Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Exploring eBooks

“Exploring eBooks”

Back by popular demand our Exploring eBooks - A question and answer session returns

Thursdays 2pm – 3pm

10th January
17th January
24th January
31st January

At Timaru Library, Sophia Street, Timaru

All welcome

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Timaru District Libraries Christmas / New Year Hours


Temuka / Geraldine
Friday 21 December
9am – 8pm
8.30am – 6pm
Saturday 22 December
10am – 1pm
10am – 1pm
Sunday 23 December
1pm – 4pm
Monday 24 December
9am – 5pm
8.30am – 5pm
Tuesday 25 December
Wednesday 26 December
Thursday 27 December
9am – 5pm
Friday 28 December
9am – 5pm
Saturday 29 December
10am – 1pm
10am – 1pm
Sunday 30 December
1pm – 4pm
Monday 31 December
9am – 5pm
8.30am – 5pm
Tuesday 1 January
Wednesday 2 January
Thursday 3 January
Normal Hours resume 9am – 6pm
Normal hours resume 8.30am – 5pm
Friday 4 January
9am – 8pm
8.30am – 6pm
Saturday 5 January
10am – 1pm
10am – 1pm
Sunday 6 January
1pm – 4pm
 Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year

Monday, November 26, 2012

Author Bryce Courtenay dies

Best-selling Australian novelist Bryce Courtenay has died at the age of 79.

His first novel, "The Power of One", the story of a child growing up under apartheid in South Africa, was an instant hit, selling more than 8 million copies and later made into a movie.
Other books writen by Bryce include: Tandia, The Potato Factory, Tommo & Hawk, Brother Fish, Fishing for stars and many others

Bryce Courtenay's latest book Jack of Diamonds was released earlier this month
For more on Bryce Courtenay information go to

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Friends of the Library Christmas Meeting

Friends of the Library

Christmas Meeting

Tuesday 27th November


Timaru Library

Guest Speaker:

Owen Marshall

All welcome

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trivial Pursuit Fans - Join Us

Are you looking for something fun to do on a Friday Afternoon?

Join our Trivial Pursuit players...

Guaranteed fun and laughter

Fridays 1.30pm at the Library

All Welcome

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book Event - 'A Fabled Land' - Mesopotamia Station

Book Talk Event:
Thursday 11th October 2012
Timaru District Library, 56 Sophia Street, Timaru
Free Admission
A Fabled Land - Bruce Ansley and Peter Bush
Legendary rugby photographer and celebrated journalist team up to tell high country station’s legendary story.
If anything could rival Peter Bush aka Bushy’s love of rugby, it’s Mesopotamia — the magnificent and historic South Canterbury station which lies in the Rangitata high country, hard against the Southern Alps.
Bushy first crossed paths with the Mesopotamia runholders, the Prouting family, almost 50 years ago, when they ended up rescuing his brand new rental Land Rover from the clutches of the mighty Rangitata River. He and a hunting mate had pitched their tent on what they thought was a track, the heavens had opened during the night, and they’d got caught in a flash flood. With the water level rising, they had to abandon the submerged vehicle until it could be towed out once the water level had dropped. Despite this ignominious start — he’s been the butt of endless "North Island townie" jokes ever since — Bushy has remained firm friends with the family.
Bushy’s photos — taken on a series of visits over the years— beautifully capture the great musters of days gone by, the dignity of the shearing gangs, the majestic country, and the distinctive and determined characters who’ve been part of the great Mesopotamia story.
In this stunning new book, A Fabled Land, celebrated journalist and Cantabrian, Bruce Ansley has teamed up with Bushy to reveal a vivid portrait of this truly special, awe-inspiring and seductive place, where 150 years of station life have been played out within the great amphitheatre of the mountains.
Ansley has brilliantly captured the spirit of this great sheep station: from the early pioneers who first braved its harsh winters and searing summers to the ingenuity and drive of the present-day owners, the Prouting family. His description of the landscape is at once poetic and immediate and magnificent, taking the reader right to the heart of the high country and offering a rare insight into the highs and lows of high country life.
This is a man’s country, where the women who wish to stay have to hold their own; a country where the past is echoed in the present and in this fascinating book we ride the ‘curious tide of extremes’ that farming embodies: the heartache, the exhilaration, the grandiose, the bombastic, the gracious, the laconic

In this epic country, the mountains have as much personality as the station’s various owners, from the Proutings, who have now been there for the past 70 years, stretching right back to the station’s founding in 1860 by Samuel Butler in 1860. Escaping the demands of his over-bearing English vicar father, Butler arrived full of wanderlust in 1860, just 24.

