Happy Feat

Happy FeatHad you been a fly on the yet-to-be ceiling of  Papanui Library last Friday,  you would have witnessed  small children standing on tippy toes to touch the screens, agog teenagers saying “How does it DO that?” when the SMART machine reads the barcodes of five books at a time, and game oldies – at least one of whom stole our hearts when he asked “Can I have another go?” after he’d successfully issued his books.

I took my usual approach – read up on the subject first (cautionary note here: I studied books on how to breastfeed – say no more). It all started with an excellent Time magazine article on Alzheimers and its prevention. The message was clear – keep learning, try new things, stay active and socialize as much as possible. That could be my job description. Heeding this advice, I headed to my local and took out  Making the Most of RFID in Libraries and all I can say is that if understanding RFID is what stands between me and failing mental abilities, I am in big trouble.

But what Friday at Papanui showed me  is that you don’t have to understand everything about new technology to benefit from it enormously. And have fun while you are at it.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the children’s self-issue penguin arrived. He is irresistible and you should come and visit us at Papanui to meet the machines, the helpful staff, the intrepid customers and the groovy penguin.

So if you are still that fly looking down from the ceiling: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Friday at Papanui was poetry in motion, but it was definitely a very happy feat!

Recent necrology, August-September 2011

book coverNecrology – a list of notable people who have died recently.

Papers Past: New Zealand’s online historical newspaper heaven

Before we had TV and the internet, we got our news, information and scandal from within the  pages of our local newspapers.

The National Library has recognised their importance  and has digitised 68 New Zealand newspapers published between 1839 and 1945 – and brought them together in Papers Past.

The newspapers in Papers Past are a fantastic resource for information about New Zealand social and political events. Family historians will find the shipping news, births, deaths, marriages and divorces of interest.  I was a trifle disappointed to see my early ancestors in the drunk and disorderly sections!

See what your relatives have been up to in one of our many useful historical and genealogical resources in the Source.

Access these resources  from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our open community libraries.