Whim Wham, thank you man

CurnowSome people get into poetry at university, all berets, booze and broodiness. I discovered it through Whim Wham in The Press. The Saturday poems were bitingly funny, took the mickey out of people, and had all sorts of things in them I didn’t understand.

Whim Wham was a pen-name for noted poet, academic and former sub-editor Allen Curnow. Today would have been his 100th birthday. So for all those laughs and grins and questions, and for all the ‘little of the little I know of myself and the world’, thanks man.

Did I just eat a bowl of grass?

LogoApparently, yes. Almost all of our breakfast cereals are made of grass. How do I know?   Agriculture Collection told me.

It turns out cereal crops are grasses that produce edible grain. Oats, barley, corn and wheat are all different varieties of grass and are all descended from the same botanical species.

This new electronic resource answers all sorts of questions. It covers practical aspects of farming as well as cutting-edge scientific research in horticulture.  If your interested in working the land, growing crops or raising animals, this is ideal resource to dip into!

Agriculture Collection and many other useful electronic resources can be used from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our community libraries.

Motor manual magic from Chilton Library

LogoMotor manuals are wonderful things. Mysterious, but wonderful. As a librarian I was always awed by the sublime confidence of overalled men who appeared at the desk announcing that the “shockies were shot”, they needed replacing and a motor manual for the model concerned was essential to help with said replacement.

Replacing your car’s shock absorbers. Yourself. While consulting a book featuring diagrams of such complexity they could render a reader sightless with one look. (Or perhaps that was just me.) Quite incredible .

The overalled men were straightforward compared to the nervous women who appeared, sent by those who were just too busy to get out from under the car and come in to the library. So in came an envoy who might or might not know the make, model or year of the car concerned. Many was the frantic phone call made from the desk, checking on exactly what sort of a car was languishing at home with its spark plugs not sparking 0r suffering some other  incomprehensible  ailment.

We used to say you could tell what model was a lemon just by looking at the state of the motor manual for that model – the more oil stained the manual, the bigger the lemon. Those books hold great nostalgia value for tragic old librarians like me, who wouldn’t know a carburettor (and have to spell check the word) from a cam belt. I hasten to add that there are many, many librarians who know plenty about carburettors, and cam belts. And I was always very pleased when they were on hand.

For those who just need to do the job rather than wax eloquent about oily old books, there is the wonderful resource of chiltonlibrary.com – “Decades of data” for those who “learn by doing, are unafraid of challenges, and feel proud when completing a job well done”.   You just select your vehicle, year, make and model and data is available for Repair, Maintenance (Maintenance! Who knew?), even Bulletins and Recalls.

The library subscribes to this treasure trove, so all you need is your library card number and PIN.