Friday, October 31, 2008

Melbourne Cup Day holiday

Rounding the first turn in the 2005 Melbourne Cup (courtesy of VRC)

Tuesday 4th November is the Melbourne Cup Day public holiday and all libraries and mobiles are closed on that day.

You can return items though the bookchute at most of our branches and renew items through the web catalogue if you have your PIN. Be prepared and find out your PIN today by phoning your local branch or via our online form.

For those going to the Melbourne Cup check out the Melbourne Cup carnival and Metlink websites (public transport information).

Have a great day everyone.

Cheers, Maryanne

Placing holds on item at other consortium libraries

We just have to wait one more day until members themselves can place holds on items from other libraries in the consortium via the iBistro catalogue. You might like to test it out over the weekend.

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Greater flexibility added to the iBistro catalogue

We are happy to announce a few changes to the iBistro catalogue that will give greater flexibility and service to our members. These changes should be occurring tomorrow (Friday 31st October).

Holds on other consortium library items
Members can now place holds themselves on other consortium libraries' items via the web catalogue. To place holds you will need your userID (your library barcode starting 20023) and your PIN (you can phone one of our branches to find out your PIN).

To expand your search to include all consortium libraries just select ALL from the dropdown menu labelled library in the Quick Search box. The Swift consortium, of which we are a member, now comprises 14 library systems around Victoria, with another 2 library systems joining soon.

Renewing with overdues

Members can also renew and place holds through the web catalogue if they have overdue items or charges on their card.

Just a reminder that you are unable to borrow on your card until any outstanding charges are paid.

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Leanne Gillies from Fleming's Nurseries

Montrose Gardeners presents Leanne Gillies from Fleming's Nurseries, who will speak on:
  • Her involvement with the Chelsea Flower Show (view the stunning gold medal entry for the 2008 show)
  • Top ten trees - choosing the right tree
  • Suggestions for some lovely Christmas gifts
In 14 years at Fleming's, Leanne has worked in a number of areas of the business, including research & development, propagation, production and sales. Her current role includes looking after Fleming's Student Design Competition, and the annual Fleming's entry for the Chelsea Flower Show.

When: Tuesday 18th November 1pm
Where: Montrose Library, Cnr Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd & Swansea Rd, Montrose
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 97284224

Cheers, Maryanne

Mt Evelyn Cookery club - Christmas cooking

It's seems very scary to be advertising Christmas activities around the end of October, however I guess if you're cooking for all of those family events you need to be prepared. So on that note, be ready for Christmas with some delicious festive fare with Jill Hess.

When: Monday 17th November 12:30pm
Where: Mt Evelyn Library, 50 Wray Crescent, Mt. Evelyn
Cost: $7.50 including afternoon tea
Bookings essential phone 97363851

Cheers, Maryanne

Monday, October 27, 2008

Staying healthy: dealing with Anxiety and Depression

Psychologist Clinton Batty will provide tips on dealing with Anxiety and Depression.

When: Friday 14th November 12noon
Where: Knox Library, Knox City Shopping Centre, 425 Burwood Hwy, Wantirna Sth
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 98011422

Cheers, Maryanne

A tour through the Solar System - The Planets

Journey to the frontiers of scientific knowledge with professional astronomer and science educator, Dr James Murray. Learn about new planets and solar systems, planet formation and the early universe.

When: Thursday 13th November 7pm
Where: Belgrave Library, Reynolds Lane, Belgrave
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 97547266

Cheers, Maryanne

Book Bites - Meet Stefan Laszczuk

Writer and musician Stefan Laszczuk first came to public notice with the unpublished manuscript of his book The Goddamn Bus of Happiness (2004) which won a South Australian Festival of Literature Award. He gained further publicity and praise when his next unpublished manuscript won the 2007 Vogel Award. The result is I Dream of Magda, published by Allen and Unwin in August 2008. Discover the secrets of Stefan's success.

When: Thursday 13th November 12:30pm
Where: Croydon Library, Civic Square, Croydon
Cost: $7.50 (includes lunch)
Bookings essential phone 92945640

Cheers, Maryanne

Reminder about Boronia Library closure

Just reminding everyone that Boronia Library will be closed this week from Monday 27th - Wednesday 29th October inclusive.

