Bit chilly, isn’t it?

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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.

 

 

 

 

I can read speech bubbles!

Graphic Novels have never really been my thing. I read Tintin and Asterix when I was a kid (still do, on occasion), but that was about it. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to create my owm images when reading, that people and places could look however I wanted them to. And, I admit, the speech bubble thing really put me off – I could never get them in the right order.

agatha

This week, however, a book arrived at the library that just might change my mind – the first Girl Genius omnibus, featuring Agatha Clay (well, that’s her name now…), a budding inventor whose machines just don’t work. Throw in a despotic ruler, some monsters, a castle that’s really an airship – what more could you want? (except maybe the second omnibus)

You can reserve our copy here – it’s new, it’ll be on the shelf soon. Or, as I discovered with some glee, all the comics are available online as daily instalments.

We have quite a collection of graphic novels in the library, including:

photographer The photographer

persepolis Persepolis

And many more, upstairs in the library at shelf location PN6727 and PN6747.

We also have a growing collection of Māori language graphic novels, shelved downstairs in the Māori and Pasifika Collection at PN6790.N5

If you’d like to try your hand at writing your own graphic novel, we can help:

Writing Writing and illustrating the graphic novel

comic Comic book design

It’s not rocket science. But also, it is.

We liaison librarians are always on the lookout for things we can add to the library to help our students develop autonomously within their subject: readings and projects that might help to develop your love of your subject while providing a bit of hands-on experience.

As the liaison for the School of Engineering, I think I’ve hit on a book for all you mechanical engineers who can’t wait for a phone call from NASA to start work on your rocket. And with Kickstarter projects like ArduSat aiming to democratise space experimentation, there’s never been a better time to get your feet wet.

With that in mind, I recently purchased I still have all my fingers by Dan Pollino, shelved at TL844POL. It’s a very simple book that gives detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to build a simple, reusable rocket, from scratch, that can, according to the blurb on the back, reach almost 2km into the air at speeds of over 600km/h. Rather than write about it, I thought I’d let the author make the sales pitch for me. So take a look:

 I can vouch for the simplicity of the instructions- I’m pretty tempted to give it a go myself. But if you fancy reaching for the skies in a literal sense, why not assemble your own A-team, and unleash your inner rocket scientist.

(As an aside, We have a bunch of books and ebooks on Primo to help you learn Arduino, if you have a mind to make something to run on ArduSat. Just search for Arduino.)

Good karma

Students in library

In the library, we love the beginning of the year. After a couple of months of silence, the library comes alive again (sometimes a bit too alive, but that’s a topic for another day…)

Everyone’s still enthusiastic about their courses, assignments haven’t yet reared their ugly heads (much) and all is beer and skittles (or whatever it is the kids are saying these days).

The books are in high demand… Actually, that’s about where the love starts to wane.

I found a book yesterday that had 9 requests on it. Nine. We get books like this into the high use collection as soon as we can, but the wait, as I’m sure you know, can still be quite long – even for a three-day loan.

And now we get to the point: Managing your requests.

Once you’ve placed a request, keep an eye on it online, in the ‘My Account’ section of the Primo library search. If you decide you don’t need it anymore, cancel it – so that the next person in line can have a go.

Likewise, if you get an email saying the book is waiting for you, either come in and pick it up, or reply to the email to let us know you don’t need it anymore – so that the next person in line can have a go.

It’s about sharing, and treating others as you would like to be treated, and all that stuff you learned at kindergarten.

Children sharing a milkshake

Give it a go. Good karma.

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.

Board games for the bookish

Ever wondered what was missing from your bookshelves full of your favourite classics?  Well look no further… Flavorwire give you the ultimate top 10 literary based board games to wile away a quiet evening.  My particular favourite is the one based on Stephen King’s The Shining, which the author himself had some input on.  Sounds a bit freaky to me and you can even download it online!

shining

Photo credit: Board Game Geek

Summer reads

CPIT library have an impressive and varied collection of current fiction and with many new additions to the collection this month there is something for everyone:

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Moore, A. (2012). The Lighthouse

Futh, middle-aged and recently separated, stands on the outer deck of a North Sea ferry. He is heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday, yet he cannot forget his mother’s abandonment of him as a boy and his first trip to Germany with his newly single father. It was on this first trip that he neglected to do something, and this omission threatens to have devastating repercussions the second time around.  shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize.

 

 

 

 

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Kingsolver, B. (2012). Flight behaviour: a novel

Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman’s narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel’s inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

 

 

 

imagesCA5DJ54LMoyes, J. (2012). The girl you left behind

In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything – her family, reputation and life – in the hope of seeing her true love one last time. Nearly a century later and Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened… In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most – whatever the cost.

 

 

 

imagesCAM59M90Jonasson, J. (2012). The one hundred year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared.

Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn’t want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not …Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving a suitcase full of cash, a few thugs, a very friendly hot-dog stand operator, a few deaths, an elephant and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. A life in which – remarkably – he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century. The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a charming, warm and funny novel, beautifully woven with history and politics.

 

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May, S. (2012). Life! Death! Prizes!

Billy’s Mum is dead. He knows – because he reads about it in magazines – that people die every day in ways that are more random and tragic and stupid than hers, but for nineteen-year-old Billy and his little brother, Oscar, their mother’s death in a bungled street robbery is the most random and tragic and stupid thing that could possibly have happened to them. Now Billy must be both mother and father to Oscar, and despite what his well-meaning aunt, the PTA mothers, the social services and Oscar’s own prodigal father all think, he knows he is more than up to the job, thank you very much. The boys’ new world, where bedtimes are arbitrary, tidiness is optional and healthy home-cooked meals pile up uneaten in the freezer, is built out of chaos and fierce love, but it’s also a world that teeters perilously on its axis. And as Billy’s obsession with his mother’s missing killer grows, he risks losing sight of the one thing that really matters.

 

 

Other new titles include: