Podcast – The public intellectual in the nuclear age

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

“When nuclear science can affect everyone but is understood by only a few, most of whom have pledged to remain silent, the public intellectual is needed.”

Associate Professor Benoît Pelopidas and Dr Lyndon Burford theorise and problematise the role of the public intellectual today, with particular focus on New Zealand and the United Nations’ July 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This podcast episode is a recording of a 2017 lecture to New Zealand Institute of International Affairs Canterbury Branch.

Nuclear age – Transcript

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Cover of Back from the brink Cover of Peace, power & politics Cover of Mad on radium cover of The ANZUS crisis, nuclear visiting and deterrence Cover of Speaking truth to power Cover of Nuclear powerCover of The quest Cover of The age of radiance Cover of Nuclear war and environmental catastrophe Cover of We need silence to find out what we think Cover of The rise of nuclear fear Cover of Inside the centre

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Win tickets to the NZSO National Youth Orchestra concert – 2 February

Poster image, National Youth Orchestra summer concertsThe NZSO National Youth Orchestra are performing next month at the Isaac Theatre Royal as part of their summer concerts series. The orchestra is made up of mostly university students and the standard of musicianship is high. Teenage prodigy Matthias Balzat (who has been playing cello since the age of three) will perform under the baton of conductor Guy Noble.

The pieces performed will be:

We have 2 double passes to give away to library members. All you need to do is tell us your favourite New Zealand songwriter or composer and complete the competition entry form. Entries close at 5pm on Thursday, 25 January and winners will be announced on Friday 26 January.

Podcast – Collaborative urban living

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

In this episode Sally is joined by Jason Twill (UTS: University of Technology Sydney),  Greer O’Donnell (Ohu) and Jane Quigley (Viva Project Ōtautahi Christchurch NZ) who discuss ideas and opportunities for collaborative urban living in Christchurch and NZ.

  • Part I: What do we mean by ‘collaborative urban living’?
  • Part II: Benefits of collaborative urban living – social, cultural, economic, environmental
  • Part III: Viability of collaborative urban living in NZ including building regulations and legislation; challenges to encouraging collaborative urban living
  • Part IV: Likely uptake of collaborative urban living in NZ and Christchurch – Why (won’t) people get behind the concept?

Transcript – Collaborative urban living

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Cover of Creating cohousingCover of Living togetherCover of Growth misconductCover of Tāone tupu oraCover of Drivers of urban changeCover of Living spaceCover of Living in the communityCover of Christchurch central recovery planCover of Community gardeningCover of Living in paradoxCover with Growing a garden city

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新年愿望和图书馆的资源 (New Year’s Resolutions and Library Resources)

新的一年到来了!在这辞旧迎新之季,我们每个人都对来年有所期盼。自助书籍作家Melody Beattie 说过,新的一年就像一本书待写的一章,需要我们设定目标来完成。在西方社会,人们都有制定新年计划和愿望 (New Year’s Resolutions) 的习惯。这一习俗沿袭了四千年前古巴比伦的传统。早期的基督徒将其作为反省过去的过失,规划来年的契机。在中国,人们在新年之际也会互相发送新年寄语和收集一些 鼓励自己的话语。即使没有写下来,我们的心里可能都有这样一份自我规划和自律的清单( A to-do list)。然而,要将这些写在纸上的规划和愿望逐条地付诸实施并非易事,需要心理准备和物质条件。在这方面,图书馆的资源能提供有益的帮助。

