Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Day

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thanks for reading our blogs. Our libraries are closing at 3pm today and are closed New Year's Day. With the exception of Croydon library, the bookchutes will be open so you may return items while we are closed.

If you know your PIN you can renew and place holds via the web catalogue.

Cheers, Maryanne

The Eastern Regional Library Show 31st December 2008

Many of us were put off the rules of grammar and puntuation for life, by dreary teaching. There are however, some passionate people who believe not only that "English is a beautiful and subtle language and should be encouraged to stay that way", but also that "grammar is the rules for paradise, writing is the paradise". The first quote is from authors Caroline Taggart and J.A.Wines who wrote My Grammar and I (Or Should that Be "Me"?): Old School Ways to Sharpen Your English, and the second is from Mark Tredinnick, an Australian poet and essayist who describes his book The Little Green Grammar Book as more of a lover's guide than a textbook. The first title is available through Consortia libraries and the second is in the ERL collection.

As I have mentioned previously in this blog, the author who several years ago successfully stimulated interest in these neglected subjects was Lynne Truss, with her book Eats, shoots and leaves : the zero tolerance approach to puctuation. It was so concise and so humourous that she has since produced two books for younger readers, Eats shoots and leaves : why, commas really do make a difference and The girl's like spaghetti : why, you can't manage without apostrophes. To emphasise the point that punctuation can be funny, we heard Victor Borge's skit Phonetic Punctuation from the CD The hilarious Victor Borge.

We continued our nostalgic music tracks theme with Dean Martin singing That's Amore from Dino : the essential Dean Martin. This song was used with great effect as the theme to the movie Moonstruck. More next week.

---- Lesley

I'm reminded of the following blogs:

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks
Apostrophe Abuse

Cheers, Maryanne

Childrens Book Sale

Heaps of pre-loved library books. Stock up for Holiday Reading.

When: Tuesday 13th - Saturday17th January
Where: Ringwood Library, 4 Ringwood Street Mall, Ringwood

Cheers, Maryanne

Top Summer Reads 2009

It's time to take a break from the usual Top 10 Reads of the month. I sent the word out to the library staff and got them to come up with the Top Summer Reads 2009. They did a great job! You'll find the list at the top of the page (the new home for the Top 10 Reads). Enjoy!

While we're talking of Summer Reads, don't forget the State Library's The Summer Read 2008. Vote for your favourite Summer Read from the shortlist and win fantastic prizes.

Cheers, Maryanne

Blog makeover

If you think you've surfed onto the wrong blog, well no you haven't. I thought I'd give the blog a makeover for the new year. Apart from some of the cosmetic changes I've moved the Top 10 Reads so that it always appears at the top of the blog. I've also added a Share button, free from You can click the button to share the post with people via email, or through social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and

Let me know what you think.

Cheers, Maryanne

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ferntree Gully refurbishment on Flickr

Follow along with the refurbishment of Ferntree Gully library through our Flickr site. We'll be uploading photos throughout the refurbishment. All you need to do is click on the images under Ferntree Gully refurbishment in the sidebar to the right.

This has been extremely popular during the refurbishments of Boronia and Knox libraries.

Ferntree Gully library will be closed from 3pm Wednesday 31st December 2008, re-opening Monday 2nd February 2009 at 10am.

Cheers, webgurl

Do you think you can dance?

Kids, learn a funky choreographed dance routine with the popular local dance school, Stage Presence Dance and Performing Arts Studio. Get dancing!

For kids aged 8+ years.

When: Thursday 15th January 2pm
Where: Mooroolbark Library, 7 Station Street, Mooroolbark
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 97268200

Cheers, Maryanne

Richard Cutler - Magician

Magician Richard Cutler will be entertaining the crowd at Croydon Library this school holidays. There are still some places left, don't miss out.

When: Wednesday 14th January 11am
Where: Croydon Library, Civic Square, Croydon
Cost: $3 per child (children under 3 years are free)
Bookings essential phone 92945640

Cheers, Maryanne

Cartooning with Richard Galbraith

This school holidays kids can have cartoon fun at Rowville Library with Richard Galbraith. Please BYO Pencil.

When: Wednesday 14th January 11am
Where: Rowville Library, Stud Park Shopping Centre, Stud Rd, Rowville
Cost: $3 per child
Bookings essential phone 92941300

Cheers, Maryanne


I hope you all had a wonderful break. If you've applied for your PIN through the online form over the Christmas break, bear with me as I sort throught the applications and send them out. I should get them all done today.

Update: I've replied to all PIN applications over the holiday break.

Cheers, Maryanne

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'd like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Hope you get a chance to read during the break. Don't forget to check our holiday opening hours.

If you know your PIN you can renew your items online via the website catalogue.

