Introducing Free Wi-Fi at Sutherland Shire Libraries

Beginning 1 July 2013 we are introducing free Wi-Fi at Sutherland, Cronulla, Caringbah, Miranda, Engadine and Menai Libraries.

Time limits apply

Although there will be no charge to access the Internet on your own devices in the library, you will be restricted to a maximum of 4 hours per day on each device. The time limit applies to total use throughout the opening hours of the library.  You could use the entire 4 hours in a single block or you could connect to the Internet for 4 separate 1 hour periods throughout the day, for instance.

If you expect to be at the library for longer than 4 hours we recommend that you disconnect from the Wi-Fi when you are not actively using the Internet in order to maximise the Wi-Fi availability and ensure you don't reach your daily quota.

Please note: our public Wi-Fi is an unsecured network.  It is unsuitable for communicating sensitive or personal information, for example, online banking.

There is no Wi-Fi available at Bundeena or Sylvania libraries.

This Day in History ( June 28 )

In the dock, Melbourne Court.

The Outlaw Ned Kelly and his gang are finally captured!

Born: June 1854/55? unknown
Died: 11th November 1880
Aged: 25 years

In June 1880, after years of successfully eluding police, the Kelly Gang deliberately staged a final confrontation at Glenrowan in Victoria. Kelly had hoped this confrontation would stir up a rebellion of citizens against what he saw as an unjust legal system. The gang took over the Glenrowan railway station, but Kelly was careful not to damage the telegraph, so the station master could alert the police.

The gang moved the railway staff to the Glenrowan Inn where they also took the guests as hostages. Because many of them were Kelly sympathisers, the night was spent in song and merriment as they waited for police to arrive. Eventually, a local school teacher (who was released by Kelly to check on his family) alerted police to the gang's whereabouts. Police and railway staff surrounded the inn, ready to fire at any of the gang members who left the building.
Wood engraving - Australian News 17/7/1880

At around dawn (on the 28th), Ned Kelly appeared in his armour outside the hotel. Emerging like a ghostly apparition from the trees that surrounded the hotel, his appearance horrified the authorities. According to a railway station guard:

...I heard the thud of a bullet where I was, on looking back I saw what seemed a tremendous black fellow with something like a blanket on him this would be about 6.45am and the morning being hazy or else the smoke from the guns hanging about made him look a deal bigger than he was... the strange figure still advanced on us... I saw Sergeant Steele run from a tree close behind Kelly, as he shot at me, and fired twice very low, I saw Kelly fall ... – Glenrowan Railway Station goods guard

When the rough armour was removed, Ned was found to have some 28 bullets in his body. 
Tony Robinson - DVD

The police started a fire in the hotel to smoke out the remaining gang members. They shot Joe Byrne as he came out of the side of the burning hotel, while the two other gang members – Steve Hart and Dan Kelly – died in the fire. Ned Kelly himself was the only gang member to survive. He was tried by Judge Redmond Barry and sentenced to death. At Ned's request, his picture was taken and he was granted farewell interviews with family members. His mother's last words to Ned were reported to be 'Mind you die like a Kelly'. (they sure bred them tough back then!)
Ned's famous last words were 'Such is Life'

Although photography was quite new in 1880, a number of photographers helped record the dramatic events at Glenrowan as they unfolded.

Source: Dowsett, J 1973, 'The capture of Ned Kelly' [manuscript ca. 1880], La Trobe Journal, No. 11 April. 

iBLURB for Kiddies 7

Quote: If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.  - Abigail Van Buren

Help! I'm cracking up!  by Tedd Arnold
The star of this book – is a crazy, paranoid kid who takes life more than literally – as he finds himself falling apart and losing it, panicking over each and every  harmless adage made in the world around him. When asked by his dad to give him 'a hand' for example, our Nervous Nelly panics over how he is going to live without it, and how he can assure that his hand stays on the end of his arm - by using some good strong glue, I suspect. 
(Enjoy this book, but just don’t lose your mind!)

