This Day in History (May 31)

Name: Clint Eastwood 

Born: Clinton Eastwood Jr.
Birth Date: May 31, 1930
Occupation: Actor, Director 
Age at present: 83 today
Place of Birth: San Francisco

Born today May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, California. Clint Eastwood got his big break starring on the TV western Rawhide. He then became immensely popular via a string of Sergio Leone 'spaghetti' westerns and then in the Dirty Harry franchise. In recent years, Eastwood has directed many films, including the Academy Award-winning projects Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and The Changeling. He's also known as a big supporter of the Republican Party, and made headlines when he spoke at the Republican Convention in 2012.

Rowdy Yates
Eastwood worked odd jobs as a hay-bailer, logger, truck driver, and steel-furnace stoker. In 1950, he was called to military duty with the Army Special Services, based in Monterey, California. While in the Army, Eastwood met actors David Janssen and Martin Milner, who convinced him to move to Los Angeles in 1954 after he finished his military duty. Eastwood took a screen test and signed a contract with Universal for seventy-five dollars a week. Eastwood's rugged looks landed him the role of Rowdy Yates on the TV series Rawhide (1959), which ran for eight seasons.

His early films include 1964's A Fistful Of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Nicknamed 'spaghetti westerns' due to their Italian production, these films gained worldwide popularity, and Eastwood became internationally known.

The Acclaimed Director
Back in the United States, Eastwood directed his first film, the thriller Play Misty For Me (1971), and starred in the leading role. He also earned accolades for directing and producing the 1992 western Unforgiven, which won an Academy Award (best picture). The following year, he directed and starred in 1993's A Perfect World, and went on to star in and direct 1994's The Bridges of Madison County (with Meryl Streep)

In 2006, Eastwood directed two World War II dramas, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. These companion films viewed the conflict from two distinctly different perspectives. Flags of Our Fathers explored the American side, telling the story of one man's efforts to learn more about his father's involvement in the raising of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima. The truly multi-talented, Eastwood even wrote some of the music for the film. 

Drawing from correspondence found on that island battlefield, Letters of Iwo Jima looks at the experiences of Japanese soldiers during World War II. While both films earned wide praise, but 'Letters' garnered four Academy Award nominations, including best picture, and Eastwood earned his fourth nod for an Oscar (best director). Several widely acclaimed directorial projects followed, including 2008's Gran Torino (in which Eastwood also stars) 2009's Invictus and 2011's J. Edgar
Also check out the many biographies we hold on this talented star.

Outside of acting, Eastwood has tried his hand at politics. He was elected Mayor of Carmel, California in 1986, serving two years.  
~ from Bio.TrueStory

Quote: 'I think being able to age gracefully is a very important talent. It's too late for me.'  ~ Clint Eastwood

To read or not to read? Australian Indigenous Fiction

A Miles Franklin Award winning novel by an Australian indigenous author. This is an epic, portraying life in a fictional    coastal town, dealing with the clashes of culture found there. 

Read the opening paragraphs of this book, and decide whether to read or not to read the rest of the book!

The ancestral serpent, a creature larger than storm clouds, came down from the stars, laden with its own creative enormity. It moved graciously- if you had been watching with the eyes of a bird hovering in the sky far above the ground. Looking down at the serpents wet body, glistening from the ancient sunlight,  long before man was a creature who could contemplate the next moment in time. It came down those billions of years ago, to crawl on its heavy belly, all around the wet clay soils in the Gulf of Carpentaria. 

PIcture the creative serpent- scoring deep into -scouring down through-the slippery underground of the mudflats, leaving in its wake the thunder of tunnels collapsing to form deep sunken valleys. 

