Ten Titles, tweeted: Our selectors pick some top new books

Our selectors spot plenty of new and interesting titles as part of their work. Here are some titles that took the fancy of our tweeting selector ^CO:

Follow Christchurch City Libraries on Twitter for selector picks and more.

New Titles, tweeted: Chris picks some top new books

Our selectors spot plenty of new and interesting titles as part of their work. Here are some titles that took the fancy of tweeting selector Chris:

Ten Titles, tweeted: Our selectors pick some top new books

Our selectors spot plenty of new and interesting titles as part of their work. Here are some titles that took the fancy of our tweeting selectors:

Follow Christchurch City Libraries on Twitter for selector picks and more.

(Don’t) Stop tweeting

Are writers dilly dallying round on Twitter when they should be writing and submitting their work for publication? Simon Wilson, editor of Metro, posited this and got some writerly hackles up. Hence this session Stop tweeting … Commit! A Twitter Odyssey at the Auckland Writers Festival, and on Twitter, starring Russell Brown aka @publicaddress, Jolisa Gracewood @nzdodo, Simon Wilson @metromagnz and chaired by Janet Wilson @bespokemedia – and featuring The Real People in the audience, and on Twitter.

#stoptweeting

This session was crackling with intelligence, but I wanted to hear more from the Yays …

Do you have a little poetry in you?

Cover of Haiku Poetry Ancient & ModernIt’s National Poetry Day on August 16th and you still have time to enter a little poem in our competition.

You could flirt with the 17 syllables of haiku, free range like e. e. cummings or dash off a sonnet.

Something short in other words.

Not that I’m suggesting that writing a short poem is easy, not if my blogging experience is anything to go by. A long time ago, we bloggers were challenged to write blogs of under 100 words on Canterbury. I produced four Pineapple Lumps blogs. They were the most difficult blogs I have ever written.

But here’s a thought: maybe tweets are the new haiku. With a limit of 140 characters and inspiring examples in Twitter Wit, could this be a new way to acknowledge Poetry Day 2013?

Christchurch City Libraries leaders answer questions on Twitter

Library leaders from Christchurch City Libraries took part in a live Q&A session on Twitter. It took place on Thursday 7 February 2013 from 11.15am to 11.45am and used the hashtag #AskCCL. Here’s a Storify of the questions and answers.

  1. Got a question for library leaders? Fire it to us with hashtag #askccl ow.ly/hu2YZ They’ll be online from 11.15am to 11.45am ^DR
  2. Library opening hours
  3. Steven asked about having opening hours of the library extended after 4pm on weekends at some libraries. #askccl ^DR
  4. We are continually reviewing opening hours based on changing demographics & patterns of usage. #askccl ^DR
  5. @ChristchurchLib Not really a question, but I would be keen for one of the city libraries to stay open past 6pm weekdays. #feedback #askccl
  6. @moatatamaira We are keeping an eye on demand for service after 6pm & number of users in central city. #askccl ^DR
  7. @moatatamaira Thanks for asking because this helps us see what demand is there. #askccl ^DR
  8. . @moatatamaira @rachNZ77 Definitely hearing the keenness for some later nights in town. Will pass this on, thanks. #askccl ^DR
  9. @ChristchurchLib Are there any plans for longer opening hours for suburban libraries on weekends? Me and the kids get caught out. #askccl
  10. @00k Sorry for the later reply – this has come up in the #askccl session so we’ll be looking into options. Thanks for your feedback. ^DR
  11. @ChristchurchLib Cheers. I know there’s a lot of thing to consider when extending hours.
  12. Fendalton Library
  13. @ChristchurchLib Hello, do you have any plans to open Fendalton Library on a Sunday? #askccl
  14. @cherylbernstein Good question. We’ve tried twice & have been unable to obtain necessary resource consent for Sundays. #askccl ^DR
  15. @ChristchurchLib thanks for trying. We hope you succeed in the end. It’s a fantastic community facility.
  16. Sumner services
  17. Grace, Kim & Angie on FB suggested the Sumner mobile van park in the village instead of at Cave Rock. #askccl ^DR
  18. We are exploring several options for mobile van & library service in Sumner. More info in near future. #askccl ^DR
  19. E-books
  20. @ChristchurchLib Has the introduction of ebooks to the libraries made a difference to the physical presence of people in #chch libraries?
  21. @gingagma Demand for e-books is increasing, & working hard to make more available. E-book training is v popular for customers. #askccl ^DR
  22. @ChristchurchLib What’s the policy regarding ebooks vs physical books? (Not everyone can use ebooks.) #askccl
  23. @00k We will continue to provide a wide range of material in print. Some titles are only available in e-format. #askccl ^DR
  24. @ChristchurchLib That’s a rather hand-wavy reply. Perhaps 140chars isn’t enough to explain your policy? How about a blog post? #askccl
  25. Hi @00k I’ll talk to our Content staff for a more expansive answer. Yes, sometimes hard to get all the info into 140. #askccl ^DR
  26. @ChristchurchLib as your range of ebooks increases, would you open the borrowing group to outside of #chch?
  27. @gingagma Licensing arrangements prevent us from offering e-books outside CCC area. #askccl ^DR
  28. Other topics
  29. @ChristchurchLib Do you have any James Bond themed displays planned for the 50th anniversary of James Bond?
  30. @ChristchurchLib Just wanted to say I really like the Library presence in social media. Thank you.
  31. @lilith_grace Our pleasure. We welcome your interest and love hearing from customers. (positive comments too!) ^DR
  32. Over and out ….
  33. Kia ora & thanks for your questions & comments. #askccl Let us know if you’d like it again. Our contact info ow.ly/hujRA ^DR

