the armchair traveller!

Access to OverDrive is through the library website and at the Source but it can only be used at home with your library card number and PIN. Explore and enjoy!

Student Research CenterDespite my advanced age I can still remember my habits as a student. I believed steadfastly in pressure. Leave it to the last moment and I will achieve more in a few hours than I would if I had a couple of days up my sleeve!  In my day we did not have electronic resources to look up at 2am in the morning so today’s students should count themselves lucky. In my day we only had the books we checked out, coffee and our prayers to any deity who would have us.

Christchurch City Libraries is here to help save you from yourselves with Student Research Center which allows you to simultaneously search all of EBSCO’s student databases. Every known subject is covered … and then some, at any time of the day or night!

We offer many resources for students aside from this glorious resource such as Student Resources in Context and Oxford Reference. Unlike Google or Wikipedia your teachers are not going to have a tantrum when you cite these resources either.  Have a look at all things electronic at the Source or alternatively have a look at  the Pulse where we gather all things of interest to those of you who still have sound minds. Now where are my teeth …

The latest person to conduct the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is the Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen. Inkinen has moulded the orchestra into world class performers. He has also introduced Finnish repertoire such as Rautavaara, and last year the orchestra recorded a critically acclaimed set of all of the Sibelius Symphonies for Naxos.

The Guardian has praised Pietari Inkinen as ‘a conductor of bold, sure-footed intelligence’ and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as ‘a fine, responsive unit’.

This third volume in Naxos’s series presents the dramatic and highly popular Symphony No. 2, which emerges from the northern mists, cultivating a pastoral atmosphere along the way, to reach a grandiose, heroic finale. One of Sibelius’s best loved compositions, the Karelia Suite presents a series of musical tableaux based on stirring episodes from Finnish history.

View the whole Illustrated London News, April 20, 1912; Issue 3809 (‘Titanic’ Disaster (Special Number). As well as breaking news and related photographs of the Titanic, the issue also provides a fascinating insight into the worldview of a certain Great Britain in 1912. Including advertisements.

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