Cheers, Maryanne

The Eastern Regional Library Show 24th December 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 today's show

Great songs and unique singers will have a following long after their era. In the last few weeks we have heard quite a bit from Jimmy Durante, and today it's the turn of Nat King Cole. Even singing 'Making whoopee' on the soundtrack of the movie Sleepless in Seattle he was as smooth as cream. There are several CD's of Nat King Cole in our libraries, Christmas with Nat and Dean, The unforgettable Nat King Cole, and Nat. He also features on Favourites for weddings and the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack. Two DVD's are Nat King Cole : the magic of music and the movie Cat Ballou. And not to forget the extensive collection of music scores held at Belgrave Library, where you will find The unforgettable Nat King Cole and Unforgettable. Next week we will feature Dean Martin who is unforgettabley linked to the song That's Amore' which was used so successfully on the soundtrack of the movie Moonstruck.

Next week I am going to indulge myself and the listeners with Victor Borge's humourous skit Phonetic Punctuation, and introduce you to some entertaining books written about punctuation and grammer. A book that came out 2003, Eats, shoots and leaves sparked a renewal of interest in the subject, and what is more, stirred people to write in an informative and humourous way about something which has bored generations of students.

---- Lesley

Confirming the Christmas/New Year hours

Apologies if anyone was confused by the Christmas message on the 1300 number. We're experimenting with the holiday settings and accidently had it start a day early. Oops! It's a good thing I'm not Santa. The libraries are actually closing today at 3pm.

View the full list of our Christmas/New Year hours for our branches.

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Knox Mobile update

I've just heard that, due to Christmas parking restrictions, the Knox Mobile will not be at Upper Ferntree Gully today.

Cheers, Maryanne

Friday, December 19, 2008

2009 Knox Youth Short Film Festival

Are you a filmmaker between 10-25 years old? Knox Council Youth Services are looking for submissions to the 2009 Knox Youth Short Film Festival.

The entries can be any genre, so long as they follow these guidelines:
  • The majority of the film crew lives, works, studies or hangs out within the City of Knox
  • All films need to be of PG Rating
  • All films need to be submitted on VHS or DVD
  • All films to be no longer than 10 minutes long
Knox Youth Short Film Festival information (pdf)
Application form for Festival (pdf)

Applications and entries due
Wednesday 25th February 2009

Knox Youth Short Film Festival
When: Monday 30th March 6:30–9pm
Where: Knox Community Arts Centre, cnr Mountain Hwy& Scoresby Rd, Bayswater
Cost: Free event

Cheers, Maryanne

Holiday booksale

Mt Evelyn Library are having a special holiday booksale during January. Books are $1 each or 3 for $3. What a bargain.

When: Monday 5th - Friday 30th January
Where: Mt Evelyn Library, 50 Wray Crescent, Mt. Evelyn
Enquiries phone 97363851

Cheers, Maryanne

Knox Chinese News Group

Mandarin speaking library officer, Emma will share some local news to the group. Visitors are welcomed to bring some newspaper articles to chat with others.

When: 1st Monday of the month 1:30pm - 3pm
Where: Knox Library, 425 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 98011422

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Come along to Ringwood Library's new group, Pageturners, and talk about your favourite books and dvds. Refreshments provided.

When: 1st Monday of every month 2pm
Where: Ringwood Library, 4 Ringwood Street Mall, Ringwood
Cost: Free event
Bookings essential phone 97363851

Cheers, Maryanne

Get your PIN

With the Christmas break coming up it's a good time to remind everyone if you are wanting to login to the library catalogue you'll need to know your PIN. If you don't know this you can get your PIN via the phone or email. Have your library card handy. You'll need to provide the library card number on the back and confirm your residential address for security purposes.
Staff will be replying to PIN requests up until 3pm Christmas Eve. The next working day isn't until Monday 29th of December. So it's best to get in early.

Cheers, Maryanne

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Eastern Regional Library Show 17th December 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 today's show

The world gets busier over the weeks leading up to Christmas, and a good antidote to the stress is a big laugh. A few weeks ago I mentioned some great comedy on CD, this week its DVDs. You can't beat a a good TV series; Get Smart, Steptoe and Son, Black Books, The Office, Kath and Kim, the list is enormous, all available from your local library.

Having mentioned Black Books I have to let you know that the very funny Bill Bailey (who played Manny in the show) has two live performances on DVD Bewilderness and Bill Bailey Live. If you are after the more challenging and in-your-face humour, there are half a dozen Billy Connolly DVD's, and if like me you enjoy a consumate story teller, then the self-titled Dave Allen is for you. Humourous movies are also in good supply, from Cat Balou, Tom Jones and the Doctor series with Dirk Bogarde, to more recent releases such as
Muriel's Wedding, The Castle, Robots and Robot Chicken, Star Wars.