Henry always felt out of step with the world around him. When everyone looked up, he looked down. If he thought it was going to be a sunny day, it usually rained. Amy could do everything right, she never tied her shoelaces together, or forgot her umbrella. Amy showed Henry everything she knew, but deep down she wished she didn't always have to be so perfect. So Henry showed Amy how to dress funny and roll down hills sideways. Together, they could be serious or silly, right-way-round or upside down. As long as they were together they could do anything! (It's a bit whimsical, it's a bit silly and more than a little bit cute)

Just another ordinary day  by Rod Clement
Like most kids, Amanda gets dressed, goes to school, plays with friends, and eats dinner with her family. But don’t be fooled by this deceptively simple story — readers will soon find out that Amanda is no ordinary girl! Best-selling Australian artist Rod Clement has created a wickedly funny picture book in which the artwork tells an extraordinary story of ‘Just another ordinary day.’ 

Bawk & Roll  by Tammi Sauer
C'mon over--there's a whole lot of clucking going on in this hilarious follow-up to the popular Chicken Dance. Marge and Lola have hit the big time! The dancing duo is ready to rock 'n' roll their way across the country, touring with the great Elvis Poultry. But when the lights go down and the curtain goes up, stage fright sets in. Will our two beloved chickens be too chicken to perform? Or will they find their courage and totally bawk, shake, and flap? (the illustrations are hilarious - Elvis Poultry steals the show!)

This Day in History ( June 23 )

Lachlan Macquarie
Governor Macquarie officially opens Australia's first post office. 
June 23, 1810

In 1809, Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Sydney to take up the position of Governor of the New South Wales colony, which he held from 1810-21. With his military training and vision for organisation and discipline, Macquarie was an ideal candidate to restore order to the colony, following the Rum Rebellion (DVD) against deposed Governor William Bligh (yes, the same Bligh as Mutiny on the Bounty). Macquarie upheld high standards for the development of New South Wales from penal colony to free settlement. He introduced the first building code into the colony and ordered the construction of roads, bridges, wharves, churches and public buildings.

(George Street façade)
circa 1900
One of Macquarie's earliest duties was to appoint an official postmaster. The first postmaster of Sydney was Isaac Nichols, an ex-convict who took up the post on April 26, 1809Isaac quickly opened Australia's first post office at his home in George Street in Sydney. He began advertising in the ‘Sydney Gazette’ (the equivalent of a newspaper in those days) the names of all those who were fortunate enough to receive mail. The people listed could collect their letters from Nichols' home by paying the fixed price of a shilling per letter, with parcels costing more depending on how heavy they were. High-ranking members of the community received personal deliveries from Nichols.

'Sydney Views' - a red 1d stamp;
the first issued in New South Wales
This Post Office was officially opened the following year by Governor Macquarie, on June 23, 1810. Australia's first delivery postman was a private servant of George Panton, who later became Sydney Postmaster, in 1828. The mail was transported on horseback or by coach from Sydney to areas including Penrith, Parramatta, Liverpool, Windsor, Campbelltown, Newcastle and Bathurst. It was three years before Sydney saw its first street posting boxes and postmen were issued with a uniform, red coat and black top hat.

Our first Christmas stamp
Australia designed the world's first pictorial postage stamp, 'Sydney Views' (above) in 1849. This was nine years after Great Britain became the first nation to officially issue a prepaid stamp, the famous 'Penny Black'The Federation of the Australian colonies in 1901 had a profound effect on postal services. Federation ended the era of the Colonial Post Office and paved the way for a nationally-integrated system of mail collection and delivery.

Stamp of Australia - ABC
The Postmaster General's Department (PMG) was established and was in control of posts and telegraphs passed to the Commonwealth of Australia. In 1975 the PMG split into two forming Australia Post and Telecom Australia, now Telstra. 

In 2009 AusPost celebrated 200 years as Australia's oldest, continually operating organisation. A marvellous achievement indeed!

#faraway Twitterchat Tuesday, 25 June 8.00pm

Have you enjoyed reading  some faraway reads throughout June?  Share your reading and  discover some new faraway reads by  joining us this month for the live twitter discussion on 25 June 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 #faraway and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of faraway, so others can join in the conversation too.

To read or not to read- Once upon a time...

To read or not to read...that is the question! This is an appropriately dark re- telling of a classic fairy tale, originally made into a movie. Yes,it does still end happily ever after...but this ending is achieved in a most unexpected way.

