Catherine Murphy Paintings at Sutherland Library

Catherine Murphy is a Member of the Friends of Hazelhurst, Continuum Art Society and Millhouse Art Society. She attended Life Drawing and Water Colour classes at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea and has studied oils under the tuition of Archibald, Wynne and Blake finalist Alexander McKenzie.

Catherine is a resident of the Sutherland Shire and has regular excursions to Berrara on the South Coast of NSW. She has successfully exhibited at the Millhouse Art Society in Milton, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea and annual art shows in the Shoalhaven. Catherine won awards at the Millhouse Exhibition in Ulladulla in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Catherine held a successful first exhibition in Darlinghurst in 2008.

Catherine has written and illustrated books and individualises cards and invitations. Catherine's work is influenced by Asian Art and the Impressionists and includes whimsical children's paintings and cartoons. Her work is held in a number of private collections and is featured in Zushi Japanese Restaurants in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

Catherine works part time as an Occupational Therapist but her current career goal is to develop as a successful artist and illustrator.

Come and see some of Catherine's eye catching paintings in the Southern Lounge area at Sutherland Shire Library. The paintings will be on display throughout November and December 2011.

National Year of Reading, 2012 "Our Story"

As part of the National Year of Reading 2012, the first national campaign "Our Story" has been launched. "Our Story" is a search to find the eight books (one from each state/territory) that best represents that part of Australia. For New South Wales, a shortlist of six titles, both fiction and non fiction, have been chosen by a panel of judges for you to read and vote upon. The titles to choose from are:

Bereft, by Chris Womersley

The idea of home, by John Hughes

Lilians story, by Kate Grenville

Harp in the south, by Ruth Park

Torn apart, by Peter Corris

You can find out more about the shortlisted titles here.

The eight winning titles will be used to create a national recommended reading list. This list in turn, will be used as the basis for the start of Australia's biggest book group. Book groups and individual readers will be able to go online and register as members of "Our story" and discuss the winning titles.

Everyone is invited to vote for the book they think best represents our state of New South Wales. Take this opportunity to read these books and vote for your favourite book online, at any branch of the library, or at book stores. Voting opens 1 November and closes 6 January, 2012. The winners will be announced at the official launch of the National Year of Reading on 14 February, 2012. You can reserve copies of each of these titles from the library.

All Hallows Eve - or Read?

Halloween (Oct 31st), traditionally a Celtic festival to honour the dead has become increasingly popular in Australia over the years, particularly with kids and 'trick or treat'.

It's also a good time to remind people about the library's wide-ranging horror and supernatural collections.

Books, films and graphic novels all fall under these genres, which have a huge and passionate following from people of all ages.

To the many horror fans out there, why not use Halloween to share your love of the mysterious and goulish, the zombified, the un-dead, the eternal and the ghostly with others?

One way to do this has been thought up by one of the best supernatural writers around - Neil Gaiman. Gaiman has written a number of fantasy and horror stories and is now asking everyone to take part in 'All Hallow's Read', as opposed to All Hallow's Eve (another name for Halloween)

'All Hallow's Read' asks people to share a scary book with someone else, be it one you buy or one you borrow from the library, tell others about why these genres are so popular. Gaiman explains in the clip below:

A great idea and one we'll be looking at participating in for the National Year of Reading in 2012.

On a similar note, we're excited to be holding an author talk for Paranormal Writer Karina Machado at Cronulla Library on Tuesday, November 15th.

For all the details on Karina's upcoming talk and to book a spot visit the library's event page.

Happy Halloween, have a great All Hallow's Read!

Quick Reads. Great stories, great writers, great entertainment

Sutherland Library Service now has a Quick Reads collection of books available for loan. These are a series of original short story length books written by well known authors and celebrities from the UK. Starting in 2006, Quick Reads were developed as part of an initiative by the United Kingdom to increase literacy levels.

Why check out Quick Reads?

Are you too busy to read?
Or you are an avid, yet time poor reader, looking for something short and fast to read?
With no more than 128 pages, these bite sized books are fast to read. They are complete, original short stories (they are not abridged versions of longer works), that take only a little time to read.

Do you find reading difficult or dull?
Quick Reads are perfect for emergent readers, for those of you whom English is a second language and those who don’t really enjoy reading. They are fast paced and engaging and a great way to improve your reading skills!