Something which has become a theme over the last few weeks is songs from few decades ago which have been used successfully on film soundtracks, and which have stimulated renewed interest in the singer and the music of the period. One which immediately comes to mind is Louis Armstrong's version of What a Wonderful World which was used in the movie Good Morning Vietnam. Another is Jimmy Durante's Make someone happy in Sleepless in Seattle which has reminded me what a clever showman he was. If anyone reading this blog would like to suggest other great songs and singers who have been rediscovered by a younger generation through film, let me know through our contact form (address to Lesley Conway) and we will try to play them over the summer holidays.

---- Lesley

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

20 million loans

I saw this bit of trivia today and thought I'd pass it on. The SWIFT Consortium of which Eastern Regional Libraries is a member issued its 20 millionth loan on Saturday 6th December at 1:52 pm at Mildura Library.

That's amazing, especially for only 21 months.

Cheers, Maryanne

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mobile phone recycling

Eastern Regional Libraries is now a deposit station for mobile phone recycling. Knox, Croydon and Ringwood branches have special boxes in which members may deposit their old phones. Mobile phones dropped off at our other Eastern Regional Libraries branches will be sent to our Administration.

The mobile phones are sent to SCOPE/Aussie Recycling Program where they are recorded, sorted, tested, repaired if necessary and then exported to developing countries. All phones are accepted, even analogue phones.

Mobile phones contain toxic chemicals and do not degrade in the environment. They should not be thrown in the rubbish.

More information on the Mobile Recycling program may be found at the SCOPE/ARP Don't dump it! Donate it! site.

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Congratulations Sarah Parker

Rowville Library junior bookclub member, Sarah Parker, has won a short story award in the Children's Charity Network for 2008. Sarah's story, Shimmer, has been published in Young Australian Art & Writers Awards 2008 magazine.

Congratulations Sarah!

Cheers, Maryanne

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Eastern Regional Library Show 10th December 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 today's show

Every Christmas we are asked in the library for some suggestions for presents of books for children and teenagers. Pia has compiled a list of some books which she found particularly enjoyable this year.

For the littlies, Ten Little fingers and ten little toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury is a delightful picture book . Very simple, lyrical and clever text with the gorgeous illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. A story that very quickly invites the reader to tickle the toes of their child and give three little kisses on the end of their nose. Another is Splat the cat by Rob Scotton, the perfect book for all those young ones heading off to school next year. Splat doesn't want to go to school. He tries every trick in the book to avoid it but in the end he must. When he gets to school he finds that it is a whole lot more fun than he ever imagined.

For older children (and in fact teenagers and adults who love puzzles) Enigma by Graeme Base is another very clever picture book by the award winning author/illustrator.The magic props belonging to the residents of the Retirement home for Elderly magicians have disappeared. The magic show will have to be cancelled. Enter Bertie Badger to save the day. He visits each resident in turn to find out what is missing and then hopefully locate it. As always there are lots of things to look for on each page and an enigma wheel at the end to help crack the secret code.

Finnikin of the rock by Melina Marchetta is a departure from Melina's previous novels for teenagers set in the contemporary world; this is a fantasy. The world of Lumatere is an exciting and dangerous one, a world that Finnikin must negotiate to locate the people of his country and to help rebuild it. Where the streets had a name by Randa Abdel Fattah is a story of today. We have heard a lot from the Israeli side of the conflict with Palestine. Now it is time to hear the opposing view. When her grandmother becomes dangerously ill, 13 year old Hayaat decides to enter the occupied territories to retrieve some of the soil from her Grandmother's homeland. Though only about 20 kilometers away, it is in the Israeli territory. It takes hours to move, with so many checkpoints. An amazing and thought provoking tale.

Picture books with a Christmas theme are especially enjoyable at this time of the year. Some new ones with an Australian theme are Russell's Christmas magic by Rob Scotton about Santa being stranded in Firefly Wood with a broken sleigh and Russell the sheep coming to his rescue. An amusing tale. An Aussie night before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison and Kilmeny Niland is a chance to see Santa in a whole new way as he delivers gifts in a rusty old ute wearing old thongs and stubbies. And Aussie jingle bells by Colin Buchanan, illustrated by Nick Bland is the tune of jingle bells with words with an Australian flavour! It even has a CD with it.

Music today was from the CD Carol of the drum, produced by the Royal Australian Navy Band.

---- Lesley

iBistro catalogue

UPDATE: The iBistro catalogue is back up. Apologies for any inconvenience.

The iBistro catalogue is currently unavailable. We are looking into the probelm and should have it up and running soon.

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Eastern Regional Libraries auto attendant

I've just changed the configuration of the 1300 phone auto attendant so that all of our branches are listed. Call 1300 737 277 and listen to the dulcet tones of Alan Thompson, one of our staff members as he leads you through the new options to contact our branches. Thank-you to Pia Butcher, who was our previous auto attendant star.

