Top of the web – December 2017

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular in December.

Central Library Peterborough Christmas
Central Library Peterborough Christmas, Flickr 20171204_083627

Website pages

There were 226,330 page views in December. The most popular pages on

Also in the top pages: Summertime Reading Club (19th), RBDigital Magazines (21st) and Christmas parades in Christchurch (40th).

December’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in December on the website:

Best reads 2017 Donna
The whale is back Simon
The 12 days of Kete Christmas Karen G
Best book covers 2017 Donna
Have yourself a very library Christmas Donna

Photos on Flickr

There were 77,173 page views in December on Flickr. It now has a total of 7,044,360 views.

Top on Twitter

We have 4793 followers. Follow us on Twitter.

Meri Kirihimete! from Shirley Library!  Lovin’ their #bookface style greetings. ^DR

Frankenstein was first published 200 years ago today – 1 Jan 1818, and its author Mary Shelley was 20 years old. ^DR

The whale is back! New Brighton’s new Beachside Playground opens next week, and here’s a delve into the history of that famous, beloved whale. ^DR

Facebook favourites

We have 7640 likes. Like us on Facebook.

Ultramarathon runner Vajin Armstrong regularly runs between 160km and 200km per week! Emily interviewed him about running, meditation, and books ahead of this weekend’s Kepler Challenge and Luxmore Grunt Mountain Run ^Donna

The New Brighton Christmas Parade is on this Saturday 9 December. See Santa arrive on the beach, then enjoy the parade. Our New Brighton team will be taking part. Check out our pics of previous parades. Subscribe to the Facebook event: ^Donna

A special #bookface Meri Kirihimete from the team at Shirley Library. ^Donna

If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.

Top of the web – November 2017

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular in November.

Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre
Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre, Wednesday 15 November 2017. Flickr BI-2017-11-15-IMG_7794

Website pages

There were 248,808 page views in November. The most popular pages on

November’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in November on the website:

Photos on Flickr

There were 77,980 page views in November on Flickr. It now has a total of 6,967,187 views.

Top on Twitter

We have 4763 followers. Follow us on Twitter.

Note to self: Len Lye exhibition at @ChchArtGallery finishes this weekend, so make sure to grab a visit & revel in its magic. ^DR

Went to a community meeting today, and was asked “Where is your Kardashian cover?”
We love @invlibrary. ^DR

Remember the 5th of November. #Parihaka was invaded on 5 November 1881. ^DR

Facebook favourites

We have 7500 likes. Like us on Facebook.

Sending Love is a initiative that’s all about sharing aroha this festive season. Write a Christmas card to elderly people who might be feeling a bit lonely.
Seven of our libraries have drop off boxes for Sending Love. Drop them off by Thursday 14 December, and make someone smile. ^Donna

Talofa lava. UCArts welcomes you to “Decolonise your tongue” – an evening of Pasifika culture as part of the 2017 Oceanic Memories Conference. This is a free event with special guests; Tusiata Avia, Daisy Lavea-Timo, Victor Rodger, Sudesh Mishra, and Tina Makereti. ^Donna

Kia ora. We have 3 library jobs open – 2 Community Learning Librarian positions (one at New Brighton and one at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre), and a Libraries Learning Specialist at South Learning Centre.
Applications close 3 December. ^Donna

If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.

Top of the web – October 2017

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular in October.

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017 display, Linwood Library, 21 October 2017. Flickr 2017-10-021-IMG_7512
Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017 display, Linwood Library, 21 October 2017. Flickr 2017-10-021-IMG_7512

Website pages

There were 252,917 page views in October. The most popular pages on

October’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in October on the website:

Photos on Flickr

There were 70,410 page views in October on Flickr. It now has a total of 6,889,207 views.

Top on Twitter

We have 4747 followers. Follow us on Twitter.