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

Once upon a time...
It was the coldest winter the kingdom had ever known. Frost covered the gravestones. The rose-bushes in the castle garden were nearly bare, their leaves shriveled and brown. King Magnus stood on the edge of the forest with Duke Hammond, waiting for the other army to arrive. The king could see his own breath. The slow steadyclouds expanded in front of his face, then disappeared into the cold morning air. His hands were numb. He didn't feel the weight of the armor on his back, or the way the chain mail pressed against his neck with metal so cold it stung his skin.He didn't worry about the enemies on the other side of the battlefield and he wasn't afraid.
Inside he was already dead.
Yet his army stood behind him. One of the horses whinnied through the fog. It has been nearly a year, he thought. She died almost a year ago. He had held her head in his hands, watched as the light left her eyes. What was he to do? Who was he without her? He sat in his chambers, his young daughter perched on his knee, but the cloud of grief was too thick. He couldn't hear a word she uttered. "Yes, Snow White," he'd say, his mind somewhere else as she peppered him with questions. "Right my darling, I know."
Far across the field, he could see the enemy army. They were shadow warriors, a dark clan gathered by some inexplicable, magical force. They stood in the morning mist as ghostly silhouettes-nameless and faceless. Their armor was dull and black. At times it was hard to tell where the forest ended and they began.
Duke Hammond turned to him, his brows knitted together in worry. "From what hell comes this army?" he asked.
King Magnus set his jaw. He shook his head, trying to pull himself out of the stupor that had lingered for months.
He had a kingdom to protect, now and always.
" A hell they'll soon revisit!" he yelled. Then he raised his sword leading his troops to charge.
They raced towards the enemy army, their swords aimed at the figures throats. Soon the shadows were upon them. The warriors armor was similar to theirs, but beneath it were black shadows that shifted and swirled like smoke. A faceless warrior ran towards King Magnus, his weapon drawn. The king swung his sword, and the figure shattered like glass, thousands of black shards flying out in every direction. The king looked up stunned.

To keep reading this book, request a copy from the Library.

Many Happy Returns ( June 22 )

Happy Birthday, Dan!

Name: Dan Brown - Author
Born: June 22, 1964 (age 48), Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Books: Digital Fortress, Deception Point, Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno
Movies: Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Be Cool
Awards: Book Sense - Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction

His Runaway Hit!
Prequel to Da Vinci
Brown's novels are treasure hunts set in a 24-hour period, and feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories. His books have been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, sold over 200 million copies. Two of them, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons have been adapted into films.

Brown's interest in secrets and puzzles stems from their presence in his household as a child, where codes and ciphers were the linchpin tying together the mathematics, music and languages in which his parents worked. The young Brown spent hours working out anagrams and crossword puzzles, and he and his siblings participated in elaborate treasure hunts devised by their father on birthdays and holidays. At Christmas, for example, Brown and his siblings did not find gifts under the tree, but followed a treasure map with codes and clues throughout their house and even around town to find the gifts.

Dan's third novel
Dan's first novel
While on holiday in Tahiti in 1993, Brown read Sidney Sheldon's novel The Doomsday Conspiracy and was inspired to become a writer of thrillers. So, in 1996 Brown quit teaching to become a full-time writer. Digital Fortress was published in 1998. His wife, Blythe, did much of the book's promotion, writing press releases, booking Brown on talk shows, and setting up press interviews. Subsequently he wrote Angels & Demons (ebook) and Deception Point (ebook), released in 2000 and 2001 respectively, the former of which was the first to feature the lead character, Harvard symbology expert Robert Langdon

Brown's first three novels had little success, with fewer than 10,000 copies in each of their first printings. His fourth novel, The Da Vinci Code 
(ebook), became a bestseller, going to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list during its first week of release in 2003. It is now credited with being one of the most popular books of all time, with 81 million copies sold worldwide as of 2009.
Dan Brown's latest offering - reserve it now!

This Day in History ( June 20 )

The Hand of Fate decides the destiny of our country in 1802. It could have been so different! ‘Mon Dieu!’

Name: Nicolas Baudin

Birth: 17 Feb. 1754 
– France
Death: 16 Sept. 1803 - Mauritius (at 49)
Occupation: explorer, cartographer, naturalist.

June 20, 1802  French commander Nicolas Baudin (pronounced Bow-dan) arrives in Port Jackson with the intention to claim Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) as French, but with his crew ill and ships needing repair he has to abandon his plans.

During the late 1700s and early 1800s, both France and England were seeking to expand their respective empires. Both countries claimed and colonised new lands around the world, and both countries explored lands in which the Dutch had shown little interest, such as Australia. Although James Cook formally claimed the east coast of Australia in 1770, this did not dissuade the French from charting the coastline, and even making a claim to the west coast in 1772.

