Bit chilly, isn’t it?


This time of year resounds with sharply indrawn breaths, chattering teeth, and cries of “it’s a bit chilly!”. I for one struggle to drag myself from my warm bed, and the walk to work is an exercise in determination.

We are now past the shortest day, so in theory it’s all uphill from here – but as weather records show, it is usually as cold (if not colder) in July and August as in June (scroll to the bottom of the page for historical data). I apologise for the bad news…

A warm jersey, a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or chocolate, or blackcurrant), a good book or movie, and something comforting for dinner can go a long way to make up for the rain, frost, and (lack of) snow. To achieve this, try some of these library resources:

For the jersey (although this may take until next winter):

Teach yourself visually: Knitting

Rowan’s designer collection: summer and winter knitting

Sew eco: sewing sustainable and re-used materials

For the tea (or coffee):

The book of coffee & tea : a guide to the appreciation of fine coffees, teas, and herbal beverages

Tea : discovering, exploring, enjoying

For the book or movie:

You will, of course, be studying hard – either for exams or for the start of semester two. Won’t you?

If you are lucky enough to have a break, the Books & Authors database has some good recommendations and background information on books new and old.

For the comforting meal:

Try the winter issues of Cuisine magazine, or Australian Gourmet Traveller, for some seasonal inspiration.

And remember: our libraries are open their usual hours over the semester break. Come in and see us – it’s nice and warm.





The magical world of Oxford Online

When I think of Oxford University I think of carved stone buildings, gargoyles and hidden passages filled with black caped beings walking swiftly while discussing clever things. My Oxford is a sort of older person’s Hogwarts without Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Oxford University Press buildings
Oxford University Press buildings (Photo: Fractal Angel, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In reality, Oxford University is a terribly advanced place which has embraced technology as a way to spread its brilliance. We can see this at our library with:

  • Oxford Art Online Information on all things artsy including architecture, design, fashion and crafts. Includes a range of New Zealand and Pacific content;
  • Oxford Music Online The hills are alive with music reference and research within this resource;
  • Oxford English Dictionary Online Find spellings, definitions, pronunciation and examples of use. They even explain the use of the word bootylicious!

Not everyone is blessed with the academic brilliance of an Oxford academic but that is not to say we cannot be warmed from the glow of their collective genius. All the answers produced from their devoted studies has resulted in the above online databases that are just waiting to provide you with answers. All you need is to use your nimble fingers to ask the questions from the discomfort of an ergonomically faulty computer chair or your couch at home. Question everything!

– Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor.

World Environment Day – June 5th

The theme of World Environment Day this year is ‘Connecting People to Nature’. It implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

We are fortunate this year to have guest blogger Emma Royal (former Learning Advisor with Ara) present a Māori perspective of humankinds’ connection with the land through kaitiakitanga.

Kaitiakitanga is the strong sense of respect and guardianship for the natural environment. Kaitiakitanga means guardianship and protection. It is a way of managing the earth, based on the Māori world view. People are closely connected to the land and nature; kaitiakitanga is based on this idea of humans as part of the natural world. Kaitiakitanga today is being rediscovered and explored; Māori communities are reconstructing and expressing traditional knowledge in their iwi (tribe) areas. They are restoring both environmental areas and iwi knowledge of those places. Kaitiakitanga is a Māori philosophy that is central to the way New Zealanders think about their responsibility for the earth.

Māori have strong spiritual bonds with the land. Māori regard land, soil and water as taonga (treasures). Māori traditions speak of an intimate relationship between humankind and the earth. Māori are the kaitiaki (guardians) of this taonga, which provides a source of unity and identity for tangata whenua (local people). Papatūānuku is the land (the Earth Mother), who gives birth to all things. People, trees, birds are born from the land, which then nourishes them. Papatūānuku is the birth place to which we return, and is considered the foundation. Land cannot be taken for granted. A person’s search for their own foundation, values and principles is compared to a journeying waka (canoe) looking for land. An island comes as a relief to the tired ocean traveller.

For further resources about Māori and the natural world follow this link to our Library catalogue.

World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5th June.

New Midwifery resources

Have you ever heard of the term “try before you buy”? Well, that is what the library likes to do before investing in new databases for students and staff. We want to make sure that these electronic resources are easy to use and relevant to the people who will be using them most often – you. So if you have a spare few minutes and midwifery and nursing is your thing then please have a play with the two databases below and send any feedback you have to The trial for these two databases lasts until the 16th of June, so please have a look before then.


MIDIRS Midwifery Digest

MIDIRS Midwifery Digest is an online and searchable academic journal for maternity health care professionals, students and researchers. It contains academic evidence-based original articles, reprints that discuss topics in detail, and reports and reflections on the important maternity events.

MIDIRS Maternity & Infant Care Database 

Maternity and Infant Care draws together references from journal articles, book chapters, reports, pamphlets, news items, audio visual materials, conference proceedings and other sources relating to midwifery, postnatal care, infant feeding, neonatal care up until two years of age, and the transition to parenthood.