As a little girl I was “confined to bed” for a reasonably long period of time. While I had access to some books, I don’t remember the never-ending stream of treasures that I regularly borrow from the libraries in and around Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty; and of course – there was no television or internet!
I’ve only recently joined the branch library-service centre of the Western Bay of Plenty in the Omokoroa Village . When I pack a haul of magazines into my library bag either Lisa or Liz, the charmingly English and blonde Librarians who maintain the country community meeting place feel of the place, tell me not to get their books and magazines mixed up with those I source from Tauranga City Libraries. “yeah, yeah – no drama”, says I. And, of course the first time I take back my magazine haul it’s to the wrong library.
Now I have a two basket system by the door in the hall – the basket for Western Bays is slightly lopsided and needs to be held “just so” or it randomly decants its contents.
All the libraries I frequent fulfill functions other than sources of hardcopy books and magazines. It’s clear the Omokoroa Library is a community hub. The libraries in Greerton and Downtown Tauranga have a breathtaking array of services and community support. Like any potential grandmere I stood and watched with delight as Greerton Children’s Librarian Paula Phillips ran a special holiday craft time for the regular Toddlers group. My computer lesson with Carolyne Taylor finished on time and she was off again leading a computer upskilling class-event for young locals.
It’s so exciting being in our libraries – so different from the enforced quiet of my childhood – though I still remember with love the hours I spent in the historic reference library of the Auckland City Library. Up well-worn marble stairs, through heavy brass-handled wood and glass doors. It was within walking distance of our home in Epsom and I would be over there, seated at the large wooden tables, on old chairs joining a bigger world. I can’t believe how lucky I was to have the Library, the Auckland City Art Gallery (even then), Albert Park and the Auckland Museum and Domain as my free playground.
You’ll all know by now I love all aspects of art and design balanced by a heavy dose of “crime fiction” – my television replacement! Here’s just one library bag…
Off the Wall: The World of Wearable Art
Photography by Martin de Ruyter, Neil Price, Rohit Chawla and Daniel Rose Craig Potton Publishing & World of Wearable Art Limited New Zealand 2011 With an introduction by Susie Moncrieff
A selection of some of the amazing and individualistic creative interpretations of wearable art from WOW. The preface acknowledges the Nelson origins and the sculptor Suzie Moncrieff who in 1987 came up with what is now an international event. Just a taste of what’s involved and a frisson of delight! Check the WOW website 2017 event is coming soon.
My Life in Design
Terence Conran Creative Consultant Stafford Cliff Continuity Editor Matthew Riches Hachette UK 2016 Conran Octopus Limited 2016 first published in the UK
An insight into an icon of my life – Conran – Habitat – style, design. A fascinating read of the development and diversity of all aspects of the corporate Conran. Also an insight into the design teams, the collaborations and the ingenuity of the designers. I so enjoyed reading this and laughed at the dedication “to my four wives all of whom have influenced by design career”.
French Chic Living
Florence de Dampierre Photography Tom Street-Porter Rizzoli, New York 2015
Basic housekeeping/cooking. Green flavoured approach. Recipes for cleaning products. Recipes for traditional flavourful foods. Not outstanding but a “nice” read.
Cold Comfort and Chilled to the Bone
Quentin Bates Soho Press New York 2011 and 2013 respectively
Icelandic-based female police officer – totally relatable and unfortunately believable. That Scandinavian flair to incorporate the ordinary into the narrative without decreasing the tension – in fact adding to it.
Chamber Music and Trouble Man
Tom Benn Jonathan Cape London 2011 and 2014 respectively
You have to make an effort to read these books but it’s worth it. You want to believe it’s fiction but even Auckland-based criminal trials confirm that although this is fiction there is a hideous undercurrent of reality.
If you’re a regular at the Tauranga City Library branch you’ll have noticed that the “Library Carpark” is basically closed. It’s not the Librarians fault – if you want to complain go see Greg Brownless! I know it’s hard to find parking around Downtown Tauranga but what I recommend to cope with distance book carrying is smaller loads, a library book bag or if you have to load up large at each visit – get one of those wheeled shopping baskets or pile them into a small wheeled case! You could of course decamp to the fabulous Greerton Library but I wouldn’t want you to do that – I’m already there!
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE – TAKE A LOOK AT
The Poetry and Short Stories of Lee Switzer
The article about Tauranga Writer’s Chairperson Jenny Argante
The review of the work of Sara Hughes, the current installation in the Atrium of the Tauranga Art Gallery AND….
where we’ve just published an interesting conversation. Dhaivat Mehta talks with spoken word and performance poets SIMONE KAHO and SHANE HOLLANDS. And look out for Simone’s book of New Zealand-Pacifica insightful poetry LUCKY PUNCH
SIMONE KAHO CAN ALSO BE SEEN ON YOU TUBE – DO NOT LEAVE ME HANGING BY A THREAD. SIMONE READ AND WAS PHONE FILMED BY DHAIVAT MEHTA TO SUPPORT THE SPOKEN WORD PROJECT WHICH IS ENCOURAGING YOU TO DONATE TO MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES – DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT BY READING SOME OF YOUR ORIGINAL WORK PLEASE MAKE CONTACT THROUGH email@example.com
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