ADULT LEARNER'S WEEK. September 1 - 8

September 1-8 2014 is Adult Learner's Week.
Please investigate the opportunities for online learning made available to you by Sutherland Shire Libraries as well as some links to community programs for adult learning.
Browse below to find out about library databases for online computer training, online language learning via Mango and IELTS and online assistance with study skills.
From the wider community opportunities for learning via Adult Learning Australia, OUA - Open Universities Australia, U3A - University of the Third Age and SGSCC St George and Sutherland Community College


A simple solution to Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and introductory computer training.

Why would I use this?

To learn an Office application or pickup some tips and shortcuts.
To help you transition to a Windows upgrade..
Teach yourself social networking - Twitter, Facebook, Blogging.
To learn basic computing at your own pace. - Recommended you have an assistant on call for the first couple of sessions.


Enter your library card number as a new or returning student.
Progress through each lesson is tracked. Return at any time and begin from the place you finished at last time.
If you are a new user, fill out the form and register for an account.
Choose a Course
Select from the available course and start your learning.
Make the correct response to be able to continue the lesson.

Current Courses

Introduction to Computers
Microsoft Windows - Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Microsoft Office 2007 & 2010 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
Social Networking (Twitter, Facebook, Blogging)

Introduction to Computers

A real beginner may need help for the first couple of lessons, then independent learning should be possible.
Using a mouse or trackpad is necessary to be able to progress through the lessons. Instructions on how to use a mouse comes at the end of the first lesson.
How to turn a computer on is in the second lesson.

Included in these sessions are quick introductions to word processing, internet and email.

Social Networking

All the social networking courses are very basic - how to fill in the application form and post a comment. Users will need to learn about inserting images, privacy etc elsewhere.Twitter, Facebook and Blogger are covered in the social networking lessons.

Books from the library to help you on your way in Social Networking.

Social networking for seniors in easy steps : for the over 50s / Anne Sparrowhawk
Facebook for seniors quicksteps / Carole Boggs Matthews
Facebook & Twitter for Seniors for Dummies (For Dummies) 
Blog design for dummies / by Melissa Culbertson

Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows

Both courses are good to either learn from scratch, or if you have already been using these applications you may find many options that you were not aware of. 
As you work through the lessons and find something that is very new to you, it is easy to go back and repeat the lessons until you understand.


Mango Languages and Road to IELTS - Preparation and Practice are online tools provided to Sutherland Shire Library members.

Why would I use these language learning tools?

  • Learn to talk to someone you know in their language.
  • Learn some basic language skills to help with your travels.
  • Improve your fluency in English as a second language.
  • Practice for certification of your English skills.


Mango Languages online offers courses in 57 non-English languages.

Mango Languages teaches you practical grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and cultural skills of some of the world's most popular languages.

and English courses designed for speakers of 17 languages, as well as Latin, Greek - Koine, Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew.

Courses can be done on a PC or use the Mango App on your tablet or smartphone.
Mango Languages has a range of course options:

Mango Basic

Basic courses teach skills for simple conversations in only a few hours.

Mango Complete 2.0

Mango Complete courses provide in-depth, comprehensive language skills.

Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to effectively teach a new language. By
listening to and then repeating language from native speakers, users learn both the individual words and phrases, and how they are used in practical situations and conversations.

Create a profile the first time the program is used then login each time you return.
Your progress is tracked-keeping a record of where you are up to in the course and how well you are doing.
Lessons are divided into short chunks and do not have to be completed in order. Skip through until you find a situation to match your immediate needs.

The International English Language Testing System.
Road to IELTS - Preparation and Practice courses are available to Sutherland Libraries members in two levels, General or Academic.

Road to IELTS - General measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. It includes 120 hours of work on the essential components of the test, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking. The program simulates the exam.

Road to IELTS - Academic  measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to all test-takers, irrespective of their subject focus. One of the challenges of IELTS preparation is the ablility to interpret and describe charts and tables. Road to IELTS - Academic includes a wealth of these graphics and more than 70 exercises. The program includes detailed explanations of each question type in each part of the exam, and tips on how best to tackle the tasks.

The distinction between the Academic version and the General Training version lies in the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components.

To be clear, the actual test is not available using these library tools. They are designed as learning and practice tools to prepare for the tests.

Study Skills Success is designed for students in their final years at school and/or first year in higher education.

Why would I use this?

It teaches practical skills which will save time when there is lots of work to get through.
You will learn to analyse things critically.
For those with English as a second language it will help improve your English skills to a standard necessary for the academic context.


There are 10 units to progress through OR you can choose any unit to improve skills in a known area of weakness.
You may need to either watch a video, listen, or download a worksheet.
Then answer some questions,
Check marking,
Get feedback,
Repeat or progress.

