Regina Nazar Exhibition @ Sutherland Library

Seascape from the Royal National Park by Regina Nazar
Seascape from the Royal National Park by Regina Nazar
During January 2009 local resident Regina Nazar will be exhibiting a series of landscape paintings of the Royal National Park.

Regina has studied art at Penrith TAFE, University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University. During 1994 she was artist-in-residence at the Riversdale property at Arthur Boyd's Bundanon Trust and was twice selected as a finalist, in 1994 and 2005, for the Portia Geach Memorial Award. Regina has exhibited locally and at a number of centres throughout Sydney. She currently resides in Bundeena with her young family.
If you visit Sutherland Library in January be sure to make your way around to the back of the Library and have a look at Regina's paintings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

All staff at Sutherland Shire Libraries would like to wish everyone who visited us this year a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2009.

Wireless Hotspot up and Running at Sutherland Library

Our hotspot is back! Our problem has been fixed and wireless Internet access is available again at Sutherland Library. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our users while the hotspot wasn't working.

Christmas Activities Start this Week

It’s still full steam ahead for our Children’s activities! Our Christmas storytime is starting early in December this year (this week in fact!) - check out the Events Calendar to see when Santa will be visitng your local branch library. Come along and listen to some Christmas stories and sing some Christmas carols (I mean who doesn’t like Christmas carols?).

Lapsit may have finished for 2008, but feel free to book in to our first session in 2009, of course we are still running Rhymetime right up to the beginning of school holidays. Keep an eye out for more School Holiday activities in the Events Calendar.

Announcing OverDrive Media Console for Mac

With OverDrive Media Console for Mac, Sutherland Shire Libraries members who use Apple Macintosh computers can now download OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks via our Digital Downloads service. The Media Console's built-in Burn Wizard can be used to burn MP3 Audiobooks to CD, and the Transfer Wizard allows quick and easy transfer to Apple® devices (iPods and iPhones).

MP3 audiobooks are a relatively new addition to the OverDrive service and therefore they make up a small proportion of the total collection of our Digital Downloads, of which most are older works such as Alice in Wonderland (most of the MP3 files are out of coyright as the MP3 format does not support Digital Rights Management like Windows Media files).

You can see the full list of MP3 downloads we have available or read more about OverDrive MP3 audiobooks on the Digital Downloads web site.

First Self Check Stations Installed at Sutherland Library

Sutherland Library is getting back in to some sort of order. Our first two Self Check Stations are installed and the rest are going in today. That leaves some loose ends to tidy up tomorrow before we re-open on Thursday.

We look forward to seeing you all then and helping you check out your own loans.

RFID at Engadine Library

For those who live in the southern part of the shire, there have been a few changes at Engadine Library.

Have you seen Engadine's new self-checkout machines? At the end of October, Engadine library was closed for a few days so that state of the art RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology could be installed. This means that each item in the library is now 'tagged' and these tags can be read by devices that use radio signals to communicate with the item. What does this mean for you? Well, for a start, it means that our two new self-checkout machines are a lot easier to operate than our old one.

Two big advantages of our new machines is that they will check out audio visual items as well as books (previously you had to take any videos, cds, etc to the desk) and you can now check out multiple items simultaneously. Also with these machines you can renew any loans that aren’t overdue and check to see if you have any fees owing.

We are encouraging everyone to use the new self check stations and of course we will be here to show you how they work and help you if you have any problems.

Come and say hello next time you're in.
Engadine Library Staff.

So Why is the Library Closed?

What's been happening since we closed the doors at Sutherland Library? In a word, lots!

Most of the Library has been thrown into chaos as the building work associated with the introduction of RFID is taking place.

We are introducing a number of self check stations and as a result the main circulation desk has been redesigned - you can see a sneak peak in the photo. We've also taken the opportunity to re-carpet much of the Library. You can have a look at some more photos of what we've been up to on Flickr.