The branches are grouped via regions and I've put them in order of the most busiest branches who would likely have more phone calls to the least busiest branches.

Once you know the options you don't have to wait for the prompt you can press the numbers as soon as the auto attendant starts.

You can return to the main menu by pressing 9.

After 8pm if you call the 1300 number you'll get a message saying the libraries are closed and directing you to the opening hours.

I'm always happy to receive feedback so please let me know if you have any trouble with the auto attendant system. The configuration changes have come as a result of member feedback.

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Training Day, libraries closed - Monday 8th December

A reminder that on Monday 8th December all Eastern Regional Libraries branches and mobiles will be closed for the day so staff can participate in a regional training day, which is a first for Eastern Regional Libraries. It is a good opportunity to gather staff from a large area to discuss the challenges of introducing new technologies to provide a better service for our members. Bookchutes will be open at all branches except Croydon for returns.

Cheers, Maryanne

The Eastern Regional Library Show 3rd December 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

Light reading for the summer holidays is always in great demand, and something new by a favourite author is especially good. Lyn brought in the latest novel by Alexander McCall Smith, La's orchestra saves the world which is unusual for him in that it is not part of a series. You may have read his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, set in Botswana, or 44 Scotland Street, set in Edinburgh, but this latest is about a young woman dealing with her husbands desertion just before the Second World War. It is as gentle and quirky as his other novels, and deals with La's (short for Lavender) attempts to rebuild her life by starting an orchestra on a RAF base, and her unrequited love for a Polish refugee.

Alexander McCall Smith has begun another series which is being published in weekly installments online by the Telegraph newspaper, called Corduroy Mansions, set in London. While it is already up to episode 58, it should be a good read, and there is the added charm that you can listen to it being read by Andrew Sachs.

There is always a detective novel in Lyn's review selection, and today it is the latest Phryne Fisher story from Kerry Greenwood, Murder on a midsummer night. Lyn was only two thirds of the way through, so there was no way she could tell is who dunnit. Phryne, the very model of a svelte and sophisticated young woman of the 1920's has two mysteries to deal with, one an apparent suicide which may be murder, and the other a search for the illegitimate child of a wealthy woman who has died and left her money to 'all' her children. I have no doubt that Phryne will solve the mysteries with flair and humour.

I spoke on air today to one of the authors of a new and very informative book, Anthea Wynn, who with Val Nigol has written Aged Care Homes : the complete Australian Guide. Val is a Financial Planner and Chartered Accountant who realised that there was a gap in practical resources available to people contemplating Aged Care facilities, and who contacted Thea, a freelance technical writer to assist in putting together a relevant and comprehensive guide. The book is written with admirable clarity, and Thea said she had in mind that people dealing with the issues around moving to an Aged Care facility were often overwhelmed and often upset, and that many more people whose first language is not English are looking for information about this stage of their life, and need information in plain English. The text answers the questions we all ask about how to assess when someone needs these facilities, how to be confident that the Home provides good service, how to deal with government agencies, and provides an Australia wide list of Aged Care facilities and government agencies. There are several copies of this title in our libraries, and link to it on internet is

---- Lesley

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bookchute at Ringwood

Our apologies that the bookchute at Ringwood Library was not open last night (Tuesday 2nd Dec). Please advise staff if you attempted to return your items through the bookchute.

Cheers, Maryanne

Book a library PC

Everyone that uses our public PCs for Internet and Microsoft Office will love the new service we're offering. You can now book a library PC via our website. You'll find the Book a PC link on our Email & Search page, which is the homepage on all of our public Internet PCs.
  1. Select a location and a date and then click the check available times button.
  2. A list of hourly timeslots appears. Click on the one you want.
  3. Fill in your name, library barcode and PIN and click book now. Every library card has a PIN. If you don't know yours you can contact library staff by phone or email to get your PIN.
For those that don't know, our PCs are free to use. You can print to our photocopiers using your library card.

Printing costs:
Black & white A4: 20c per page (GST Inclusive)
Black & white A3: 40c per page (GST Inclusive)
Colour A4: 60c per page (GST Inclusive)
Colour A3: $1.20 per page (GST Inclusive)

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Refurbishment at Ferntree Gully library

Ferntree Gully library will be undergoing a refurbishment in January and will be closing from Wednesday 31st December 2008 at 3pm, re-opening on Monday 2nd February 2009 at 10am.

The bookchute will not be open during the library closure. We have extended the loans for Ferntree Gully borrowers, however if you are wanting to return items you will need to return them to one of our other branches.

The nearest branches are:

Boronia Library

Knox Library
Rowville Library

If you have books on hold that are likely to arrive during January please contact library staff to change the pickup branch.

I will be uploading the photos of the progress of the refurbishment on Flickr as I have for Boronia and Knox.

Cheers, Maryanne