The vast, empty and silent landscape cast its spell over him, as it has done with the subsequent custodians. Butler was soon to purchase a large holding, which he grandly named Mesopotamia, the Greek word for the land between two rivers. Butler did well out of ‘Messie’, as the Proutings call the station. When he sold his holding of 24,000 hectares three years later to return to England, he doubled his money. Butler immortalised
Mesopotamia in his novel, Erewhon, which he wrote after returning to Britain.
And, A Fabled Land features another ‘character’ too: the Rangitata River, which flows like a rogue throughout the book. Ansley says that he, like generations of southern folk, grew up captivated by the intoxicating romance of the vast and remote high country stations and the rich stories that lay in the land. He’d wanted to write the Messie story for some time butwould only do it with the Prouting’s blessing. “I knew about the Proutings as masters
of their mountain kingdom, successors to Samuel Butler, and I knew too that they were a very private family, wary of outsiders.

“Bushy had once produced an unpublished photo essay on the Mesopotamia muster and I asked him whether he’d be interested in a book. He jumped at the chance. without mentioning that he’d known the family for half a century. When I eventually spoke to Laurie Prouting about a book he said, “If you’ve got Bushy with you it’ll be OK by me.” And that was the first I knew of Bushy’s history with the station. So, in hindsight, it was meant to be.”

Ansley says that he also had a strong sense of how the book would come together. “I didn’t want the book to be a straight, linear history. It needed to also to relate the modern Mesopotamia to Butler’s embryo station, retracing his footsteps, comparing his life with the present, constantly referencing the station’s history while dealing with its present. ”

The new generation’s fight to restore the station’s fortunes against the backdrop of hardship and this harsh, beautiful country is a dominant theme, he says. “Last year current run holders, Malcolm and Sue Prouting returned a razor-thin profit of $13,000. They were delighted: they were back in the black."

Books will be available for purchasing and signing on the night.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Zealand Poetry Day Winning Poems

Here are the winning poems from our New Zealand Poetry Day Writing Competition.
Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to our winning entries.

Adult Section:
1st Prize - Jean by Jan Hill


she looks small and frail
r arm in plaster
but carries with her
innate strength
and dignity of a modest life well-lived

it’s a brave thing to do
this memorial service
after the crash
and then the crash
crash upon crash

gathered at the Sound Shell
are those who’d love this man
he’d taken them to his heart
the Craighead Choir sings alleluia

a helicopter dips a salutation
a white dove is handed to her
she bravely holds on while it struggles
then comes the moment of release

silvered balloons rise up on thermals
if only it were that easy

2nd Prize - Cat Spring by Jan Hill

Cat Spring

The daffodils are out and the cat’s out
stalking unsuspecting birds
who’ve been lulled by the warmth
after the frosts of winter.

She’s proudly presented her trophies
yellow feathers scattered over the carpet
a neatly severed goldfinch head on the doorstep.

Today I happen to see her sudden sprint
the pounce in the geranium bed
and I’m out quick as an alligator
forcing her jaw apart.
A surprised sparrow flies away
straight from mouth to tree.

The cat eyes me accusingly but knowingly –
there’s plenty more fish in the sea –
comes in to sniff the Whiskas on her plate,
says can’t you do better than this
stalks out into the sunshine.
Fresh feathered meat is waiting
and is much more fun.

3rd Prize - Canterbury, my home by Faye McGunnigle

Canterbury, my home

Dry, dusty smell of sun-seared grass
A broad, clean river running fast
Rosy smell of wild rosehips
Aussie scent of eucalypts.

Crickets chirrup in a black beech tree
Slow, lazy buzz from the honey bee
Daggy sheep, a whiff of horse
Heady golden-perfumed gorse.

Four seasons that all come together
Snow and rain, brass monkey weather
Lizards flash through yellow broom
Westward, snow-capped mountains loom.

A hint of woodsmoke drifting high
Into a blue and cloudless sky
Wheat and barley, oats and maize
Haymaking that goes on for days.

