01 July 2020

A fond farewell to this Blog.

The library staff started a blog in 2008 when blogs were the best way to get information out to people online. In the first year the blog was visited just over 22,000 times. This financial year the blog will receive around 14,000 visits, and the number of visits per month is steadily dropping. We’ve changed the look, the content, who writes for it and so on, but the reality is people now get their information through other social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

The library team have made the decision to stop the blog, and concentrate on providing content on those sites our users prefer. We use Facebook extensively for book reviews, to promote events and programmes, and provide links to information. We use Twitter and Instagram, and are always watching to see if we need to provide information through other channels.

So, we’re not going away, we’re just tailoring our delivery to quite people’s changing needs. If you would like to follow us on other social media channels you can find is at:




You can also find us on Instagram under Libraryplus!

Cath Sheard

Kaihautū Puna Mātauranga me te Ratonga Ahurea | Libraries & Cultural Services Manager

Read all about it! - The Midweek Review

My favourite book at the moment is Do not feed the bear by Rachel Elliott.

Sydney is a cartoonist and free-runner. When she was 10 something happened that changed her life and the book starts with her going back to where this happened.

I loved the way this book was written. I’d read sentences aloud because I liked how they sounded, at times it was almost poetry. Characters were quite diverse but totally believable.

It made me think about the Butterfly effect of life. There were funny bits too and I chuckledout loud, and some poignant pieces.  I’ve never met a free-runner  and in my head I could see Sydney.

The book was set in a seaside English town, which was another draw card. 

Ann-Louise@ Hawera LibraryPlus

29 June 2020

Coming soon to our shelves!

From famine to freedom, how a young boy fled Chairman Mao's China to a new life in Australia.

Andrew Kwong was only seven when he witnessed his first execution. The grim scene left him sleepless, anxious and doubtful about his fervour as a revolutionary in Mao's New China. Yet he knew if he devoted himself to the Party and its Chairman he would be saved. That's what his teacher told him.

Months later, it was his own father on trial. This time the sentence was banishment to a re-education camp, not death. It left the family tainted, despised, and with few means of survival during the terrible years of persecution and famine known as the Great Leap Forward. Even after his father returned, things remained desperate. Escape seemed the only solution, and it would be twelve-year-old Andrew who undertook the perilous journey first.

This is the poignant, resonant story of a young boy's awakening - to survival, education, fulfilment, and eventually to a new life of freedom.

26 June 2020

Friday thoughts from Cath!

Winter’s the time to learn a new skill

Winter; cold weather, shorter days, warm socks – and often more time for quieter leisure activities. In summer we’re outside after dinner in the garden, going for a walk or maybe even heading to the beach with the dog. In winter I cook dinner as soon as I get home then settle in the lounge with my husband and our puppy, in front of the gas heater, or at my art desk with the oil heater on. It means I have more time for crafts, so it’s a great time to learn new skills or develop a series of works.

As an artist I’m always looking for new ideas, including new techniques and processes, or just enjoying other people’s work for inspiration. This winter you could practice new skills in the kitchen, learn a language or perhaps learn to nit or sew – we’ve got lots of lovely new books if you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s a couple of books I’ve been reading recently that I’ve found inspiring:

Creating sketchbooks for embroiderers and textile artists by Kay Greenlees.  This lovely book is about developing a regular sketchbook practice and is full of practical ideas and inspiring images. If you’re into art, mixed media or textiles, it’s a great resource.

Personal geographies: explorations in mixed media mapmaking by Jill K Berry. I’ve always loved maps and Jill Berry takes the idea of maps and turns them into exploration of the self, your experiences and personal journey. It’s colourful and intriguing, with some really though provoking examples of people’s work.

Rage baking: the transformative power of flour, fury, and women's voices by Kathy Gunst. I’m far from a domestic goddess because I’d much rather be in my art room, but this title appealed. It combines cookie, cake, tart, and pie recipes with inspirational short stories and interviews with well-known bakers, and impassioned women and activists who have found a voice in and out of the kitchen, such as celebrity, cookbook author and activist Chrissy Teigen, and actress and activist Maya Rudolph.

Wishing you all a warm weekend,