Parklands at play – Sunday 19 February

One of the great things about living in Parklands is there are lots of parks. Great if you have children who like to swing, slide, run or need a safe place to ride a bike. Fantastic if you want to take a walk or go for a run. The Parklands Reserve on Queenspark Drive is big and a perfect place for children to play. It’s located near the Parklands Library, so there is another plus.

If you are in Parklands on Sunday 19th February, come over and join the fun. If you have a bike, pedal along for a bike check and try the bike obstacle course. Local sports clubs will be there so you can have-a-go. A great way to try a new sport and maybe join a local club. Kelly Sports and Waimairi Golf Club will be there, so you can try SNAG and putting golf.

Would you like to try out the bubble balls and mega slides? What about pedalmania or table tennis? Did you enjoy watching The Karate Kid and secretly wish you could learn karate? What’s Zumba?

The pre-schoolers are welcome too with Toy Library ride-ons, story time, bouncy castle, messy play and face painting.

Do you own a ukulele? Have you always wanted to try one? Then join in with the Ukulele band. Maybe you prefer the sound of brass. Have a go at playing wind instruments provided by Northwest Brass Band.

By now you are probably feeling a bit tired and hungry. There will be food for sale including a Devonshire Tea tent.

Will I see you there? I hope so. I’ll be the one with the camera.

  • If you want to go outside and play games, we have books that have great ideas.
  • The library has books, magazines and e-resources on sport. You can also do a Subject search for your preferred sport.
  • To join a sport club, check out CINCH.

It’s the year of the Rooster, but I’m a Rat

I was aCoverbout 20 when I encountered Chinese New Year for the first time. We were holidaying in Hong Kong, which was British in those days and went across the border to The People’s Republic of China.

It was amazing. Bicycles were loaded up with decorations. Everyone was getting readily for New Year. I wished that I was going to be in China for a while longer. I would have loved to have seen it.

During New Year, red is everywhere. It is the colour of luck and happiness. Children receive money wrapped in red paper. Adult exchange poems written on red paper. The Chinese New Year is also an opportunity to remember ancestors, and to wish peace and happiness to friends and family. The lunar new year begins on Saturday 28 January. 2017 is the year of the Red Fire Rooster.

Are you a Rat, a Rooster or one of the other animals? Find out!

The holiday ends with the Festival of Lanterns. In Christchurch, The Lantern Festival will be held on 17-19 February. The best time to see the lanterns is after dark, but if you can’t get there at night, a day time visit is worth while. At night, the lanterns are bright colours in a dark park. During the day, the lanterns are not lit, but are colourful reds and yellows in a green park.

CoverIf you are interested in learning Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, We have a collection of books and language courses to suit all levels. We also have Mango Languages. This is an online learning system that will help you learn many languages. It also has lessons for learning English for speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Japanese speakers. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.

CINCH is our Community Information Christchurch database. It has a list of a range of religious, arts and cultural organizations that meet the needs of the Chinese community.

For more information about the Lunar New year:

Tokelau Language Week – Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau 2016

Mālō ni. It’s Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau -Tokelau Language Week from 23-29 October.

Tokelau is a group of three coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean. The population of Tokelau is about 1,000. The language of the Tokelau is related to Samoan. More than 7,100 people of Tokelauan heritage who live in New Zealand. There are approximately 80 people of Tokelauan heritage living in Christchurch.

This year NZ Post are issuing a special set of stamps for Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau.

If you would like to know more about Tokelau and it’s language, we can help you.

And, don’t forget to say “Mālō ni”.

Adult Learners’ Week – a time to learn something new

If you think that learning is for children or for university students, then think again. Learning is for everyone and it is possible to teach ‘an old 0dog a new trick’.

If you don’t believe me, then think about this: I’m writing a blog on a computer. Computers were around when I was at school, but they were very big, very expensive and not very fast. Blogs hadn’t been invented and if you made a typing mistake, then you either had to start all-over again, or use correction tape. Thank goodness I continued to learn new things.

For those of you who would like to learn something new, Then Adult Learners’ Week / He Tangata Mātauranga is for you. It is supported by UNESCO, the Tertiary Education Commission, and adult education course providers. It takes place from Monday 5 September to Sunday 11 September. It includes International Literacy Day which is held on 8 September.

Lifelong learning not only teaches you new skills, it helps keep the “little grey cells” active and is a way of meeting new people. Our website can connect you with e-resources, books and courses. There will be something just right for you.

International Literacy Day celebrates the fact that literacy is a human right. The library has many tools which can help you improve literacy skills and those aimed at both students and tutors.

