My Library – James Daniels

Here’s the extended version of our interview in uncover – huraina with James Daniels, radio host of The Breeze.

James Daniels

What words spring to mind when you hear ‘library’?

Valuable, in that a library houses books, which are beautiful. Vital and Valid, as a community asset with easy online access, in-house helpful staff and providing a haven for people to not just enjoy books, but to just enjoy ‘being’.

What role does the library play for you and your whānau?

My moko read a lot and go to libraries, my wife reads a lot but she buys. For me, I buy books too, but I prefer going to the library – that helps me think about books. It motivates me to search out different books and save them to my booklist for future reading.

My favourite library is…

I love my local library at Parklands. The size, the scale, the building, the café and the ability to get any book brought through from any of the other libraries. Also love New Brighton Library, it’s pretty, in a great location by the pier. I also love Shirley Library which is on my way home from work. I’m not a one library man!

What do you see as libraries greatest contribution to community?

Just being there. They’re great places for people to meet, to use the vernacular ‘to hang out’, with free wifi access – it’s fantastic that we have so many libraries. I’m so pleased to see that Sumner Library and Community Centre are being brought back onto the scene – that’s my old community. Community centres should be based in libraries.

What keeps you in Christchurch?

Its history, pre- and post- colonisation; Christchurch is my home town. I’m a Brighton Boy, went to school here and really, really love living on the east side. Love that Christchurch is a sporting city, strong academically, with a really large chunk of the NZ economy driven from here. Loving the increasing diversity the rebuild is bringing; I love my city!

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Favourite books and why

Biographies are fascinating… and I love historical novels.  I started with the Poldark series by Winston Graham – I went to Cornwall the first time I visited Britain.  Then I gravitated to reading history with authors like James Belich… and then Michael King’s History of NZ – that blew me away – should be compulsory reading for all students.  I’ve also read most of James A Michener, Frederick Forsyth and Bill Bryson.  And the libraries’ magazine – great choices!  Always go for Train, Plane and Car magazines, Esquire and Vanity Fair!

What is your earliest library memory?

The old New Brighton Library back in Shaw Ave – the librarians seemed like serious “old women” (I was very young then!).  Everything was very quiet.  Institutional.  It was a real occasion going to the library – maybe people even dressed up to go?  I remember all the little filing cards and it was a real process getting a book, the librarians flicking through the cards to look up books, the rubber ‘date due’ stamps and the ceremony of it all.

Our new magazine uncover – huraina

Kia ora and welcome to the first edition of our new quarterly magazine, uncover – huraina. It is our newest channel to help you explore and celebrate the resources, content, events, programmes and people of Christchurch City Libraries, Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi.

Introducing Toitoi – your chance to get published

We have just subscribed to a fantastic magazine that is for Kiwi kids and by Kiwi kids. Toitoi is a journal for young writers and artists that gives Kiwi kids the chance to submit their own writing and pieces of art to be included in the journal.  There are 100 pages of original stories, poetry and artwork in every issue.  Check out these examples from Issue 3 this year:

Issue 3 Spread1
Issue 3, Toitoi, spread 1. (Image supplied)
Issue 3 Spread2
Issue 3, Toitoi, spread 2. (Image supplied)
Issue 3 Spread3
Issue 3, Toitoi, spread 3. (Image supplied)

It looks really fantastic and who wouldn’t want to see their story, poem or artwork published in a magazine! You can brag to all your friends and your family will be super proud of you. It’s a quarterly journal so that means that there four chances throughout the year for you to submit your writing and art and see it published in the magazine.

Grab a copy of Toitoi from the library now and check out some of the amazing stories, poems and artworks that kids from all over the country have submitted.

Anyone aged 5-13 years can submit a piece to Toitoi. To submit a piece all you have to do is go to the Toitoi website, click on ‘Submit’ at the top of the page and email your submission to the editors. The next deadline is 8 July so you’ve still got a few weeks to get your submission in. What are you waiting for?