Living Library livens last day before RFID comes to Sutherland Library

The Shire Community Living Library is on again at Sutherland Library

What a great opportunity to come in and check out a very different read! Borrow a Living Book for a 30 minute talk and discover what life is like from another angle. Living Books are able to take their story wherever you want them to go, just ask a question and see where it leads.

Browse the following samples of available Living Books
Driven to Inspire – EmpowermentThis Book has many facets. Having rehabilitated himself after a terrible car accident at 17, he went to university and achieved a Mathematics Degree. During his rehabilitation he came to know God and feels he has been personally empowered by Him to strive to inspire others to work toward the common good on many global issues which require action. He has been a consumer of mental health services for a number of years, and he has written and published two books which are part poetical and part biographical Writing has been a cathartic tool for him.

Being an Oblate of the Jamberoo Abbey
Did you know there was an abbey at Jamberoo? Why does it need Oblates, or do the Oblates need it? In many ways society compartmentalises spirituality, one is labelled as Christian, Buddhist, Islamic and the general expectation is that once one has chosen a name for their spirituality, then the tenets of others are passed over. Why then would a Christian Oblate live in Hindu and Buddhist ashrams whilst personally investigating spiritual traditions from around the world? This Book has her own answers to these questions and is willing to share her experiences with you.
Great times in life and sport
What was it like to be young and sporty in Bondi during the 60’s? Working out what to do in life is difficult. Discover how one person made their passion, not just a job but a lifestyle that has served them a lifetime. Squash provided this Book the opportunity to be his own boss, create professional networks and gain recognition in his area of expertise as well as develop lifelong friendships. Community support structures have also been a feature of this sporting life in working to promote diabetes awareness and management within a sporting lifestyle.
Friday 14th November 2008 1pm-3pm
This is the last day that Sutherland Library will be open before it closes for a few days to allow for the introduction of the new self-checkout RFID system

Digital Downloads Goes Live

Sutherland Shire Libraries now offers members digital media for download. Our collection currently includes audiobooks and e-books that you can download to your PC, MP3 player or burn to CD and we may include music and video in the future.

The official launch is coming up on Friday 7 November at 11.00am at Sutherland Library but we are allowing you to try out the service now so we can iron out any bugs. Please let us know if you have problems accessing the downloads site by sending an email to

First Look at RFID

RFID is now up and running at Caringbah and Engadine Libraries.

The aim of RFID is to make tracking materials easier and to free up Library staff to provide more services and events, which means less time performing manual tasks. To that end, as each branch gets RFID you will be encouraged to collect your own reserves from open hold shelves and check out your own books.

Of course there will always be staff available to answer your questions and provide assistance when required.

You can see how easy the self service stations are to use in this short video.

RFID @ Sutherland Shire Libraries from Sutherland Shire Libraries on Vimeo.

1st Time Novelist wins 2008 Man Booker Prize

Cover: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga Indian writer Aravind Adiga's first novel, The White Tiger, was announced the winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Born in a village in heartland India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coals and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape - of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga, into whose depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations.

The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable.
Man Booker Prize web site
The White Tiger was one of six shortlisted titles for the prize. Also shortlisted for this year's prize were:
  1. Cover: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian BarryThe Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
  2. Cover: Sea of Poppies by Amitav GhoshSea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  3. Cover: The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda GrantThe Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
  4. Cover: The Northern Clemency by Philip HensherThe Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
  5. Cover: A fraction of the Whole by Steve ToltzA Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

HSC Countdown 2008

Feeling stressed? Stop worrying, Sutherland Shire Libraries have a lot to offer HSC students.

Study guides from Excel, Macquarie, Get Smart and Top Notes on a wide range of HSC subjects and English prescribed texts; Board of Studies Student Answers; past examination papers and other support material are available either for loan or for use in the reference libraries.

You don’t even have to leave home to access great resources! Look at the links available on the For HSC Students page.

