Important ‘Bird of the Year’ research

One thing New Zealand well does is birds.

We have great native birds, and some don’t even fly. If you listen to Radio New Zealand we have the bird call every morning.

And on right now is the Bird of Year competition, last year the Kea won. New Zealand Geographic called them “the mad geniuses of the bird world” because of the way way the experiment with things just fun. A group of Kea were filmed setting off stoat traps using sticks, just to make them go bang.

I do like the Kea but this year I think I am going to vote for the Royal Spoonbill (Kōtuku Ngutupapa) because it is kinda goofy looking and it has random feathers that look like a weird hairdo and it is New Zealand’s only cutlery themed bird. Another bird with a good barnet (hairdo) is the Rockhopper Penguin, he looks like the hipster penguin. My kids want to vote for the Kōkako. They actually want to vote for the South Island Kōkako but can’t because it is officially extinct but there are rumours that they are still alive in the depths of the bush. There is a $10,000 reward if you manage to photograph one which might be the reason they want to go tramping.

There are over 50 birds to choose from for the bird of the year and if you want to learn about a particular bird there are heaps of them featured in New Zealand Geographic. Find them all here in the New Zealand Geographic Archive.

More about native birds

Big Library Read – The Girl with the Red Balloon 1-15 October

No Holds, No Waitlist for Historical Fantasy eBook as Christchurch City Libraries Joins Largest Digital Book Club

You can enjoy Katherine Locke’s The Girl with the Red Balloon eBook for two weeks with no waitlist.

Christchurch City Libraries’ members can join thousands of readers worldwide in the largest global digital book club, Big Library Read. From Monday 1 October to Monday 15 October, booklovers can borrow, read and discuss award-winning author Katherine Locke’s The Girl with the Red Balloon eBook with no waitlists or holds by visiting http://christchurch.overdrive.com or downloading the Libby app. More than 19,000 libraries and schools around the world are participating.

Big Library Read is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading platform for eBooks, and eAudiobooks. It is available in more than 90 percent of public libraries in the U.S. and Canada. The Girl with the Red Balloon was chosen by a popular vote of readers and librarians.

“I grew up on family stories and to me, they were as powerful, transformative and magical as the fiction I read in books,” states Locke. “I hope you enjoy the story and, more importantly, I hope you swipe to the last page thinking about your family stories, the magic of your own story, and the magic of storytelling.”

The Girl with the Red Balloon tells the story of sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum who accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin and becomes caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall — but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything — including her only way home—to stop the process.

Big Library Read is an international reading program that simultaneously connects millions of readers around the world with an eBook through public libraries. The Girl with the Red Balloon is the 17th selection of this program which began in 2013 and takes place three times per year. The free program runs for two weeks and all you need is a Christchurch City Libraries card to get started. The Girl with the Red Balloon can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.

The Girl With The Red Balloon

To join the discussion, learn about past Big Library Read eBooks and download Libby, visit biglibraryread.com.

eMagazines – recent additions to RBDigital

Cover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover image

The Suffrage Experiment in New Zealand

125 years ago – on 19 September 1893 – New Zealand women won the right to vote . Registrations closed six weeks after that date for the next election on 28 November. This would have been fairly exciting for New Zealand women but how did the rest of the world view our landmark decision? Armed with an excellent selection of newspaper archives from around the world, I have researched what was said. For this exercise I used Gale Primary Sources; it searches 19 digital archives of newspapers, periodicals, monographs and manuscripts.

Some of the most interesting articles quote other papers, and titles like ‘The New Zealand Experiment’ seemed to be popular.

VICTORY IN NEW ZEALAND. (1893, September 14). Women’s Penny Paper, (30), [465].

“With a slight feeling of envy, we offer our hearty congratulations to our fortunate sisters , who will now be the pioneers in the British Empire in the exercise of franchise.”

The Experiment in New Zealand. (1893, November 16). Women’s Penny Paper, (39), 620.

This article “The Experiment in New Zealand” has the review of the editor of the Australian edition of The Review of Reviews. This writer suggests what might happen in the upcoming elections.

