Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The next instalment of our Mystery Object Revealed!

A peculiar old netted bag has been up on a pedestal for the past month at Hurstville Museum & Gallery. This object, our second instalment of Mystery Objects in the exhibition Revealed, has had visitors even more stumped than the first (see Mystery Object Revealed!). Yes, we know it’s a bag, but what was it used for? What did it carry?

Again, we asked our visitors to have a guess and write a label for this unusual object. Several visitors suggested that it was a fishing net or used to hold fish once they were caught. Another thought it might have been like a cage to hold small animals such as possums. Such close guesses!

Our mystery object was actually used to trap and catch rabbits! It was also known as a purse net because of the drawstring top. The bag would be placed over the entrance to rabbit burrows and secured with a peg through the drawstring. That way when rabbits ran out and into the bag, pulling it away from the burrow, they would inevitably draw the string closed upon themselves. Pretty nifty!

Catching bags or nets of this kind have been used for centuries for a variety of different purposes and by different people. The Perth Gazette Newspaper (14 March 1840) tells of Aboriginal people using similar nets made from spun bark to catch small animals.

Our next and final mystery object is now on display at Hurstville Museum & Gallery. Don’t miss your chance to guess it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Stella Prize - major new Australian literary prize

A major new literary prize worth $50,000 will be awarded for the first time on April 16 this year for the best book published in 2012 by an Australian female author. Named after Stella Maria Miles Franklin  (1879-1954) author of My Brilliant Career and who  had links with the Hurstville area having worked from offices in Hurstville's old Council Chambers and also next to the Hurstville Ritz Hotel in Forest Road. This new award is a celebration and a reminder of the contribution made by Australian women writers to this country's literature.
From over 200 entries the Stella Prize judges narrowed the number to a shortlist of six from a longer one of twelve. The shortlisted titles are:
The Burial by Courtney Collins
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser   
The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson
Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany

Try one, see if you agree with the judges or download an eBook version from the eLibrary collection.


Youth Creative Workshops - Hurstville Museum & Gallery

Want to explore your creative side? Hurstville Museum & Gallery is running a series of creative workshops for young people aged 12 – 18 years.

Upcoming topics include:

School holiday workshop
Wednesday 17 April and 24 April (2 sessions, $20.00 total)
Silk Painting
Session 1: Create an original design to paint onto a silk scarf or wall hanging.
Session 2: Paint your design onto a silk scarf or wall hanging.

Saturday 20 April
1.30pm – 3.30pm
Take a fresh approach to portrait sketching in black and white line.

Saturday 18 May
1.30pm – 3.30pm
Wearable Art
Make an artwork that can be worn as a head piece, headband or hair clip.

Saturday 15 June
1.30pm – 3.30pm
Learn the art of Japanese paper folding and experiment with a range of patterns.

Each workshop explores the basics of a new medium or artistic practice with qualified tutors and materials are provided (unless otherwise stated). Participants will learn new skills and techniques and create their own original artwork to take home.

Workshops are designed for high school students and are $10.00 per person per workshop, bookings essential. For more information and booking details, visit our website or contact the Museum & Gallery on 9330 6444 or

Tell us what kinds of art and craft activities YOU'D like to see at Hurstville Museum & Gallery. Post your responses here!

Bus tour of the Hurstville Local Government Area
Join us for a bus tour which explores the Hurstville Local Government Area and heritage sites of the Georges River.

Date: Tuesday 26 March 2013
Time: 9.45am – 12.00pm, bus leaves from Hurstville Museum & Gallery, 14 MacMahon St, Hurstville.
Cost: $10.00
Bookings: Please call 9330 6444. Spaces are limited, bookings essential.

Participants must be able to get on and off a bus and walk or stand for up to 15 minutes at a time.
Refreshments will be served.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Revealed! Special Object of the Week

Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s exhibition Revealed! has been on show for five weeks now! How time flies when you’re having fun!

One of the many fascinating aspects of our Revealed! exhibition is our rotating Special Object of the Week. Each week we reveal a new unusual or beautiful object that, due to the delicate condition of its material, cannot be on display for long. It is a rare chance to see some of the more fragile objects in the Hurstville City Library Museum and Gallery collection.

We are now just past the half way point of this exhibition, which means five special objects have come and gone! We have seen a corset worn by Gerringong resident Margaret Taylor, who must have had an enviously tiny waist. A beautifully designed, homemade cushion cover displayed a combination of 48 silk ‘cigarette cards’ featuring colourful Australian flowers. A crocheted boudoir cap also showed off bedroom fashions in the 1920s. But, my favourite was a gloriously hideous fox fur cape from the 1930s, still with paws attached! This cape will be on display for a final time during the last week of Revealed! Don’t miss out on seeing it!

With these Special Objects of the Week and other rotating displays, our exhibition is always changing. We invite you to pop in again and again!

We Need Your Help

Optimising Your Local Library

Redrollers Research is currently working with Hurstville City Library to explore how people in the community would like to see their library improved and optimised. During April 2013 we will be inviting a range of people to participate in face to face workshops which will be held at the library.


