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.


… (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
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


3rd Wednesday Book Club- August- Question

cover image nine parts of desire The National Year of Reading theme for August was Question. Here at Nowra Library we chose to look Behind the Veil for our question reads, focusing on the way that others – particularly women- live in other parts of the world. We decided to question the ideas and perceptions about how women live in cultures that are different to our own and the experiences that we may not know about. Of course, we made this theme an optional one. We don’t like being bossy, and so we ended up (as we usually do!) with a lovely mixed bag of genres and authors.

Here’s the list: 

A Beggar at the Gate by Thalassa Ali 
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden world of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks 
Three Moons Over Sedona by Sherry Hartzler
While We’re Far Apart by Lynne N. Austin
Golden Earrings by Belinda Alexander 
Autumn Laing by Alex Miller
The Heart Garden by Janine Burke
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Half of a Yellow Sun by
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Best Magnolia Hotel by Deborah Moggart
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
The Spare Room: A Novel by Helen Garner
The Silent Girl (A Rizzoli and Isles novel) by Tess Gerritsen
Agatha Christie novels
In Session: Dr Morgan Snow with Steve Barry’s Cotton Malone, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher  & Barry Eisler’s John Rain by M.J Rose

Still Life With Crows (Pendergast 4) by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child  (Gruesome!)  
The Angels’ Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Daughters of Mars by Tom Keneally
The Hunter by Julia Leigh 
Bad Signs by RJ Ellory
Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan
Oswald’s Ghost by Norman Mailer
Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde by Franny Moyle

Most talked about reads

The Angel's Game cover imageThe Angels’ Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon-  by all accounts an amazing read. Quirky, gothic, ironic, humorous and beautiful…  Many of our members and staff also love Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind.
Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks- While working  in the Middle East as a journalist, Brooks was in the position to better understand the cultural, political and religious forces that shape life behind the veil. ‘Written with a journalist’s eye for detail, this is an  insightful and revealing read.’ – Janet

Talulla Rising
by Glen Duncan ‘Fast paced and easy to read with no wasted words. At first this novel was hilarious and erotic, but it became too perverse and blood thirsty and I found myself barracking for the vampires.’ Elaine : )
 ‘On the other hand, I loved it almost as much as I loved it’s predecessor, The Last Werewolf. I can’t wait to read the next instalment in the series.’ – Kelly  

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini ‘Depicts the suffering of women in Afghanistan, born into poverty and circumstances which are impossible to get out of, without education. Dtories of incredible hardship, mentally and physically and the endurance that humans have- the capacity to hope and to survive.’ Janet  
Golden Earrings by Belinda Alexander ‘The granddaughter of Spanish refugees discovers flamenco dancing, delves into her fanily’s past to discover present truths. The truth can only be found by digging up the past.’ – Joan 

Bad Signs by R.J Ellory
 – ‘This is Ellory’s latest novel and it is a chilling page turner. As always the author doesn’t disappoint his readers. This book is loosely based on real events that took place in the early 1900’s in the same location. As always will be eagerly awaiting Ellory’s next novel!’ – Elaine

Happy reading everyone!!

National Year of Reading- September- Grow

opening flower It’s almost September- time to chat about the National Year of Reading theme for the month, Grow. 

The love2read blog talks about the many options within this theme! Personal growth, self -help,  health & well being, pregnancy, parenting, growth industries, career changes, weight loss (if you’ve been baking cakes and ‘growing’) the environment, sustainablilty and gardening.

Here at Nowra Library our 3rd Wednesday Book Club is reading texts from the current HSC syllabus. We figure kids grow, and we’d like to see what they’re studying for the HSC later this year. Texts under study include English classics like Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre and modern classics like  Catch-22, Dune and Brave New World. Poets Emily Dickinson, Silvia Plath and John Keats, as well the Shakespeare, are all present, as are Australian authors Peter Carey and Tim Winton.

We’re looking forward to seeing how our book club members like walking in the shoes of our HSC students this month : )

Happy reading (and growing!) everyone!

3rd Wednesday Book Club- July- Discover

The National Year of Reading theme for July was Discover, and our book club members did some fantastic literary discovering of their own in celebration. From the history of London’s underground  to the Mayan calendar to what really happened with the second gunman on the grassy knoll, we read a wide range of ‘discovery’ books as well as many that  had absolutely nothing at all to do with the theme! As always, it’s an eclectic mix, and we love it!