Long coastline lashed by restless seas,
Sand and driftwood, wind-bent trees
Fresh briny tingle in the air
Seaweedy drifts of mermaid’s hair.

Teen Section

1st Prize - Tattered and torn by Luc Michelle

Tattered and torn

Winter’s grasp takes ahold
chilling me down to my Soul
I’ve called your name a thousand times
but did you ever once call mine
I never hoped to call you my own
my heart feels like a broken bone
but it sinks just like a stone
Pushed & pulled by forces unseen
good & bad, what does this mean?
the silence echoes like a drum
this pain is one that cant be undone
So, here I am, once again,
waiting for this life to end
I’ll help my heart be reborn
flying on wings,
tattered & torn.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Upcoming Library Event...Tuesday 28th August

Upcoming Library Event...Tuesday 28th August

Join Trans-Tasman publisher Dr David Reiter as he launches new works by:

Karen Zelas

The poems in Night's Glass Table are tight and emotionally powerful, and deal with themes such as death, grief and love.

Zelas chooses her words with care, and her poems are always eloquent and evocative. She demonstrates a sound use of conventions, and her writing is well-crafted and technically excellent.

Night's Glass Table won the 2012 IP Picks Best First Book Award.

Sugu Pillay

Sugu Pillay’s thought provoking work shifts effortlessly between New Zealand – with a seamless integration of Maori themes – and Asian locales, especially India, but is also informed by classical thinkers and artists. A challenging read, with its allusiveness, but one with rewards for those open to its startling juxtapositions and time warps.

The title is from Flaubert’s comment: “Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat our tunes for bears to dance to when all the time we long to move the stars to pity”.

Previously titled In Medias Res, the collection was Highly Commended in the 2012 IP Picks Best Poetry Awards and is a collection of mostly published poems from 1995 to 2012.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Coming Soon....


Timaru District Libraries’ new computer system is launching on 20 September 2012.

There will be limited library services at Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine Libraries from 5pm on Monday 17 September and for two full days: Tuesday 18 & Wednesday 19 September. There will be no lending, renewals, reserves or catalogue available on these days.

Other library services including returns, browsing of collections, in-library reading, newspapers, free Internet and Wifi access will be available.

eBooks may be borrowed and returned as usual via the library website.

Press Display will continue to be accessible from the website.

The Geraldine Service Centre and Temuka Service and Information Centre will provide customer service as usual.

Full library services will resume on Thursday 20 September.

New features will include one-step searching of physical library collections and electronic databases making it easier to access the contents of all of the libraries’ collections and resources.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Honouring Margaret Mahy (1936 - 2012)

Honouring Margaret Mahy (1936 - 2012)


Timaru District Libraries will be taking part in a Nationwide Margaret Mahy Storytime in the Timaru Library Children’s Area on Saturday 11th August at 10.30am. Owen Marshall and others will read some of Margaret’s best-loved stories. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012)

Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012)

Gore Vidal, the American writer, controversialist and politician manqué, who has died aged 86, was celebrated both for his caustic wit and his mandarin's poise. His public career spanned seven decades and included 25 novels, numerous collections of essays on literature and politics, a volume of short stories, five Broadway plays, dozens of television plays and film scripts, and even three mystery novels written under the pseudonym Edgar Box.

Maeve Binchy (28 May 1940 – 30 July 2012)

Maeve Binchy (28 May 1940 – 30 July 2012)

It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of Maeve Binchy on 30 July, in Dublin.

Maeve was a weaver of magic whose stories touched the hearts of millions. She died far too soon; she had many more stories to tell.

She will be sorely missed by her family, her friends, her publishers and her readers throughout the world.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Author Tour - Jenny Pattrick 'Skylark'

Meet best-selling author Jenny Pattrick and hear all about her delightful new historical novel, Skylark.

Jenny Pattrick's hugely successful and beloved Denniston Rose series captured the hearts of generations of Kiwis. Fans are sure to fall for Jenny's enchanting new leading lady, 'the astonishing Lily L'Alouette, singer, actress, acrobat, artiste par excellence'

Thursday 16th August at 6.30pm

Timaru District Library

Books available for purchase and signing at event

Free entry

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Zealand Poetry Day 27th July 2012

New Zealand Poetry Day 27th July 2012

To celebrate New Zealand Poetry Day we will be announcing the New Zealand Poetry Competition Prize Winners at our Poetry Readings on Friday 27th July from 5pm.