Happy World Animal Day! Here are our resources on NZ animals for kids, including the kākāpō. ^MT

Fiona Farrell loves Scorpio Books, Patrick Evans loves the University Bookshop – Christchurch #NZBookshopDay ^DR

We’ve got some events coming up for @chineselangweek later this month. See our calendar for details.  ^MT

Facebook favourites

We have 7457 likes. Like us on Facebook.
If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.

Invercargill City Libraries and Archives rules! Their Kardashian-tastic photo shoot has made it to the Daily Mail (with a mere 12 million plus Facebook followers). Represent! ^Donna

Happy International Day of Older Persons! Find out what the library has to offer older folk. ^Moata

There are plenty of library jobs available, including roles at Tūranga (Central Library). Have a look! ^Donna

If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.

Vinh Giang – Open Your Mind

Heading to a keynote speaker who is a magician and entrepreneur, I did not know what to expect – particularly at a library conference.  However, Giang truly did open my mind!

Vinh Giang's keynote at LIANZA Conference 2017.
An audience volunteer with Vinh Giang during his keynote.

As you know librarians love a story. Giang shared the personal tale of how his parents risked their lives to escape Vietnam to start a new life as refugees in Australia. They worked very hard to ensure the family got ahead. This resulted in Giang and his brother being left at the local public library while their parents worked long hours.

The library staff embraced the family with “love and kindness” and played card games with them. One day a library staff member showed 11-year old Giang a magic book. This book and the card games were clearly life influencing and would eventually lead to a unique career.

Years later, Giang decided to drop out of university to become a magician. The hardest thing was telling his parents because he felt he had been brought up to achieve academically. Surprisingly, Vinh’s parents were very supportive. They said they didn’t risk their lives to start a new life where he had to do something he didn’t want to do. They wanted him to be happy and have opportunities.

His father encouraged him and stated,

“jump as high as you can in life. As long as I am alive boy, I will forever be your net.”

A relieved Giang then cheekily asked his parents to help finance his proposed business using their investment property. Giang and his friends consequently started the Encyclopaedia of Magic, an online business.

Setting up this business was a risk and required a lot of hard work. Giang recognises the help and support he has received, particularly from family. Despite being very successful he endeavors to remain grounded and shared a Vietnamese saying,

“When you eat the fruit, always remember those who help you plant the tree.”

Illustrating some tricks Giang showed the audience that magic is the problem you can’t solve because of perspective. He highlighted the importance of looking at something from a different point of view, a different perspective. A filmed card trick shows one perspective, whereas a trick in real life shows another perspective.

According to Giang if we generally want to change what we are doing we need to consider completely different perspectives.

“Gather as many perspectives as you can. Perspective is power.”

“We don’t innovate by what others are doing in our industry.”

All of us in the GLAM sector can clearly learn a lot from each other. We should collaborate more – share successes, failures, ideas and findings. We should also look outside our industry for inspiration.

A sllide from Vinh Giang's keynote
A sllide from Vinh Giang’s keynote illustrating the possibilities inherent in gaining a different perspective,

A passionate Giang clearly illustrated his belief that when you improve individually, you improve professionally. He believes,

 “…you are the direct reflection of the top five people you spend time with.”

Giang pestered entrepreneur Matthew Michalewicz until he agreed to spend an hour with him. They are now best friends and Michalewicz is Vinh’s mentor. To reach full potential you have to feel good. If you feel you are lacking a skill or attribute bring someone into your top five. For example, you may need a public speaker.

According to Giang,

 “…your beliefs dictate you actions.”

Clearly, it is important we are positive and know where we are heading as a profession. It is good to set some individual goals and put your hand up to participate in project work. Learning new skills and being adaptable is essential in today’s workplace.

Giang emphasised the importance of taking the first step in processes and surrounding yourself with positive people.

After hearing Giang speak, I think it is important that we all learn to believe in ourselves. It is fundamental that we GLAM professionals develop a stronger voice and illustrate our worth in society. We should take pride in stories such as those of Giang who was clearly empowered by library staff. We are highly skilled, noble workers who come to work every day for the common good of helping other citizens.