The face to face workshops are an informal, relaxed process where you will share your experiences and stories, learn from each other and work on creative activities that will be used to develop a future vision for Hurstville City Library. It is kind of like a design lab where you will play with new prototypes and thought starters to build future services catering to the special needs of different people in the community. We are offering some incentives to thank you for your time.


If you would like to know more about the project or would like to register your interest in participating, please contact:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Byron Bay Bluesfest 2013

The Byron Bay Bluesfest is just around the corner and is in it 24th year. The festival is held just north of Byron Bay at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm and starts on Thursday 28 March running right through Easter.
Performing at the festival are Grammy award nominees and winners such as Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy CliffThe Lumineers,and Ruthie FosterBonnie Rait music is also available for free download from our online music collection Freegal, just select eLibary from the library website and type in your borrower's card number and pin number.

Also appearing at the festival is Rodriguez.  Who hasn't heard the fascinating story about Rodriguez and the award winning documentary, "Searching For Sugarman", which has won an Oscar for "Best Feature Documentary", BAFTA for "Best Documentary", Special Jury Prize and Audience Award for "Best International Documentary" at Sundance. 

Some of the Aussie artists performing are The Cat Empire, Karise Eden, Xavier Rudd, Mark Seymour and  the Undertow and Hunters and Collectors.

More great artists in the line up are:
Paul Simon
Ben Harper
Chris Isaak
Robert Plant
Santana (tracks are also available from our free online music collection Freegal)
Jason Mraz
Tony Joe White

All the artists contained in this blog are in the library music collection and are free to borrow if you are a library member. Most CDs are in our collection now and some are on order but will be coming very soon to the collection.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Secrets of the Northern Lights

Source: Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT, 2012, EBSCOhost Image Collection, viewed  18 March, 2013.

For centuries, mankind has marvelled at the spectacular displays of the ‘Northern Lights’ – first called ‘Aurora Borealis’ or ‘dawn of the North’ by Galileo Galilei.[i] This phenomenon occurs when gusts of charged energetic particles from the sun breach the Earth’s magnetic shell and hit the planet’s atmosphere. [ii]

One of the mysteries surrounding the aurora is that many people have heard ‘crackling sounds during auroral displays, often synchronised with the phenomena’s movements’. [iii] For this reason, the Sami people of Norway called the Northern Lights guovssahas – or ‘the light you can hear’. [iv]

It is much easier for us to view an aurora in this century, than in earlier centuries - as the last few centuries have seen an increase in solar activity.[v]  This winter has been forecast as an excellent time to view the aurora, as solar activity is expected to peak in 2013.

To read Brekke’s (2013) article on the ‘Secrets of the Northern Lights’, login to Ebsco’s Science Reference Centre, with your library card’s barcode.


[i]  Brekke, P 2013, 'Secrets of the Northern Lights', Sky & Telescope, 125, 2, p. 18, Science Reference Centre, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 March 2013.
[ii] Ibid., p. 19.
[iii] Ibid., p. 23.
[iv] Ibid., p.23.
[v] Ibid., p. 24.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Free Online Music Collection

Today's headlines:
  • Justin Timberlake's new album "The 20/20 Experience" will be available for download from 19 March.  In the meantime you can download the best selling singles from the album now, "Mirrors" and "Suit & Tie".
  • David Bowie's new album "The Next Day" is now available to download.
  • Freegal offer many genre's apart from Rock, Pop, Country, Classical, R&B, Hip Hop, Indie.  Search for your favourite genre and see if your favourite artist is on the list.
Coming soon to Freegal:
  • "Comedown Machine" by The Strokes
  • "Wiser for the Time" by The Black Crows
  • "Girl Who Got Away" by Dido
  • "Delta Machine" by Depeche Mode
Top 10 free downloads for Hurstville City Library
  1. "Impossible" by James Arthur
  2. "Just Give Me A Reason" by Pink
  3. Beneath Your Beautiful" by Labrinth
  4. "Skyfall" (from "Skyfall") 007 Collective
  5. "Radio Active" by Rita Ora
  6. "Hall of Fame" by The Script
  7. "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
  8. "What You've Done To Me" by Samantha Jade
  9. "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake
  10. "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Don't know where to start to download your 3 free downloads for the week? Go to the library website and click on eLibrary Catalogue which will take you to the Freegal site.  Type in your Hurstville library card number and pin number and you are ready to go.

If you are not a member of Hurstville City Library or need more information please go to the Service Desk and ask one of our friendly staff who will be happy to assist you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Illuminating stained glass exhbition at Hurstville Museum & Gallery

Seascapes and Landscapes from Greece


Aegan Sea Seascape, stained glass composition

Yanos Bouzioukos

Dragon’s Lair Gallery

Hurstville Museum & Gallery

6 April – 28 April 2013

Yanos Bouzioukos was born in Athens in 1951. This exhibition reflects the seascapes and landscapes of his homeland through compositions of stained glass and glass-collage. Yanos has a strong background in working with glass, lecturing on Contemporary Glass Techniques in Wales and also teaching at the University of Sydney in the Glass Department. Today he lives and works in Sydney and hopes to demonstrate through this exhibition the multicultural nature of the community.