To get yourself  started, You will find English language skills collection material in our libraries. This collection includes resources for both people with literacy difficulties and their tutors. We also have Simplified readers. These books are popular titles that have been re-written to cater for people with different levels of reading ability.

When you can’t get to the library to borrow books, try our eResources. You can access these from home with your library card and password / PIN

  • Road to IELTS: General  Access a self-study preparation course to help candidates prepare for the globally recognised IELTS exam. It tests English use at a general level.
  • World Book Discover  World Book Discover offers access to reference resources for reluctant readers, students with learning difficulties, adult literacy students or those who are learning English as a second language.

For more handy hints, check the following, which you’ll also find on our Adult Learners’ Week page –

New Zealand Garden Bird Survey: in a garden near you

Cover of Where to watch birds in CanterburyAre you a Twitcher? Can you tell the difference between a sparrow and a starling? If so, the annual garden bird survey is for you. New Zealand has a number of rare native bird species that are declining in number, but  the population of our more common native and introduced birds is not certain.

It is hoped that The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey will act as an early-warning system if currently common native species start declining.

Cover of The field guide to the birds of New ZealandWe have several native species visiting our gardens, including fantail, tui, bellbird, silvereye, grey warbler, and kereru (native pigeon). We also have many introduced species in the garden too. Measuring the population trends our birds is an enormous task, and your help is needed.

The next survey will be held between 25 June and 3 July 2016. During this time, spend one hour noting the feathered friends that visit your garden. You will need to visit the Landcare Research website to download a survey form. If you are like me, and are not to sure what those birds are, either download a poster from Landcare, or borrow one of our bird identification guides.

I usually let flowers run to seed, so I get silvereyes visiting my garden while the fantails tease my geriatric cat. I like the idea of a bird-friendly garden. Do you have birds visit your garden? If you do, you can join in the survey.

Cover of Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden in New Zealand Cover of The hand guide to the birds of New Zealand Cover of New Zealand birds an identification guide Cover of A mini guide to the identification of New Zealand's land birds

World Wide Knit in Public Day 2016

Cover of WanderlustWhere do you knit? Do you knit in the privacy of your own home? What about in the tearoom at work or the waiting room? Have you knitted on the train, tram, bus or ferry? What about the park? Have you taken your knitting to a café or library?

Saturday, 18 June is World Wide Knit in Public Day and you are encouraged to do just that. Grab your knitting and knit in public. Do I hear you ask ‘why’? I say, ‘Why not’? It is a great way to show the world that knitting isn’t just for little old ladies with grey hair and pink cardigans.

World Wide Knit in Public Day at Central Library Peterborough

Join us at Central Library Peterborough with fellow Peterborough Street-ers Knit World to celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day. Bring your knitting or crochet and enjoy tea, coffee and a chat on Saturday 18 June from 12 to 2pm. Better living through stitching together! Find out more.

Midwinter Woolfeast at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre

This year, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre will be hosting a Midwinter Woolfeast from 10am to 5pm. The Midwinter Woolfeast will have artisan dyers selling their wares as well as a whole series of workshops for knitters.

Knit around the Orbiter

How about knitting on the bus? Knit around the Orbiter!:

Celebrate World Knit in Public Day with fellow knitters and crocheters doing a loop on the Orbiter bus. Then we will pop along to a café. Bring your knitting or crochet and friends. There will be some wool and knitting needles and crochet hooks and tuition available. It takes approx 1hr 40 mins to knit all the way round.

Here’s our blog post on last year’s Knit around the Orbiter event.

More knitting action

If you can’t make it to a Knit in Public Day event, don’t worry, some of our libraries have knitting groups. Just look in our events calendar.

Cover of Cozy country knitsNow if you like the idea of knitting in public, but don’t want to be seen doing it, you could try yarn-bombing, but I think I’d prefer the company of others at a WWKIPD event. I might meet someone new, learn a new technique or introduce someone to the art of knitting.

Don’t Panic! I’ve got my towel and I’m mostly harmless

25 May is Towel Day – here’s why you might like to carry a towel with you tomorrow.

I first encountered The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a very long time ago on an old black and white TV. BBC TV produced the series based on the radio series. It starred Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, David Dixon as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Sandra Dickinson as Trillion and Peter Jones was the voice of The Guide.

After that, I was hooked and I had to read the trilogy; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and Life, the Universe and Everything. The trilogy expanded to include So long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless. Someone asked me what the books were about. How do you explain something as off-beat as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? I handed over my copy of the book so they could read the blurb on the back. I got the book back – eventually.