The sea water following in the serpents wake, swarming in a frenzy of tidal waves, soon changed colour from ocean blue to the yellow of mud. The water filled the swarming tracks to form the mighty bending rivers spread across the vast plains of the Gulf country. The serpent travelled over the marine plains, over the salt flats, through the salt dunes, past the mangrove forests and crawled inland. Then it went back to the sea. And it came out at another spot in the coastline and crawled inland and back again. When it finished creating the many rivers in its wake, it created one last river, no larger or smaller than the others, a river which offers no apologies for its discontent with people who do not know it. This is where the serpent continues to live deep down underground in a vast network of limestone aquifers. they say its being is porous; it permeates everything. It is all around in the atmosphere and is attached to the lives of the river people like skin. 

This tidal river snake of flowing mud takes in breaths of a size that is difficult to comprehend. Imagine the serpents breathing rhythms as the tide flows inland, edging towards the spring waters nestled deeply in the gorges of an ancient limestone plateau covered with rattling grasses dried yellow from the prevailing winds. Then with the outward breath, the tide turns and the serpent flows back to its own circulating mass of shallow waters in the giant water basin in a crook of the mainland whose sides separate it from the open sea. 

To keep reading this book request it from the Library. 

This Day in History (May 29)

Sir Edmund Hillary
Mount Everest - conquered!

At 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. The two, part of a British expedition, made their final assault on the summit after spending a fitful night at 27,900 feet. News of their achievement broke around the world on June 2, the day of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and Britons hailed it as a good omen for their country's future.

Mount Everest sits on the crest of the Great Himalayas in Asia, lying on the border between Nepal and Tibet. The summit of Everest reaches two-thirds of the way through the air of the earth's atmosphere (at about the cruising altitude of jet airliners) and oxygen levels there are very low, temperatures are extremely cold, and weather is unpredictable and dangerous. 
Approach angle to Mount Everest
The first recorded attempt was made in 1921 by a British expedition that trekked 400 difficult miles across the Tibetan plateau to the foot of the great mountain. A raging storm forced them to abort their ascent, but George Leigh Mallory, had seen what appeared to be a feasible route up the peak. It was Mallory who quipped when later asked by a journalist why he wanted to climb Everest, ‘Because it's there!’

Lost on Everest
In 1924, a third Everest expedition was launched by the British, and climber Edward Norton reached an elevation of 28,128 feet, 900 vertical feet short of the summit, without using artificial oxygen. Four days later, Mallory and Andrew Irvine launched a summit assault and were never seen alive again. In 1999, Mallory's largely preserved body was found high on Everest, he had suffered numerous broken bones in a fall. Whether or not he or Irvine reached the summit remains a mystery.

Shocked by the near-success of a Swiss expedition, a large British expedition was organized for 1953 under the command of Colonel John Hunt. In addition to the best British climbers and such highly experienced Sherpas as Tenzing Norgay, the expedition enlisted talent from the British Commonwealth, such as New Zealanders George Lowe and Edmund Hillary, the latter of whom worked as a beekeeper when not climbing mountains. Members of the expedition were equipped with specially insulated boots and clothing, portable radio equipment, and open-and closed-circuit oxygen systems.
Hillary and Norgay
On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world

An Extraordinary Life
News of the success was rushed by runner from base camp and sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the Queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal. Since Hillary and Norgay's historic climb, numerous expeditions have made their way up to Everest's summit. Read his amazing story here: Sir Edmund Hillary: an extraordinary life.

Share Your Story - Your Library is...


This year is the 60 year celebrations 
of the Sutherland Shire Library service. As part of those celebrations the library is interested in gathering your thoughts about the service, what it is that the library provides for you, and your memories of the service over the years you have been one of our customers.

You may already be aware of the online photo trail which was put together to show off the original shire library buildings and the staff who ran them. They are also a good snapshot of fashion…in both clothes and the interior of public buildings! Please fill out the online form created so you can Share your Memories.

During the last week Sutherland staff created a great opportunity for you to tell them what you thought. The foyer wall was covered with a blank sheet of paper, textas were supplied, and the rest was left to our customers. The end of a week saw the wall well covered with positive prose, and the odd picture. It was lovely to read all the messages you had for the Sutherland Shire Library service and libraries in general.

Thanks to all of you for letting the library know how you feel.