所谓心理准备就是了解自己的弱点和预期实施计划会遇到的障碍,从而克服这些困难以达到预定的目标。成功地实施新年愿望的关键就是能自我控制,持之以恒地向预定的目标努力。社会心理学家 Roy F. Baumeister和纽约时报科学专栏作家John Tierney 认为,人类不同于动物的一大特点就是人类的自制力或称毅志力(willpower)。人类能够为了长远的目标自我克制以免受暂时诱惑的影响。人们的目标可能是组建一个和睦的家庭,追求一个成功的职业,寻求经济上的安全感,拥有和保持健康或追求兴趣、爱好和梦想。无论那一个目标的实现都取决于个人的自制力。在上个世纪六十年代,心理学教授Walter Mischel和他的同事在斯坦福开展的著名的棉花糖实验(Stanford Marshmallow Test )显示了自制力与成功密切相关。

今天,信息技术的发展给我们提供了便捷,同时也带来了极大的困扰。很多人都会觉得每天几乎被各种高科技的“诱惑”占据了所有的业余时间,批评孩子们花太多时间上网。在这种环境下,自制力对个人的成功更为重要。图书馆有关的书可帮助我们认识,培养和开发自制力。这样,我们可以克服不良的习惯,为成功地实施新年愿望做好心理上的准备。

同时,实现目标所需要的各种资源也是不可缺少的。下面是一些图书馆拥有的、适合于华人移民个人和家庭的语言、求职、运动休闲、子女教育方面资源的例子。它们可以为您实现新年愿望助一臂之力。

Logo    lynda.com logo  Logo

  Logo   db-SmartmathPractice-CKEY854570

  • 运动、音乐, 种植和社区生活:如果您喜欢运动,图书馆有关练习瑜伽、 在基督城步行 的资料可提供指导;音乐爱好者不要错过 Music Online: Listening Plus,其中包含各种类型的音乐供选;种植爱好者可在图书馆找到大量有关园艺的书和杂志,一些推荐书目尤其有用;CINCH: Community Directory 收集了大约6,000家基督城的社团、俱乐部和成人教育的信息,能为您提供社区活动和组织的资讯。
  • 阅读:如果您想培养阅读的爱好,DragonSource, Overdrive, BorrowBox, PressReader 能提供您中文杂志、电子书、有声电子书和世界各地包括英文和华文报纸。

  Libby      

  • 基督城图书馆华人读书会:如果您喜欢读书、交友和与其他阅读爱好者交流读后感,欢迎加入Fendalton基督城华人读书会。我们每月第二个星期五晚6.30pm-7.30pm 在Fendalton 图书馆见面。

祝大家在2018年心想事成,发展自制力,享受多彩的生活,更好地应用图书馆资源以达到您的目标!欢迎在下面分享您使用这些资源的意见和体会。谢谢!

Hong Wang, NLA

A confusion of princes

CoverSometimes it seems like everything written in  YA speculative fiction is part of a trilogy – or an even longer series of wrist-achingly heavy books –  so it’s quite refreshing to read a well-crafted stand-alone every now and then. A Confusion of Princes is a thrilling adventure set in a futuristic intergalactic Empire, and the world-building is so vast and vividly imagined that I couldn’t help but wonder how on Earth (or in the Empire) the author was going to tie up the story in just one book. The bestselling author of The Old Kingdom series, Garth Nix utilizes a first-person narrative that allows for quick but detailed exposition and the conversational style, along with an action-packed plot and breathless pacing, kept me immersed from the first page to the last. My main feeling while reading? This book is fun!

Prince Khemri grows up convinced that he is the one and only heir to a massive intergalactic Empire – only to belatedly realise that in fact he is one of some ten million Princes (both male and female) all competing for the ultimate position of Emperor. Highly trained in psychic warfare and conditioned from early childhood to believe in his ultimate superiority, not just over ordinary humans but also among the genetically enhanced Princes, Khemri’s innate conscience and code of ethics give him a rare potential to rediscover his own humanity. Throughout the narrative Khemri looks back on his early naïve thought processes and unfortunate choices with a charmingly frank dismay, so it is easy to empathize with him despite his planet-sized ego. This is a good thing, because even in the first few pages he faces death enough times that it was necessary for me to be fully on his side!