“The new voters, it is suggested will apply quite new tests to candidates. A candidate, one critic argues, who is old, bald, and, say, bandy-legged, will have no chance of winning the suffrages of the voters in petticoats, as against a candidate who is young, has good teeth, and parts his hair in the middle.”

Pretty Souls! (1893, November 28). Fun [UKP], LVIII(1490), 229.

“…with the result that women are now entitled vote for parliamentary candidates in New Zealand. They were not keen to learn their fate, as the empty benches showed. But a correspondent supplies the key to their apparent apathy. A “Society” wedding was in progress a few yards off! Pretty Souls! “

Hope for New Zealand. (1894, February 25). Rocky Mountain News, p. 12

This article reports on another article that appeared in The Nineteenth Century quoting it:

“The colony is now committed to a course of extreme radical legislation. Such are the results of the female franchise! IT is to be hoped that it will be a warning to English conservatives. We shall probably for some years to come be a dreadful object lesson to the rest of the British Empire. We must trust to beer and the banks to save us from absolute ruin.”

Women Voters in New Zealand. (1894, April 8). New York Herald [European Edition], p. 6.

A report on women voter numbers –

“Dunedin had 7,644 women on the roll, and only 1,338 failed to record their votes. Many of the the absentees were no doubt deterred by the heavy rains which fell on the polling day.”

“…and in Christchurch 5,989 out or 6,710 went to the poll.”

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE IN NEW ZEALAND. (1894, August 18). Nottinghamshire Guardian, p. 8.

“An interview with Mrs. Sheppard, New Zealand deserves to be called the land of political experiments. Its rulers, with a boldness that would startle even many Democratic English politicians, are passing into law measure after measure of radical reform. Among other changes universal suffrage was last year conferred on adult women, married as well as single, irrespective of property qualifications.”

The journalist finishes his article with this summary:

Mrs Sheppard is the very opposite of the bogey “advanced women.” held up to frighten reformers. Handsome, well proportioned, and with a glow of health in her cheeks, she is a good representation of the Colonial woman at her best, strong physically and mentally.

The Suffrage Experiment in New Zealand. (1893, December 7). Women’s Penny Paper, (42), 669.

This article reports on a number of other newspapers views on in particular the quotes from a article in The Melbourne Age of October 21 1893.

“….the bulk of their womankind did not demand it and did not want it. The agitation was “got up by a few women” – chiefly women’s Christian associations and kindred bodies..”

Woman in New Zealand. (1894, January 1). Daily Inter Ocean, p. 14.

Mr Webster relays his views on the election in New Zealand in November 1893.

“It was rather amusing” continued Mr. Webster, “to note the eagerness which the ladies working on the committees brought in voters of their own sex to the polls. Wherever a voter had a baby a member of the committee remained to care for it while the mother recorded her vote. Everything was conducted in the most orderly manner, no rowdyism was apparent.” …”All the same” concluded Mr. Webster in a regretful tone of voice, “I cannot, while appreciating the advantages that are certain to result, but imagine that the dainty blush of womanhood is somewhat blurred when woman steps into the arena of political strife.”

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE IN NEW ZEALAND: LADY VOTERS GOING TO THE POLL AT DEVONPORT, NEAR AUCKLAND. (1894, January 27). Graphic

Spring it on – Get Healthy

The best part about spring is the end of winter and the days getting longer and warmer. It’s also a time to look after your health, and Christchurch City Libraries has some great health eResources for you to get information on everything from the common cold to yoga. Start with Consumer Health Complete and Health & Wellness Resource Center.

Some things to research may include:

The common cold
These always lurk around into spring – discover what scientists have found so far in their quest for a cure.

Food tribes
Thinking about joining the Paleo gang or doing the plant-based vegan thing? Explore some scientific facts first.

Medicines
The Gale Encyclopedia of Prescription Drugs: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Common Medications is a great resource if you want to find out more about a medicine that you have been prescribed.

Fighting allergies
Flowers and grasses spring into life and release pollen, which won’t fill you with joy if you suffer from hay fever. Find out the latest information and remedies to help with your allergies.

Getting fit
If you’re starting up your exercise regime again after a winter break, be sure not to injure yourself – get some tips on getting fit.

