ProQuest Central: Like google but infinitely better


By Colleen Finnerty: Knowledge Advisor, Ara

Have you ever needed an answer? Not just any answer, but the correct authoritative one? Don’t rely on crystal balls or Google when you can now access ProQuest Central! This respected database contains full text and peer review information on all subjects imaginable, including business, health and medical, social sciences, arts and humanities, education, and science and technology.

From a single search box, you can search over forty of ProQuest’s databases and find thousands of full-text scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, dissertations, working papers, case studies, and market reports all together on this user-friendly platform

It is basically like Google but without the cat videos, fake news, and the rantings of the uninformed. Use of this database will result in tutors swooning and guaranteed scholarly success! You will find the link to ProQuest Central in the Library Database A-Z and in your subject guides.

Have a search today and find the answers you seek.


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Bibliotherapy: Reading for your wellbeing.

As Matariki rises again for another year and we delve into the depths of winter, taking time to relax and de-stress becomes a priority to maintain our health and wellbeing. To do this, we recommend reading. Recent research from The Reading Agency has shown there are a range of positive outcomes from reading for pleasure including improvement of mental health and reduction or delay of dementia symptoms.

The Ara library can help with an extensive range of fiction books available in our Leisure Reading collection. So when you need a break from the textbooks and journal articles, drive into one of our books. We have books from every genre: Adventure, Romance, Suspense / Thriller, Crime, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical, Humour, Classics, Mystery and more.

Check out some of our latest additions to the collection:

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Matariki 2019

Connect – Reflect – Celebrate – Plan – Act

Matariki is a traditional time for many iwi (Māori tribes) to celebrate the beginning of each new year. The Matariki star cluster is more commonly known throughout the world as Pleiades or Messier 45 (M45). In Hawaii, it is known as Makali’i and in Japan it is called Subaru.

Reimana Tutengaehe, a tutor in Te Puna Wānaka at Ara, shares that “Matariki is about a lifecycle really. Traditionally speaking when Matariki first begins we farewell the dead, and then we look up to each star in the constellation to acknowledge how they correspond to our natural environment. So traditionally, Maori would use the stars to determine if it was going to be a good year for fishing, or for crops and harvest…”

[From Ara Institute of Canterbury. 2018. Reflecting, reconnecting and stargazing: Matariki makes its mark at Ara ]

You can visit our Te Ao Māori Subject Guide for more resources on Matariki.

Significant dates of Matariki in 2019

  • 27th May – Matariki sets
  • 25th-28th June – Matariki rises
  • 25th June – 3rd July – The period over which the stars of Matariki are observed
  • 24th June – 5th July – The period when Ara will celebrate Matariki

The nine stars of Matariki

Māori observed the nine visible stars of Matariki during the long dark nights of winter looking for signs of the coming season.

At the same time, Māori personified the nine stars of Matariki to provide us with a framework for thinking about the world around us and what we would do over the coming year.

Who are the stars and how do they help us?

MATARIKI – the personification of Mother & Nurturer
Matariki brings people together, connecting them with each other and their world.

TUPU-Ā-NUKU – the personification of Edible Plants
Healthy plants need healthy soils. Can you compost food scraps at home? What about a worm farm?

TUPU-Ā-RANGI – the personification of Forests
Pests and predators destroy our forests. Did you know feral cats are a major threat to native birds, insects and trees?

WAI-PUNA-Ā-RANGI – the personification of Sky Waters
Have you noticed the big changes in climate? Does it rain more or less now than when you were young? How long before the sea-level will reach your home?

WAI-TĪ – the personification of Freshwater
Why are other countries bottling our water? What’s wrong with theirs? Is our water actually that clean?

WAI-TĀ – the personification of Oceans
Did you know that fish think plastic is food, then eat it, then die? Can you commit to reduce or stop using plastic? What other options already exist?

URURANGI – the personification of Winds
Did you know windmills were used in China over 4000 years ago? We need more non-polluting and renewable sources of energy like wind.

PŌHUTUKAWA – the personification of those passed on.
Have you lost anyone this past year? What influence did they have on your life? How can you keep their legacy alive?

HIWA-I-TE-RANGI – the personification of Dreams & Aspirations
What do you want to achieve over the next year? Plan now how you will make that happen.

Matariki at Ara

There will be lots happening at Ara to reflect and connect around Matariki. Watch your My Ara app to see what’s on offer and look out for the Matariki Star Making activity in the Library. You can also visit our Matariki page in Te Ao Māori Subject Guide for more resources on Matariki.