This Day in History (May 26)

Dracula was born!

NAME: Bram Stoker 
BIRTH DATE: November 08, 1847
DEATH DATE: April 20, 1912
EDUCATION: University of Dublin
PLACE OF BIRTH: Dublin, Ireland
FULL NAME: Abraham Stoker 

First edition

The first copies of the classic vampire novel Dracula (novel), by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appeared in London bookshops on this day in 1897. A childhood invalid, Stoker grew up to become a football (soccer) star at Trinity College, Dublin. After graduation, he got a job in civil service at Dublin Castle, where he worked for the next 10 years while writing drama reviews. In this way, Stoker met the well-respected actor Sir Henry Irving, who hired him as his manager. Stoker stayed in the post for most of the next three decades. Over the years, Stoker began writing a number of horror stories for magazines, and in 1890 he published his first novel, The Snake's Pass.

First Edition
Stoker would go on to publish 17 novels in all, but it was his 1897 novel Dracula (ebook) that eventually earned him literary fame and became known as a masterpiece of Victorian-era Gothic literature. Written in the form of diaries and journals of it's main characters, Dracula (graphic novel) is the story of a vampire who makes his way from Transylvania (a region of Eastern Europe now in Romania) to Yorkshire, England, and preys on innocents there to get the blood he needs to live. Stoker had originally named the vampire 'Count Wampyr.' He found the name Dracula in a book which he borrowed from a Yorkshire public library during his family's vacations there.

Vampires (who left their burial places at night to drink the blood of humans) were popular figures in folk tales from ancient times, but Stoker's novel catapulted them into the mainstream of 20th-century literature. Upon it's release, Dracula (audiobook) enjoyed moderate success, when Stoker died in 1912 none of his obituaries made mention of his book 'Dracula'. Sales began to take off in the 1920s, when the novel was adapted for Broadway. Dracula mania kicked into even higher gear with Universal's blockbuster 1931 film, directed by Tod Browning and starring the Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi. Dozens of vampire-themed movies, television shows and literature followed, though Lugosi, with his exotic accent, remains the quintessential Count Dracula (movie). Late 20th-century examples of the vampire craze include the bestselling novels of American writer Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles 1976), Stephanie Meyers (Twilight Series 2005) and the cult hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and many others. 

A snippet from Chapter one: We kept on ascending, with occasional periods of quick descent, but in the main always ascending. Suddenly, I became conscious of the fact that the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the sky. ~ Van Helsing

Quote:  'We learn from failure, not from success.' 
– Bram Stoker 

This Day in History (May 25)

The Star Wars Legend began...

May 25th 1977
On this day in 1977 (36 years ago), Star Wars opened with an intergalactic bang, the first of George Lucas' blockbuster movies 'Episode IV: A New Hope'

The incredible success of Star Wars began when it received seven Oscars, and earned $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide. The anticipation of this revolutionary movie-watching experience spread like wildfire, causing long lines in front of movie theatres across the country and around the world.

May 21st 1980 
With it's groundbreaking special effects, Star Wars leapt off screens and immersed audiences in 'a galaxy far, far away.' By now everyone knows the story, which followed the baby-faced Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he enlisted a team of allies--including hunky Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the robots C3PO and R2D2 on his mission to rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia from an Evil Empire governed by Darth Vader. The film made all three of it's lead actors overnight stars, turning Fisher into an object of adoration for millions of young male fans and launching Ford's now-legendary career as an action-hero heartthrob.
May 25th 1983

Star Wars was soon a bona-fide pop culture phenomenon. Over the years it has spawned five more feature films, five TV series and an entire industry's worth of comic books, toys, video games and other products. Two big-screen sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983), featured much of the original cast and enjoyed the same success (both critical and commercial) as the first film. In 1999, Lucas stretched back in time for the fourth installment, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, chronologically a prequel to the original movie. Two other prequels, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) followed.