In so many words (in quite a lot of words)

Thursday 4.30 at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival saw a small but select group attending a panel discussion about social media. Donna’s already talked here about her fellow panellists, and interviewed them as well, so I will just try to give you a bit of a flavour of the actual event. Cheating, I know, but hey, it’s the new social media, where everyone shares everything, and no-one owns anything. That’s right, isn’t it?

Just before we begin, in a happy little piece of meta, panellist Moata takes a photo of the audience and tweets it, turning the tables on those of us who think we are there to report on them.  I find this train of thought so distracting that I completely fail to take a photo of them. You will have to picture for yourselves, then, the small geodome in Hagley Park, a couple of comfy couches, and a lineup that includes Chair Graham Bookman Beattie, and guests Moata, Donna, Lara and Will, all looking and sounding incredibly calm and relaxed.

Each of the panellists here today spend a large part of their lives online, personally and professionally.  The first question (How has your internet life changed from five years ago?), brings some great comments. Lara points out that the small black portable notebooks she always carried have now changed to a small black portable phone that she always carries; and that F Scott Fitzgerald (the inspiration for this habit of hers of recording the “cognitive surplus” of her life) would have been brilliant on Twitter.

Moata notes that where the internet used to be a kind of “go, look, read” kind of place, there’s now a real depth to it, and you can go, look, read but then keep going, get deeper in, be more involved and interactive. Donna talks about starting with her own personal blog, but then very quickly developing the CCL blog – launched at the 2007 Auckland Writers Festival, it had a sense of immediacy that was new in terms of coverage of festivals and events. She also makes the point that we used to think that technology was cold and impersonal, but the events of 2010 and 2011 have shown us that social media brings the ability for us to share more, help more, and build community in ways that wouldn’t have been possible in the past.

Will notes that the biggest change for him professionally has been the speed at which The Press has had to move – the expectation now from readers is that the news is being reported as it happens. He also notes that online comments have changed the game: where the Letters page of the newspaper is a very groomed product, online commenting is a completely different animal.

Looking five years into the future, Lara quotes Gibson and Mieville, talks about a crackdown on online piracy and DRM, and points out that although we think the internet is free, when we agree to the terms and conditions of websites like Facebook and Twitter, these sites are then able to monetize our thoughts and ideas for their own profit.

Moata hopes that the future will see bloggers recognised as ‘real’ writers, rather than being thought of as vaguely unsavoury lower ranks. Donna thinks that the idea of the death of the book is a load of bollocks, and that libraries will become a place of increased connectivity and interactivity, with more collaboration between galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Will asserts that The Press will still be here, still be on paper, and still be delivered to the door of anyone who wants it; but also that most people will get their news on a device, that they will happily pay for it, and that the best and most successful papers will be the ones that deliver intensely local news.

A round  of mostly great questions, with the seemingly mandatory That’s-Not-A-Question as well, and the session is over.  I must just run out now and see if I feature in that photo that Moata took …

Going for “facts and genre” at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival

In so many words is a panel discussion on social media and books at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival. It’s on Thursday 30 August 4.30pm at the Literary PleasureDome aka the Geo Dome in Hagley Park.