Need some outside help? With your Sutherland Shire library card you can take advantage of Yourtutor. A free online tutoring service for students in years 4-12, from Monday to Friday between 4pm and 8pm. Yourtutor connects library members with expert tutors for live,
one-to-one individual learning sessions via the Internet. Subjects include Maths, English, Science, Assignment Research and Study Skills.

The quiet Reference areas at Sutherland and branch libraries make ideal places for individual study and the Sutherland Reference Library provides free lockers for bags. Please note, however, some libraries will be closed for renovations

Living Library – A Second Reading

Following the success of our first Living Library, we are running another one. If you missed out the first time, or loved taking part in it, here’s another chance to find out more about the people in your community.

Next Living Library:
Friday 14 November 1pm–3pm. more details...

Friday 14 November is the last day Sutherland Library will be open, before we close for 12 days for renovations, re-opening on Thursday 27th November. So why not combine borrowing a Living Book with picking up your regular reading, viewing, and listening material!

Living Books cannot be taken home, they are Reference material, and therefore they must be read in the Library. Allow yourself an extra 30 minutes to challenge yourself to something different.

Here’s a glimpse of the Living Books on offer…

Immigration from Germany
As with any book this one has many chapters. It starts with the social conditions in Germany before the rise of Hitler, leads you through the build up to war, and gives an account of the losses that all war brings to any caught up its grip.

Learning to live in the partitioned Germany with family on either side of the wall leads to thoughts of immigration and Australia becomes the focus for a freer life which holds greater promise.

Immigration camps, finding work, housing the family, building a business and becoming involved in the community whilst providing for the family’s future are central themes.

Another facet of this Book deals with the sadness, frustration and sense of loss that dementia brings to a family.

Fred Hollows exhibiton coming to Sutherland Library

Sutherland Library will host a touring exhibition that celebrates the life and work of the late Professor Fred Hollows from 30th September to 14th October 2008. The exhibition uses pictures and stories to outline the life and achievements of Fred Hollows and the continuing work of the Fred Hollows Foundation.

15 years after the passing of Professor Hollows, his widow Gabi Hollows hopes that the exhibition will offer locals a chance to learn more about Fred's dream of treating avoidable blindness and improving indigenous health.

'The exhibition gives local people the chance to learn more about Fred's life and the work of The Foundation, which I think is extremely important given that he remains a very significant person in Australian history."

Fred Hollows was a passionate ophthalmologist who became known for his work helping restore the eyesight of countless thousands of people in developing countries and his passionate plight to improve indigenous health here in Australia. In 1993 he lost his battle with cancer aged 63.

In 2007 The Fred Hollows Foundation restored the sight of 143,759 people, provided eye care for over 1.2 million people, trained 3,284 eye health workers and supplied over $1.3 million worth of essential medical equipment.

Further information about The Foundation can be found on their website at:

Get Your Own Library Catalogue Search

If you've visited the live version of the Sutherland Shire Library News in the last couple of days (rather than receiving email updates or subscribing to the RSS feed) you might have noticed the new Catalogue Search box - it's over in the Sidebar on the right of the screen.

You can now search the catalogue and link to your library account directly from the blog, but that's only the start. You see that box is something called a Google Gadget. It's a little bit of functionality that can be used in different places.


We want to make accessing the library as easy as we can for our users. We want you you to be able to search the catalogue from as many different places as possible. We think that if we make accessing our collection easier people will be more likely to use it. So we created this gadget that you can add to other web pages.


Do you use Google to search the web? If you do then you should try out their personalised search page. Just go to to start. iGoogle allows you to add gadgets and RSS feeds to your own personal Google search page. There are all sorts of gadgets to choose from in the directory. Here's a look at my iGoogle page showing the catalogue gadget along with a weather gadget and a feed from this blog.

