Vocabulary, jargon, and keeping up

It’s the beginning of a new course. You go to class, listen carefully, take notes – and still half of what is said makes no sense.

Every field of study or interest has it’s own vocabulary. I’m a knitter, and so I understand ‘i-cord’ and ‘intarsia’ – those of you who don’t knit probably won’t. I’m not into sport, so a rugby commentary is littered with words that I don’t understand – ‘scrum’, ‘breakdown’ and so on.

Academic disciplines are the same. Business, nursing, engineering – they all have their own vocabularies, often confusing to the newcomer. This is made worse if English is not your first language! It can make a big difference to you enjoyment and success in a course to understand the language used.

If you are finding some (or many) words you’re not familiar with, the library has some resources to help you.

Look it up

One of the most comprehensive general dictionaries is the Oxford English Dictionary – now available online.

Many other general dictionaries are available for loan from the library, at shelf location PE1625.

Struggling with New Zealand English? Have a look at The New Zealand Dictionary.

Subject-specific dictionaries are available for Business, Nursing, Midwifery, Science, Computing (or online here), Engineering (civil and electrical), and Art and Design – and many others, including Māori and many foreign languages. If there’s something you’re interested in, there’s probably a dictionary.


We are holding our annual Student Services Expo in the Rakaia Centre atrium from 12-1pm on Tuesday 26th February to welcome our students and to let them know what awesome services we have on offer here at CPIT.  

One of those amazing, awesome, invaluable services for you eager to learn fellows is the library and we want to hear from you what you want from your library, what we do well and what needs a bit of work.  So we are having a photobooth here in the library (very exciting!).  We want as many people as possible to stop by, write down one or two words on a blackboard what you feel your library is…..   So somewhere quiet, somewhere to talk, somewhere to meet friends, somewhere to eat.  We will take these suggestions and hopefully create a library that is even more awesome!  So come along to the library with your friends and strike a pose in the photobooth.  It should be great fun and you get to keep a copy of the photos.  Check out Flavorwire‘s top 20 photobooth snaps of famous people, my favourite has to be this one of Morgan Freeman.


Broadcasting tutorials


Find here printable PDF tutorials  for broadcasting students:

Database searching

Using databases –   Communication and Mass Media Complete and Proquest

Google searching

Google Scholar Search – Tip sheet

Google Advanced Search – Tip sheet

Using Primo Library Search to

Find and print from an  e-book

Find books

Renew your books

Request a book 

Save book, e-book etc. to your e-shelf for APA referencing

For more Broadcasting resources visiting the Subject Guide.

Theories and answers?

In the last week, three books have come across my desk that got me thinking.

(No, not end-of-the-week thinking, which is often along the lines of “Ooo look – this one has a pink cover. Cool”. I’m a simple soul.)

No, this time it was real thinking, about the world, and the economy.

You only have to open a newspaper or visit a news site online to know that there’s something wrong out there. I’m not sure exactly what happened, or when, or whether we’ve always been going downhill and just never noticed. Whatever the case, theories are abounding, and if you’re interested, these three books might offer some ideas, if not answers.

Global auctionThe global auction: the broken promises of education, jobs, and incomes assesses the current competition for white-collar jobs, particularly in America.

The new ruthless economy   The new ruthless economy: work & power in the digital age looks at the effect of IT on jobs, job satisfaction, and wages.

How much is enoughHow much is enough?: money and the good life turns the microscope on consumerism and the extent to which this drives the global economy.

This can, of course, end up being a bit doom-and-gloom – necessary, perhaps, but not cheerful.

So, as an antidote, I suggest this:

DilbertThe joy of work: Dilbert’s guide to finding happiness at the expense of your co-workers. It might not be the best guide to getting on at work, but it makes me smile.

Want to sharpen up on your study skills or APA referencing?


Make time this semester to get to one  of Learning Services FREE lunchtime seminars focusing on either Study and Learning techniques (from note-taking through to exam preparation) or  APA Referencing (Why and how to acknowledge the information you use in your assignments). 

Here is the link on Facebook for all these seminars or you can download the timetables below :

Best of luck with your studies in 2013!

Tohea, tohea, ko te tohe i te kai.

Keep on striving as one strives for food. (From Brougham, A.E & Reed, A.W. (1963) Māori proverbs)

Valentine’s Day

heartbears_valentineThis is the day when you can declare your love for that guy or girl that you have your eye on, or may be treat your beloved to some flowers, chocolate or a romantic meal. But remember if you are sending a card do not add your name or address, unless they are already your partner or steady.

How much do you know about the origins and history of the day?

There are a number of stories about the origins of Valentine’s Day. The ancient Romans celebrated a pagan fertility festival on the 13-15 of February, however the name of the day probably came from Valentine of Terni who was Bishop of Interamna (now Terni) and was martyred around AD 197 on February 14th. Another claimant is that of Valentine of Rome who was also martyred for giving aid to prisoners, falling in love with the jailer’s daughter and sending her a note saying “from your Valentine”.

In AD 496 the Pope declared February 14th as St Valentine’s Day, a Christian feast day. It was Geoffrey Chaucer who linked the day to romance in AD 1382 when he wrote in his Parlement of Foules about the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. In 1601 Shakespeare enter the picture when he writes Ophella’s lament in Hamlet “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,/All in the morning betime,/And I a maid at your window,/To be your Valentine.”

By 1797 the first Valentine’s Day card appear as love notes made using paper and lace and by the early 19th century factories are being to mass produce them. The first Hallmark Valentine’s Day card appeared in 1913 and this is seen as the sugar-coated aspect of the day.

2009 and in the USA $14.7 billion is generated in retail sales for Valentine’s Day

2010 around 1 billion cards are sent, the numbers are 2nd only to Christmas.  