On the panel are bloggers (and tweeters) Lara Strongman, Moata Tamaira, Will Harvie and me . It’ll be chaired by Graham “Bookman” Beattie and promises to be informative, banterrific and hey it’s FREE! Come along and listen, and ask questions and share your opinions.

The Press’s Will Harvie is a self-proclaimed “facts and genre kind of guy”. Here are his festival picks

I’m looking forward to many of the non-fiction speakers, especially the Antarctica panel on Friday, John Lancaster and Rod Oram on economics, and Joe Bennett of course. Joanne Drayton on Anne Perry looks good and it will be hard to miss Marianne Elliott and Nicky Hager on Afghanistan.

On the fiction side, I’m catching Owen Marshall with Kate Grenville, Emily Perkins and Sue Woolfe; An Hour with Emily Perkins; the Fatal Attraction panel, The Crime Debate, and Joanne Harris.

Twitter: where Muppets meet Michel Houellebecq: The Press Christchurch Writers Festival

In so many words is a panel discussion on social media and books at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival. It’s on Thursday 30 August 4.30pm at the Literary PleasureDome aka the Geo Dome in Hagley Park.

On the panel are bloggers (and tweeters) Lara Strongman, Moata Tamaira, Will Harvie and me (Donna). It’ll be chaired by Graham “Bookman” Beattie and promises to be informative, banterrific and hey it’s FREE! Come along and listen, and ask questions and share your opinions.

Here I interview myself, which isn’t as odd as it sounds.
What are you looking forward to at the Festival?

At the last Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival I was pregnant with a wee sproglet who is now 3 and a half. Which shows it been aaages since we had our own literary shindig. Too long.

I’m looking forward to a mixture of fiction and non-fiction subjects. It’s good to combine that hardcore informational session with ones that are more about creativity and storytelling.

This will be my first Pechakucha, and I’m especially excited since it covers two of my favourite subjects – Rachael King’s is talking about creepy 70s and 80s kids’ tv and Mark Spurgeon (@typemark) discusses typography. I also look forward to getting another typography fix at the Christchurch Art Gallery’s Pressed Letters exhibition.

I want to go to Antarctica. The history of polar exploration is fascinating, and with IceFest coming soon to Christchurch it’s good timing. Emily Perkins’ novel The Forrests blooming well deserved any hype, so am keen to hear more from her.

On the Spot where Tim Wilson and Martin van Beynen will explore writing about big events like Hurricane Katrina and our quakes. How do you write about things that seem beyond words? A perfect subject for a celebration of writing.

What is the allure of Twitter for you?

Brevity. Wit. The delightful and unexpected. You might encounter a HouellebecqBot or get involved into a discussion on whether Big Bird is an Order or Chaos Muppet (Thanks to @adzebill for that one). Twitter is a space to share, highlight, ask, and explore.

It’s a community space . Christchurch people and others shared earthquake related information and concerns. The #eqnz hashtag came to represent this . When Margaret Mahy died, many remembrances and tributes were shared via Twitter.

Serious information sharing is tempered by outbreaks of fun and creativity when a hashtag like #songsfromthesouthisland goes nuts. Or more recently #replacebooktitleswithnewzealandtowns. Sometimes the tweeting of an event or tv show is far more entertaining than the actual thing. Twitter makes us all commenters and a Greek chorus.

#twecon showed a new way of communication for academics, “a way to introduce people to ideas worth following up on” as @HORansome described it. Otago University has just completed Tweet your thesis.

It can also be a place to hone your writing – have a go at the NZ Book Council’s #fridayshorts. Writing a tweet is in itself an exercise communicating effectively – whether you are enticing people to click on a link, making a trenchant observation, expressing an idea  – and you’ve only got 140 characters to do it in.

Who do you recommend following on Twitter (especially on the literary side)?

Book-loving essentials are the New Zealand Book Council @nzbookcouncil and the Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University @modernletters.

David Gutowski @largeheartedboy is awesome. He creates great stuff like Book Notes in which authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book. He also knows a lot about what’s happening in culture and books.

I follow a bunch of writers, partly it lets you under the hood of the creative process, but also because they are all-round interesting. People like @sarahelaing, @rachaelking70 and @emilyjperkins.

Gravitate to libraries and librarians and information/data types – you’ll be exposed to amazing New Zealand resources – The National Library of New Zealand @nlnz, @digitalnz and Palmerston North City Library @pncitylibrary et al. Chris McDowall @fogonwater comes up with fascinating stuff like Uncertain Rainbow.