Arrrrrr it be Talk like a Pirate Day on Wednesday 19 September

Piratey Fun Day – Wednesday 19 September 3.30pm to 5pm

Ahoy maties… Come dressed in your pirate best for our fantastic treasure quest. We’ve also got a pirate-themed Storytimes, pirate names, dress-up competitions for children and adults, crafts, plus heaps more. Shiver me timbers, it’s gonna be huge, ye best be prepared to come and have fun!

View events in our calendar– Piratey Fun Day is on at Shirley Library, Upper Riccarton Library, Redwood Library, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, Linwood Library
FREE, no bookings required. Caregiver Required. Recommended for all ages.

Mango’s Pirate Language Course

Ahoy mateys! If it’s pirate chatter ye be after, you’ve come to the right place. Mango’s Pirate Language Course will teach you everything you need to know to “parley” in perfect Pirate.

Don’t be a lily-livered landlubber, belay yer carousin’ and haul wind smartly. Get on to Mango Languages and find some booty. Take your language skills across the seven seas me hearty, and join in the conversation. Arrrre ye up for the challenge of becoming a swashbuckler!

What be yer Pirate name, me hearty? check out the Pirate name generator below!

Drynuary to Movember

Woo hoo it’s Spring?! So maybe it’s time to adopt a new health kick. To be honest, fads are really not my thing and the thought of giving up chocolate or – heaven forbid – coffee makes me feel a little faint. There seems to be something for every month and here’s a list for those of you with more willpower.

  • Dry January or Drynuary is the UK version of Dry July, don’t think it would work here as it BBQ / holiday season. There are many articles on the benefits of abstaining from the demon drink. Check out Consumer Health Complete for information on the benefits like weight loss and better sleep.
  • Frugal February is perfect remedy to Christmas excesses, spend less and save some cash. If you have indulged too much over the summer, FebFast might be the one for you, another chance to exercise some temperance when it comes to eating and drinking.
  • March no catchy name or anything but there is Lent so give up something, sugar or alcohol if you couldn’t face Drynuary or FebFast.
  • Grateful in April is a global campaign to get people focused on feeling good about what they’ve already got in their lives. Check out the health benefits of being  grateful with these articles from Heath SourceGrateful-ology  and Gratitude boosts mental and physical health from Heath & Wellness Resource Center.
  • Meat free May or No Meat May, plant based diets constantly in the news and what better way to try it out with Meat Free May, it is better for the environment and better for your health. Need some inspiration here is some links to vegetarian cookbooks on OverDrive.
  • Junk Free June, run by the Cancer Society. You can pick the junk you remove from your diet can be anything from sugar to fast food, fizzy to lollies your call. We all know that too much junk food is bad for you, but check this article How Junk Food Affects Your Health.
  • Dry July – yes, another quit alcohol month. This is the New Zealand version and personally middle of winter seems like a great month to abstain here is some tips to help you Stay Dry this July.  There are other options for July –
    • Plastic Free July and do your bit for the environment and not use plastic for the whole month.
    • Beer and Pie July, the idea here is to celebrate our best pies and beers by consuming one of each everyday in July. This one I am pretty sure has no health benefits and the only gain would be a beer and pie gut.
  • Abstain August Not an official event but abstain from your choice – could be sugar, alcohol, beer and pies (especially if you did beer and pie July).
  • Steptember – Yes get your fitbit out start moving. Steptember is a fundraising activity supporting those with cerebral palsy. Scientist have collected smartphone data to determine which nationalities walk the most throughout the day check out the article from Health & Wellness Resource Center Which Countries Walk the Most–and the Least?
  • Blue September Prostate Cancer Foundation’s national awareness campaign. Wear a blue ribbon, dye your hair blue or hold a blue do and raise money or awareness around prostate cancer.
  • Biketober partake in Christchurch’s own festival of cycling and Find Happiness on a Bike.
  • Movember the worldwide annual event to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostrate cancer, testicular cancer. Personally I dislike the moustache, they remind me of policemen from the 1980s. Searching Movember on Health & Wellness Resource Center I discovered all sorts of fascinating Movember facts like the world record for moustache length is 12ft 6 inches, and that Movember was dreamed up by four Aussies in a Melbourne pub.
  • December is just festive, so Have yourself a Healthy Little Christmas with this article from Heath & Wellness Resource Center.