Sutherland Library holds ALL of these Star Wars DVDs, why not resverve and revisit them soon?
May 19th 1999
May 16th 2002
May 25th 2005

P.S. Strong rumours have hinted that Star Wars: Episode VII is due to be released... you guessed it, 
May the 4th 2015.

To read or not to read?

This is the third book written by a highly acclaimed Australian indigenous author. This book not only about language and meaning, but also a tale of whales and men, of land and sea, of action and intention, and of colonial invasion and Aboriginal displacement.

Read these opening paragraphs to decide if you may like to read or not to read the rest of the book!


Writing such a word, Bobby Wabalanginy couldn't help but smile. Nobody ever done writ that before, he thought. Nobody ever writ hello or yes that way!
Roze a wail...
Bobby Wabalanginy wrote with damp chalk, brittle as weak bone. Bobby wrote on a thin piece of slate. Moving between languages, Bobby wrote on stone.
With a name like Bobby Wabalanginy he knew the difficulty of spelling.
Boby Wablngn wrote roze on a wail.
But there was no whale. Bobby was imagining, remembering...
Rite wail.
Bobby already knew what it was like to be up close beside a right whale. He was not much more than a baby when he first saw whales rolling between him and the islands: a very close island , a big family of whales breathing easily, spouts sparkling in the sunlight, great black bodies glossy in the blue and sunlit sea. Bobby wanted to enter the water and swim out to them, but swaddled against his mother's body, his spirit could only call. Unlike that Bible man, Jonah, Bobby wasn't frightened because he carried a story deep inside himself, a story Menak gave him wrapped around the memory of a fiery pulsing whale heart...

On a sunny day, walking along a long arm of rock beside a calm ocean, you see the water suddenly bulging as a great bubble comes to the surface and oh! water streams from the barnacled flesh and there is the vast back of a whale. You are enclosed in moist whale breath.
Barnacles stud the smooth dark skin, and crabs scurry across it. That black back must be slippery, treacherous like rock...But you see the hole in its back, the breath going in and out, and you think
of all the blow holes along this coast; how a clever man can slip into them, fly inland one moment, back to the ocean the next.
Always curious, always brave, you take one one step and the whale is underfoot. Two steps more and you are sliding deep into a dark and breathing cave that resonates with whale song. Beside you beats a blood filled heart so warm it could be fire.
Plunge your hands into that whale heart, lean into it and squeeze and let your voice join the whale's roar. Sing that song your father taught you as the whale dives, down, deep.
How dark it is beneath the sea, and looking through the whale's eyes you see bubbles slide past you like...

To keep reading this book  request it from the Library!

NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2013

The winners of the NSW Premier's Literary award were announced at The Sydney Writers Festival on 19th May.  Congratulations to all the winners.

The People's Choice Award 

Book of the year
A selection of the winners and shortlists:
Christina Stead Prize for Fiction – prize money worth $40,000

Winner: Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany (Winner of  the Women’s Prize for Fiction)
Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000 prize money)

Winner: The Office : a Hard Working History by Gideon Haigh
Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000 prize money)
 Winner: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000 prize money)

Winner: The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey

View the complete NSW Premiers Literary Awards Winners and Shortlist. 

National Reconciliation Week - 27th May to 3rd June

National Reconciliation Week is being celebrated at Cronulla library, at 10.30am on Monday 3rd June. 
Bookings are still being taken.

An Aboriginal Cultural Morning - Through Their Eyes, conducted by an Aboriginal Discovery Guide from the Royal National Park will take us on a journey of understanding, sharing and cultural learning. See and hear how for tens of thousands of years Aboriginal people lived in harmony with the natural environment. Learn about their values and relationships with the land, water, plants and animals.

Ever wonder why National Reconciliation Week is held during this week? These dates are very significant dates in the history of our country.

On the 27th May 1967 more than 90% of Australians voted YES to the 1967 Referendum question, which would give the Australian Government the power to make laws concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for these peoples to be counted on the Australian census. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples already had the right to vote federally since 1962.

June 3rd 1992 the Australian High Court delivered its landmark Mabo Decision, which recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship with the land and that this relationship still exists. This decision paved the way for land rights called Native Title.

