eResources for those facing the return to school!

No tween or teen wants to think about how quickly the new school term has arrived. Well too bad. As someone who gets four weeks holiday a year, I am struggling to feel sorry for you. Despite this I believe those who say your school years are the best years of your life are liars. They are the best years only if you like feeling socially, physically and intellectually inadequate! Well I can’t improve your social standing or your body parts as I remain even now socially awkward with love handles, but I can help you out in the intellectual category by pointing you in the right direction.

Central Library Peterborough

Your library loves you and wants to help so that is why we provide a multitude of eResources designed to aid you in any known subject. These eResources are mobile friendly and available 24/7. So if you have stuffed around to the last moment and it is the night before do not stress as we have what you need for your homework needs. For example we have:

  • SmartMath Practice – a game like interface to help 6-14 year olds to improve their math skills with activities, tests and quizzes. Actually I am 40 years old and I learned from this;

Or maybe you prefer Google?

Well more fool you. If you want to head upwards in the intellect category then this is not the place to start. Luckily if a one stop shop is your thing then we have eResources Discovery Search which basically searches across most of the eResources we subscribe to in one single search. So it is like Google, but without the weirdos, liars and nudey bits.

Have a look at these tools and remember life thankfully does get better after your school years. You may get less holidays but you know where you can go for answers (the local library) and where to go if you feel socially awkward or bloated (the pub)  (the local library).

Farewell to the Thin White Duke

David BowieDavid Bowie StyleThe Complete David BowieThe Man Who Sold the WorldBowieBowie on BowieStarmanWhen Ziggy Played GuitarMoonage Daydream

Read interviews with David Bowie and listen to the 1999 Interview by Chris Roberts at Rock Back Pages

Smartmath Practice – a digital solution for numerical problems

SmartMathI did mathematics with statistics until seventh form – or Year 13 as it is now known. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it or was very good at it, but I did feel it was important as it worked out my brain in a way that history and English did not. In the olden days when I was at school you didn’t have any inspiring online whizzes and bangs. You had your maths teacher and a textbook riddled with the rubbed out scribbles of past sufferers. Some call mathematics beautiful, in its complexity but I just found it to be one battle after another. These days help is at hand for people like me. With the development of online learning we get to experience maths in a more interesting and colourful way.

An example of this is Smartmath Practice which is an interactive and fun way for those aged 6 to 14 to improve their math skills with activities, tests and quizzes. There is something about having an online avatar shake their pom poms at you when you get something right that makes the whole learning experience so much easier. There are no furrowed brows looking your way nor big red marks through your work. Just a lot of online love and support as you make your way through the questions.

Who knows maybe my life would have been different if I had come to enjoy maths as much as history and English? Certainly the bohemian poverty of an arts degree graduate has worn as thin as the pleather on my shoes. Maybe if I had taken maths instead of history I could be cruising these streets in Manolos or Jimmy Choos instead of my three for two deals from Number One Shoes? Smartmath Practice is a great way for students at all levels to improve their maths skills. As for us more “mature” users, maths is much more fun in bright colours without the pressure of exams and judgement. Maybe people like me can still find the beauty that others see in numbers.

A Yuletide wish

A Yuletide wish from AshburtonA Happy New YearChristmas greetingSincere regards from GeraldineA volume of good wishesMay all that is bright on earth smile upon youNew Year greetingsA very happy Christmas and a bright new year

These images come from Heney family album, a private collection including a selection of photographs and postcards from the Heney family album.

Explore more Christchurch Christmas images.

An eResource revamp!

people using computers in libraryUsually it is not until the New Year that we start to think about a bit of personal remodelling. Perhaps a new outfit or a gym membership to try and rediscover the muscle hiding under that soft flesh we keep accumulating.

Well this year EBSCO have got in early and remade one of our popular teen eResources, Student Research Center. It is being replaced with the mobile friendly – and more Australasian-centric –  Explora Australia/New Zealand. This new multimedia reference tool for high school and tertiary students searches across fourteen eResources in a single search. Some of these include:

What does this mean for Student Research Center? Well basically EBSCO is removing it from their books. Our access to this eResource will cease on 15 January and you will be redirected to Explorer Australia/New Zealand and eResources Discovery Search as the alternative.

So we will start a new year with a new eResource specifically aimed at high school and tertiary students in New Zealand. This I am sure will end up being much more useful than many New Year resolutions made in the heat of the moment. I should know – there are a pair of pants hanging in my wardrobe that I have sworn to myself for the past two years I will get back into. Oh the delusion!

