Author Visit @ Nowra Library: Turia Pitt

turia
We are pleased to announce that Turia Pitt will be visiting Nowra Library on September 28th at 11am. Turia will be speaking about her new book Everything to Live For, which tells the story of her survival against extraordinary odds.

Bookings are essential for this special event. Contact Robin (4429 3710 sharpe@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au) or Dean Swift Books Nowra (02 4421 5568) to book your place. Entry cost is $2, with proceeds going to Donate Life.

See you there!

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Library & Information Week 2013

This week is Library & Information Week, when libraries and information services take the opportunity to showcase their resources, facilities, events, contacts and services. To celebrate, we’ve created a ‘Behind the Scenes at the Library’ display, so you can see exactly how the library operates, as well as the mysterious and magical process library books and items go through before they become available for you to borrow. Come in and have a look!

behindthescenespic   lifecycle

 

The 2012 Aurealis Awards Finalists Have Been Announced! AND one of them is visiting us next month!

large_BRTD_MAY_wild_girl_coverYay!!!! The 2012 Aurealis Awards finalists have been announced! These awards, which were established in 1995 by the publishers of Aurealis magazine and are the premier awards for Australian speculative fiction, aim to highlight the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

2012 saw almost 750 entries across 13 categories, which include Science Fiction, Fantasy, Youth, Horror, Children’s Fiction. Each category is divided further into novels and short fiction. Awards are also given to the best anthology and collection, and best illustrated work or graphic novel.  (www.aurealisawards.com). 

There are some amazing titles in the shortlist, and I am so excited to see that it includes two of my favourite reads for 2013 – Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan and Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. I braved an early morning train trip to Sydney to attend the 2013 NSW Writers’ Centre’s Speculative Fiction Festival last month and hear several authors of the who feature on this list- Kate Forsyth (who coordinated the festival), Juliet Marillier, Garth Nix, Kirstyn McDermott, John Flanagan and Jason Nahrung- talk about how they do their thing. Was that train trip worth it? In a word, YES!

forsyth-kateAnd while we’re on the topic… we’re lucky enough to have Kate Forsyth herself visiting Nowra Library next month. Our Morning Tea with Kate Forsyth will take place on May 1st here at Nowra Library and is sure to be a fascinating session with one of Australia’s top fantasy authors. Copies of Kate’s books, including her newest work, The Wild Girl, will be available for purchase. You can contact the library on 4429 3710 or  Sharpe@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au to book your place. – Kelly.

The 2012  Aurealis Awards Finalists

FANTASY NOVEL

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier

FANTASY SHORT STORY

“Sanaa’s Army” by Joanne Anderton in Bloodstones

“The Stone Witch” by Isobelle Carmody in Under My Hat

“First They Came” by Deborah Kalin in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 55

“Bajazzle” by Margo Lanagan in Cracklescape

“The Isles of the Sun” by Margo Lanagan in Cracklescape

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

Suited by Jo Anderton

The Last City by Nina D’Aleo

And All The Stars by Andrea K Host

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

“Visitors” by James Bradley in Review of Australian Fiction

“Significant Dust” by Margo Lanagan in Cracklescape

“Beyond Winter’s Shadow” by Greg Mellor in Wild Chrome

“The Trouble with Memes” by Greg Mellor in WildChrome

“The Lighthouse Keepers’ Club” by Kaaron Warren in Exotic Gothic 4

HORROR NOVEL

Bloody Waters by Jason Franks

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott

Blood and Dust by Jason Nahrung

Salvage by Jason Nahrung

HORROR SHORT STORY

“Sanaa’s Army” by Joanne Anderton in Bloodstones

“Elyora” by Jodi Cleghorn in RabbitHole Special Issue Review of Australian Fiction

“To Wish Upon a Clockwork Heart” by Felicity Dowker in Bread and Circuses

“Escena de un Asesinato” by Robert Hood in Exotic Gothic 4

“Sky” by Kaaron Warren in Through Splintered Walls

YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney

And All The Stars by Andrea K. Host

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra

YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“Stilled Lifes x 11” by Justin D’Ath in Trust Me Too

“The Wisdom of the Ants” by Thoraiya Dyer in Clarkesworld

“Rats” by Jack Heath in Trust Me Too

“The Statues of Melbourne” by Jack Nicholls in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56