Try not to be overwhelmed by projects and opportunities.  Gather different perspectives on the way and remember to take one step at a time!  Be prepared to change perspectives and look at other opportunities around you.

Being open

My intention with writing a post about attending OPEN17, this year’s LIANZA Conference was always to pick a session or two of interest and report back on them… however as often happens at these kind of events, what you think going in, and what you think coming out, are vastly different things. Some sessions I thought would fire with me didn’t, others that I didn’t expect much from resonated. You just never can tell from an abstract, I guess.

And just as important as the individual sessions is the way that themes and ideas from different ones can interact with each other in your mind, achieving a kind of cerebral synergy. So please bear with as I attempt to un-knot some of these intertwined ideas and explain their relationships to each other.

In terms of keynotes there were two that really got me thinking; Laurinda Thomas – The Dangerous Myth about librarians – and Vinh Giang – Open your mind. The appeal of the first was not so much of a surprise to me. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Laurinda in the past about some of the issues she touched on in her presentation so I was fairly sure she and I would be on the same wavelength. We both believe that libraries have fallen into the trap of helping perpetuate narratives that do not serve our industry well. That we chronically undersell ourselves and use language that belittles us. That we need to be bold and open to change and think about ourselves in a completely different way.

"Words have power" slide from Laurinda Thomas's keynote
“Words have power” slide from Laurinda Thomas’s keynote

Vinh Giang’s presentation was very different from this (as you would expect from a motivational speaker/magician) but in common were the ideas of changing your perception to change your reality, how the words you use (what he called “linguistic influence) can have a powerful effect, and self-belief. In many ways Laurinda’s talk was the “what that might look like in a library context” other half of Vinh’s session. He also talked about taking the blinders off and actively looking for opportunities. Advice that I took during conference myself, to great effect (more on that later).

Vinh Giang gives his keynote
Vinh Giang gives his keynote

Creating opportunities was something that came up in Hana O’Regan’s keynote too – namely how her determination to reclaim te reo created opportunities for her to learn her own history. Without this skill the Māori world would be largely closed off to her, the discovery of a Māori literary heritage (in the form of Niupepa) would not have been accessible to her and the ability to deconstruct the myths that Māori hold about themselves would have been greatly diminished. Hana spoke with great heart and it was clear that much of what she has achieved in building te reo capability within her own children is through sheer bloody-mindedness and – there’s that word again – self-belief.

Away from the keynotes some of the smaller sessions contained gold if you looked for it too. In particular I was very taken with Jane Cherry’s session, An Open Smile, which looked into the science and research behind smiling and why frontline staff should absolutely be doing it despite their many reservations – all of which were voiced to sometimes rather comical effect by Jane – including a stubborn determination to not be as friendly as “a shop”… for some reason. I found this session brought up many of the themes as discussed above, including the rather limiting “that’s not what a library does” perception still held by some.

Jane Cherry presenting at LIANZA conference 2017
Jane Cherry presents at Open 17. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

On a personal level, I decided to be open to opportunities in a most practical fashion – despite never having bothered with it before (partly because I am deathly afraid of having awkward conversations with salespeople) – I undertook to get my conference passport stamped at all the vendor stands in the exhibition hall, and then enter the prize draw. This turned out to be quite the mission, though not too onerous, and in the process I acquired “swag” that has resulted in sunflower plants starting to grown in our garden, returning to the office bestowing gifts like the King Midas of pens, and my toddler now has a new favourite bedtime pal aka a little stuffed lion (courtesy of the generous folk at Emerald Publishing). I also entered every vendor competition I came across.

Result? I won a Fitbit that I didn’t particularly want but which I am now borderline obsessed with and a nice bottle of wine. Keep your eyes open for opportunities and amazing things (and free plonk) can happen!