The book’s style is fascinatingly reminiscent of a fantasy roleplaying game. Starting out at what could be seen as Level 1 with only a personal Master of Assassins and a couple of priests to their names, Princes are able to win or otherwise acquire more priests, apprentice assassins, and other human assets through their actions. The more priests a Prince has, the greater his or her ability to attack and defend against psychic attacks, in turn creating more opportunities to rise in status and power. The tendency for Princes to regard their human priests and assassins mere commodities reinforces the game-like atmosphere. Humans are cards in a Prince’s hand – useful, but disposable. Khemri, though, goes through several unusual experiences that begin to teach him otherwise. The plot twists expertly at the climax, and despite my disbelief that the story could not possibly be resolved in so few pages, I was proven wrong. Satisfied by the conclusion, yet hungry for more, I was delighted to turn over the last page and find that Nix had anticipated my desire and prepared dessert – a quirky short story set in the same universe!

Similar books on my favourites list…

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones
Maddigan’s Fantasia by Margaret Mahy
Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
For the Win by Cory Doctorow

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Emily
New Brighton

My Library – Robyn Chandler, Manager of Literacy Christchurch

Literacy Christchurch (formerly known as ARAS – Adult Reading Assistance Scheme) celebrates its 40th birthday today.  ARAS began on 13 December 1977 as a pilot scheme initiated by the Canterbury WEA (Workers Educational Association), with 8 volunteer tutors and 8 students.

Robyn Chandler, manager of Literacy Christchurch, talked to Jan Orme, Senior Library Assistant, Outreach and Learning Team for the sixth issue of our magazine uncover – huraina.

Professionally, what does the library mean to you?

So many things – university, education, nurturing, empowerment, research, choice, access to knowledge – the library is a place of instruction and delight, and such a key feature of a free society. It’s a world of information and cultural richness rather than a set of walls. Libraries have provided both education and entertainment for me.

And personally – what’s your favourite part of the library?

CoverDo I have to pick only one? I love the displays of artwork and artefacts, the children’s section and its sense of potential. I tend to focus on one area of a collection for a while – mountaineering, gardening, local history, music, art… recently the graphic novel collection (loved Northern Lights). But if I had to focus on just the one area because I had a time limit it would be the new books – there’s always something to find.

Would you please share some highlights of your own literacy journey?

CoverI remember sitting outside the University library on a bleak winter’s day reading the 19th century novel Wuthering Heights, the words collapsing the distances of history, space, and culture. I was there, on that “bleak hill-top,” lost in the “atmospheric tumult.”

On a professional level, it would have to be becoming a volunteer literacy tutor and having the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life and sharing their literacy journey for a time.

What would you say to your learners who are new to using the library?

I would want them to know that they are in charge of their library experience and that there are people available to support them with their library choices and needs. I would advise them to not be intimidated and to be aware of the resources available to them and that library staff are more than happy to help. The library is there for everybody; the library belongs to us all.

We’d love to see more of your learners in our libraries, what would be your best advice to help us achieve that?

The most important thing new library users need to see is a friendly face and to feel welcomed, to see proof that the library is there for them and their community. Some of our learners have English as an additional language and it would be nice to see more welcome signs in other languages. I’m really pleased to see that families are going to be able to take part in the Summer Reading challenges this year, this kind of activity encourages novice library users to participate in what’s going on in the library. Doing things with whānau can feel more natural than doing things alone.

What would be the one book you would take to a desert island?

I’m going to cheat – my desert island will have WiFi and I will be accessing the library’s great and growing collection of eResources. Me, my device, and more media than I’ll ever be able to get through … a whole world at my fingertips.

Read online in uncover- huraina issue 6, p 16

Donation of Polish books to Christchurch City Libraries

On Saturday 9th December, Central Library Peterborough hosted Mr Zbigniew Gniatkowskted, the Polish Ambassador to New Zealand; Mrs Winsome Dormer, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland for the South Island; Anna Gruczyska, President of the Polish Association in Christchurch; and Krysia Wiek, member of the Polish community in Christchurch. The Polish Embassy kindly gifted books in Polish, and about Poland, to the library.