Have you lost your reading habit?
Rediscover the joys of reading with Quick Reads, written by best- selling authors. Just try reading for ten minutes a day…

Want to try new authors?
Have you always wondered about those authors you have heard about, but never read? Sample some different authors with Quick Reads. Who knows, you may discover a new favourite and read some other books they have written.

Do you commute, or are you travelling somewhere?
Quick Reads are a great way to pass the time on your daily commute, or while you wait for your plane, train or bus to whisk you away on your travels. They are light to pack and don’t take up much room!

Man Booker Prize winner, 2011.

The Man Booker Prize winner for 2011 was announced yesterday. Congratulations to Julian Barnes, author of the winning title " The Sense of an Ending". Barnes has been shortlisted three time previously for this prize, in 1984 with Flaubert's Parrot , in 1998 with England, England, and with Arthur & George in 2005. According to Dame Stella Rimmington, Chair of this years judging panel, this book has "the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each readings". You can reserve a copy at the library.

Face your fears

Did you know that the second Tuesday of October is Face your Fears day? What are you afraid of? Don’t be a scaredy cat, read on to find out how the library can help you to face seven fears (its lucky seven actually, just in case you’re superstitious as well).

Bibliphobia. This is a fear of books. Whether books are too challenging, too intellectual, or just too big, face your fear and come into the library. Where else can you find so many books?

Arachnophobia This is one of the most common fears of all… of spiders. The best way to overcome this irrational fear is to educate yourself. Come into the library and borrow some spider books with big glossy pictures of these clever and cute, web spinning weavers.

Thanatophobia If you are one of the many people who spend too much time pondering on one of the two certainties in life (the other one is taxes), the library can at least offer the diversion of reading. Set yourself a goal of reading as many books as you can from the 1001 books you must read before you die collection!

Glossophobia Are you scared speechless? Another common fear is that of public speaking. The library has a solution. Start small and join a library book group. You can face your fear by expressing your opinions of the book in front of up to nine other people. Just try it, you might just find other people actually listening to you!

Do you suffer from Metathesiophobia?
This is a fear of change. Face your fear by reading from a book from a genre outside your comfort zone. Do you love to read romance? Read a thriller. Or do you enjoy reading adventure stories? Then try reading a fantasy. You might just surprise yourself and enjoy it! Check out our readers guides to help you make a choice.

Fragapanephobia (Fear of birthdays)
In an effort to help library staff face any possible fear they may harbour of this yearly celebration, we have started interviewing the birthday person on or around their birthday, asking “What are you reading?”. Their replies are posted on Facebook on Fridays. Join in the celebrations and share your current reads-every Friday on Facebook.

Phonophobia Face your fear of LOUD noise at the library. The myth of silence in the library is just that. A myth. There’s not a lot of sshhing going on here. There is discussion, conversation, music and laughter. However, if it all gets too much, you can beat a hasty retreat upstairs to the reference section, where silence still rules...

Five questions in five minutes with Lisa Heidke

What are you reading right now, and are you enjoying it?
Non fiction – I am re-reading Stephen King’s On Writing.
When I first read this book which is part memoir, part tutorial, on the craft of writing, it all clicked for me. I’ve always loved story writing but King’s book really opened my eyes to the craft. His anecdotes and personal struggles as well as his practical advice on writing have been invaluable to me. At least once a year, I’ll go back and re-read On Writing and I always learn something new. Stephen King is an inspiration.
Fiction – Rancid Pansies by James Hamilton-Paterson.
Very witty. I love British humour but James Hamilton-Paterson is bordering on insane. He has a wicked and biting sense of humour and I am enjoying the story very much.

Could you tell us a bit about your favourite book?
Rather than my favourite book, I’ll tell you about my favourite author, Marian Keyes.
Watermelon is Keyes first book and when I discovered it, I devoured it in one sitting. I love Keye’s sense of humour, her take on modern life and her first person confessional tone of writing. I think she is a very funny and clever writer. I have read all of Keye’s books and admire her down to earth nature and generosity in talking about her setbacks and personal demons she’s had to conquer during her life. I also admire her ability not to take herself too seriously. I think she’s fabulous.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I try to keep up with my three children Mia 11, Noah, 14 and Josh, 15. I like gardening, especially in Spring and I love hanging out at the beach and reading while listening to the waves crashing on the shore.