Christmas 2015 from Zinio for Libraries

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This Christmas and all year round access hundreds of popular eMagazines with Zinio for Libraries.

New Magazines from Zinio for Libraries

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View an alphabetical list of titles, or recently added titles from Zinio for Libraries.

eResources Discovery Search – all you need to know

The library has a massive array of eResources. Some are for pleasure like OverDrive with its eBooks and eAudiobooks, while some target your information gathering needs such as Academic OneFile and Student Resources in Context.

There can be no doubt that the information supplied in these eResources are useful, but they are so very well hidden. Now we have a solution! Let me introduce you to eResources Discovery Search (eDS). This allows you to access to most of our eResource collection, articles, eBooks, journals, photographs and more, through a single simultaneous search at a single access point.

I wanted to call it Loogle – a library take on Google, but no one else was keen. The name indicates the ease in which you can access information in one search. The only difference is your results have been through the peer review wringer, been examined by gatekeepers in black cloaks, and tested by experts smelling of old books. There are no web weirdos here trying to mislead you with their basic HTML skills, just reliable, easy to find and cite information. In other words it is what librarian heaven looks like and you are being invited in!

Next time you have homework, a work query, a general knowledge question or just a curiosity about a random topic then please use eResources Discovery Search. It is the library’s new best friend and it will soon be yours!

The best of British eBooks – Askews

At Christchurch City Libraries we are blessed with three eBook platforms vying for our attention. There is OverDrive, the big flashy American one with the largest collection that also includes downloadable eAudiobooks. Then there is Wheelers which consists purely of New Zealand content and culture. Last but by no means least is Askews which primarily provides access to British content that is out of print or can not be found in OverDrive. It is not as well-known as the other platforms which is disappointing. Is it that classic British reserve that is its undoing? Its unwillingness to shout at the top of its lungs – I am here and I am amazing? In case it is I will agree to be its advocate and champion.

Cover of The Queen Cover of Behind the scenes at the museum Cover of Bring up the bodies Cover of Atonement Cover of A demon in my view Cover of Cold Granite Cover of The Collaborators Cover of Charlotte Gray

Askews has all the big names in current Brit lit such as authoresses Kate Atkinson, Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and Ruth Rendell. Then we have the authors Sebastian Faulks, Bernard Cornwell, Ian McEwan, and Stuart MacBride. All this literary talent and more awaits you as we head into the silly season where your money is hoovered from your pockets. The fantastic thing about Askews is that you can borrow and place holds for free and never have to worry about overdues fees. What can I say, the library provides the cheapest entertainment this summer! So if you haven’t dipped your toes into Askews yet, please do.

Stig @ the Library comes to Christchurch

Kids at Queenspark School were super lucky to get visit from a rock star this week. Stig Wemyss, one of the most popular narrators of audio books for kids, visited the school as part of his ‘Stig at the Library’ NZ tour.

Stig Wemyss is an actor, writer and the voice behind heaps of children’s audio books.  If you have borrowed kid’s audiobooks from the library before you’re almost certain to have heard him read you a story that had you laughing out loud. He has narrated stories by the funniest authors around, including Paul Jennings and Andy Griffiths.

Stig Wemyss at Queenspark School
Stig Wemyss at Queenspark School

According to Stig, narrators are the ‘rock stars of kids books,’ and he certainly showed us why. He treated the kids of Queenspark School to an hour of silliness and laughter.  He showed us what it takes to be a narrator and got heaps of the kids up the front with him to try his audition techniques.

He read one of Andy Griffith’s short stories from his book Just Stupid and had everyone engrossed in the story. It is no wonder that Stig is so popular because he is a natural performer who brings Andy Griffiths’ and Paul Jennings’ crazy, silly, hilarious stories to life.

Stig has been touring NZ to promote Borrow Box, a great new eResource that libraries around the country, including Christchurch City Libraries, now have available for customers.

Borrow box logoWith Borrow Box you can borrow and download eAudiobooks to your computer or mobile device whenever you like, wherever you like. There are heaps of eAudiobooks to choose from, including books by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, Jacqueline Wilson, Enid Blyton, Morris Gleitzman and Jackie French.

Check out Borrow Box now and download an eAudiobook read by Stig Wemyss.  I guarantee it will have you laughing out loud.