If you already use any other Google services such as Gmail or Blogger you already have an iGoogle page. Just sign in and you're on your way. Otherwise you can sign up for a Google Account - it doesn't take long. Once you've logged in click on the add to Google button under the catalogue gadget in the sidebar and add it to your Google page.

If you use Blogger you can add this gadget to your blog's sidebar. Just edit your blog's layout, choose Add a Gadget, then Add your Own, and copy this URL into the box.

If you have your own web page you can get the embed code for this gadget here.

Where else would you like to be able to search the Sutherland Shire Libraries Catalogue from? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Twilight Saga Proves very Popular

With Twilight by Stephenie Meyer on the list of 50 Great Reads, a great deal of interest has been generated for the Twilight saga.

Titles in the Twilight Saga:
  1. Cover: TwilightTwilight
  2. Cover: New MoonNew Moon
  3. Cover: EclipseEclipse
  4. Cover: Breaking DawnBreaking Dawn

Some concern has been expressed regarding the appropriate age of children reading the Twilight books. The Library offers the following as a guide only, noting that parents are in the best position to determine whether their children should read these books. Please consider:

  • The series is aimed at Young Adults so parental discretion is advised for younger readers.
  • It is more suitable for students in Year 8 plus.
  • The series includes some violence and gore.
  • It is basically a romance.
  • There is a level of sexual tension running through the first three novels.
  • There is a sex scene in the 4th novel but it is not very graphic.

Project Gen Y @ the Library

This survey has now finished. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Sutherland Shire Libraries in conjunction with a UTS student project is conducting a survey of Gen Y library customers.

Are you between the ages of 10 and 26?
Fill in a GenY @ the Library survey and help us to better understand your library needs.

Gen Y is a unique generation in that they have developed and grown up in a period of rapid technological changes.

The objective of the GenY @ the Library project is to gain a better understanding of the Gen Y library customers in relation to their attitudes towards the library and expectations regarding the information products and services that the library holds now and in the future.

The survey will be conducted at all branches of Sutherland Shire Libraries between 8th and 28th September 2008.

RFID Coming to Sutherland Shire Libraries

Sutherland Libraries are moving to a system of tracking materials called Radio Frequency Identification. RFID is a fast, efficient way to track, locate and manage library resources. RFID technology is used in many places such as tracking baggage at airports and postal deliveries.

What will RFID mean to you?

With RFID you can:

  • check out multiple items simultaneously.
  • avoid queues if you do not require staff attention.
  • allow library staff to be redirected to more customer focused services such reference assistance and special events.
Your library will soon be closed for a few days to allow for changes to be made in preparation for the switch to RFID. During the closures there will be some redesign of the circulation desks and entries to the library and new self checkers will be installed.

Closure dates

We apologise for any inconvenience during closures and hope you understand that these changes are being made in the interest of improving our services to you.

Stroke Awareness Week 15th -21st September 2008

To highlight Stroke Awareness Week 2008 Sutherland Library will be hosting an information stand staffed by 2 critical care nurses from Kareena Private Hospital/Ramsey Health on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th September between 10am and 12 noon.

The nurses will provide promotional material from the Stroke Foundation to help raise awareness about stroke prevention.

This year the Stroke Foundation is encouraging all Australian to look out for the signs of stroke and to call 000 immediately. Getting to hospital quickly can save lives and help to reduce disabilities associated with stroke.

Book Week 2008 has Come and Gone

I'm sorry to say that we haven't posted anything here on our blog about Book Week yet - and now it's over for another year. It seems we were so busy preparing the activities and displays for the Libraries throughout the Shire we didn't get around to writing about it.

I hope you had the opportunity to join us for one of our Book Week storytimes or at least saw some of the wonderful displays in all of our libraries, such as this one from Engadine (see more photos at flickr).

To all those who participated in Book Week parades at their school I hope your costumes looked fabulous and you all had a great day.

Of course the major activity of Book Week is the awarding of the Children's Book of the Year winners by the Children's Book Council of Australia. This years winners were:
You can visit the CBCA web site for honour books, the shortlist and winners from previous years.

