Placing items on hold? Got membership questions? Here are the answers

OpenMore of our libraries are open and you may want to get back into placing items on hold.

How? Easy.

From our homepage, choose the Catalogue link. You can use the catalogue as normal, but take care to choose an open library as your pick-up point for items. If the item is available, your hold will be delivered to that library. Note that items held at closed libraries may not be available.

Lots of great books are back in circulation now that open libraries are accepting returns. We also have a Facebook page where there are discussions on what to read. Our website will keep you up with what’s new in stock and has plenty of  suggestions for reading.

Below are some frequently-asked questions on membership and placing items on hold using the catalogue. Continue reading

Under the Huang Jiao Tree at Bishopdale

JaneCarswellBishopdale library was the first library to open after the quake and it has been a pulsating hive of activity ever since. Think overjoyed customers accompanied by  recently uncaged children, attended to by chocolate-biscuit fuelled staff  knee deep in a gazillion returns and you have just about got the stereophonic measure of it.

Today, however, in the midst of all this activity, there was a small oasis of calm in which Jane Carswell (winner of the Whitcoull’s Travel Book of the Year 2010) spoke to interested customers about her book Under the Huang Jiao Tree. There is something about hearing an author talk about their writing while surrounded by books that is very pleasing to the soul.

And this book is as much about Jane’s  teaching and travels in China as it is about a spiritual awakening that forever changed who she is. It is no accident that the book is sub-titled Two Journeys in China.

So, if you have ever thought you might teach English in China, ever felt curious about Chinese libraries, ever  yearned for Kiwi kids to be as seemingly obedient as Chinese students or wondered why our best epiphanies happen far from home when we are all alone, then read this book.

It brought peace and an escape from all the horrors of the recent weeks to a few of us at Bishopdale library today. And that, let me tell you, is quite some recommendation.

Live local, spend local

ShopMy motto as a displaced Christchurch CBD worker is live local, spend local. I’m pledging to stick with Christchurch and part of that pledge is to spend in my local community wherever and whenever I can. I’m not a great fan of malls so I am looking to support Christchurch businesses that have had to relocate or may be operating online only. As the CBD comes back into action I’ll be looking to spend my dollars there and I’ll be supporting local tradesmen in preference to out of towners.

A good place to find out whether your favourite cafe, restaurant or foodie haunt is getting back in operation is the The Press with their Zest supplement. They are encouraging food businesses and restaurants to let them know via Facebook when they are open and what their plans are.

Want to find out if a business is open? Try My Christchurch Business is Open and  Open for Business.

Rebuild Christchurch is a popular Facebook page which may also include helpful alerts to what is going on around the city.

I like the idea of new farmers markets springing up too.

If anyone knows of any other online or other  initiatives to support Christchurch businesses and customers connecting it would be great to share them.

Need a weekend break?

SceneryFeeling like a break from earthquake damaged streets and buildings? Why not take a short trip out of town this weekend to the Celebrating Selwyn events or closer to home,  the McLeans Island Vintage Country Fair?

The McLeans Island Vintage Country Fair is a great opportunity to see  steam trains, traction engines and other great vintage machinery in all its rattling, roaring, steaming beauty.  Other treats include Clydesdale horses in action and craft stalls. There is special entertainment for the kids.

Celebrating Selwyn is an opportunity to  visit studios, heritage houses, gardens, restaurants and walkways in the district. There are concerts, exhibitions, a barn dance and other fun events. One of the historic houses which will be open is Gunyah. I can highly recommend a visit. Badly damaged in the September 2010 quake it is now repaired and home to many fine examples of early New Zealand furniture. The collection belongs to William Cottrell, who has written a definitive book on the subject Furniture of the New Zealand colonial era.

Marion O.

Words for Christchurch: Kay McKenzie Cooke

Kay McKenzie Cooke is a poet based in Dunedin who sent these Words for Christchurch, sharing her personal connections to Christchurch and how the earthquake has impacted the lives of people around the country.

‘Makes you think’

I was looking forward to the start of 2011; I hadn’t found 2010 to be a very settled year. On one level, I put the unsettled feeling down to it being the Year of the Tiger. However, I don’t put much credence on such, so on another level, I just put it down to life.

An event that had started 2010 off for me, was reading at a poetry reading for Chinese New Year celebrations at the Chinese Gardens here in Dunedin. As it happened, it was also the day that my youngest granddaughter was born. Both her mother and her sister were also born in the Year of the Tiger; something that had been on my mind that dusty, windy day. One of the other readers there said, “The Year of the Tiger is meant to be a year peppered with sudden surprises.” I wondered what was ahead.

As the year progressed, on a personal level, surprises did seem to be happening; one of them was a wonderful, quickly-arranged visit over from Japan by our son. He had with him his nine-month old baby boy for us to meet (and hold and hug). There was also my mother’s 80th birthday in September to look forward to.
Then at 4:36 a.m. on September 4th, there was a not-so-good surprise. A massive earthquake hit Christchurch causing a great amount of damage, but miraculously, no loss of life. Luckily, all our family there were okay and their houses largely undamaged.

In the aftermath, we selfishly wondered if our mother’s birthday party, planned to be held at our sister’s place in Christchurch, would go ahead. Could we expect our 80-year-old mother to be alright there, with all those aftershocks and talk by geologists of the likelihood of another ‘big one’? However, my sister and her two daughters were okay, her house was okay, and she said, “Of course it’s still at my place.” The party went ahead and the arrival of a sister secretly flown over from Perth to surprise our mother, was a success.

While in Christchurch we experienced the fear of after-shocks and saw where broken parts of the city lay, cracked and shattered. I drove with my sister to go and buy supplies for the party. The trip took us hours because of slow traffic on damaged and blocked roads.

I thought about what Christchurch meant to me. My husband, Robert, spent three years at university there and after we got married, we lived there for a time. My sister has lived there for nearly forty years now. Early in the twentieth century, three of my father’s sisters (Agnes, Alice and Joy) in turn, moved from their home in Orepuki, Western Southland, to make their homes in Christchurch. They married there, raised families there and died there.

Richard Liddicoat, the Christchurchian who has invited writers to write in support of Christchurch, happens to be the grandson of one of those sisters; Alice. In September, 2010, my sister and I met him for the first time. I remember us sitting at a favourite cafe of his. I remember the owner hailing him as we walked in the door. (I wonder if that cafe still exists?) We sat at an outside table, and as we talked I could see on the banks of the Avon River opposite, cheerful daffodils bobbing normally in a spring breeze.

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