A favourite song today is My Funny Valentine written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the show Babes in Arms.

The library music collection has both CD recordings, e.g. Lionel Hampton presents Buddy Rich, and recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, plus songbooks with the words and music.

Whirimako Black sings       Rodgers & Hart’s Babes in Arms    Ella Fitzgerald

I think we all need a pep talk…

So here we are at the start of a new term. Hopefully your batteries are fully charged for the studies that you have ahead of you. While looking through the many fascinating and inspiring videos on the TED website, I encountered the below video, a pep talk from the adorable Kid President. Take a look, and more importantly a listen.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s fairly easy as a student to chase your graduation papers and those elusive good grades- and it can be easy to forget that your certificate, diploma or degree is a means, rather than an end. The qualification is there to help you move into an area of work (or entrepreneurship) that excites you, and the people who make a real change to the world are not necessarily those with the best grades, but those with the most passion and dedication to making the changes they want to see.

Christchurch is a bit of a mess. Further afield, we’ve all the climate change and drug-resistant viruses and restrictions on press freedom across the world. So listen to your Kid President, and step up- the qualification that you’re aiming to obtain at CPIT is a stepping stone to wherever you want to go, but there’s no rule to say that you have to be boring while you’re doing it. Excitement, innovation, changing the world- these things don’t happen by themselves. The Primo search tool is bursting with books and ebooks on entrepreneurship, innovation, starting your own business etc., so why not take a look?

If you’ve a mind to make the world awesome, your first step might be off the beaten path. The President gave  Robert Frost a bad rap

Pancake Day

Today is Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras.

While Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras have fine upstanding stories and traditions of their own, I, being something of a glutton, like to concentrate on the pancakes.

Mmmm, pancakes.

blueberry pancakesStrawberry pancakes

My all-time favourite pancake recipe is not really a pancake at all, but a crepe – a very thin pancake popular in France. Hudson and Halls’ Basic Crepe recipe is available in the library in this book, along with some very tasty savoury crepe ideas.

Other pancake recipes and toppings can be found here, including my favourites of lemon and sugar, and maple syrup. I have to say that some of the savoury ones could be very nice for a quick dinner.

If you’re watching your weight, or otherwise just don’t like pancakes, you could try making a giant pancake, or holding a pancake-flipping race.

How do I find books, CDs or DVDs using Primo Library Search?


1. Go to the library homepage at http://www.cpit.ac.nz/services-and-support/lrc  or just Google cpit lrc and choose the first link.

2. Enter your search terms and select GO or

press Enter on your keyboard to activate your search. e.g.

primo search

3. You can also refine your search by selecting in the left column :

a.       Available in the Library

to view books, cds, dvds (Physical library items)

(Note: to view e-books click   full text online – More about e-books here)

b.      Topic e.g. Resumes (Employment)

c.       Resource type e.g. Audio visual finds CDs or DVDs.


4. Once you have chosen a title you can :

a.      select Details to view more about the book, DVD, etc.

b.      find the item on the library shelf using the Shelf location if you can see Available at.

In the example below:

  • HF5382.7SCH is the shelf location
  • Available at means it is on the shelf.
  • Not sure where to find this shelf location? Ask a librarian.


N.B. If your item says Not available you can sign in with your CPIT username and password in the top right corner and select the Request tab to place a request or read How do I request a book.

More search tips:

5. You can search on :

    • Title  e.g. What color is your parachute?
    • Author e.g. Richard Bolles
  • Combination of author and title e.g. Bolles parachute
  • Keywords of your choice e.g. job hunting

6.  You can use smart search operators to either broaden or refine your search.

  • * Truncation e.g.  manag* searches for manage, managing, management, etc.
  • “phrase search” e.g. type quotation marks around a phrase reality tv
  • OR e.g. color OR colour ; car OR automobile. OR must be in capital letters. e.g.

cv OR

Here is a printable PDF about finding books cds dvds -in Primo if you prefer this format.

Need more help using Primo Library Search then:

Still have another question? Try our How do I …?  guide.

Māori – New resources – February 2013


Click on any title below to view its details in our Primo Library catalogue. If you would like to request any of these, sign in first and then select Request. (Hint: the sign in is in the top right corner once you have clicked on the resource.

For more resources on, by or in Māori be sure to visit the subject guide.

New to the Māori Music collection

Rika, M (2012) Whitiora (CD) A CD of acoustic, soul, folk music in te reo Māori co-written with J. J. Rika and performed by Maisey Rika
Greenslade, J.M (2012) Aio (CD) ĀIO features Maori and English versions of each song and the Akonga Code translation booklet is designed to help you learn Te Reo Maori.
Tikao, A (2012) Dust to Light (CD) This CD contains new waiata much of which is in te reo Māori from Ariana Tikao. The accompanying booklet explains the background for each waiata.

New to the Māori Book collection

matiatiaMonin, P. (2012) Matiatia: gateway to Waiheke Matiatia Bay is the gateway to Waiheke Island. Lying beside the island’s best natural harbour, it has been the landing place for Maori waka, settler barges, tourist yachts and commuter ferries today. This beautiful heritage site is threatened by development – a marina is proposed, and intensive parking. Establishing the significance of the past, historian Paul Monin tells Matiatia’s story from early Maori occupation to the present day.

puna itiTate, P. H (2012) He puna iti i te ao marama How to reconcile the deeply held Christian beliefs of Maori with the indigenous world view that they have inherited and are in many cases rediscovering?

New to our eTV collection


Coverage of events on Waitangi Day

The first time you click one of the links below you will need to select  Christchurch Polytechnic from the drop down selection under Polytechnic / Wananga and use your CPIT username and password to sign in.