The Olympic Spirit

Did you know that Australia is one of only a handful of countries to compete in every modern summer Olympic Games? We very nearly lost our place in that exclusive group when the Commonwealth Government under Malcolm Fraser pushed for a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic games.

former swimming sensation, television reporter, radio host and actress Lisa Forrest has written a book about the controversy in the lead up to the Moscow games. It's called Boycott: Australia's controversial road to the 1980 Moscow Olympics and she recently gave a talk at Sutherland Library.

If you missed the talk don't worry - we've recorded it.

Lisa Forrest on her book - Boycott from Sutherland Shire Libraries on Vimeo.

Photography @ Sutherland Library

While you're watching the Beijing Olympics on the big screen at Sutherland Library check out some very interesting photographs from local artist Bruce Crowther.

Bruce Crowther Photographs

Bruce has lived in the Shire for most of his life and has been taking photographs for ten years:
"Travelling around much of Australia I mainly photograph natural and man made landscape with view to an abstracted final image. I have been greatly influenced by some of the American photographers from the 1930s & 1940s and contemporary Australian painters."
Bruce has exhibited in group shows in several regional galleries including Hazelhurst, Bathurst and Campbelltown as well as several galleries in Sydney and most recently in Tokyo at the Chuo City Museum.

Bruce Crowther photographs

If you like what you see you can catch up with more of Bruce's work in November. He has a major solo show coming up at the Meyer Gallery in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

2008 Prime Minister's Literary Awards Shortlist Announced

It's a busy time for booklovers at the library. We've had author talks, the Good Read Guide is out, NSW Readers Week is coming up and to top it off it's awards time. The shortlist for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards has been announced, which should provide you with some very interesting fiction and non-fiction by Australian authors.



Covers from LibraryThing where available.

Free Hearing Checks @ Sutherland and Caringbah Libraries

Australian Hearing: Australia's Hearing SpecialistTo celebrate Hearing Awareness Week 2008, 24th August – 30th August, Sutherland Shire Library Services is hosting information sessions and FREE hearing checks for Seniors and Veterans.

Come along to Sutherland Library on Thursday 28th August or Caringbah Library on Wednesday 3rd September to have your hearing tested. A representative of Australian Hearing will give a talk about hearing loss commencing at 11am followed by FREE hearing checks!

The key message this year is One in six Australians – it’s more common than you think and we are raising awareness of the dangers of over exposure to loud noise (especially loud music) so that people can enjoy the sound they love for longer.

Hearing loss is a lot more common than most people think. A recent Australian study, Is Australia Listening? (warning - 3.5 Mb pdf), suggests as many as one in five over the age of 55 experience some degree of hearing impairment. As we get older the chances that we will have a hearing loss becomes greater. Take advantage of this chance to find out more and get your hearing screened at your library.

2nd Chance to Hear Tony Park

If you missed out on our recent talk by Tony Park, author of Silent Predator, you're in luck! We recorded the talk and you can now watch the video on the web.

Tony gave an interesting and well received talk about his books, the writing process and his travels in Africa, where all of his novels are set.

Tony Park on Silent Predator from Sutherland Shire Libraries on Vimeo.

Warning: this video is about 40 minutes long and is a big download. Enjoy!

Calling all Booklovers: How do you feel about Reading?

As part of Reader Week 2008 (1-8 September) many public libraries in NSW are encouraging their community to get involved in a project called Reading Around Our Region.

The idea is that you use the Motivator tool over at fd's flickr toys to create a poster that expresses how you feel about reading.

Upload the poster to Flickr, an online photo-sharing site, and add it to the Reading Around Our Region group (there are instructions on the group page). If you haven't ever used Flickr - it's really easy to join.

You can see my pathetic attempt above - I'm sure you can all do much better. So, get involved and let the world know how you feel about reading!