During National Reconciliation Week check out the profiles of some of the ambassadors for National Reconciliation Week and why they want to be a part of it. The theme, Let’s Talk Recognition, focuses on how Australians can better recognise each other, and the contributions, cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. So why not use this opportunity to view the Share Our Pride website and get a glimpse of life from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective. The National Reconciliation Week website also has these resources to learn more about our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 
Or visit a library and borrow an Indigiread.

#Indigireads Twitter discussion Tuesday, 28th May, 8.00pm

 Have you enjoyed reading  some  indigireads  throughout May?  Share your reading and  discover some new indigireads by  joining us this month for the live twitter discussion on 28 May starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time. Note : this is a staggered start to the discussion.
Use the tags #indigiread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of indigiread, so others can join in the conversation too.

Reading Games are Fun and Educational

Did you know we have fun, interactive and educational games for kids?

Our selection of online games, stories and activities will help children develop their reading, literacy and numeracy skills.  Watch them learn while they have fun!

You can find them under Reading Games on the library website.

May - IndigiReads for Teens

Quote: As nations we should also commit afresh to righting past wrongs. In Australia we began this recently with the first Australians - the oldest continuing culture in human history. On behalf of the Australian Parliament, this year I offered an apology to indigenous Australians for the wrongs they had suffered in the past. - Kevin Rudd

Meet Poppy  by Gabrielle Wang
Our Australian Girl series  
(we may not carry all titles)
In 1864, life for a half-Aboriginal, half-Chinese orphan would have been tough. In this time of racism, immigration, hardship and the Gold Rush in Victoria, times were hard and expectations high. Wang gives us a glimpse into what this girl’s life might have been like. These books are a fantastic way to make history fun and accessible, as well as being a lovely introduction to the genre of historical fiction for young and older readers alike.

Nanberry: Black Brother White  by Jackie French
Two brothers -- one black, one white -- and a colony at the end of the world. It′s 1789, and as the new colony in Sydney Cove is established, Surgeon John White defies convention and adopts Nanberry, an Aboriginal boy, to raise as his son. Nanberry is clever and uses his unique gifts as an interpreter to bridge the two worlds he lives in. With his white brother, Andrew, he witnesses the struggles of the colonists to keep their precarious grip on a hostile wilderness. And yet he is haunted by the memories of the Cadigal warriors who will one day come to claim him as one of their own. This true story follows the brothers as they make their way in the world -- one as a sailor, serving in the Royal Navy, the other a hero of the Battle of Waterloo. No less incredible is the enduring love between the gentleman surgeon and the convict girl who was saved from the death penalty and became a great lady in her own right. ′A wonderful, entertaining tale which ... will work just as well for adults as for the teen market′ SUNDAY HERALD SUN 
(I personally learnt so much about the original owners of this land from this book - I was totally awestruck! I WILL read it again.)

Deadly, Unna?  by Phillip Gwynne
'Deadly, unna?' He was always saying that. All the Nungas did, but Dumby more than any of them. Dumby Red and Blacky don't have a lot in common. Dumby's the star of the footy team, he's got a killer smile and the knack with girls, and he's a Nunga. Blacky's a gutless wonder, needs braces, never knows what to say, and he's white. But they're friends... and it could be deadly, unna? This gutsy novel, set in a small coastal town in South Australia is a rites-of-passage story about two boys confronting the depth of racism that exists all around them.

Burrumbi Kids  by Leonie Norrington
Dale and Tomias are best mates. They live at Long Hole community. The kids struggle with school, the trials of growing up, and parental expectations. Life itself is full of danger - from wild bushfires, crocodile-infested rivers and the thick bubbling ooze of the blood pit. As a back drop to the children’s stories there is the land itself - a magnificent landscape of fire and floodplain, unbearable heat and towering storms. The Barrumbi Kids is a funny unforgettable novel that brilliantly captures the paradoxes of life in the rural Australia  with honesty and humour.