I like people and organisations with hearts of art and poetry – Phantom Billstickers do some awesome stuff @0800Phantom. Courtney Johnston @auchmill tweets about art, poetry, history and does so with contagious passion. Christchurch Art Gallery @chchartgallery is all around fab.

There are lots of ridonkulously smart and interesting tweeps.  Mike Dickison @adzebill and Philip Matthews @secondzeit are well worth a follow. Also Jolisa Gracewood @nzdodo, Russell Brown @publicaddress, Toby Manhire @toby_etc and @guysomerset have fingers on the pulse.

Tweeps in the publishing industry are often a step ahead in anticipating trends. People like Fergus Barrowman @FergusVUP and publishers like Aussies @text_publishing.

If you are into full on book worship. Swoon over the offerings of @BibliOdyssey and @50wattsdotcom.

Twitter “like any good party you can get pulled into the most extraordinary discussions”: The Press Christchurch Writers Festival

In so many words is a panel discussion on social media and books at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival. It’s on Thursday 30 August 4.30pm at the Literary PleasureDome aka the Geo Dome in Hagley Park.

On the panel are bloggers (and tweeters) Lara Strongman, Moata Tamaira, Will Harvie and me. It’ll be chaired by Graham “Bookman” Beattie and promises to be informative, banterrific and hey it’s FREE!

Panellista Moata Tamaira is a Stuff blogger, librarian and web editor. We also proudly claim her as one of our own alumni (check out her posts on this here blog) .

1. What is the allure of Twitter for you?

Twitter is like somehow getting an invitation to a party filled with the sharpest, sexiest, edgiest people and being able to freely wander around picking up snippets of their conversations. And like any good party you can get pulled into the most extraordinary discussions. Pithiness is the order of the day AND you get all the news (and gossip) before anyone else. True there are some dullards on Twitter too, but it’s very easy to sidle away from them when you find one.

2. Who do you recommend following on Twitter (especially on the literary side)?

One of the first things I did when I joined Twitter was to search out the accounts of people whose work I’ve enjoyed, hence my timeline is a jumble of comedians, writers, journalists, bloggers, arts and culture mavens and naturally, librarians.

It’s hard to pick favourites because they’re all so different but I do have a soft spot for @johnjcampbell (he sometimes tweets in the ad breaks during his own show), Mike Dickison aka @adzebill is always good value, and though different timezones keep us apart, @simonpegg often makes me laugh out loud. One of my favourite science writers, @Bengoldacre never fails to bring the sarcasm.

@LeVostreGC You can’t get much more literary than pop culture references and song lyrics tweeted in the style of Chaucer (well, actually I suppose there are several things more literary than that). I like it because it makes me feel like that first year paper I did at Canterbury on Old and Middle English Literature wasn’t completely wasted.

And, just because I realise I haven’t mentioned any ladies. @Cateowen is funny in her own right but is also a good source for linked hilarity (and she knows a lot about the ins and outs of social media). Oh, and you wanted literary too? Jolisa Gracewood @nzdodo is my kind of literary – funny, smart, and approachable. And of course I’ve followed @christchurchlib from day one.

3. What are you looking forward to at the Festival?

Actually having one for a start. And having it be in a giant inflatable igloo in Hagley Park is also a highlight. I love how incongruous it seems.

I’ve never been to a Pechakucha event so I’m keen on checking that out.

I’m keen on both John Lanchester sessions. London is the only other city I’ve lived in, so the “London’s Burning” session he’s doing with Chris Cleave appeals as does “Whoops: Why everyone owes and no one can pay”. I’m a big fan of people who “translate” incomprehensible stuff, in this case the global financial crisis, for ordinary folks like me. It’s an honourable endeavour.

I’m also keen on checking out the exhibitions that form the festival, particularly “Ko taku kupu, ko tau / My word is yours”. I’ve enjoyed the pepeha that have been used in earlier festivals and the artworks that illustrate them. I also love that this exhibition will be in association with Gap Filler which is doing great work around the city, brightening up vacant corners.

An hour with Joanne Harris is also a must see. She’s a wonderful storyteller, and it’s always interesting hearing about how storytellers work their magic.

Can I say that I’m looking forward to the session that we’re doing? I am. That should be a good old chinwag and a good excuse to get me hair done!

You certainly can! See you there Ms M.