What's next for Lisa Heidke...(could you give us a clue about your next book?).
My next book, Stella Makes Good, a novel about love, friendship and the quest for happiness, will be out next January.

The back cover blurb reads:
Stella Sparks is on good terms with her ex-husband, Terry, despite the fact he left her for another woman. Stella’s philosophical – the marriage had run its course, they remain friends and the wellbeing of their kids is central to both of them.

Stella’s two closest friends, Carly and Jesse, envy her togetherness and wish they could emulate it. Jesse’s husband, Steve, is a control freak who’s driving her crazy, but she has two small children and can’t see a way out. Carly, meanwhile, suspects her husband is having an affair and isn’t sure what to do about it.

Stella’s life takes a distinctly upward turn when she meets a handsome, apparently single – no ring, anyway – father at her son’s school speech night. For Carly and Jesse, however, the search for happiness and fulfilment proves more elusive…

With a healthy dose of humour and romance, Stella Makes Good is about the games we play, the secrets we keep, the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of female friendship.
If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would they be and why?
It would be easy to say Colin Firth and Rob Lowe but that’s too obvious so I’m going for creative types, Stephen King, because I think he’s extraordinarily brilliant, and Tina Fey because she’s funny, talented and a great writer. I would spend the dinner gleaning as much information as I could from them in the hope that some of their creative genius would be passed on to me.

Lisa Heidke will be appearing at Cronulla Library, Thursday, 20 October at 6.30pm. You can can book a spot online or by calling Cronulla on Ph:9523 4980.

Freegal Has Arrived

Library staff are tapping their feet and humming along to the newest online offering from shire libraries - Freegal!

Members can now download up to 3 songs per week from the Sony Music Collection legally and freely through the library website.

There are thousands of artists across a range of music genres to choose from including Michael Jackson, John Farnham, Britney Spears, Beyonce, the Glee cast and many more.

Purchased as a one year trial using funds from the library's annual Book Sale, we think Freegal will be a hit with people from all ages.

Simply use your library card number and pin to login to Freegal and start downloading songs in MP3 format. The songs are yours to keep and can be transferred to CD, MP3 player and computer.

For more information on this great new resource, a live demo on how to download songs and a live music performance come along to the official Freegal launch at Sutherland Library on Tuesday, November 8th - 6.30pm.

School Holiday Fun

Sounds Like Music with Mic Conway
Sounds Like Music with Mic Conway by suthlib on Flickr.

The school holidays are almost over and the libraries in the Shire have been busy.

Many kids joined us for our Let's Create activities, Music Fun, Card Making, Trevor's Drawing Workshops, Wii Gaming Fun and a Creative Writing Workshop with author Aleesah Darlison. It was a busy time but lots of fun was had by both the kids and staff.

Check out some of the fun on Flickr.

Our next school holidays should be amazing! The Amazing Read is the theme for the Summer Reading Club. You will be able to join up from Monday 12th December. Don't forget we always advertise our school holiday activities 3 weeks before the holidays begin.

To all the HSC students, good luck! We hope your study time in the library was productive.

It's that time of year again!

It's that time of year again, I hope you remembered to move your clock one hour forward for daylight saving! Whether you love it or hate it, getting up an hour earlier in the morning offers the advantage of an extra hour of daylight in the evening. A great way to spend this extra 60 minutes of daylight is to read. Make this your reading hour of the day. You can even multitask, by listening to an audio book you have downloaded from Overdrive while you partake of an evening stroll, as you spend time weeding the garden, or even while you hang out the washing. You can take your reading to the park, the beach, or sit on the verandah and just read. Here are twelve timely books to get you started with your reading hour.
Only time will tell by Jeffery Archer
No time for goodbye by Linwood Barclay
The thief of time by John Boyne
The time waster diaries: A year in the life of by Robin Cooper
The time trap by Peter Corris
Timeline by Michael Crichton
The curious incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon
The time travellers wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Timecatcher Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Time bomb by Gerald Seymour
The time machine by H.G.Wells
About time a series of four books about time by Brian Williams

Or, if you would like to read more about the what, why and where of daylight saving, try these two books.

Spring forward: The annual madness of daylight saving by Michael Downing
Saving the daylight: Why we put the clocks forward by David Prerau

Photo credit: On a pink, green, and white cloud, two young women reading a book at Greenlake, with a daisy chain in a field of flowers, Seattle, Washington, USA by Wonderlane, from Flickr