The Polish collection has been a part of the Christchurch City Libraries’ World languages collection for several years now, established after the original Polish Library at the Hereford Street Community House perished in the February 2011 earthquake, with the entire collection of books lost.

In addition to purchases made by the Christchurch City Libraries, the Polish collection contains book donations from members, and on this occasion from the Polish Embassy. In addition to a number of books in Polish, the donation includes several books on Poland and Polish history in English, for the Christchurch City Libraries collection.

View Polish language items in our collection.

After presenting the collection to the Christchurch City Libraries our guests stayed for a morning tea – delicious polish buns made by Krysia – and a chat with the Central Library Peterborough team.


Information and photos from:
Anna Gruczynska
President of the Polish Association in Christchurch
Annie M
Central Library Peterborough

Podcast – Issues affecting men

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

Sally talks with Donald Pettitt (Canterbury Men’s Centre), Iain Fergusson and Steve Carter (mental health advocates) about issues affecting men.
Part I: Campaigns to raise awareness of men’s issues; Why are men’s issues not often explicitly singled out in rights discussions?
Part II: Issues affecting men and their mental health outcomes
Part III: Systems that support men’s rights, and what is still needed

Transcript – Issues affecting men

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Cover of How not to be a boy Cover of The new manhood Cover of Building a better bloke Cover of Man up Cover of Now that you're out Cover of The mask of masculinity Cover of The stressed sex Cover of A-Z guide to men's health & wellbeing Cover of Man up Cover of Misframing menCover of What men don't talk about Cover of the life of Brian Cover of Suicide and Mental health Access Video logo Cover of The prostate Cover of Understanding the Family Court

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Beyond the Marathon – ultramarathoner Vajin Armstrong

Christchurch’s elite ultramarathoner Vajin Armstrong talks about his training, meditation, and of course, his favourite books.

Have you heard of ultra running? If a marathon just isn’t far enough, here is the new holy grail of running – the ultramarathon. The word ultra means “beyond” in Latin, and these extreme endurance races, commonly referred to as ultras, are certainly beyond what most people would consider physically possible. Perhaps that’s why Vajin Armstrong, one of New Zealand’s elite ultra runners, finds his success lies not only in intense physical training, but also in a strong spiritual practice.

Christchurch born and bred, Vajin has raced all around the world and has placed on the podium in numerous ultras in America, Australia, Europe and Asia. Among his most notable achievements are three consecutive wins of New Zealand’s premier mountain race, the Kepler Challenge in Fiordland. Normally a challenging 4-day hike, Vajin’s best time over the 60km course (which is not only pretty far, but also involves running over a mountain) is a mind-blowing 4 hours 55 minutes.

The 2017 Kepler Challenge is on this Saturday 2 December and once again Vajin will be lining up with the world’s top athletes.

Vajin, after three Kepler Challenge wins, what are your thoughts coming into the race this year? Is winning important to you?

For me the competition is not my primary motivation. My goal during training and racing is to enter the space where I’m completely immersed in the task at hand. At those times where you become totally one with the simple act of running, the rest of your life ceases to exist, there is no past, no future all that exists in that moment. For me this experience of being completely present, totally alive and free is more fulfilling than any outer accolades. The human in us can only do so much, but when we reach that point where we think we can go no further, this is when our inner strength comes to the fore to help us keep going. Ultra running is a great way to experience and explore this incredible frontier. In my life I always feel so happy when I can go beyond my own perceived limitations. Transcending our limitations in any field gives us such joy.

 

Describe a typical training week.

I regularly run between 160km and 200km per week, I enjoy the process and discipline of it. For me it’s enjoyable and fulfilling to have the opportunity to work hard every day towards my goals.

