Happy birthday to you

“Happy Birthday!” is a phrase you might hear a wee bit more often today – 30th September is the day that most New Zealanders celebrate their birthday. According to Statistics NZ, the birthdays of about 14,200 people in New Zealand fall on this day – even if your birthday doesn’t fall on this day you can see where your birthday is ranked.

Since many of us have birthdays around this time of year – the 10 most common birthdays all appear in the 10-day period from 22 September to 1 October – it’s appropriate to tell you  how Christchurch City Libraries can help make a birthday a special one.

Happy birthday

Looking for some inspiration? Libraries offer a great range of resources to make the birthday of a loved one special. On offer is a wonderful range of books on birthday related topics such as party games, card making, gift ideas/projects and birthday cake decorating.

An eBook reader makes a fantastic gift for any occasion. Having one opens up access to a massive collection of eBooks that are free to download from the library (however be aware that the Kindle is not compatible with library eBook providers). The library also offers support in getting started with your eBook reader. An iPad or tablet can take this to a new level – these allow you to download not just eBooks but also services such as PressReader (newspapers and magazines) and eAudiobooks from the library.

Giving someone a framed family tree chart can make a superb gift – Central Library Manchester is where you will find the Family History Centre and staff are available to help you research ancestors.

Another unique gift idea that seems to have taken hold in recent years involves printing the front page of The Press newspaper on the day the said person was born. The page can then be enlarged and laminated and given to the person on the big day. The Press newspaper archive is located at Central Library Manchester.

Happy 10th birthday, Upper Riccarton Library

Upper Riccarton Community and School Library – Te Kete Wānanga o Pūtaringamotu – is ten years old. It’s a special place, bringing together the locals with Riccarton High School and Christchurch City Libraries.

Kia ora Upper Riccarton staff and customers! Here are some pics from ten years of being at the heart of the community.

Exquisite dough sculpture - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Exquisite dough sculpture at the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr 1278.JPG
Young dancers - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Young dancers perform in the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr 20150221_122125.JPG
Chinese calligraphy - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Chinese calligraphy banner – Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr P1040966.JPG
Takumi Japanese drummers - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Takumi Japanese drummers perform in the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr P1040930.JPG
Yarnbombing. Flickr CCL-2013 -03-13-IMG_0480
Zombie librarians
Zombie Day at Upper Riccarton Library. Flickr CCL-2013-01-10-P1030484
Upper Riccarton Library staff
Official Opening & Gala: Saturday 25 February 2006; first day – Monday 23 January 2006. Flickr 2006DSC01646

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

Our website is 20 years old – Whoopee!

Happy birthday to our library website! We are 20 years old!
Have a ride on the Wayback Machine and take a look at how we looked back in 1995.

The URL back then was http://www.ccc.govt.nz/library/ and here’s the first baby photo:

1995 library website

And on her 20th birthday:

2015 website

The library website was born on 7 June 1995 (oops sorry we missed the actual big day), and she was the first public library internet presence in Australasia:

… The library’s move into the digital age was further boosted in June 1995, when the library established its first web pages. Part of the Christchurch City Council site, the library’s pages were the first public library internet presence in Australasia. In addition to providing information about the library and its services, they offered online catalogue access for the first time.

Thanks to our ever-innovative librarian Paul Sutherland for bringing that first website online, and for looking after it so well.

Browse our brief history of Christchurch City Libraries and our factsheet for more milestones, technological and otherwise.

Unwrapping the new OPAC Launch of OPACs

Happy birthday, Ngaio Marsh!

Ngaio Marsh would have been 120 today. This world renowned crime writer and theatre director was born Edith Ngaio Marsh in Fendalton on 23 April 1895. Her father, a clerk, built Marton Cottage at Cashmere in 1906. This was her home for the rest of her life, although she spent significant periods in England.

Ngaio Marsh photographed during the 1940s

Ngaio Marsh photographed during the 1940s : “Ngaio in the spotlight” [194-], CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0038

Today there is a lovely little Google image celebrating her.

Many people know of Ngaio Marsh as the crime writer. But she also enriched the cultural life of Christchurch with her devotion to theatre production and mentored young people with dramatic aspirations. Ngaio made a huge contribution to the community, and it seems appropriate her name lives on  –

For more on Ngaio Marsh:

Happy birthday Aranui Library

Kia ora to the team at Aranui Library and all the Aranui customers.
It is a year today since the library opened – 8 September 2012.

If you haven’t visited this little taonga, why not visit?
Here’s what the library looked like on opening day in 2012.
Aranui Library
Aranui Library

And now!
Desk, Aranui LibraryAranui Library
Children's area, Aranui Library

Andy’s World

August the sixth is Andy Warhol’s birthday, so happy birthday, Andy. If only you were still around to enjoy a world where everyone Cover: "Andy Warhol"truly is famous for 15 minutes.

You could have appeared on Hoarders, done even more celebrity endorsements than you did in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s, been a guest judge on Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model  and walked in New York Fashion Week.

In fact you could have had your own reality TV show; after all you pioneered the idea with Andy Warhol’s TV.  You could have had the best Facebook page (not made by you of course) and millions of followers on Twitter.

You said “I never read, I just looked at pictures”.  For those of us who do both, there’s a lot on you to choose from. Here’s a small selection:

And my particular favourite:  Andy Warhol, the biography by Wayne Koestenbaum, who gets past the contradictions and reveals the enigma Warhol was.  Do you have a favourite book/memory of Warhol?