All Poets and Poetry lovers are encouraged to come along and share their work and celebrate New Zealand Poetry Day.

Timaru District Friends of the Library presents...200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens

Timaru District Friends of the Library presents...

200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens…

He gave us Uriah Heep in "David Copperfield", the Artful Dodger in " Oliver Twist", Ebenezer Scrooge in "The Christmas Carol"...characters who live on not just in books but also in the English language itself.

As the world celebrates 200 years of Charles Dickens so do we at Timaru District Libraries

Come along to the Timaru District Friends of the Library Dickens night on Wednesday 25th July 7pm @ Timaru District Library.

We have guest readers sharing their favourite passages from Dickens, plus a Dickens quiz and light refreshments...

All welcome – even come along dressed as your favourite Dickens character.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Zealand Poetry Day - Poetry Competition

New Zealand Poetry Day

27th July 2012

Poetry Competition

To celebrate New Zealand Poetry Day, the Timaru District Libraries are inviting Poets to submit poetry for prizes. There will be a number of prizes donated by the Timaru District Libraries awarded to selected poems and announced at Poetry Readings on Friday 27th July from 5pm. 

There are 2 categories: Adult and Teens.

Poets must be a member of the Timaru District Libraries.

For more information go to

New Zealand Poetry Day - Free Poetry Writing Workshop

New Zealand Poetry Day - Free Poetry Writing Workshop

Saturday 30th June 2012

Have fun exploring and writing poetry with Pleasant Point's Karalyn Joyce. A three-hour beginners look at poetry - come along, be inspired and learn a few skills to enter the Timaru Library Poetry Competition in association with NZ Poetry Day on Friday 27th July.

Bring a pen, paper and your favourite poem to share

This is a free workshop.

For more info contact Nigel Brown - 03 6877476 or email

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Queens Birthday Library Opening Hours

Queens Birthday Opening Hours


Saturday 2nd June 10am - 1pm

Sunday 3rd June 1pm - 4pm

Monday 4th June 1pm - 4pm

Temuka and Geraldine Libraries

Saturday 2nd June Closed

Sunday 3rd June Closed

Monday 4th June Closed

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ragwort and Thistles : an evening of readings

Ragwort and Thistles

An anthology of poetry and prose celebrating women on the land

Timaru District Library

Wednesday 23rd May

7 pm

Everyone welcome.

Ragwork and Thistles – an anthology of poetry and prose celebrating women on the land – is the result of a nationwide writing competition held during 2011 to find original, non-published works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that celebrated women and the role they play or have played in rural communities.


Exploring eBooks sessions are being held on Thursdays at 2pm at Timaru Library during May and June.


An Exploring eBooks session will now be held at Temuka and Gerladine libraries on Tuesday 29th May -

1pm - 2pm Temuka Library

3pm - 4pm Geraldine Library

Staff can also provide assistance between 9am-5pmn weekdays

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Press Release

Library books now online as eBooks come to Timaru

Haven’t the time to go to the library to find a good read? Can’t make it to the library to return a book in time before incurring a penalty? Just can’t make it to the library because you live too far away?

The word is out.

The library world of book borrowing is now but a click of a mouse away, thanks to Timaru District Council libraries. From today library books can be browsed, borrowed, read and returned – electronically. And it’s free.

And Timaru District Libraries manager Michelle Miles says borrowers will be able to borrow eBooks to read on their eReaders, tablets, smart phones, ipods, laptops or desktop computers. All they need is an email address and a password added to their library membership record. This can be done by simply phoning the Timaru library on (03) 687 7202, or for Geraldine residents (03) 693 9336, she said. They can then download books on to their home computers or other devices by signing in to the eBook platform after visiting the Timaru District Libraries website

"t’s free and easy,” Ms Miles said.

“Whatever your reading taste, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, how-to’s, we are building a comprehensive collection for people to browse, and borrow from.

So far, more than 400 books are available online, but that number will grow rapidly as publishers make further online products available and the library purchases them.

Ms Miles said there were some limits on the books on offer because of restrictions placed by publishers. While the online nature of books will not detract from the library’s core business of lending hard-copy versions, the digital form offered new options.

“Apart from being able to borrow from home, online books offered the reader the ability to change font sizes to suit their vision.