We have been advised that technicians will be replacing the power supply which covers the library, basketball stadium and childcare centre. We regret the inconvenience however we have only just found out about this ourselves.

The bookchute will be open so that you can return items but staff will only be visiting to clear the bookchute, so please call Knox (98011422) or Ferntree Gully (92948140) libraries if you need assistance.

Cheers, Maryanne

Friday, October 24, 2008

Reading Cafe - Meet Kevin Rabalais

Born in New Orleans and now resident in Melbourne, Kevin Rabalais first attracted attention in his home country with Novel Voices published in 2003. Having read the story of the Burke and Wills expedition Kevin decided to relocate to Australia and write a work of fiction based on the story. After four years Landscape of Desire is the result, a wonderful lyrical novel. An excellent speaker with a superb knowledge of literature this will be a talk not to be missed. Cost includes lunch.

When: Monday 10th November 12:30pm
Where: Lilydale Library, Anderson St, Lilydale
Cost: $7.50
Bookings essential phone 92943120

Cheers, Maryanne

Weekly English conversation group

Every Wednesday at Knox Library a volunteer tutor from the Outer Eastern Literacy Program comes to help English as second language migrants practise their oral English.

When: Every Wednesday 1 - 2:30pm
Where: Knox Library, 425 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South
Cost: Free event
Enquiries phone Emma 98011422

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Eastern Regional Library Show 22nd October 2008

Library staff members Lesley Conway and Pia Butcher run a radio show each Wednesday 12:05pm-12:45pm on Eastern FM 98.1 called The Eastern Regional Library Show. Tune in next Wednesday for a great show.

On Wednesday's show

Pia brought in a lovely pile of new books for children and young adults today. The first is in the teenage collection, which has hosts of great reads by exciting writers such as Garth Nix, Phillip Pullman, Tamora Pierce and John Marsden. Knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness is described as speculative fiction. In a world which has reverted to simpler times, Prentisstown is a town inhabited only by men. There is no privacy as everyone can hear each others thoughts, even animal thoughts can be heard. Todd is the only child left. It is only days till he will become a man at the age of fourteen. No big celebration though as he finds himself, his dog and a stranger, the first girl he has ever seen, on the run from the males of Prentisstown.

For younger readers, from around ten to fourteen years, Diary of a Wimpy kid by Jeff Kinney is a novel in cartoons. Funny and sad at the same time, our hero Greg writes and draws himself into this diary (sorry journal!!) about the every day trials, troubles and fun of young teenager.

And for the very young, a delightful picture book Russell the sheep by Rob Scotten. Poor Russell cannot get to sleep and he tries everything, including a walk, sleeping in a cave and on a branch before finally finding the foolproof method.

Two picture books that Pia didn't have time to talk about, but recommends are Edwina, the dinosaur who didn't know she was extinct by Mo Willems, a fantastic newish author/illustrator. Edwina is happy with her life. All the townsfolk love her except for Reginald who insists she shouldn't be here as she is extinct. At first Edwina is depressed about this peice of news but then she decides to go on with life regardless. And
Roland Wright Brand new page by Tony Davis, illustrated by Gregory Rogers. A sequel to Roland Wright Future Knight. Roland has been invited by the King to become a page at his castle. Unfortunatley not everyone is pleased to see him. Hector, another of the pages, doesn't believe lowly born people should be allowed to become pages. He picks on Roland. Should Roland retaliate in the same way as Hector...?

---- Lesley

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Using Ancestry in your research

Frustrated with not getting the most out of Then attend this free talk presented by our Family History guru Gail White. is available free for library members through the Family History section of our library website. It has U.K. and U.S. census records, military records, passenger lists and more.

When: Saturday 8th November 2-4pm
Where: Croydon Library, Civic Square, Croydon
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 92945640

Cheers, Maryanne

Researching & understanding World War I records

Learn how to research World War I records of past soldiers and understand more fully what they mean.

When: Thursday 6th November 2pm
Where: Mooroolbark Library, 7 Station Street, Mooroolbark
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 97268200

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boronia Library closed 27-29th October

Boronia Library will be closed next week from Monday 27th - Wednesday 29th October inclusive.

We have been advised that technicians will be replacing the power supply which covers the library, basketball stadium and childcare centre. We regret the inconvenience however we have only just found out about this ourselves.

The bookchute will be open so that you can return items but staff will only be visiting to clear the bookchute, so please call Knox (98011422) or Ferntree Gully (92948140) libraries if you need assistance.

Cheers, Maryanne

iBistro catalogue temporarily down

The iBistro catalogue is currently down. We'll advise when it is back up and running. This will affect access to member login for renewals as well as 10-minute PC access at the branches that have this service.

UPDATE 4pm: Library system and the iBistro catalogue have both gone down temporarily. We hope to have it back up and running soon.

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, October 16, 2008

iBistro library catalogue down

The iBistro library catalogue is temporarily unavailable. Technicians are investigating and we hope to have it back up very soon. This issue also affects access to the 10 minute PCs that some of the branches have.

Cheers, Maryanne

UPDATE: The iBistro catalogue is now back up

Yuletide food for the table

Jill Hess is back! Come along and sample Jill's Xmas goodies and take away ideas and recipes.

When: Wednesday 5th November 7pm update - fully booked
Where: Lilydale Library, Anderson St, Lilydale
Cost: $5
Bookings essential phone 92943120

Cheers, Maryanne

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Man Booker Prize winner

The Man Booker Prize for the best fiction title for 2008 is Aravind Adiga for his novel The White Tiger.

Collins Booksellers review

Have you read this novel? Send us a comment and let us know what you think. What do you think is the best fictional book this year?

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Knox Library

As Knox Library has just re-opened they are still working through the boxes of books that were returned while they were closed and need to be re-shelved. If you urgently need a book you found on the catalogue (many are saying returned today) and wish to pick it up, perhaps give Knox Library a call on 98011422 to confirm it's there, otherwise place your hold on the catalogue and we'll get it sent to your local branch.

Cheers, Maryanne

Make your own Christmas cards

Suzanne will show you how to make your own beautiful unique Christmas cards. You'll find that your cards will be the ones that everyone wants to receive.

When: Wednesday 5th November 1pm
Where: Lilydale Library, Anderson St, Lilydale
Cost: $6 (2 cards)
Bookings essential phone 92943120

Cheers, Maryanne

Build a butterfly garden

Daniel from Candlebark Nursery in Mooroolbark will talk about how to attract butterfies and birds to your garden.

When: Saturday 1st November 1pm
Where: Lilydale Library, Anderson Street, Lilydale
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 92943120

Cheers, Maryanne

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Hullabaloo

Boronia Library is having it's annual Halloween Hullabaloo. Come and see Carp Production's Spooky Monster Show, dress in your finest costumes and eat freaky food. I've been to a few of these events and they are always spectacular.

Be there or be scared!

When: Friday 31st October 6:30pm
Where: Boronia Library, Park Cr, Boronia
Cost: $3 per child, pay on the night
Bookings essential phone 97624099

Cheers, Maryanne

The Eastern Regional Library Show 17th Sept - 8th Oct 2008

Well it's my first day back at work for three weeks and one of the first things I need to do is catch everyone up on what's been happening on the radio show. So here's four weeks worth of show summaries. For those not in the know, library staff members Lesley Conway and Pia Butcher run a radio show each Wednesday 12:05pm-12:45pm on Eastern FM 98.1 called The Eastern Regional Library Show. Tune in next Wednesday for a great show.

17th Sept 2008

Can you imagine not having the right to vote? One hundred years ago, in Victoria, women over the age of 21 gained the right to vote in State elections, the last State in Australia to legislate for this. It was the culmination of many womens' struggle for acknowledgment, and a slow and grudging response from those in power. Along with the suffrage struggle went the demands for equal wages, property rights, equality in education and rights of children. We can sometimes forget, while contemplating what we would like to change for the better, the social changes which have improved life for us.

One of the focal points of the celebration is a petition of 30,000 signatures collected in 1891, of women across Victoria who supported the call for the vote, nicknamed 'The Monster Petition'. It was pasted onto a huge roll of calico and apparently took four men to lift. Kathy Smalley and staff at Croydon and Ringwood libraries have organised an event to commemorate this petition. Signature Stories of Ringwood & Croydon Suffragettes, is an opportunity to sign a new petition which will become part of the history of womens' suffrage in the future, a performance by Wilma Farrow as Vida Goldstein, a prominent suffragette, and a look at the stories of local women who signed the original petition. It will take place on Friday 17th of October from 7.15pm, and you can book at any ERL branch or by ringing Ringwood Library on 9870 0177. Kathy is also interested in tracing the histories of several women from the local area who signed the original 1891 petition. If your family has links back to that period, or you know of others who do, Kathy would like to hear from you on the Ringwood phone number.