With such a high volume of training to fuel, do you follow a special diet?

I’ve been a vegetarian for my entire adult life and I have found that a plant-based diet is really conducive to both my running and my life in general. A lot of the top trail runners are vegetarian or vegan.

 

CoverThe highly successful vegan ultramarathoner Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run is a cross between a fascinating autobiography and a vegan recipe book.

What inspires you to keep training at a high level?

When I run I feel the most alive, the most free and the most connected to the world around me. And there’s the self-discovery – beyond the very extremes of fatigue and distress we can find a great calm and power that we never dreamed was there, sources of strength never discovered at all because we never dared to push on past the obstructions.

What are some things running ultras has taught you?

 For me trail and ultra running is all about self-transcendence, freedom, simplicity and exploration. Our modern world is so obsessed with the search for comfort and ease that having this outlet, which gives me the chance to put myself in challenging situations and to explore and have adventures, is so balancing. Having the opportunity to spend a whole day out in nature for me is very meditative and fulfilling. You find you begin to value anew the simple pleasures of life, a beautiful sunset, drinking from a mountain stream, good company and natural foods.

How does your meditation practice relate to your training and racing?

 For me the practice of meditation and the practice of running are completely interrelated. Through running I develop concentration, discipline and determination while from meditation I get peace, stillness and tranquility. It’s always important to have a balance between the outer aspect of our lives and taking the time to develop and connect with the deeper inner parts of our being. At a certain point the physical body gets exhausted and that’s where the mental and spiritual dimensions kick in – we’re finite, but we can connect to the infinite. I learnt meditation many years ago from the Indian teacher Sri Chinmoy. Sri Chinmoy spoke a lot about sports and meditation and inspired countless athletes. He talked about the cosmic or inner energy, and how when you can connect with this through meditation, your potential is boundless.

What keeps you going when things get tough?

CoverWhile running, especially in long events, I try and use the skills I have developed from meditation to make my mind still and calm and to be present in the moment. Very often when we are attempting to do something really challenging it is our own mind that can become our worst enemy. Our doubts, worries and insecurities can all attempt to hold us back. Having the ability to quieten the mind and focus on the task at hand is an invaluable skill.

 

What are the coolest places you’ve ever run?

CoverThe Canary Islands, the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and the Himalayas in both India and Nepal.

 

Any books you’d like to recommend?

CoverSome books I’ve been reading lately and enjoying are Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and anything by Malcolm Gladwell.

 

Books on ultra running

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Emily
New Brighton Library

It’s just around the corner…

No, not Christmas – AFFIRM.

A what? AFFIRM!

What the flimflam you ask…

AFFIRM is a family festival ACTIS (Aranui Community Trust Incorporated Society) delivers to provide health choices, education, training opportunities and careers information in a fun-filled family day with laughter, entertainment and activities for Aranui and the surrounding communities of Christchurch to get together and enjoy.

2017 is its 16th year.

Do you care? It would be cool if you did. I do, mainly because I’ve been volunteering on the committee for this event since I was 19, but now, because of my chosen career path, I have another avenue for which to encourage community to get involved with the library and vice versa.

Christchurch City Libraries first had a presence at AFFIRM in 2009 and then the following year with the Mobile Library in attendance and a whole tent dedicated to the promotion of libraries in general but highlighting the upcoming build of Aranui Library.

Library tent
Library tent at AFFIRM, 4 December 2010. Flickr File Reference: CCL-2010-Affirm10-DSC03470.

From then, Aranui Library has tried to maintain that presence through special activities on the day of (run at the library), over the mic announcements, free book giveaways, a Storytime session and this year, a colouring competition.

If you didn’t know, now you know. Spread the word, get involved.

16AFFIRM
Wainoni Park, Hampshire St.
9.30am – 4pm, Saturday 2 December 2017

Find out more

Ebony, 
Library Assistant, Aranui Library