“The Worry Man” by Adrienne Tam

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

Brotherband: The Hunters by John Flanagan

Princess Betony and the Unicorn by Pamela Freeman

The Silver Door by Emily Rodda

Irina the Wolf Queen by Leah Swann

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

Little Elephants by Graeme Base

The Boy Who Grew Into a Tree by Gary Crew and Ross Watkins (illustrator)

In the Beech Forest by Gary Crew and Den Scheer (illustrator)

Inside the World of Tom Roberts by Mark Wilson

ILLUSTRATED BOOK / GRAPHIC NOVEL

Blue by Pat Grant

It Shines and Shakes and Laughs by Tim Molloy

Changing Ways #2 by Justin Randall

ANTHOLOGY

The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene

Bloodstones edited by Amanda Pillar

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 6 edited by Jonathan Strahan

Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan

Edge of Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan

COLLECTION

That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote by K. J. Bishop

Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody

Midnight and Moonshine by Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter

Living With the Dead by Martin Livings

Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren

The winners of the 2012 Aurealis Awards and the Peter McNamara Convenors Award will be revealed at a gala ceremony on the evening of Saturday 18 May 2013 at The Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

Senior’s Week & A Well-Read Alice

SW13_NSW_Gov_Banner_320x240_JamesThis week is NSW Senior’s Week, the largest celebration for people over 60 in the southern hemisphere.  Seniors Week is an annual NSW Government campaign presented by Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) which provides seniors with opportunities to be active and healthy, independent and recognised for their community involvement. The theme for NSW Seniors Week is Live Life! and reflects the celebration of life, achievements and community engagement. With over 900 free or specially discounted events held for seniors across the state, there is something for everyone to enjoy. (from www.seniorsweek.com).

Here at Shoalhaven Libraries Nowra we have joined the Senior’s Week celebrations by hosting free computer classes for seniors. The classes, which focus on basic internet use and searching,  have been a great success, with each class fully booked. The seniors who attended have also shown an interest in learning more about using social media tools – such as Twitter and Facebook- and tablets and other devices. It’s always exciting to see older generations jumping on board the technology train and learning new skills; I’m sure anyone who works in a library will agree with me when I say that watching people of any age master new ways of finding information – and the happiness and pride that comes with it-  is one of the best parts of the job.

Notes from a Well-Read Alice

We are also celebrating Senior’s Week by introducing a new blogger to the Readers’s Haven team, Alice. Alice is a Shoalhaven Libraries Home Library Service user who, as well as being a voracious reader, writes lovely reviews and reflections on the books she’s been reading. We like her reviews so much we thought we’d share them here on the Readers’ Haven. Thankyou Alice for allowing us to do so, and welcome to the Readers’ Haven!

Notes from a well-read Alice logo

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

Alice says: “The precise, almost antiquated dialogue of gentle Botswana people is charming. The description of the background is so good one alsmost feels the location is familiar. Mma Ramotswe is proud of the propoertions of her traditional figure, which would send many Australinas rushing to Jenny Craig. The tricky cases are solved by the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency with unpredictable and amusing results. As usual, A.M. Smith excels, but I do prefer his Scotland Street series.”

Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell

Alice says: “When I saw ‘Patricia Cornwell’ I immediately thought of the British author who writes delightful historical fiction, usually set on the south-east coast of England. Was I wrong! This American forensic scientist writes competently about her profession in detail. A body had eyes gouged out, sockets filled with sand and lids superglued back together again. Flesh has been hacked off with a serrated knife. Afterwards, detectives sit calmly together over a coffee discussin the finer points. As I’, an insomniac who reads into the ‘wee small hours’ I was too squeamish to carry on!”

At Home with the Templetons by Monica McInerney

Alice says: “An enjoyable read, set in both Australia and England. Relationships between two families covering tragedy and love with believable emotion. Events were unpredictable with good background descriptions. Nearly 600 pages- a heavy volume, light in content.”

Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin by Nancy Atherton

Alice says: ‘When I saw the title I thought this book would be a tea-cosy, slippers, granny-type narractive (even though I am a great-grandmother, I tend to forget it). However, it was full of charming people- no violence, witty and funny. It had lots of charming tea-cosy components: small twin boys, horses, matchmaking, a mystery set in England. I loved it.”

Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark

Alice says: “Marred by too many characters, who were bland. As a ‘successful writer of 27 suspense novels,’ there must be something here I missed. A pity, for the mystery was well-plotted. Throughtout the whole volume there wasn’t one smidgen of humour. Miserable.”

