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Plan your long overdue holiday with our travel books

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After a few years cooped up at home, you’d be forgiven for dreaming of an overseas holiday. Read on to discover the intrepid journeys you could embark on, from the farthest reaches of the globe to right here in Aotearoa. The happy isles of Oceania by Paul Theroux Cold winter weather naturally brings dreams of relaxing getaways to warm paradises in the Pacific. White sand beaches and quiet atolls are hard to say no to when frozen windscreens begin to greet us each morning. In this “exotic and breath-taking” journey, Paul Theroux explores 51 Pacific Islands by collapsible kayak, starting with the rainforests of Aotearoa. There are plenty of travel ideas alongside Theroux’s witty observations and exotic adventures. Cold by Ranulph Fiennes Or perhaps you feel that New Zealand’s winter isn’t cold enough? While we would not recommend following exactly in his footsteps, ‘Cold’ is an intriguing chronicle of the more extreme adventures that can be had on our wild planet. Sir Ranulph Fiennes fam

Short books on big subjects – BWB Texts Online

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From environmentalism to race relations to feminism, the titles in the BWB Texts Collection boldly tackle the most pressing issues in Aotearoa’s cultural conversation. Described as ‘short books on big subjects’, they are written by some of New Zealand’s foremost authors and experts, and their purpose is to educate kiwis on our past, present and future. With 93 published titles in this steadily growing collection, there are plenty of topics to get stuck into.  Access to BWB Texts Online is free and always available (no need to wait!) – all you need to do is log in with your library card. Read on for some of our picks of the BWB Texts Collection: Imagining Decolonisation Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Rebecca Kiddle, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas / 2020 What might New Zealand look like if it adopted decolonisation? Led by highly respected scholar Moana Jackson, the authors of this compact but impactful book use real-life examples to bring to life t

Website outage

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Tuesday 5 July 11.59pm - Wednesday 6 July 3am The Auckland Council and Auckland Council Libraries websites will be unavailable due to maintenance and updates. Our apologies for this inconvenience.

Confession time

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It will come as no surprise that our library staff are exceptionally knowledgeable about books. But even this bunch of bookworms admit that they haven’t read some of the books widely known and regarded as must-read classics. Read on to discover the titles that haven’t quite made it onto the ‘TBR list’. Dan I have seen the Disney cartoon movie of The Jungle Book so many times, yet never read Mr Kipling’s revered collection of short stories . However, I have read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This wonderful tale is inspired by The Jungle Book. Rather than Mowgli abandoned in the jungle, we have the orphaned Nobody Owens, taken in and raised by the ghostly denizens of his local cemetery. Baloo the bear is replaced as Nobody’s stalwart guardian by the stern and mysterious Silas (who may just be a vampire!). A marvellously dark, enthralling, and ultimately uplifting dance along the borderline between our world and the next. Alison I’m really ashamed to admit to not reading these class

How to impress a date with your library card

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Picture this – tonight, you have a date with a solid 10/10 – just another day for you. They’re immediately impressed when you show up in your mid-90s hatchback – freshly vacuumed. It’s time to go big and wow them with the hobbies you’ve carefully cultivated at your local library – all thanks to your library card. Cooking It’s date night, and you’ve promised that you’ll cook them the most delicious meal they’ve ever eaten – fried chicken, mashed potato, green beans – all the trimmings. They scoff – no one can beat the Colonel. Little do they know you checked out a stack of cookbooks from the library , including Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon and The Hot Chicken Project by Aaron Turner, and you’re pretty sure you’ve cracked the 11 secret herbs and spices. Self-improvement The dinner’s gone down a treat. Your gorgeous match’s expression changes from curiosity to joy as you describe (at length) the LinkedIn Learning course about ‘ improving your listening skills ’ that you’ve j

Solving family history mysteries

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Our family history librarians love to help people solve mysteries about their ancestors! For better or worse, you never know what you might find when you start digging into the past. Uncovering family secrets might seem scary, but the rewards far outweigh the risks. Enjoy these stories that illustrate the good that can be done when our research resources and expertise are deployed to uncover family stories and bring people back together. Tracking down family in a foreign land Determined to find information about her New Zealand birth father, in 2017, a woman flew from her home in Japan to Auckland and asked the team at Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero Central City Library for help. Her father served in J Force – the New Zealand force that took part in the occupation of Japan at the end of WWII. With only a few names and photographs to work from, Seonaid (Senior Family History Librarian), Miyuki (Senior Library Assistant) and other staff, with assistance from Auckland War Memorial Museum, managed t

Make a rainbow connection with Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero Central City Library

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Our libraries are an inclusive and supportive space for everyone – members of the rainbow community can and should feel safe at their local library. Drawing from their own experiences, staff at Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero Central City Library who identify as LGBTQ+ – and their allies – came up with the idea for Rainbow Connection. This pen pal programme has been designed for people to connect with others with similar stories and experiences. If you or someone you know would like to get involved, sign up before 19 June  and we will match you up with a pen pal. You must be aged 18 or over to take part. Below are some stories from a few of our staff about their experiences being queer in Aotearoa and how pen pals have helped them find support, understanding and joy. Rhi Lennox (they/them) I’ve been writing letters to one of my best friends for a few years now – ever since she moved down to Wellington for uni. These letters feel really meaningful to me and are an important part of our friendship.