Late in 1800, French explorer and naturalist Nicolas Baudin was commissioned to lead an expedition to complete a French survey of the Australian coastline, and make scientific observations, commanding two ships, 'Le Géographe' and 'Le Naturaliste'. He reached Australia in May 1801, being the first to explore and map the southern coast, and a part of the western coast of the continent. The scientific expedition was a great success, with more than 2500 new species discovered. The French also met Aboriginal Peoples and treated them with high respect.

Marks the meeting of Baudin & Flinders
In April 1802, he met Matthew Flinders, also engaged in charting the coastline, in Encounter Bay, S.A. Scientific investigations were carried out between May-July 1801, and again between January-May 1802. However, during this time, the ships were battered by bad weather, while most of the crew suffered debilitating sickness. Baudin then stopped at the British colony at Sydney for provisions, ship repairs and medical attention for his crew. By the time he sailed into Port Jackson on 20 June 1802, only four of the crew of the were fit to serve. In Sydney he bought a new ship — Casuarina — named after the wood it was made from. From there he sent home Naturaliste, which had on board all of the specimens that had been discovered by Baudin and his crew.

After spending several months in Port Jackson, and with his crew fully recovered, Baudin continued south to finish surveying Van Diemen's Land, but not before revealing his intention to colonise Van Diemen's Land, in a moment of indiscretion. Governor King sent Charles Robbins to Van Diemen's land to successfully dissuade the impending French claim. Robbins met with Baudin and successfully persuaded him to abandon his plans. Baudin then continued north along the west coast to Timor. Baudin then set sail for home, stopping at Mauritius, where he died of tuberculosis.

Nicolas Baudin - the extensive expedition map
Note: According to researchers from the University of Adelaide, during this expedition Baudin prepared a report for Napoleon Bonaparte on ways to invade and capture the British colony at Sydney Cove.

Miles Franklin Award Winner 2013

The Trust Company, as Trustee, and the 2013 judges this afternoon announced Michelle de Kretser as the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel, Questions of Travel at an event held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

Questions of Travel by Michelle DeKrester

A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives.Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka devastating events.

Her fellow 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlisted authors were:

 Floundering  by Romy Ash
The Beloved  by Annah Faulkner
The Mountain by Drusilla Modjeska
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany 

Congratulations to all the authors.

This Day in History ( June 19 )

Margherita of Savoy

The modern pizza is invented.

Name: Margherita of Savoy, was the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy during the reign of her husband, Umberto I
Birth: November 20, 1851, Turin, Italy
Death: January 4, 1926, Bordighera, Italy

The word ‘pizza’ has been in existence for many centuries longer than the modern pizza. The first time the word was noted was in the year 997, in Medieval Latin, in reference to a Neapolitan (someone who comes from Naples). Bakers in Naples used the flatbread as a tool to gauge the temperature of an oven, and it was not intended to be eaten at all.

Pizza ingredients!
According to legend, the Margherita pizza was born in Naples, Italy June 19, 1889  when a famous baker/pizza maker (Raffaele Esposito) made a pizza in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita. He used the pizza flatbread base and topped it with a combination of fresh Italian tomatoes-red, mozzarella cheese-white, olive oil and basil-green. Naming it after the Queen, Esposito had created the very first ‘Pizza Margherita’. He had designed a pizza featuring all the colours of the Italian flag, and this delicious recipe has been used ever since.

James & Thom Elliot

Looks Delicious!
Queen Margherita encouraged artists and writers and founded cultural institutions, notably the Società del Quartetto - society of quartets, and endorsed the Casa di Dante - House of Dante (a famous Italian poet) that is now a three storey museum in Florence, Italy. She was a benefactress of many charities, especially the Red Cross.


JUNE - FarawayReads for Teens

Ray BradburyScience fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.”  
               ― Ray Bradbury

The Watertower  by Gary Crew
It is a story for sophisticated readers who can sense the alien threat that is present as two boys go for a swim at the old water tower. The stunning illustrations and understated text combine very effectively to convey the enigmatic latent menace. (an intriguing, thought-provoking picture book for young & old... whoops... older!)