24th Sept 2008

As parents and grandparents we are often keen to introduce our young family members to classic stories we have loved. Pia and I agreed that often we find that the younger folk are less than enthusiastic about our beloved favourites. For every generation, it is important to read books in contemporary language, about people and situations that they recognise. This is important for their literacy and for their emotional development. So well written books aimed at teenagers are especially welcome. Lili Wilkinson is a Melbourne writer who knows what will interest teenage girls, and her latest, The not quite perfect boyfriend is a great read. It tells the story of 16 year old Midge who has never had a boyfriend, whose friends talk about boyfriends so much, she makes one up; only to find a boy just like the one she described turning up at her school at the start of the year. The story becomes very tangled before Midge sorts out her priorites.

A book which has been around for a while, but has sparked some new borrowing because it was made into a film in the last year is Nim's island by Wendy Orr. This is a lovely story to read to children between the ages of 6 and 10, about a young girl who lives on a Pacific island with her dad. One day her dad disappears at sea, Nim writes to tell her favourite adventure writer Alex Rover of the mystery. Will Alex come to the rescue?
Pia also had some lovely picture books with her today, including Donkeys Adelheid Dahimene-Heide Stollinger which tells of a couple of donkey friends who quarrel, but discover that no other creature fits in quite so well with them as the other donkey. Sunday Chutney is by Aaron Blabey who won the Early Childhood category of the Children's Book of the Year awards this year with Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley. His latest book is equally quirky and warmly affectionate, about a little girl who is different, but full of charm.

Finally, Molly and her Dad by Jan Ormerod describes the challenge to a little girl whose mum and dad live a plane flight apart, and whose dad comes to look after her while her mum has to go away. Molly discovers that while her dad may not be like the other kids' dads, he has many endearing qualities which she comes to love.

1st Oct 2008

P.D. James began her detective writing career in 1962, and has written fourteen novels featuring the very English Inspector Adam Dalgliesh. According to Lyn Baines, Adam should be about 80 by now, but in the parallel universe of detective fiction, our favourites never age dramatically. There is a good chance this will be the last of James' very popular character as she is 88 years old, and has earnt the right to put her feet up on the couch and do some reading herself. Adam Dalgliesh has resolved his love life and become engaged in this novel, and offered promotion, so many of the loose ends of previous novels have been tied. In this latest novel The Private Patient, you have to wait a hundred pages for the crime (Lyn's dad would have given up after page fifty), and a lot of character building and scene setting prepares you for a puzzling murder in an isolated old house in Devon, with an ancient stone cirle somehow involved. If you are interested in knowing more about P.D. James, you can check out the official P.D. James website.

Lyn's second book review today was on her other passion, history. The fears of Henry IV : the life of England's self made king by Ian Mortimer introduces us to an English king who is comparatively unknown, his short reign of fifteen years troubled by insurrection and assassination attempts. He is primarily known as the king who ousted his cousin Richard II from the throne, and as the father of Henry V, the successful soldier whose victory at Agincourt led to his success in combining the crowns of England and France. Mortimer has written a compelling story of the power struggles and conflicts, with a rich background of what medieval life in England was like.

8th Oct 2008

The girl with the cardboard port by Judith McNeil is a harrowing true story of a young girl's life from the age of fourteen to twenty four; her search for love and belonging, and the failings and outright rejection of her birth family and the family she married into. There is a resolute honesty and freshness of recall that means this story leaps off the page.

It was a privilege to talk to Judith on the radio program today about the experiences of that period of her life, and of what it meant to write it down. The cardboard port of the title accompanied Judith from the small north Queensland town which her mother and five syblings had to leave when her father, a railway fettler, was killed. It accompanied her to Brisbane and frightening period with a homicidal step father; to Sydney to which she escaped at sixteen and met a student from Singapore to whom she became pregnant, then married; to Singapore to live with her husband's family which she had believed to be wealthy, but discovered living in poverty; to Kuala Lumpur where she lived a fractured life between high society parties and poor rural kampong; and finally back to Australia, when she knew she would have to leave or go mad.

