In breaking news – Neil Cross wins the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel

It’s 9.39pm and I have just returned from The Great New Zealand Crime Debate, which acted, as was stated tonight, as either precursor or foreplay to the presentation of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2012.  Tonight was another one of those events that you really should have gone to. Ms Scotland and I laughed till we cried, applauded loudly at many places, were vastly entertained and occasionally startled, and on one memorable occasion somewhat shocked by the proceedings.  Joycie will no doubt give a full run-down of the evening’s entertainment soon, but in the interests of getting the news out in a timely manner, I would now like to announce that the winner of the third annual Ngaio Marsh Award was Neil Cross, for his book Luther: the Calling.

Charmingly, he had made no preparations for winning, and had no speech prepared.  We therefore got an off-the-cuff acceptance speech about his wife’s hate mail, the time he nearly got killed (note: the word ‘killed’ here is a substitute for another word I hesitate to use on a family-friendly blog) and eaten on the way to a literary festival, and how much in love with New Zealand he still is.

A big congratulations to all the short-listed finalists, and especially to Neil Cross, as well as a really big thank you to The Pres Christchurch Writers Festival organisers, who once again provided a fantastic evening’s entertainment.  Well done all, and THANKS – we love you!

The re-branding of Gale Cengage Resource Centers

LogoSome of you may have noticed  title changes in some of our Gale Cengage online products. This is because Gale has re-branded its Resource Center products into In Context. We will continue to get the same quality information that we have come to expect from these resources but now they will also have a more interactive interface!

What benefits will be derived from this apart from name changes I hear you ask? Gale has told us that “It’s not just a replacement. It’s a reinvention”. Goodness!

In practical rather than marketing terms this means increased media content such as interactive maps, audio and video. These products will also include more user tools such as Web 2.0 sharing to popular social networks, search assist that suggests keyword phrases, ReadSpeaker text-to-speech technology and customizable RSS feeds.  Gale’s aim is to transition to a “user experience which integrates content with engaging, highly-relevant and media-rich results delivered in context through Web-like portal pages.”

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center – a database for the informed

Let’s face it, we all love a good debate.

If you want to win the debating prize at school or those arguments around the dinner table, then this is the resource that will equip you. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center is the premier database covering today’s hottest social issues, from terrorism, endangered species, stem cell research, abortion to gun control.

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center helps develop critical-thinking by bringing together a variety of information on social issues.  An excellent resource for those wishing to do in-depth investigations about major contentious topics for school, work, research or out of intellectual curiosity:

  • More than 9,100 pro and con viewpoint  articles                                              
  • Nearly 5,000 topic overviews
  • More than 300 primary source documents
  • More than 1,800 images and links to Google Image search
  • More than 140 full-text magazines, academic journals and newspapers
  • Nearly 6,000 statistical tables, charts and graphs

This database has a user-friendly interface that can be configured to different content levels – basic, intermediate and advanced to help users choose appropriate content for their abilities.

A translation feature also allows users to translate documents into Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Italian and simplified Chinese and Korean.

Access to this easy to use database is one of the many benefits of library membership. You can access Opposing Viewpoints and  many other useful databases  from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our community libraries!