La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith

Alice says: “Saved the best till last. AMS is now a top favourite author along with Henning Mankel. The third book of his I’ve enjoyed, and each were completely different. Anthony Burgess has a similar ability to diversify with skill. AMS writtes of the London Blitz with exactitude; I was there. La and her orchestra are the pivotal point. So moving, I mentally cheered them on. Alexander McCall Smith also writes believably from the point of view of a woman. I found myself laughing out loud at times, which is a big bonus.”

Watch out for more of Alice’s notes next month. And don’t forget, we love to hear about what you’ve been reading, so if you’d like to share your reviews with us, please do!

Happy reading!

NSW Marketing Awards for Public Libraries – Winner- Shoalhaven Libraries

The NSW Marketing Awards for Public Libraries is a yearly event which celebrates libraries and the range of services, programs and events that they provide for their communities.

Winning libraries (there are various categories) were announced last Friday at the National Year of Reading legacy event held at Blacktown Library.

And…

… (drum roll, please)…

… we were one of them!!!!!!

Robin, Noela and Jessica receiving the award last month with Cr Win Gaffney, Chair of the Public Libraries NSW Metropolitan.

Our ‘Branching Out’ program took the cake for the NSW Public Libraries Marketing Award for Services (to see winners of other the other categories, scroll to the bottom of this post).

The Branching Out program was created and coordinated by our fantastic Outreach Services (Programs and Events) Manager,  Robin. Needless to say, we are ridiculously proud of her.

Here’s a run-down of the program in Robin’s words:

Robin at Oolong House.

Robin at Oolong House.

“[Branching Out] was aimed at reaching out to those in and around the areas of the Shoalhaven who for one reason or another have become disconnected with libraries and/or reading.It was envisaged that the program would identify particular groups and organisations and then deliver tailored library sessions to encourage reading as a common practice and a beneficial past-time.

We hoped these sessions would have a positive impact  on the participants and perhaps change their attitiude towards the written word. The ideal outcome was that the experience would improve their understanding of the importance and value of reading and the enrichment it can bring to life.

Jessica at Waminda South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation

Jessica at Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation

Jessica with 10 Minutes a Day reading kits at Shoalhaven Hospital.

Jessica with 10 Minutes a Day reading kits at Shoalhaven Hospital.

The sessions included readers’ theatre, library tours, information sessions, baby reading kits for hospitals and special author talks  and storytelling. The National Year of Reading was a focus throughout these sessions.The groups that were identified in the Shoalhaven included babies, youth, those with a non-English speaking background, the elderly, the disabled and those at risk in our community eg. drug addicts, prisoners and their families, teenage mums, and other marginalised people in the Shoalhaven. Of particular interest was the South Coast Correctional Centre.”

Robin and Shoalhaven National Year of Reading Ambassador Dr Michael Davey visited the South Coast Correctional Centre and spoke about the importance of reading and how it can have positive impacts on life.

Shoalhaven Library staff perform Readers Theatre

Shoalhaven Library staff perform Readers Theatre at the Autistic Unit at North Nowra Primary School

25 maximum security inmates heard Michael’s story of resilience that is now a bestselling book ‘Journey of Hope.’ The group were engaged dyuring the session and talked about thier own experiences.

The year-long program was a great success.  A wide range of people not traditionally part of our reading and learning landscape were introduced to Shoalhaven Libraries and our services throughout the year. Consequently, we built connections with groups who can now feel confident to contact us for assistance and information.”

Derrilyn and Debbie read to residents at Greenwell Gardens Nursing Home.

Derrilyn and Debbie read to residents at Greenwell Gardens Nursing Home.

The full list of 2012 NSW Marketing Awards for Public Libraries winners are:

Shoalhaven Libraries for
Branching Out
Sponsored by NSW Metropolitan Public Libraries Association

Walcha Library for
Local History Road Show
Sponsored by Public Libraries NSW

Parkes Shire Library for
Readtember
Sponsored by Southern Scene

Griffith City Library for National Year of Reading Launch and Calendar of Events
Sponsored by Library AV and Large Print

Manildra Library for Manildra Memories
Sponsored by Bolinda

Narrabri Library for Fractured Fairytales
Sponsored by Raeco

Central West Libraries for 24 Hour Read
Sponsored by ALS

Parramatta City Library Service for National Year of Reading Program of Events
Sponsored by ALS

Auburn Library for Art of Reading Bookmark Project
Sponsored by Wavesound

Tumut Library for Lunchtime Poets
Sponsored by Roger Henshaw Consultancy Services

Holroyd City Council Library Service for 21st Birthday Celebrations
Sponsored by the State Library of NSW