Through ordeals of sexual violence, extreme poverty, fear for her children's and her own life, she managed to maintain a curiosity about the worlds she found herself in, and recalls scenes, dialogue and customs which make this a compellingly sensual book in many ways. As simple as her determination to find a Christmas tree in the jungle, and as complex as the exploration of new towns and cities, their sights, smells and complex relationships of class and culture, all is fascinating. This is a story which will resonate for some time after you have finished it.

---- Lesley

Monday, October 06, 2008

Food for fines is back

Do you know someone that avoids the library like the plague because of a few fines? We've missed them, so please tell them about our Food for Fines Amnesty from 13th-31st October 2008.

Bring in some non-perishable food items during this period and we'll waive your fines. The food will be donated to local charities so it's win-win-win.

If you've got really overdue books at home bring them back during the amnesty along with some non-perishable food and we'll waive those fines as well.

Cheers, Maryanne

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Spooktacular Halloween Party

Come along to Lilydale Library's Spooktacular Halloween Party!
  • Listen to spine-tingling stories with Matteo the storyteller
  • Dress up in your scariest costume
  • Join in the ghoulish fun
  • Gobble up ghostly treats
Don't miss out on the frightful fun! All ages welcome.

When: Friday 31st October 6-8pm
Where: Lilydale Library, Anderson Street, Lilydale
Cost: $3 per child
Bookings essential phone 92943120

Cheers, Maryanne

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Home Grown veggies - the 'Sazan' way

Sazan Halit, the 'Veggie Man' will enthuse and inspire you to start growing your own vegetables. Save money and improve your health with vegetables straight from your garden.

Sazan, whose father was a market gardener, will also tell his secrets of 'down-to-earth' vegetable growing.

When: Friday 24th October 2pm
Where: Boronia Library, Park Crescent, Boronia
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 97624099

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, October 02, 2008

National Storywriting Competition Winners

The winners of the National Storywriting competition have been announced. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Presentation of ERL Storywriting Competition
When: Sunday 5th October 2:30-4pm
Where: Ringwood Library, 4 Melbourne Street Mall Ringwood

Join this year’s judge; author Robert Hillman for the presentation of the winning entries in the 21st Eastern Regional Libraries Storywriting Competition. Winner of the National Biography Award in 2005 for his book Boy in a Green Suit, Robert is the author of a number of books including My Life as a Traitor (2007) which he co-authored with Zia Ghahramani detailing her life and subsequent imprisonment in Iran.

Cheers, Maryanne

Congratulations to Rowville Library!

Now we don't go out of our way to provide a great service just to win an award. It's nice when someone says thank-you. But last night at the Leader Business Achiever Awards, held for Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges, Rowville Library won their category - Community service/not-for-profit. It's a fantastic reward for the Rowville Library staff.

We'd also like to congratulate the staff at Knox Library who were nominated - well done!

Cheers, Maryanne

Vision Australia's Dickinson Literary Award

I recently stumbled upon an advertisement for the Vision Australia Dickinson Literary Award and had to share.

From the Vision Australia website:
These awards have a long and proud history dating back to 1921, and Vision Australia is honored to continue this prestigious tradition. Find out more about the history of this prestigious award.

The competition is open to all Australian writers who are blind or have low vision.


Adult - 25 years and older
Fiction (no more than 1000 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 1000 words)

Young Adult - 16 to 24 years
Fiction (no more than 1000 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 1000 words)

Youth - those under 16 years
Fiction (no more than 500 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 500 words)

Open - All ages
Best autobiographical piece on living with blindness and low vision

Entry Criteria

To enter the Vision Australia Dickinson Literary Award, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen

  • be legally blind

Submitting your Entry

Entries open on 1st October and close on 31st December. View the application form.

Cheers, Maryanne

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Little Yarra Steiner School Year 5 orchestra

Enjoy a cuppa at the library and listen to the talented children from the local Steiner School.
When: Thursday 23rd October 2pm
Where: Yarra Junction Library, Hoddle Street, Yarra Junction
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 59671588

Cheers, Maryanne