Obernewtyn  by Isobelle Carmody
(pronounced as Ober-new-tin)
I wondered if I had been caged too long to contemplate freedom.’  Elspeth is one of a new breed born into a world struggling back from the brink of the Apocalypse. A world where the all-powerful Council rules with ruthless force, destroying those who stand in it's way. Drawn inexorably to the remote and sinister mountain keep of Obernewtyn, only Elspeth, with her mysterious powers, can stop the masters of Obernewtyn unleashing the evil forces of the past…  

Tomorrow, when the war began  by John Marsden
Somewhere out there Ellie and her friends are hiding. They're shocked, they're frightened, they're alone. Their world has changed, with the speed of a slamming door. They've got no weapons - except courage. They've got no help - except themselves. They've got nothing - except friendship. 'Tomorrow, When the War Began' (movie) is the first of an enormously popular series that has been translated and published all over the world. It is the book that started the series that became the legend...  

Dragons of Autumn Twilight  by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world. No one expected them to be heroes.
Least of all, them. (Promise Me... that you will start reading this series soon. If you read nothing else this year ... let it be this one!)

Farenheit 451  by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life & wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family.' But then he meets an eccentric young neighbour, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life. (this is a classic tale of mind control and manipulation by the ruling powers of the day)

Prime Ministers Literary Awards Shortlist, 2013

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Tony Burke today announced the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists.
Now in their sixth year, the 2013 shortlists recognise the best in Australian fiction, poetry, non-fiction, history, young adult and children’s fiction published in 2012. congratulations to all the short listed authors. 

Floundering by Romy Ash
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Lost Voices by Christopher Koch
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany

Burning Rice by Eileen Chong
The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson
Jam Tree Gully: Poems by John Kinsella
Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden
Crimson Crop by Peter Rose

Bradman’s War by Malcolm Knox
Uncommon Soldier by Chris Masters
Plein Airs and Graces by Adrian Mitchell
The Australian Moment by George Megalogenis
Bold Palates by Barbara Santich

Prize for Australian History 
The Sex Lives of Australians: A History by Frank Bongiorno
Sandakan by Paul Ham
Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking
Farewell, dear people by Ross McMullin
The Censor’s Library by Nicole Moore

Young adult fiction 
Everything left unsaid by Jessica Davidson
The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson
Fog: a Dox by Bruce Pascoe
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

Children’s fiction 
Red by Libby Gleeson
Today We Have No Plans by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker
What’s the Matter, Aunty May? by Peter Friend and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge by Marianne Musgrove

This Day in History ( June 17 )

Henry Lawson, one of Australia's best known writers, was born today in 1867. 

Name: Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson
Birth: June 17, 1867
Death: September 2, 1922
Occupation: Author, Poet, Bard.

Henry Lawson : A Life
Henry Lawson was born on the Grenfell goldfields in New South Wales. He became one of Australia's best-known fiction writers of the colonial period. Most of his works dwelt on the Australian bush, accurately depicting the difficult conditions of life on dry, dusty outback stations and in bush towns. Unlike his contemporary, A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson, he did not romanticise life in the bush, and any humour he displayed tended to be dry and sardonic, rather than like Paterson's larrikin wit.

Yarns as read by Jack Thompson
Lawson gained a loyal following when the Bulletin started to publish his stories and poems in 1888. However, he never really recovered from his childhood hardships and rejection by his peers, and in his later years became an alcoholic. He died at home alone on September 2, 1922. Thousands of citizens who had come to relate to his writing also paid their respects at his funeral.

Lawson had attended school at Eurunderee from October 2, 1876 but suffered an ear infection at around this time. It left him with partial deafness and by the age of fourteen he had lost his hearing entirely.  Lawson's most successful prose collection is While the Billy Boils, published in 1896.  

Commemorative stamp

Elder writes that ‘he used short, sharp sentences, with language as raw as Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver. With sparse adjectives and honed-to-the-bone description, Lawson created a style and defined Australians: dryly laconic, passionately egalitarian and deeply humane.’  Most of his work focuses on the Australian bush, such as the desolate Past Carin' (below), and is considered by some to be among the first accurate descriptions of Australian life as it was at the time. Lawson was the first person to be granted a New South Wales state funeral (traditionally reserved for Governors, Chief Justices, etc.) on the grounds of having been a 'distinguished citizen'.                                                                                                  
                                                                            Past Carin'
For the kids - The loaded dog!
Now up and down the siding brown 
The great black crows are flyin', 
And down below the spur, I know,
Another`milker's' dyin'; 
The crops have withered from the ground,
The tank's clay bed is glarin', 
But from my heart no tear nor sound,
For I have gone past carin' -- 
Past worryin' or carin',
Past feelin' aught or carin';