Monday, May 31, 2010

Meeting Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

I love my job! When I am not doing it, reading or thinking about ways of making the wealth of kids and youth books accessible to kids, youth and parents, I get to go and meet some great people who really make books that inspire me in storytelling.

Recently I went to the Sydney Writers Festival on the Sunday, pouring rain, tired as I was, but wanting to meet Jackie and Bruce. The dynamic duo have written so many picture books together and separately. Jackie is the ideas person and Bruce transforms her vision of the story into the wonderful characters that we all know in such books as Diary of a Wombat, The flying emu.

Jackie started the session at 10am with a full room, making sounds of her wombat scratching on her door wanting attention and food. It is easy to see that she lives in a world of the stories she tells and she brings us all in as she makes the sounds of her "children". There was a reading of "Pete the Sheep" complete with all the parts of the various dog groups being acted by very excited children and their shy parents.

Bruce delighted us with his illustrating style and explained how he creates all the characters and how easy it is to make subtle changes to expressions with a slight change to a mouth or an eye. He "receives" Jackie's script that comes with notes, but as he explained, he does not read the notes until after he looks at the story so he can form his own immediate impressions. Jackie has an amazing ability for storytelling and detail and Bruce acknowledges this as a major factor in their successful partnership.

Jackie is a prolific writer and she would be one of the most popular authors of books that span preschool to adult. In the hour that I was there I was able to learn some different "angles" on storytelling style and able to ask about how storytellers can present typically Australian content to bilingual children and adults. Bruce explained that a great visual presence and presenting the characters with enthusiasm was essential. I kept this in mind as Sophie and I were presenting "Little white dogs can't jump" for National Simultaneous Storytime last Wednesday as a bilingual event, a first for our library.

To finish, Jackie read their new book Queen Victoria's underpants. and as always leaving us wanting more, a fitting end to a great session. Kids day at Sydney Writers Festival is a wonderful day for them to meet the authors that write the books they love to read and have read to them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Greg de Moore reveals a new Australian hero

Despite driving rain and a certain football match on the night of Wednesday 26 May the audience who turned out to hear Greg de Moore at Hurstville City Library talk about his book Tom Wills: His Spectacular Rise and Tragic Fall were well rewarded.
Greg not only introduced us to a real life, but forgotten character from Australian history but impressed all with his sheer determination over ten years of research to bring the Tom Will's story to public attention. Beginning with the germ of an idea in Manhattan and travelling to outback Queensland for evidence, this was no ordinary account of a forgotten cricketing and Australian Rules hero who came to a tragic end. Instead we were treated to a fascinating story with psychological insights , ruminations on the potent mix of sport and alcohol and the nature of the Australian identity.

Testimony to the interest ignited in those who attended were the many and varied questions Greg answered at the end of the night.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New DVDs on shelf this week

Latest releases of DVDs to the library which will be available before the end of this week. Free to borrow if you are a member.
  • Avatar:
    A story about a reluctant hero who has a choice between the life he left behind and a new life on the planet Pandora. Directed by James Cameron, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver.

  • Sherlock Holmes:
    Robert Downey and Jude Law are memorable as Holmes and Watson. A humourous, edgy and action-packed movie. Directed by Guy Ritchie, also starring Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong

  • The Lovely Bones:
    The story of a 14 year old girl who was murdered and left an unfinished life behind. Directed by Peter Jackson, starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci.

  • Kokoda:
    A documentary from day one of the Kokoda campaign. This movie tells the story from both sides of the conflict.

  • Operation Jumbo:
    A documentary about one man's journey to rescue ten endangered elephants in Sumatra.

  • Basquiat:
    A movie about Jean-Michel Basquiat one of the most successful, controversial and glamorous artists in the world. Starring Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Courntey Love, Parker Posey.
  • True Blood - the complete second season
    This award-winning second season is taken to new heights as Sookie, Bill, and Sam form a line of defense against a diabolical plan.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Would Hurstville's youth like Darien Library, CT, USA?

Staff and management at Darien Library in Connecticut, USA are renowned for their amazing uptake and implementation of new technologies. I, however, was equally interested in their facilities for young people. I visited Darien Library in May 2010 after receiving a number of recommendations to view this public library service. I wasn't disappointed.