Books Alive 2008: Great Reads for Winter

Escape this winter with 50 great titles to read - handpicked by bookloving enthusiasts!

Books Alive 2008 is on again from July 27th until August 31st . Grab a brochure listing the recommended titles from you nearest Shire library from July 27 and start reading your way through the list.

Books Alive is an Australian Government initiative -

Borrow a ‘Living Book’ at the Shire Community Living Library

Sutherland Shire Library invites you to the launch of
The Living Library

Thursday 31st July 10am – 2pm @ Sutherland Library

A Living Library works like any other library. You borrow a book, read it, return it and borrow another. The difference is the ‘Books’ are people.

The Living Library, a program that originated in Denmark to quell racial violence, aims to promote acceptance and understanding across our diverse community.

Stereotypes are used to categorise others, but individuals are never a good fit with the labels given them. Here is an opportunity to challenge prejudices by meeting them in conversation.

People who live and work in the Shire will be waiting for someone to chat to about, what it’s like to be them! This is your chance to open a book at the page that interests you, and have your questions answered.

Have you ever wondered;
What is it like to start again in a new country?
Why people volunteer to work in India?
What is it like to live with a disability or degenerative condition?
How does a person cope with a life of war, violence and/or poverty?
What does it mean to live in faith?

These and many other questions could be answered. Register as a ‘Reader’ and enjoy up to 30 minutes seeing life from another person’s viewpoint!

This event has been organised with the help and support of Sutherland Shire Council Community Services, Gymea Community Aid & Information Services, Stapleton Street Community Centre and St.George & Sutherland Community College.

For further information telephone Sutherland Library on 9710 0351.

Boycott - Australia's controversial road to the 1980 Moscow Olympics - an evening with Lisa Forrest

lisa Forrest portraitOlympic fever is nearly upon us.

Swimming star Lisa Forrest was only 16 years old when she found herself at the centre of one of Australia' most significant sporting and political moments. After the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan in the last days of 1979, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser asked the Australian Olympic Federation (AOF) to boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. The AOF refused. By the time the Australian team marched into the Opening Ceremony under the Olympic Flag rather than our own, months of bitter politicking has split the nation.

Boycott book coverCome along to Sutherland Library and listen to former swimming sensation, television reporter, radio host and actress Lisa Forrest discuss her new book Boycott.
Unleashed Books Miranda will be selling copies of the book on the night and Lisa will be happy to sign your copy. Light refreshments will be available.

Join us to hear this lively discussion at Sutherland Library on Tuesday 29th July 2008 at 6.30pm.

An afternoon with Tony Park - author of thrillers set in southern Africa

Tony Park is a well known Australian author. He has previously worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and England, a government press secretary, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer.

Tony Park and his wife Nicola now divide their time between their home in Sydney and southern Africa, where they own a tent and a Land Rover.

Tony and Nicola first went to Africa as tourists in 1995 and they have traveled back there every year since. Tony spends six months of every year in Africa researching and writing his novels on location. Tony and Nicola spend much of their time in Africa camping in national parks amidst some amazing wildlife. They have some interesting tales to tell about their close encounters with the wildlife.

Come to Sutherland Library and hear Tony give you a taste of his latest thriller Silent Predator. In a luxury private safari lodge in Kruger National Park, Detective Sergeant Tom Furey has just woken to a protection officer's worst nightmare. The VIP in his charge, British Assistant Minister for Defence, Robert Greeves, has vanished. Furey vows not to stop searching until Greeves is found - dead or alive. This gripping thriller takes you on a dangerous mission through the outer limits of the National Park and to the coastal waters of Mozambique.

Tony is also the author of Far Horizon, Zambezi, African Sky, and Safari.
Unleashed Books Miranda will have books on sale and Tony will be available to sign your books.

Come to Sutherland Library on Tuesday 22nd July 2008 at 12.30 and hear this entertaining author.