According to The hitchhiker’s guide, a towel is a necessity. To know where your towel is means to be in control of your life. The book lists many uses for a towel (including the traditional drying yourself) and goes on to explain that if you have a towel, a non-hitchhiker will lend you anything you need. Based on the assumption that you have lost your luggage, but still have your towel. I have put a towel to many uses: A bandage, a blanket, a sarong, a mop, a hat, a scarf, and have even used it to dry myself, but I have never tried travelling with a towel, but no toothbrush, brush, comb, shoes, or spare clothes, so I have never put Douglas Adams’ theory into practice.

Douglas Adams was born on 11 March 1952. He died of a heart attack on 11 May 2001. He was only 49. On 14 May 2001, one of his fans, D. Clyde Williamson, posted a tribute to Douglas Adams suggesting that a date two weeks after his passing should be observed as Towel Day. May 25th continues to be observed annually as Towel Day as an ongoing tribute to Adams. The fans are asked to carry a bath towel conspicuously with you for the day. Choose a towel that you like, and preferably isn’t tatty. Make sure it’s clean and have it with you.

Do you know where your towel is? Are you mostly harmless? If you answered ‘No’ to both of these questions, I recommend the following books:

Before his death, Adams was considering writing a sixth novel in the Hitchhiker’s series. Eoin Colfer wrote And Another Thing… from Douglas Adams’ manuscript. It was published on the thirtieth anniversary of the first book, 12 October 2009.

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

CoverI loved reading Dr Seuss books when I was a kid. I think my favourite was Green eggs and ham. I also like The cat in the hat and The lorax and let’s be honest. I liked them all. I loved the way he used language and his illustrations are somewhat crazy, and that, I think is what made his books so memorable.

The writer that we all grew to know and love as Dr Seuss was Theodor Seuss Geisel, born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

When he was a child, he would practice drawing at the local zoo, where his father was superintendent. All of his children’s books feature crazy-looking creatures that are sometimes based on real animals, but usually consist of such bizarre combinations of objects as a centipede and a horse, and a camel with a feather duster on its head.

CoverHe graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925 and subsequently studied at the Lincoln College of Oxford University. After dropping out of Oxford, he travelled throughout Europe. He returned to New York, where he spent 15 years in advertising. His most famous advertising campaign was created for Standard Oil’s “Flit” insecticide. The Dr Seuss illustrations had the slogan “Quick Henry, the Flit”.

Theodor Geisel joined the army and made two Oscar-winning documentaries, Hitler Lives and Design for Death.

On the count of three, everyone sing “Happy Birthday Dr Seuss”. One. Two. Three.

I’m sure your singing was wubberlous.

Do you have a favourite Dr Seuss story? To re-read your favourite Dr Seuss book, or discover a new one, check our catalogue.

dr Seuss

Heartlanders : New Zealanders of The Great War

The National Army Museum Te Mata Toa has put together a travelling exhibition: Heartlanders New Zealanders of The Great War. This free exhibition will be touring the South Island and will be in Christchurch on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st February in Market Square, The Arts Centre. The exhibition has been built in containers and tells the extraordinary stories of ordinary New Zealanders of the First World War.

Heartlanders tells the stories of those who went to war and returned home afterwards; as well as the stories of those who went to war and never came home. Original film footage sourced from New Zealand and overseas, battle sounds and music from the time will complement the artefacts that will be on display. Heartland will also feature an Auckland War Memorial Museum Artefact Digitising Unit which will enable visitors to search the Cenotaph database for information on soldiers.

After you visit this exhibition, you might like to look at some of our resources that will help you find information about your ancestor’s war record and learn more about the First World War.

Go fly a kite

Cover of Just A KiteDo you remember what your first kite was like? Mine was made out of brown wrapping paper. It had a picture of John, Paul, George and Ringo that had been carefully cut out of a magazine stuck on it. It didn’t fly very well at all.

Cover of KitesI was not deterred, and over the years I owned many kites that flew. I don’t own a kite at the moment, but I wouldn’t mind having a go at making one and taking it down to New Brighton beach and flying it. Kite Day is going to be on January 30th, and if I don’t get my kite to fly, I will get to enjoy those that do. I love the way that the small kites seem to duck and weave their way between the huge colourful kites.

So if you are like me and love kites, head on down to the New Brighton Beach, south of the Pier, on Saturday, 30th January between 1.30pm – 4.30pm with your kite and join in the fun.

Streets Kite Day, New Brighton 2015
Streets Kite Day – New Brighton 2015, Flickr 2015-01-24-IMG_4948
Streets Kite Day, New Brighton 2015
Streets Kite Day – New Brighton 2015, Flickr 2015-01-24-IMG_4942