The facilities for young people included everything from music production software/hardware, gaming, Macs, a range of programs and reading areas. I look forward to hearing Hurstville's young people tell us how they would like to see Hurstville City Library improved in the future.

Images from Darien Library teenage area.

New Audiobooks

New Audiobooks

The Observations by Jane Harris

Edinburgh 1863. Bessy Buckley wants to escape her past and accepts a maid's job in a big house working for the beautiful but strange Arabella. With both women keeping secrets and the death under mysterious circumstances of the former maid Nora, Bessy faces a tangle of madness, ghosts, sex and lies. Narrated by the author. 15 CD's.

The Ruins by Scott Smith

If suspense is your style, this story of four friends on a Mexican holiday may be for you. When one member of the holiday party sets off to investigate an archaeological dig in the Mayan ruins, the others follow and are lured into a trap which changes their world forever. Narrated by Patrick Wilson. 12 CD's.

Slow Burn: A Leo Waterman Novel by G.M. Ford

A prestigious global restaurant convention hires Seattle P.I. Leo Waterman as Special Security Officer to monitor the movements of two steakhouse competitors with a 'beef'. As Leo's band of scruffy irregulars shadow the competition, the plans cascade into catastrophe with Leo finding himself the prime suspect in a murder. Narrated by Jeff Harding. 8 CD's

True Colours: My Life by Adam Gilchrist

The autobiography of one of the greatest wicketkeeper/batsman to have played the game. Told with honesty, intelligence, compassion and humour, Adam invites you into the world of cricket. Narrated by Williams McInnes. 5 CD's.

Creating True Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

This work uses a blend of visionary insight, inspiring stories of peacemaking, and a combintion of meditation practices and instruction to help us practice nonviolence. Tich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese born Zen Buddhist monk, teacher and peace activist. Read by Michael York. 4 CD's.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The texts, the experts, the tutors, the study space- Hurstville Library is your one-stop study spot!

Can’t find that book you need? Lost a text book? Need a study book for that assignment which is due tomorrow? Don’t sweat it- Hurstville Library now has a mountain of new study books for years 7 to 10, as well as all the HSC texts! While you are there, make sure you check out the upcoming HSC seminar program and HSC cram session schedule. This year Hurstville Library will have top HSC markers, text authors and exam experts giving you all the inside info you need to blitz the tests, starting in July holidays just before the trials! We are also opening extra study sessions just for HSC students to help you hit the books, and we’re running special HSC stress management sessions to help you ace your exams without having a brain explosion! And whether you are sitting the HSC or not, if you are a little unsure of your skills in any subject, why not check out the FREE online tutoring available at Your Tutor. Talk in real time online to expert tutors and have the valuable one to one coaching to get ahead of the game, follow this link, all you need is a library card to get started!

Operator Please?

A customer recently suggested the purchase of Operator Please's latest album. After some research would you agree?

We are thinking we like it. Australian music is something the LMG loves to support. How about you, what latest Australian releases would you like to see available for loan?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Author Talk at the Library: Greg de Moore

Often the process of writing a book can be as interesting as the book itself. This is the case with the author Greg de Moore and his book Tom Wills: His Spectacular Rise and Tragic Fall. Tom Wills, born 1835 was a cricketer, Australian Rules football hero and tragic alcoholic who stabbed himself to death in 1880. Join Greg de Moore at Hurstville City Library on May 26 Wednesday evening at 7pm to hear about his ten years of research that unearthed original material previously believed to be lost or destroyed. Greg is a consultant psychiatrist at Sydney's Westmead Hospital, and his study of Will's life stems from his interest in male suicide.

If you are interested in the process of writing and researching, the human condition or would just love to hear about a colourful, real life Australian character come along to this fascinating evening. Greg is one of the guest speakers at this years Sydney Writers Festival.

Hurstville City Library, cnr Queens Rd and Dora St, Hurstville
Exhibition Area
Wednesday 26th May 7pm
Free Event: Bookings at the Information Desk or phone 9330 6142