The ten units are Critical thinking, Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Grammar, Vocabulary, Visuals, Research.


Adult Learning Australia

Check out this organisation which supports Lifelong and Lifewide Learning for all Australians. Adult learners are described in 5 groups - Lifelong learners, Reluctant learners, Breaking Barriers learners, Community Builders and Foundation learners.  A search function on their website will find where you can pursue the type of learning you want within your local community.
They also have some sound recordings of book titles Sutherland Library has in the Adult Literacy collection. Do you know someone who could benefit from using Page Turners either online or borrowed from our library?

OUA - Open Universities Australia

Why would I use this?

For the love of learning, or to gain qualifications when attending university in person is not possible afor whatever reason.
It is flexible - work around your time constraints.


Offers 170 courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level with the same qualifications as on campus. A one stop shop for courses provided by 13 universities.
No study barriers for many courses, and unlimited support.
Preparatory and pathways courses are offered to brush up on required skills if required before attempting the qualifying courses.
Free short courses are offered in a variety of genres to give you a taste of what to expect.

Fees. Check the information online about fee help, scholarships, HECs etc.

Sutherland Shire Libraries have conducted several information sessions on behalf of OUA to assist students to find what they need to enable them to continue in their studies, as well as tips on research.


Online with U3A is independent from the Sydney University of the Third Age which conducts courses in person.
U3A Online

Why would I use this?

Courses are open to all older people and disabled younger people anywhere in the world. They are especially suited to older members of the community who are isolated either geographically, or through physical or social circumstances (including carers).


Membership is currently $25 for one year.

You can choose to do courses with a Leader, or work independently at your own pace.
Courses with a Leader:
The chronological list of all up and coming Courses with a Leader is added to as each course becomes available.  A course does not appear on the list when it is currently running.

Current courses are listed under genres World Affairs and History, Nature, Writing and Creativity, Lifestyle, Science.

University of the Third Age. U3A

Sydney U3A study is independent from the U3A Online. Students of Sydney U3A attend classes in person. Members can attend courses throughout metropolitan Sydney. Information and course details can be found online, and online registration is possible.

Why would I use this?

If you are retired or semi-retired and have always wanted to learn more, the Sydney University of the Third Age organises life-long learning for people in a friendly and stimulating environment.

The range of courses enables members to broaden their horizons, be involved with new learning experiences and to share skills and knowledge in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, photography and bush walking.


'University' in the original sense is the concept of a community of like-minded people coming together to learn from one another, or a co-operative of persons devoted to a particular educational activity.

Sydney U3A members attend courses in over 85 topics at 110 venues throughout the Sydney metropolitan area and in the city.

No qualifications are required and none given.

New Membership subscription is $60. This entitles members to attend any or all of the courses
in the Course Book. Annual renewal is $50. (as at July 2014)

SGSCC - St George and Sutherland Community College

Courses are not conducted online. Registration and course information is available online.

Why would I choose SGSCC?

It is not-for-profit
Offers 400+ courses in 30+ venues
Offers nationally recognised training


SGSCC is committed to providing a range of quality vocational, accredited, and leisure courses and programs to cater for the life-long learning and development needs of our community.

Courses are offered over 4 terms each year.
Courses are listed under genres Leisure, WorkSkills, SchoolAge, English, International and disAbility.

Course prices vary.

You can enrol online or by phone, or download an enrolment form to lodge by fax, mail or in person.
Prior to each term Course brochures are available for you to collect in person at Sutherland Shire Libraries.

PowerTalk International. Southside Speakers

Southside Speakers is one of over 400 not-for-profit clubs throughout the world that are part of POWERtalk International. The men and women that belong to these clubs aim to achieve excellence in communication and leadership skills by developing confidence in delivering clear and convincing messages.
Attend in person, this is not an online course.

Why would I use this?

Are you a nervous public speaker? Would you like to learn how to speak confidently in front of a group? Is English your second language?


Meetings are held twice a month, throughout 2014 at Sutherland Library.
The men and women that belong to these clubs aim to achieve excellence in communication and leadership skills by developing confidence in delivering clear and convincing messages.
Developing the confidence to deliver clear communication is much easier when you practise before a live audience. An informed and supportive audience is even better.

Overdrive audiobooks and ebooks: new features

In a recent update to our Overdrive audiobooks and ebooks service 2 new features were added that users of this service will want to know about.

Seven Deadly Sins Open Book Discussion: Pride

Join us for the Seven Deadly Sins Book Discussion about Pride. 

