Natalie Muller in the Library

Posted on July 25, 2014. Filed under: Books, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

As you all know, Natalie Muller (Editor-in-residence for 2014 at the Blue Mountains City Library) has been holding her free reading/editing feedback service in our library branches this year. But do you want to find out a bit more about who she is and what she does? Click here to listen to our podcast interview with her, online. It’s a great listen!

Passionate about bringing authors and readers together, Natalie is interested in bringing new voices to the reading public, and exploring the possibilities of e-books. She offers a reading service, providing authors with a critical assessment of their manuscript, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.

She will be visiting our library branches and making herself available to discuss reading, writing, what it is like to be a writer and how to improve your writing. The remaining 2014 dates for this free service are: Saturday 9th August at Katoomba Library, Saturday 13thSeptember at Blaxland Library, Saturday 11th October at Springwood Library and Saturday 8th November at Blaxland Library.

Find out more about Natalie and her services via her website at:

Also, submissions are now open for the first edition of The Wild Goose, a literary e-journal Natalie is starting, focusing on new Australian writing. The theme of the first edition will be ‘Summer’ – please feel free to interpret this however you like. Submissions of essays, short stories, memoir, poetry and visual material will be accepted. Please have your work submitted before November 1st to be considered for the launch issue. Send your submissions to

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Library news

Posted on January 21, 2013. Filed under: Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , , , |

Desperate times call for desperate measures. How desperate are we? 

A Pole, dancing

A Pole, dancing

Library turns to pole dancing to entice new readers – I’m going to Scotland in May, I’ll check it out. Perhaps I can write my travel expenses off as work related then? – HC

The end of the world as we know it?

BiblioTech: The First Bookless Library – “It’s not a replacement for the (city) library system, it’s an enhancement”

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Winning ‘Live Life’ Portraits of Seniors

Posted on May 27, 2012. Filed under: Fun Stuff, Web 2.0 + Web 2.1 | Tags: , , , , , |

The winning ‘Live Life’ entry, by Arabella Say

The winners of the ‘Live Life’ portrait competition for youths (aged 15 – 21yrs) were awarded their prizes earlier this month. Please click here to view the award ceremony at Springwood Library, and see each of the winning portraits. Aniko envisioned an art competition that celebrated the lives of seniors through the eyes of the youth and worked with Naomi to create a project that was promoted to the local high schools. The standard of artworks received was very high – and Sarah Gurich from the new Blue Mountains Cultural Centre was asked to be the judge. Naomi put up an exhibition of the winning works at Springwood Library.

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Local Books, new LibraryThing app

Posted on January 17, 2011. Filed under: Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , |

Another iPhone app – this time from LibraryThing.
Called Local Books this new app can be used to locate book shops, libraries and bookish events wherever you are or plan to be.
The app is available from the iTunes store as a free download.
All NSW public libraries are included.

You can read more about the app on the LibraryThing blog.
Now that sounds really exciting! Can someone with a newish phone give it a go and tell me what it’s like?
I wonder how we get our events on it? Something to investigate . . .
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Lawson LitKNITS

Posted on July 15, 2010. Filed under: Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , |

The 702 ABC Sydney ‘Knit In’ is a fantastic community event supporting the organization ‘Wrap with Love’ which creates colourful wraps for communities in need around the world.

Lawson Library hosted a ‘Knit in’ on Friday June 25th. 20 keen women, now known as Lawson LitKNITS, gathered to knit and crochet squares and also sew squares together to make some beautiful wraps. These women were able to share their skills in a very relaxed and social environment. There were lots of laughs and delicious refreshments were enjoyed.

Thank you to all those who contributed to making this such a pleasurable event.

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Secret Swamping

Posted on April 24, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Janelle, Aniko, Mike and the children. What you can’t see in this unfortunately blurry shot is that each of them have decorated themselves in various shades of ochre.

As you will all see in these photos, Heidi and I were having a hugely strenuous experience tracking through the swamps this morning. Fortunately we are both FIT and energetic and passionate about our environment.

(Through the eyes of a kid)
We all met at Katoomba library at 10am. Our bus driver, Dusan, had a problem about counting the number of seats in his bus and we ended up having to take the Ranger’s car as well. Of course you can well imagine that part of a ‘secret’ is going on a bus and looking back as you speed off thinking, thank goodness my mother isn’t coming! Why does she always look weepy when I board a bus?

