Injury break

Two years ago I had a car accident due to a drunk driver and damaged my shoulder. This led to de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, a painful inflammation of the tendon that runs from thumb to shoulder. Aka texter’s thumb! They threatened to put my wrist in plaster 18 months ago but we got it under control.

My husband has some serious health issues and, while he was out of town for two days seeing the surgeon and discussing some very, very scary options, I crafted endlessly because it’s my stress relief. Overuse of scissors = major flare-up. I am doing no art, craft, letter writing or blogging for a while to let it heal. See you all in a week or three…



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Family history

Today I have been reading an article someone has sent for the community newspaper my husband and I publish every month, about the WWI Roll of Honor board at Kakaramea. the same person sent me one last month about the Alton War Memorial. It’s got me thinking about all the amazing information we hold, and the fact that quite a lot of it is not easily findable for people. I’d love to get it all digitized, but that takes time and money. On the other hand, I’m aware that increasingly it is the unique holdings of museum and libraries that are significant. I think this is a project that has to go on my ‘needs doing’ radar. Just add it to the list….

And from this month’s as yet unpublished Patea & Waverley Press — The photo below  is Frank Anthony. His father ran the Manutahi Hotel in the early 1900s. Frank & his 3 siblings went to Kakaramea School during this time. Then the family moved to a remote farm at Whakamara. When WWI broke out he joined the Royal Navy & was injured in 1916, with long term lung damage, he was repatriated back to NZ in 1918, & returned to Taranaki.

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These are some of the things that have inspired me recently, right up till this evening:

  • Seeing New Professionals working hard on their careers
  • Watching Twitterbrarians being so dedicated to what they do
  • The #LIANZA14 programme – really looking forward to it
  • My new art supplies (not that I bought any, of course!)
  • The #LIANZAcba winners tonight
  • A new art group on FB that’s great fun
  • My staff, who just keep on rocking
  • The new girl’s bookclub in Waverley that they are running themselves


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When people need help

I watched Lotta Dann on Seven tonight talking about her alcoholism, and how she has beaten it. She chose to tackle it on her own, but many (most?) people need help. I admire her for speaking out, and Corrin for being so supportive.

I’ve written about this before, but it sticks with me, so …. a few years ago a young man wanted to get a job at the local meat works but couldn’t because he failed the drug test. We encouraged him to quit the drugs and he talked to us often. All we could do was encourage him, and suggest support networks. When he got the job he came in to tell us and was so proud of himself, and excited to be earning good money.


We are in a unique position to help people in so many ways, which is a huge privilege but also brings a burden of confidentiality. We have to make sure we take care of ourselves and each other, because people’s stories can be harrowing. Do you have a support network so you can keep supporting others?

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Getting my ducks in a row


I try hard to be organised. Honestly, I do! As a full time library manager with two committee roles, and active art practice and a monthly community newspaper it pays me to keep my ducks in a row. Can you hear the but coming?

I use GoogleDocs, EverNote and OneDrive. They are all okay but none does quite what I want, and may be because I am not sure exactly what it is I need. Do I need instant access anywhere, or brilliant searching/filing tools, or easy sharing or?  The other problem is lack of consistency on my part. One committee email gets filed in EverNote while another goes in a folder in my Inbox.

Does anyone out there have the perfect ducks in a row solution? I’d love to hear about it.

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Cool teens comp

We’re doing a cool Instagram competition for our teens as part of the coming school holidays and the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards. I’m excited because, I hope, the kids will be excited.  

My staff and I are coming up with ideas of how the kids can earn the segments on their Hell Pizza wheels – so far we have come up with quite a few choices and need to select three or four of them. Here’s what we have so far:

  • Email/facebook us a book review.
  • We organise questions and clues for them to find certain books and answer some questions about the books.
  • Answer some questions from the library catalogue that we have prepared.
  • Create an illustration (graffiti art or cartoon etc) from a book they have read.
  • Do the Instagram competition.
  • Complete a page of the holiday booklet.
  • Come in and read for 5 minutes to a librarian.
  • Read a finalist book and get 2 clicks on your pizza disc.
  • Tell us about what you read.
  • Draw us an A4 picture about a book your read.
  • Write a short book review.

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Librarians can’t help themselves!

A colleague and I are in Wellington for some r&r prior to me attending a LIANZA meeting tomorrow. We have shopped, although I suspect that should be SHOPPED, and had amazing food. But we have also visited Te Takere, and had a tour of NZMS with Andy Fenton @fentnz this morning. Because librarians just can’t help themselves…

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Bit of work, bit of leisure

My colleague Maria and I are in Wellington – part work, part leisure. Tonight we had a fabulous dinner at the Intercontinental. I had beef tenderloin with truffle jus; oh my! Tomorrow morning we’re off to see Andy at Micrographics for a scanner demo. All good fun. Now my lavender pillow is calling me…

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Yesterday I overheard a teen on her phone in the library – Nah, I’m at the library relaxing, you come here… How cool is that!



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Caring for our customers

I chatted with a long-time customer today who needs hip replacements but can’t have them done as her spine is crumbling. As an avid reader, she finds it hard relying on family to get to the library. I reminded her that we’re happy to deliver to people who are housebound and, after all these years, we know what she likes to read.

Earlier this week a lady sat down and told me how her cancer treatment is going. We chat about it from time to time, and I find her incredibly strong. It’s amazing how often people tell me about their medical dramas, missing kids, and so on. People have always told me their ‘stuff’ – Dad used to say it’s because I have kind eyes, like a cow! I do miss him…in the photo he’s helping me feed the ducks at Lake Virginia in Wanganui.

The personal touch is something I really value, and often I do mean touch. Some of my customers get a hug if they need it, and sometimes I cry a little with them. I’ve visited borrowers in their home when they are dying, and hugged their kids when they are gone. What we do matters – and time shared with someone in need is never wasted.


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