“And eBooks for loan gives people a truly 24-hour library service, which is easily accessible no matter where they live in the district.”

However, that’s where the differences end.

Ms Miles said all eBook borrowing would be on the same basis as for hard-copy books.

“eBooks are lent for up to four weeks, the same loan period as hard-copy books. But they don’t need to be returned. Instead, eBooks self-expire at the end of four weeks making them available for another borrower. But they can be renewed,” she said.

Library staff are available to help people set up their eReaders or to help with any other eReading questions or assistance.

And Ms Miles said people could attend the regular Exploring eBooks session which is being held on Thursdays at 2pm at Timaru Library during May and June. Staff can also provide assistance between 9am-5pm on weekdays.

Information on getting started with eBooks is available at the Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine Libraries and on the Libraries website, she said.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Library Opening Hours - Easter Weekend


Friday 6th April           Closed

Saturday 7th April      10am - 1pm

Sunday 8th April         Closed

Monday 9th April        1pm - 4pm

Geraldine and Temuka

Friday 6th April           Closed

Saturday 7th April       Closed

Sunday 8th April         Closed

Monday 9th April        Closed

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Arthur Ransome : Children's Novelist - Rumoured British Spy

Arthur Ransome : Children's Novelist - Rumoured British Spy

A talk and presentation by John Parsloe

Did you read Arthur Ransome as a child?

We remember him as the wonderful author of memorable Swallows and Amazons books, but he was so much more.

Did you know he wrote more than 25 other books?

This talk will show there is more to Ransome than the childtren's novels.

Was he a spy?

Come along and see what John thinks...

When: Friday 30th March at 2.30pm

Where: Geraldine Library

A free event - everyone welcome.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Zealand Book Month - March 2012

New Zealand Book Month

March 2012

Books Change Lives...
Welcome to New Zealand Book Month where from North to South, East to West, Kiwis passionate about New Zealand books share them with each other, spread the word and recommend new books to read.

Join us for a month of fun and adventure…

Here’s what’s happening:
All Month - New Zealand Book Display; Join the Library and enter Prize Pack Draw

1st March - New Zealand Book Bingo Reading Challenge launched – take the challenge and win great prizes by reading New Zealand books

5th March - Enjoy this book and pass it on - launch of “free books” (in association with Literacy South Canterbury)

7th March - New Zealand Book Art Competition launched – turn an old library book into a work of art

Don't forget to come in and get an entry form and book to decorate...

10th March – Author Talk - Owen Marshall “The Larnach’s” 1.30pm

Join us for an afternoon with one of South Canterbury's great authors Owen Marshall. Owen will be talking about his latest novel 'The Larnachs' which was published by Vintage in 2011. Kelly Ana Morey reviewed the novel in the NZ Herald, 'The Larnachs is a thoughtful, tender love story awful lot of lovely, restrained writing by Marshall.'

This was a very interesting talk - Owen spoke about his venture into writing his first historical novel and the background behind the story of The Larnachs...

17th March – Book Promotion / Author Talk - Leigh Marsden “Crush” 1.00pm

Leigh Marsden – Crush - Leigh Marsden is a novelist from New Zealand. She writes relationship dramas with an erotic twist. Her novel Scarlet was published by Penguin in June 2011. Her latest novel Crush is due to be published by Penguin in March 2012. Leigh has also self-published a novel, Beauty. She lives with her husband and daughter in Geraldine, New Zealand. Leigh will be visiting the Timaru Library promoting her latest novel 'Crush'.

20th March - Library Book Club Meets @ 2pm, join us and discuss your favourite New Zealand books

28th March - Friends of Library Annual General Meeting @ 2pm, followed by guest speaker Keith Bartholomew co-author of “The Streets of Timaru” @ 2.30pm.

Keith Bartholomew – The Streets of Timaru - The Streets of Timaru is an updated version of the original 1975 edition. This time the book is more comprehensive, with photographs and more in-depth research. It documents 448 streets, nearly double the 248 entries in the first issue. The new edition also contains more than 250 images. Keith Bartholomew carried out much of the research, adding to the original edition by Jack Hamilton.

30th March - Author Talk – Ken Catran on his new war books “When Empire calls” and “Earth Dragon, Fire Hare”. Join Ken and the Xtreme Readers in the Children’s Library @ 4pm

All events are free, everyone welcome…