Search catalogueI’m not sure why I torment myself in this manner, but I have signed up for regular emails advertising big events and shows that will be coming to Auckland. This is with the clear understanding that I won’t actually ever GO to them, but once in a while something arrives that makes me stop and think, Maybe THIS will be the one thing I save up my 50 cent pieces for.

And Wicked, the musical based on Gregory Maguire’s bestselling book, may be that one thing. I saw it in Melbourne a couple of years ago, and absolutely loved it, so I’m already thinking about how much time I will need to spend looking  under the couch cushions for loose change.

Most of us know the original 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, and some of us are aware that it was based on a novel written in 1900 by L Frank Baum. Fewer people know that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was only one of a series of over 15 Oz-based books written by Baum, or have any idea just how pervasive the Oz story has become in some literary and cultural circles. A bit like Alice in recent times, the wizard, the good and wicked witches, the flying monkeys, the yellow brick road, AND Dorothy and her little dog too, have appeared in all sorts of places, spaces and forms.

I personally know all the words to Elton John’s 1973 hit Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; will never forget the 1978 movie The Wiz, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson; and have come across innumerable booky references to Baum’s characters and worlds, most notably for me in Stephen King’s epic gunslinger fantasy series The Dark Tower. We had the Disney version at home too (See the picture! Hear the record! Read the book!), and I can still belt out that classic and emotionally inspiring song, “Ding Dong! The witch is dead!” with very little prompting.

And while I have to admit that (again, like Alice and her Wonderland crew) the story and characters still leave me feeling a little uneasy and unsettled, even (quite frankly) a bit creeped-out, there’s no denying that Baum’s world and work has left an enduring mark on our culture, and one that looks to be continuing for some time.

Craft Space: a new place @ Shirley Library

When the community hall in Shirley Road was demolished, we didn’t just lose a hall, we lost a place to learn and practice handicraft. Many groups struggled to find a new location and many people, displaced from their homes, didn’t know where they could go. Some tried crafting alone at home, but it is a bit boring and you don’t learn from others.

Here at  Shirley library we have attempted to fill the void. We did have two craft clubs. Knitting for a Cause ran onCover: More Blankets and Throws Tuesdays and the ladies knitted and crocheted granny square rugs for the children in CHOC, the Children’s Haematology Oncology Centre at Christchurch Hospital. The Craft Club met on Mondays and worked on simple craft projects using donated materials. Knitting for a Cause made enough granny squares to make fifteen rugs for the children in CHOC, while the Craft Club made pincushions, scrapbook pages, cards and egg cozies. After much discussion, it was decided to combine the two groups and re-launch with a new time, new day and a new name.

EmbroideringCraft Space at the Shirley Library is held on the last Tuesday of the month, 1-3pm, for social crafting and featuring guest demonstrators. You can bring along your crochet, knitting, scrapbooking and more. We also provide a box of craft supplies to help you get creative.

On June 25th we welcomed Canterbury Embroiderers’ Guild. The ladies turned up at 1pm  and Michelle made them welcome.  By the time I arrived, everyone was working on their projects. One was doing cross stitch, another was hand quilting a blanket. Hexagonal patches were been carefully pieced together to create flowers. Approximately fifty more motifs will be needed to make the quilt. One lady showed me her up-cycled muff.  One was teaching another how to do blanket stitch.  Books on embroidery and ideas were happily shared by all. Talking and sharing was the theme for the day and no-one mentioned EQC or insurance.  I was amazed how quickly the time passed and too soon everyone started packing up. On Tuesday I learned one very important thing: handicraft isn’t just about the making; it is about the learning and sharing, friendship and company that goes with social activity.

If you need somewhere to craft, come down to the Shirley library on the last Tuesday of the month 1-3pm.  You might like to contact your local library to see if they have a craft group or check out CINCH for a craft group near you.Craft Space in actionCraft Space in action

Tasselled handcrafted bag

For more photos of the Craft Space in action, check our Flickr set.

The Motor launch Tuariki: 1902

View in our collection

— — — — —

We have digitised a rather splendid 1902 publication Tourists’ guide to Canterbury.

Te Kete Wānanga o Karoro – New Brighton Library

How New Brighton Library got its Māori name  – Te Kete Wānanga o Karoro:

The general area of New Brighton abounds with place-names given by owners to describe food resources found the vicinity, wildlife activity and events in human occupation. The original Waitaha name for the Brighton Spit area was Te Karoro Karoro (the seagulls’ chatter). Later it was also known to Māori as Kaiaua, which literally means ‘to eat yellow-eyed mullet or herring’ …

As one can see, many place names for this region of the city once carried names with a seagull theme. These include Te Karoro Inutai – Coast Dwellers, Te Karoro Karoro – seagulls, Te Kōrero Karoro (the seagull’s voices – chattering seagulls), which is the sandspit at Brighton and Te Kai o te Karoro (the food of the seagull), an area in the southern part of the sandspit.

Many stories are told by the descendants of early settlers about the naming of New Brighton. There is more than one Brighton in New Zealand – one in Otago, another in the Buller area now know as Tiromoana and New Brighton here in Christchurch, all probably named with the famous English resort in mind.

Whatever the interpretation it would more than likely be linked with the inspection visit of the lower course of the Avon River by William G. Brittan in 1860. He was sent by the Provincial Council to inspect the channel and to see what measures were needed to improve it. Brittan, with a small party, landed at a small jetty, which had been built in front of the Free’s residence. As a compliment to Brooker who had been born in Brighton, Sussex, W. Free had chalked the words ‘New Brighton’ on a post nearby. The name is also said to have been given by a pioneer after the birthplace of another settler when J. E. Fitzgerald, first superintendent of Canterbury visited the area.

It is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week and this year’s theme is Ngā ingoa Māori – Māori names – so we are bringing you some of the stories behind the Māori names of our libraries.