“Vanity and pride are different things,” wrote Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice.  “Pride relates more to our option of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

Not only will we be discussing books with themes of pride and vanity, but we will be asking:
Have you read a book  to make yourself look good? Or are you proud of having finished a challenging book? Tell us about it! Does an award nomination makes a book worth reading?

Seven Deadly Sins Book Discussion Group: Pride 

Wednesday, 17 September, 2.00pm-3.30pm
Sutherland Library

Bookings preferred, but not essential. Book online or call Sutherland Library 9710 0351.

International Read an eBook Day

Thursday, September 18, will mark the first International Read an eBook Day, an annual holiday to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on digital devices.

Throughout September 18, OverDrive will be celebrating the holiday by giving away tablets and devices every hour on and through social media to readers who tell their story of what eBooks mean to them. Readers can use the hashtag #eBookDay on Facebook or Twitter to tell their story, or comment directly at

Sutherland Shire  Library Service members have access to a range of eBooks via Overdrive which can be downloaded to a PC, smart phone or tablet device. You don’t have to worry about overdue items either — when you borrow an eBook, they automatically ‘return’ themselves on the due date!  

We love reading...staff picks August 2014

Montebello by Robert Drewe
Robert Drewe, Australian raconteur par excellence, has always been fascinated by the ocean. This book's title refers to the notorious incident in 1952 when Britain detonated three atomic bombs on the Montebello Islands off the Pilbara coast in WA, with spectators wearing no protective gear, and the fallout drifting across the breadth of the continent as far as islands in the Pacific. The Montebellos were uninhabited by humans, but had a diverse wildlife. Drewe describes how he returns with a group of ecologists to find out whether the wildlife populations have recovered. The book is rich in anecdote and reference, and at the same time is a personal account of the author's past. He goes off on all sorts of tangents, all equally fascinating. A very polished piece of writing worthy of five stars!
Reviewed by Janet

NW by Zadie Smith
Leah, Felix, Natalie and Nathan grew up in the same housing project in New Willesden, London. In Zadie Smith’s latest novel we follow them as adults who have tried to move away from their place of childhood. Natalie is now a lawyer, Felix has found the woman he hopes will change his life, Leah can’t stop thinking about a local heroin addict who comes to her door for help, and Nathan roams the streets. This is a quietly dramatic novel, but funny and engaging too. I liked Zadie Smith’s different slant on life in London.
Reviewed by Neza

The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Found in the Young Adult paperbacks or the Adult paperbacks.
Charlie is 15 and is starting High School. There he meets Sam and Patrick, 2 interesting and peculiar characters who show him how to participate in life as opposed to observing it from the sidelines. Charlie experiences many things, like first dates and learning to drive. Throughout the book, there are hints to Charlie’s history that begin to surface. It causes many problems with his relationships, particularly with his family. We begin to realise that Charlie isn’t a typical teenager, he is a wallflower. This is a fantastic short read. Recommended for Teenagers 15 years and above.
Reviewed by Ali

The first fifteen lives of Harry August by Claire North
If you are interested in reincarnation, this is a brilliant fictional account of Harry August's repeated life after life. Although the concept  may initially seem reminiscent of the movie Groundhog day, it is actually far more complex. Harry is a kalachakra, meaning he is one of a small group of people who are repeatedly reborn at the same point in time. Harry is exceptional in that he is mnemonic, meaning his memories of each past life remain intact as he is reborn into each life.  The flashbacks to his past lives reveal fascinating variations in how both he and other kalachakra choose to live each life- illustrating the freedom of to be able to experiment different ways of living, knowing they will be reborn regardless of what happens.  In Harry's eleventh life, his lives take on a greater purpose. He becomes involved in an intriguing mystery after receiving a warning message from the future, informing him that the world, past, present and future is coming to an end. 
 I enjoyed the premise, (when I stopped thinking too hard about the possible consequences and impact of the different decisions made in each life), and loved the writing style. I initially believed this to be a debut novel, but discovered it is actually written by a well known author of sixteen novels- written under her own name and two pseudonyms.This is a  thought provoking book with a great ending. Well worth a read. 
Reviewed by Monique

 The Harry Curry, Barrister on the loose, legal series by Stuart Littlemore
Ugly. Irascible. Intolerant. Clever. That describes Harry Curry, barrister on the loose, a “blind man with a machine gun” to judges and legal opponents. When Harry's robust advocacy leads to his suspension for professional misconduct, he teams up reluctantly with Arabella Engineer, a beautiful English barrister of Indian descent, struggling for a foothold at the Sydney bar. To Harry’s surprise, Arabella sets her sights on him personally as well as professionally. Harry may not be fated to live and work alone after all. Together, they work on criminal trials involving drug-dealing, terrorism, murder and more, as their relationship slowly develops. Stuart Littlemore opens up the world of the legal profession in NSW. Not quite Rumpole, but full of interesting characters, on both sides of the law, with Sydney and country NSW locations. I’m sure the NSW legal fraternity played “guess the character” with the judges, magistrates and barristers who are described in these books. Littlemore may not have been too popular if some of the descriptions matched anyone too closely in real life. Nothing too heavy and an easy read.
 Reviewed by Glenn