[Image owned by Ara Institute of Canterbury]




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Video of our NZ Sign Language Week performance goes viral!

There was magic in the air as NASDA students performed a song for New Zealand Sign Language Week in May, alongside NZSL interpreter Phoebe Leyton.

Now a video of the performance, which was organised by Ara library, has gone viral with over 27,000 views on Facebook. It’s not surprising the moving performance by the talented NASDA chorus, brought to life by Leyton’s expressive interpretation, has found wide appeal. There has been overwhelming positive feedback for the video from the Deaf community, who enjoyed watching this accessible musical recital.

We want to thank Phoebe Leyton and the NASDA students again for sharing their skill and passion with us. Check it out for yourself here in this new youtube version:

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Database, n. /ˈdeɪtəbeɪs/: A structured set of data held in computer storage.



I have been accused of always having to have the last word. Well I can assure you that is not the case. The only one who gets to have the final word is the Oxford English Dictionary, which is considered the definitive record of the English language. The last English word according to them is: Zyzzyva, which is a form of weevil found in South America. How do you pronounce it? Well they do have a pronunciation guide on the site, but I must admit I am still at a loss. So, I can’t have the last word as I can’t even spell it let alone say it. My innocence is confirmed.

The Oxford English Dictionary is just one of many Ara Library databases that can help you with your learning. They range in content from online interactive encyclopedias like Britannica to profession specific conglomerations (look it up) of full text research journals like CINAHL and Engineering Source. These databases are the best ways to find authoritative words turned into information that will make your tutor smile.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a “Word of the Day” on its website. Today’s word was Nebby which is a Scottish word for being inquisitive and nosy. So, I encourage you to get nebby today and see how our databases can help you. There are many more important words to be discovered, all of which promise to be more useful than the last word.

This guest blog has been brought to you by Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor


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Library closed for Queens Birthday Holiday, Monday 3rd June 2019

All Ara library branches will be closed on Monday the 3rd June as we celebrate the Queens Birthday holiday. Here is some more information about the Queens Birthday celebration.


City Campus library will be closed on June the 3rd…


The official head of state of New Zealand is the Monarch of the Commonwealth Realms, Queen Elizabeth II. The monarch’s birthday is officially celebrated in New Zealand.


Queen Elizabeth II, Monarch of New Zealand

Her representative in New Zealand is the Governor General, who has symbolic and ceremonial roles but is not involved in the day-to-day running of the government.

The Queen’s actual birthday is April 21, but it is celebrated as a public holiday on the first Monday of June through an Act of Parliament.

Public Life

The Queen’s Birthday is a public holiday in New Zealand & many people will have the day off. Schools, government offices, and many businesses will be closed.

The Queen’s Honours list is released around the time of the Queen’s Birthday public holiday. This list has hundreds of recipients: from the military, emergency services, politics and civilian life who are honoured and recognized for their public service.



Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit, or CNZM. One of the Queens Birthday Honours

What Do People Do?

The Queen’s birthday holiday is held on the first Monday of June.

Those who have the day off will spend it with family or friends or will use the long weekend as a opportunity for a extended holiday away. It is an excellent opportunity to spend time in the outdoors before winter fully sets in. The Queens Birthday weekend also marks the official opening of the ski season in New Zealand.

I would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday from all of us in the Library.

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Samoan Language Week

Mālō le soifua manuia,

Greetings & good health to all you beautiful people.

Many of you may know that it is that time of the year again where we raise the stakes and challenge ourselves by learning and supporting our first Pacific nations to become independent but also one of the first pacific language weeks to celebrate and embrace for 2019 which is……the Samoan Language or in the Samoan Language it is O le Gagana Sāmoa.

The country of Sāmoa was formally known as Western Sāmoa, however since the celebration of the independence for this country (plus the Americans keep trying to claim them as one of their states) Sāmoa has become a nation that has integrated and migrated not just in Aotearoa but the people of Samoa have Success spreading all over the world and globally making an impact because the ROCK Dwayne Johnson has exploded onto the big screen and producing block buster movie after movie. We also can’t forget our sport superheroes and legends just to name a few Ma’a Nonu(All Blacks) and Maria Tutaia(Silver Fern). However in the music world particularly here in Aotearoa our very own Chch girl Ladi6 and even the opera sensations SOLèMio. The list could go on. There are a few things that they all have in common are:

– All Proud Samoans

– All believe in themselves

– All love Samoan foods


In short, the Pacific & Sāmoa is all around us and we can all support them. Until next time….

Manuia lava

Toe feiloa’i

Bless you

See you again


This guest blog has been kindly contributed by Jason Tiatia


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