July reads:

Stop What You’re Doing and Read This  – a celebration of reading by various authors, including Zadie Smith, Tim parks, Michael Rosen and Jeanette Winterson
Five Bells by Gail Jones
The River Wife by Heather Rose
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris
Handwriting by Michael Ondaatje
London Under by Peter Ackroyd
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
The 2012 Story by John Major Jenkins
11.22.63 by Stephen King
Oswald’s Tale by Norman Mailer
The Troubled Man by Henning Mankel
The Remnants by John Hughes
Verdi and/or Wagner by Peter Conrad
Grand Days by Frank Moorhouse
Never Apologise, Never Explain by James Craig
Season of Content by Jackie French
Carnival of the Dead by David Hewson
March by Geraldine Brookes
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Most talked about reads:

The 2012 Story by John Major Jenkins – ‘This is a comprehensive and detailed look at the Mayan culture, history and calendar that has spawned  the ‘End of the World’ scenario on 21 December 2012. It’s very scientific and no stone is left unturned. It’s not an ‘easy’ read, but nonetheless informative, eye opening and myth dispensing. Jump to Chapter 9 and read to the end. The true ‘prophecy’ will blow you away!’ (Elaine)

Cover image london Under London Under by Peter Ackroyd
‘This is a book about what can be discovered about old London by exploring the ground under present London.

Under London can be found places of worship and healing waters. The Bank of England underground vaults store the second biggest hoard of gold bullion on earth. In  the 18tyh century there was an underground prison- it was in use for 250 years and closed in 1877. There are underground rivers, like the Fleet River under Fleet Street.

Serious archaeological activity didn’t take place in London till after WWII, but when it did a complete Roman bathhouse was found under Lower Thames Street.
The 13 rivers and brooks of London still flow; but whereas they once went through fields and valleys, they are now contained by pipes and sewers.

The London Metropolitan Underground Railway was opened in January 1863; it was the first underground railway in the world. The trains were pulled by compact steam engines. There were complaints about the smoke and the smell. The first trains powered by electricity were introduced in 1890. It is interesting ti note that the incentive to build underground was driven by the congestion of cart and traffic in the streets.

Knowing what is underfoot is a discovery most of us will never make; but this book is really interesting reading- almost gripping at times! (Janet)

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka  – quirky, funny, surprising, this book has been read and loved by several book club members.

Author love-in

Tim Winton
Born in Perth in 1960, Tim Winton is the author of thirteen books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction and books for children. He began publishing fiction in his teens and his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian/Vogel Prize. He has twice won the Miles Franklin Award, for Shallows in 1984 and for Cloudstreet in 1991, and his other awards include the Banjo Prize, the WA Premier’s Prize, the DEO Gloria Award (UK), the Marten Bequest and the Wilderness Society Environment Award. In 1995 The Riders was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Dirt Music – shortlisted for the Booker Prize, winner of the Miles Franklin Literary award and more – confirms Tim’s status as one of the finest novelists of his generation.

His collection of short stories called The Turning won the 2005 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the 2005 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.

Tim Winton has lived in Greece, France and Ireland. He lives in Western Australia with his wife and three children. (Author bio from http://www.panmacmillan.com.au)

Marina Lewycka
Marina Lewycka was born in a refugee camp in Germany in 1946 and moved to England with her family when she was about a year old. She spent most of her life since then trying to become a writer, and finally succeeded in 2005 with A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian which has sold more than a million copies in the UK alone. This was followed by Two Caravans in March 2007, We Are All Made of Glue in July 2009 and Various Pets Alive and Dead in March 2012.

There was  also some discussion this month about the International Thriller Writers Society. Here’s some information about the society, and a link to their website:

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas.

ITW’s mission is “To bestow recognition and promote the thriller genre at an innovative and superior level for and through our Active members; to provide opportunities for mentoring, education and collegiality among thriller authors and industry professionals; and to grant awards for excellence in the thriller genre.” ITW By-laws: Article II, Purposes, Section 2.

One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. To that end, ITW has designed numerous, effective programs and events which promote debut and midlist writers and their work, sometimes in partnership with bestselling authors. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. Finally, it brings together almost a thousand writers, readers, publishers,  editors and agents at its annual conference, ThrillerFest, as well as at CraftFest, a writing workshop program, and AgentFest, where aspiring authors can meet and pitch top literary agents. (http://thrillerwriters.org/aboutitw/)

And that’s an invitation to make a reservation: May is Escape on a Musical Note

This month’s National Year of Reading theme is Escape. Here at Nowra Library, we think one of the best ways to escape the daily grind is music. That’s why, for the entire month of May, we’re focusing on books about music (and we’re not talking about your old piano books).

Whether it be about Mozart’s love life, a WWII captain’s precious mandolin or the trials of an ageing punk rocker, you can find plenty of musical fiction here at the library to strike a chord with you.  Of course, you might choose to celebrate our musical month by reading the biography or memoir of a famous composer or musician. Ever wondered why the Beatles really broke up (was it really Yoko’s fault?)  or why Keith Richards and Mick Jagger fell out? Is it really true that none of the members of Fleetwood Mac were speaking to each other in any way unrelated to the music when they wrote Rumours, one of the most successful albums of all time? Now might be a great time to find out.

Roll up for the magical mystery (musical) tour this month at Nowra Library! (Yes, that’s an invitation to make a reservation.)

