Surprise book of the month

Beautiful Goats cover.docxBeautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds

Written by Felicity Stockwell  and photographed by Andrew Perris

I have noticed that Library staff love putting Beautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds on display and it always gets borrowed. So what is so appealing about this unusual title?

I asked myself “Why do we love goats?” They eat almost everything and can butt you in the backside, then appear to laugh about it.  However, goats are also sweet natured and have pretty faces. They have personality. Maybe they are endeared to us from childhood, when we listen to the story of the brave Billy Goats Gruff outwitting the vile troll on the bridge. One of my colleagues also told me that goats have become nearly as popular as cats on the Internet.

In the first few pages of Beautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds, Felicity Stockwell looks at the history and cultural significance of goats. She writes about the agricultural products derived from goats, goats as pets, wild goats and show competitions. However, the greatest part of this book is devoted to showcasing 40 breeds of goats. Photographs are accompanied by specific information about each breed that is featured.

These goats are simply photogenic and definitely beautiful. Each goat is photographed against a simple grey background, which reflects the colour of the book’s covers.  They do not require any other artifices. Andrew Perris skilfully manages to capture so much expression on each of these animal’s faces.  The goats look proud and happy to be photographed on set. They raise their heads in regal poses as if to say “This is my good side”.

The final section of the book ‘Reportage’ takes a fun look inside a goat show, where black and white snapshots are posted billboard style, accompanied by cute captions.

It is worth browsing through this lovely book, whether you have an interest in agriculture, you would like a cheeky pet or even if you just enjoy clever photography. You can reserve Beautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds. Or enquire next time you visit the Library.

 

 

Way back when, Wednesdays

Look who’s talking

Page 13 of the Leader Messenger dated 30 November, 1983 featured an interview with talented young ventriloquist Linda Jane and her friend Charlie.  Does anybody remember watching Linda Jane and Charlie on Channel 9’s talent show New Faces?  The article focused on Linda’s emerging career in ventriloquism and on her childhood experiences.  Linda Jane and other artists were to appear in a series of concerts to entertain inmates and staff in Adelaide’s gaols.  A brave girl!  Prisoners at Yatala Labour prison had been rioting and lighting fires.

A ventriloquist can change their voice and make it seem like the words they are speaking are coming from a puppet or dummy, which is commonly referred to as having the ability to ‘throw your voice’.  The technical term for a ventriloquist’s dummy is a ventriloquial figure.

In the 1940s and 1950s ventriloquism was incredibly popular in Australia. Hundreds of people performed the art of ventriloquism on stage.  Ventriloquism became a novelty, when electronics used in modern film made it easy to convey the illusion of a non-living character having a voice.  Less people visited the theatre to watch comedy and musical acts.  Fortunately technology and the Internet have created new opportunities for ventriloquists to build new audiences and connect with fellow performers.  Carrying on the tradition, Darren Carr and David Strassman are two ventriloquists who are popular with Australian audiences.

If you find ventriloquist dummies creepy, you are not alone. Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies is known as Automatonophobia.  People who suffer from this phobia feel stressed in the presence of ventriloquilist dummies.  They may also dislike animatronic creatures, dolls or wax statues.  Anything that resembles a sentient being.  Symptoms range from feeling uneasy when looking into their glass eyes, to experiencing panic attacks, an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or nausea!

#waybackwhenwednesdays

Jailhouse dummy

Library Goober makes TV show!

Former Tea Tree Gully Library staff member, Ben Crisp, has had a series he wrote turned into a webseries on ABC iview.

The series, called Goober, is a short form comedy documenting the life of Harry, an Uber driver on the autism spectrum. “Harry loves his life, he loves his job, and he loves his gooberpassengers: so much, that he wants every one of them to be his next best friend. Goober is a light-hearted comedy series about a man who sees the best in every situation, despite what everyone else sees. It demonstrates that first impressions don’t always tell the whole story: Harry seems unusual due to the way his autism shapes his interactions, but, more often than not, his candor and naivety expose the hypocrisy of the “everyday” people around him.”

We caught up with Ben to ask him about Goober and to keep in contact in case he turns into a full-fledged success who might be worth mooching off of in the future.

TTG Library:   Congratulations on Goober. The Library is incredibly proud to have one of our own produce such a great show.