Guest Review

Me before you by Jo Jo Moyes
Initially this book set all my alarm bells ringing: (1) At 480 pages it follows the unfortunate trend to supersize books under the dubious premise that more means better; (2) a red sticker on the cover guaranteeing a great read, plus a money back guarantee inside- is it a book or a refrigerator?; (3) a list of book club questions-I’m always suspicious of books marketed for book clubs; (4) a somewhat cutesy title; (5) a cutesy author’s name –Jojo!! But, I have to say I quickly became engrossed in the story & I wanted to see how it progressed. So I finished it, enjoyed it, and I even had tears in my eyes at the end. The storyline is a little predictable but the characters are interesting & likeable. The writing is OK, and there’s a very nice description of a storm near the end. I didn’t see it so much as a conventional romance as a story of friendship, solidity vs shallowness of people, and facing up to adversity. It’s interesting that it references/borrows from Pride & Prejudice (and also a little bit from Rebecca). Readers might like to identify Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Collins, and even a few minor characters. Obviously the characters in Me Before You are not clones of those in Pride & Prejudice, but they fulfil similar functions in the story. Note also that the families come from different social strata, and the hero quietly assists the heroine’s family when they are having difficulties. Also, both hero & heroine have sisters with very similar names.
 Reviewed by Mike (Sutherland Library customer)

Seven Deadly Sins Book Discussion...Envy

What are you reading?

Envy is the theme of the August Seven Deadly Sins Book discussion.  Talking about literary envy, books themed envy, books with jealous characters and how and where to discover new  books to read before everyone else! 

There are no set books to read, just bring along a book of your choice relating to the theme of envy to share and discuss. 

Wear something green! 

Caringbah Library
Wednesday 20 August, 2.00pm.

Bookings preferred but not essential. Call Caringbah Library 9524 3803 or book online:

Some envy / jealousy themed books: 

Othello by William Shakespeare
Cinderella by the Brothers Grimm
Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire
The other Boleyn girl by Philippa Gregory
The sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
The light between oceans by M.L Stedman
The end of the affair by Graham Greene

Have you ever wondered if too much sitting down is bad for your health?

Or do just want to read an article in a recent computer magazine?

You could do an Internet search and find an answer but if you need a more scholarly article or want to read a particular magazine Sutherland Libraries can help you to access 1000s of science and technology magazines and other subjects online. Databases are free to use with your library card or at any Sutherland Shire Library. The articles on these databases are text only.

Australia-NZ Reference Centre
Access popular Australian/New Zealand and overseas magazines, reference books and biographies in full text along with an Image Collection of over 510,000 photos, maps and flags.
Some of the more popular magazines and newspapers included on this database - Architecture Australia, Australian Geographic, Australia PC User, Belle, Bulletin, Economist, Motor, New Scientist, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald.

Academic Search Elite
This database offers a collection of full-text information from over 2,100 magazine in many subjects such as animal science, anthropology, astronomy, biology, civil engineering, electrical engineering, ethnic and multicultural studies, food science and technology, geography, law, material science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music, pharmaceutical science, physics, psychology, religion and theology, veterinary science, women's studies and zoology.

MasterFile Premier
Find full-text articles on general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and many other subjects.

Science Reference Centre
This database contains full-text articles for hundreds of science encyclopedias, reference books and other sources. Subjects covered include biology, chemistry, earth and space science, health and medicine, history of science, life science, physics, scientists, technology and wildlife.

Getting Started
To access online articles on any subject go to Sutherland Libraries homepage at:

Choose Your Subject
Subjects are grouped under 'Choose a Resource'

The Start Screen
The start screen of a database will include features such as subject, publication and image options.  You can choose to do a basic or advanced search as well as limiting or expanding your search to suit your needs. You will need to sign in using your library card to access the articles.

Enter Your Search Term
Use the basic or advanced Search box. Tick the full text box and enter other limits to suit your needs such as a date range to get the most recent articles.

Result Page
The result page will give a short abstract of the article. The full text link that allows you to read the whole article is in the left hand corner of the screen. The results page has  features such as print, email, save your results and other options to help you manage your articles.

If you need help or would like to know more about online resources available contact Sutherland Library or ask staff at your library.