 Musical Reads @ Nowra Library

Mozart’s Ghost by Julia Cameron
Mozart’s Sister by Rita Charbonnier
Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louise De Bernieres
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Rough Music by Patrick Gale
That’s Why I Wrote This Song by Susannee Gervay
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux 
Soul Music by Terry Pratchett 
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Devil’s Music by Jane Rusbridge
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
The Music Makers by E. V. Thompson
Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
Bumping into Geniuses: My life Inside the Rock’n’Roll Business by Danny Goldberg
Fleetwood Mac: The Definitive History by Mike Evans
Mick & Keith by Chris Salewicz
Madonna by Andrew Morton
John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me: The Real Beatles Story by Tony Barrow
How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly
Hard Road: the Life and Times of Stevie Wright by Glenn Goldsmith

Staff pick: ‘Life’ by Keith Richards

Inspired by the National Year of Reading, and looking to escape “on a musical note”, I picked up a copy of  “Life” By Keith Richards with James Fox.  Talk about entertaining!  A fabulous read with the bonus of re-discovering the 60’s all over again. Having been a big fan of The Beatles back then, (and yes, I saw them in concert in Sydney in 1964!), it was an eye-opener to read about the birth of the Stones, who were definitely an antidote to the clean cut “Fab Four”.  Keith was instrumental (pardon the pun) in bringing the Stones together and developing their musical style, inspired by their heroes  of the time, who were playing raw blues and rock ‘n roll. Although Keith’s wild side is there warts and all, his knowledge, passion  and dedication to his music is a revelation … a real page-turner! – Kristin

Australian Women Writers Challenge Review- ‘The Forgotten Garden’ by Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

What a great book. I would never have picked it up if it wasn’t for the Australian Women Writers Challenge (you know the old judging a book by its cover thing!) I loved the fact it was modern yet old and the chapters moved through time. I really couldn’t put it down. I had sort of worked out the ending but needed to keep reading to find how it all got put together. I would recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries or historical novels. I have heard that Morton’s first novel ‘The Shifting Fog’ is also good and I’m looking forward to reading that too. 

          –  Nicole




The National Year of Reading- April is ‘Feel’

Aron Ralston,who survived a rock climbing accident by amputating his own arm.


This month’s National Year of Reading theme is Feel. This theme can be interpreted in so many ways, but here at Nowra Library, we’re taking ‘Feel’ to a whole new level by focusing on Courage & Valour- the extremes of physical and emotional experience. This month is a great time to read other’s people’s stories of survival, courage and determination, whether they climbed a mountain, survived against overwhelming odds or lived through war. Let’s feel this April.








Here’s some ideas to get you started….                                   

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
Three Day Road
by Joseph Boyden
Tower Stories
by Damon DiMarco
The Perfect Storm
by Sebastian Junger
Our Darkest Days
by Patrick Lindsay
First lady
by Kay Cottee
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer 
by David E. Cameron
Miracle in the Andes
by Nando Parrado
Paths of Glory
by Jeffrey Archer
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
The Wildest Dream
by Peter Gillman
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
Sahara: A Journey of Love, Loss and Survival by Paula Constant

        Happy Reading!!!



The National Year of Reading- March’s theme is ‘Think’

It’s March, and the love2read theme for this month is Think. You might like to read something this month which makes you think. Your thoughts might be deeply philosophical, about environmental responsibility, or what is happening in other countries around the world.

Perhaps there are works by or about ‘brilliant minds’ which might inspire or amaze you. You might find a book that will challenge you, make you think differently, or about an idea you might not have previously considered. You might revisit a book you read as a child or a young adult, one that enlightened or inspired you, changed the way you viewed the world and helped shape the person you are today.

In the past, books which gave us the greatest cause to think were often the ones which also created the most controversy.  For that reason, this month is also about reading Banned or Challenged books. Here’s a few of the most (in)famous to get you started:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    Books That Made Us Think

This month at Nowra Library we are inviting you to share your most thought provoking books with us. Is there a book that enlightened you? Inspired you? Perhaps you read something as a child or young adult that changed the way you thought about the world? We want to hear about it. Fill out a ‘Think Bubble’ and paste it onto our National Year of Reading display ‘Wall,’ located behind the Circulation Desk. Or, tell us about it on our Facebook Wall. Let’s all think together this March.

The National Year of Reading: January was Amazing Reads, February is Laugh

In case you hadn’t heard, 2012 is the National Year of Reading. The Love2Read theme for January was Amazing Reads, and the theme for February is Laugh.

There really is nothing better than having a good giggle, and this February we look forward to sharing some amusing, quirky and downright hilarious reads. What’s your giggle type? Parody, satire or romantic comedy? Or maybe you like to walk on the dark side of funny with some black comedy. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find something at Shoalhaven libraries to make you smile.

Let’s laugh this February : )

Kids lauging and reading

The remaining love2read themes for the year are…

March- Think
April- Feel
May- Escape
June- Dream
August- Question
September- Grow
October- Explore
November- Cry
December- Love2Read

Don’t forget the live Twitter discussions each month of 2012.  The next one is Laugh on February 28th at 8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.  Make sure you tag your tweets with #NYR12 as you go, so everyone else in the discussion can see you. Have fun!!