So if you can’t wait for next July to go dry check out some healthy tips from our Health based eResources.

For more on getting healthy:

Together We Read – The Love That I Have

Christchurch City Libraries joins libraries across Australia and New Zealand in offering the latest Together We Read digital book club selection, The Love That I Have by award-winning Australian author James Moloney. From 23 August–6 September, Christchurch City Libraries users will be able to borrow the eBook for free – with no wait lists or holds – and participate in an online discussion. Readers can access the title by visiting OverDrive or by downloading the Libby app.

Together We Read is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading platform for ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. This international digital book club connects readers in Australia and New Zealand with the same ebook at the same time through public libraries.

The Love That I Have tells the story of Margot Baumann who has left school to take up her sister’s job in the mailroom of a large prison. But this is Germany in 1944, and the prison is Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. Margot is shielded from the camp’s brutality as she has no contact with prisoners. But she does handle their mail and, when given a cigarette lighter and told to burn the letters, is horrified by the callous act she must carry out. Margot steals a few letters, intending to send them in secret, only to find herself drawn to their heart-rending words of hope, of despair, and of love.

Together We Read is a free program that runs for two weeks and only requires a library card to get started. The Love That I Have can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without wait lists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees. Visit http://christchurch.overdrive.com or download Libby to get started.

More information can be found at TogetherWeRead.com.

Who are you? Playing with genealogy in the library

In attempt to answer this question or rather who am I, I have been delving into my past using Christchurch City Libraries family history eResources to find out who I am or who my ancestors were. I thought I was a fairly boring Pakeha, with my ancestors coming from Ireland, England and Scotland. While most of my ancestry is from these places, it is not as boring as I thought it was. One of the first things I found was that my great-grandfather was a bookbinder and marbler, so that is possibly where I get my bookish librarian-ness from.

Some of my ancestors arrived in New Zealand in 1842 and one gave birth on the shore straight off the ship, that child was my great-great-grandmother. There seems also a steady stream of my ancestors who came from the incredibly hipster filled Shoreditch, although there may have been lots of beards back then, I don’t think it was very hip in 1800.

Family history display asks "who are you?"
Family history display asks “who are you?” Central Library Peterborough, 12 February 2017. Flickr 2017-01-28-IMG_3895

So where do you start, with the little bit of information I was armed with? I started on My Heritage. This one is available for free from home, and one of the brilliant things is it not only searches records such as births, deaths and marriages, census records, and immigration records, you can search other family trees. The Library Edition of My Heritage doesn’t let you make you own family tree, only search them. Family trees can be very useful although the connections are not always correct, and no two family trees are the same.

If you want to make you own family tree, you will need to head into a library and use Find My Past, create a login and and you can create your own tree. You don’t have the option to make these public, but it a great way of saving your research. Whilst in the library, you can use Ancestry Library Edition which has the greatest amount of records to search and you can also search other people’s family trees – although again, you can’t make your own using the library edition.

One other thing I have learned about researching my family history, is that there was some dodgy spelling even on official records, so if you aren’t finding the information you need, try spelling the names differently.

As I have always had a thing for tartan, I am going back to researching my family connection to Scotland, I wonder if there is a Douglas, Angus or Flora amongst my ancestors and what clan and tartan I might be able to claim.

givUS – funding for your group, club or organisation

Lots of organisations are underfunded. There is always a raffle ticket or chocolate bar to buy to support a school or sporting group trying to raise funds. Not for profit organisations that help society’s most vulnerable people are always looking for funding.

Through Christchurch City Libraries you can access givUS, Generosity NZ platform that offers access to more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, schools, groups, sport clubs and Iwi. Find assistance for nearly everything including:

  • Operational costs
  • Building redevelopment
  • Sports uniforms, and trips
  • Arts and cultural programmes
  • Support services for communities
  • Environmental preservation.

So if you belong to a community group, voluntary organisation, sports club or even need to raise money for your local school, and don’t want to sell raffle tickets, chocolate or pies. Go to givUS via the Christchurch City Libraries website, sign up and start searching for that funding.