Official Opening:

Saturday 6 April 2013, 1.30pm for 2.00pm.

RSVP by Wednesday 3 April 2013.

9330 6444 or

Dragon’s Lair Gallery
Hurstville Museum & Gallery
14 MacMahon Street, Hurstville

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Sunday, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Other times by appointment.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Mystery Object Revealed!

Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s newest exhibition Revealed! Treasures from the Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery Collections features a number of quirky objects on rotational display. Those of you who have visited the exhibition in the past few weeks will have noticed a bizarre silver, pointy thingy that we have aptly called a ‘mystery object’. We have asked our visitors to draw on their memories or imaginations to write their own label for our mystery object. The guesses have been many and varied, but always interesting! Some of my favourites include a primitive iPad and a giant magnet!
But I can now reveal the identity of this first mystery object. Hurstville Museum & Gallery is proud to present (drum roll please)… a cream separator!
This cream separator was used on a dairy farm at Brays Creek, 20 miles from Murwillimbah, by Albie and Eileen Carter. Separator machines were invented in 1885, and made it possible to separate cream from milk faster and more easily without having to let the milk sit and risk turning sour.

The machine works by manually rotating a handle so that a separator bowl spins at thousands of revolutions per minute! When spun, the heavier milk is pulled outward against the walls of the separator and the cream, which is lighter, collects in the middle. The cream and milk then flow out of separate spouts.

Pretty cool hey!

Some of our visitors did actually guess correctly. Congratulations! I now challenge you to view and guess our next mystery object!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Can People Change?

Can people change or are some parts of us ‘set in stone’?

‘He’ll never learn’, ‘she always was a bad kid’, and ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ all reflect a common belief: people never really change. While there may be a kernel of truth in this folk wisdom, it doesn't square with recent research. [i]

Studies have in fact demonstrated that meditation, exercise, quitting drugs and starting antidepressant treatments can alter the brain, leading to ‘structural and functional changes in the brain that correspond to changes in personality and behavior’. [ii]

To read this article in Psychology Today (or other issues of Psychology Today) login to the Academic Research Library (Proquest) from home or in the library, with your library card’s barcode.


[i] Old dogs, new tricks. (2013), Psychology Today, 46, 22-23. Retrieved from

[ii] Ibid.

Monday, March 04, 2013

WOMAD Festival 2013

The WOMAD Festival kicks off this Friday 8 March and runs over 4 days at Adelaide's inner-city Botanic Park.  A diverse audience attends this festival to enjoy some of the world's best traditional and contemporary music and dancing. Not only are there performances at the WOMAD they have workshops, amazing food, a Kidzone and much more.  WOMAD has been going since 1992 in Australia and is one of our country's favourite festivals.

The library has a number of  artists in our music collection who will be performing at WOMAD. Some CDs are available in our collection now and others are coming very soon.  The "coming soon" items may be placed on reservation if you are a library member.

Moment by Mia Dyson
Struck Down by Mia Dyson
The Cat Empire by The Cat Empire
Cinema by The Cat Empire
Two Shoes by The Cat Empire
Blessed by Soweto Gospel Choir
African Grace by Soweto Gospel Choir (coming soon)
Vivir Es Mucho Mas by Illapu (coming soon)
Antibalas by Antibalas (coming soon)
Alma de Cantaora by Amparo Sanchez (coming soon)
An Introduction to Mari Boine by Mari Boine (coming soon)
And Tamir Muskat by the Alaev Family (coming soon)
Guwak by East Journey (coming soon)
Afro by Novalima (coming soon)
Tra Parole Silenzio by Mara & Martenitsa Choir (coming soon)
Into the Trees by Zoe Keating (coming soon)
Icon by Jimmy Cliff (coming soon)
Rebirth by Jimmy Cliff (coming soon)

Friday, March 01, 2013

Academy Awards Nominees & Winners at Hurstville City Library

The following titles are now in the library collection or will be coming very soon to our collection.

Argo - coming soon to the library collection. Winner of Best Picture; winner of Film Editing and winner of Adapted Screenplay.
Beasts of the Southern Wild - nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Quvenzhane Wallis).
Brave - winner of Best Animated Feature Movie.
Frankenweenie -coming soon to the library collection. Nominated for Best Animated Feature Movie.
The Master -coming soon to the library collection. Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Joaquin Phoenix); nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams); nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Searching for Sugar Man - coming soon to the library collection. Winner of Best Feature Documentary.

All of these titles are available from our free online music collection - Freegal.
Life of Pi - winner of Best Original Score
Argo - nominated for Best Original Score
Lincoln - nominated for Best Original Score
Skyfall - nominated for Best Original Score

To download your 3 free tracks per week go to the library website and select eLibrary.  Select Freegal, type in your library card number and pin number. For further information on Freegal please see one of our friendly staff at the Service Desk who will gladly assist you.