And it is even better to be sitting next to your BEST friend with a haversack full of food that you never get to eat at home! BUT I guess from a kid’s perspective, you do need to worry about these lady Librarians . . . they are not as stern as those who get left behind in the library telling you that you still own $5.50 on that book which was late, which you never really got to read anyway.

I got to sit next to the older one. She looked a bit hip in that ‘dry as a bones’ . . . didn’t anyone tell her that you don’t wear that type of gear when you go swamping! The other one with the blond hair was a bit of a cutey . . . It would be great to have a mum like her!

Anyway we headed off and did the normal carry one in a bus . . . windows up and down, trying out to see if the back door actually opened, giving the driver lots of noise . . . good job he didn’t go on about the usual tourist jargon on your route to your destination. And yes, we got there . . . Charles Darwin Walk . . . a creek full of yabbies, skinks, dragonflies, mud glorious mud, bush tucker food, waterfalls, fresh swamp water, hills that took for ever to climb, and yes you’ve got it we emerged with painted faces, gumboots full of water and two an half hours of ‘full on’ information overload on the best swamps in the world at our back yard.

Mike showing the children a yabby in the creek

That guy, Mike Hensen, knew more about swamps than I could have believed. He tried getting us to learn the Latin words for bush specimens but I thought it sounded like we were in some foreign country forgetting how to speak English!

Janelle telling the children about Aboriginal life pre-white settlement

The bush ranger was a lady called Janelle. She talked about her people and ancestries and showed us how to cut large bark out of trees and swing a club, throw a spear and spin a boomerang. I liked what she had to say about her country and how her people knew better than us in how to care for the environment.
Would I do it again . . . I sure would even if we had to go with the librarians again!


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School Holidays Program Feedback

Posted on April 24, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Here is some feedback which the Library Children’s and Young Adult’s Team got from one of the session leaders in our Autumn School Holiday Program.
Jane Davidson BFA (Hons) is a Contemporary artist & teacher and ran several workshops during the holidays : “Just keeping you updated about the art workshops this week. It’s been such a fantastic week so far and in my opinion will only get better.
Yesterday at Lawson I met some delightful parents who restored my faith in human kind a little. Sometimes I get a bit jaded about the state of the planet and its inhabitants – philistine is a word on the end of my tongue a lot; not kind I know but seriously justified at times. Yesterday however I met BEAUTIFUL parents who adored their children and only wanted positive experiences for them.
Today however, at Katoomba I had an experience that in 10 years of art teaching I can say I have never ever had. One child, who has supported these classes frequently since January as well as Fab Fridays, brought her father along this time. I hadn’t met him before. I saw that he had a walking cane but didnt really register what the nature of his handicap was. As you know, today’s medium was oil pastels and a technique known in art circles as sgrafitto. I have taught this technique to kids, teens AND adults with equally satisfying results in the past.
Once everyone was settled I noticed this child’s mum and dad up the front of the room looking very very closely at the samples I had brought in. The wife explained to me that her husband only had 40% vision and that he found this technique really interesting. I don’t know what prompted me to do this but I insisted he sit down and try this out.
After a little cajoling he sat down and his daughter was giving him step by step instructions on the process and when I turned around again I was stunned. He had done a BEAUTIFUL sgrafitto drawing. The look on his face brought me to tears. He told me he had never made art in his life and felt so proud of this little drawing. We had a chat about his vision and I suggested that perhaps some sculpture, clay sculpture, would be the ideal medium for him (I thought he could feel his way to the end result, you know?) After this I encouraged all of the parents in the room to have a go and without exception the adults ‘elbowed’ the kids out of the way to get at the colours !!!
What a beautiful positive experience for families to have on a miserable day in the mountains and in the library. I have said this to you before: western society has lost its soul, we need more and more soul-enriching activities like art, music and literature to keep us sane. It saddens me sometimes that adults have to be shown simple things like sgrafitto to lower their blood pressure and put a smile on their face . . . but hey . . . get it where you can and its NEVER too late.
I feel particularly moved by this father’s experience today. That poignant little moment when he looked at me and told me he was proud of that drawing will be the highlight of my month, I reckon.
Could this week get any better ??
I think we should share this stuff.
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