Ben:    Thank you so much!

TTG Library: Firstly is it pronounced Goober or Gūber?

Ben: Actually it’s spelt Goober but it’s pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove. No, Harry the Uber-driver is definitely a “goober”: a loveable goofball who means well, but tends to get it wrong more than right.

TTG Library: Why isn’t it spelled Gūber then?

Ben: We considered it briefly, but thought that people might see the name and think it was a foreign-language show. Or misread it and think it was about the Gruber brothers, Hans and Simon Peter—you know, the bad guys from Die Hard 1 and 3. Actually that would be a pretty cool show too now that I think about it.

[we all think it would be a great show too, you could call it Now I Have a Gruber! – start writing]

TTG Library: In a lot of ways Gūber would have been funnier, do you now regret not spelling it that way?

Ben: We choose to listen to our fans, not our diacritics.

TTG Library: You are one of the Library’s favourite sons, how has the transition from library to screen writer been?

Ben: Libraries are hallowed ground for all writers, cathedrals built for stories, so working in a library was a special privilege. Particularly one with so many wonderful people on the team! And now I’m still just as lucky to be working with another amazing team of enthusiastic and dedicated people. Screenwriting is very different work, but hopefully serves the same essential purpose as library work: to deliver stories into people’s lives.

TTG Library: The series is both very funny and has a lot of heart and is often very poignant, where have you drawn inspiration from?

Ben: Lots of places! The initial spark came from the idea that it has become more and more common for people to have short, sometimes awkward, sometimes poignant interactions with strangers that only last the length of a trip in an Uber or a taxi. So we dreamt up a character who is a bit socially awkward, but works as a driver because he loves talking to people and trying to help them—even though he’s not always that good at it.

TTG Library: You manage to tell amazingly complete narratives in very short periods of time, was that difficult?

Ben: Part of the challenge with digital formats like ABC iview is engaging the audience in a short space of time. Some of it comes from the format: Harry gets life-coaching from his Dad over the phone, picks up his passengers and gets himself into mischief, then fumbles his way through a talk with Wendy, his crush who works at the drive-thru. I’m lucky to have a very talented and diligent team of collaborators in directors Brendon Skinner and Simon Williams, and producer Kirsty Stark—between us we whittle the story down to just what it needs to be. But we’ve only scratched the surface: there is plenty more to Harry’s story that we are just dying to share with everyone—enough to fill a whole television series!

TTG Library: Is it too late to change the spelling to Gūber?

Ben: Sure, why not? Remember how they renamed The Mighty Ducks as Champions? That wasn’t confusing at all.

TTG Library: Obviously the mentoring you received at the TTG Library, primarily from David and Holly, was instrumental to your success, how vital was it?: a) Incredibly vital b) More vital than can be expressed in English c) 100% vital d) All of the above.

Ben: Definitely D.

[Right answer]

TTG Library: What was the experience of seeing your written words turned into images on the screen like?

Ben: Amazing! We were so lucky to have such a fantastic cast. Our lead actor, Brendan Williams, is really what brings Harry and the show to life. He captures the loveable, dorky charm of the character with this textbook comic expressiveness that cracks me up. Ashton Malcolm as Wendy, the equally-gooberish drive-thru attendant, is just perfect. The whole cast is terrific: every episode has beautiful performances by the supporting cast who play the passengers, from a fretting bridal party to a grumpy grandmother, a nervous schoolboy, to a pair of loudmouth rappers. It’s awesome.

TTG Library: Shane “Kenny” Jacobson plays the voice of Harry’s Dad, did he suggest changing the spelling to Gūber?

Ben: If he did, we certainly would have listened to him! Shane is a legend, in comedy and drama, and he really knows his stuff. He understood the character straight away and had some great suggestions when he recorded the lines in the studio with Brendan. It’s a tough ask for an actor to deliver that emotion when he’s just a voice on a phone, but Shane knocked it out of the park. He captures it perfectly: Harry’s Dad is a regular bloke who loves and supports his son more than anything in the world. TTG Library: Thanks.

Ben: Thank you! Congratulations again Ben!

Catch Goober on ABC iview or through http://au.gooberseries.com/ We want to see more so if you love it too let ABC know.

 

Library opening hours for Christmas and the New Year

Christmas rainbow wreath decoration on white

 

The Library will be open at the special time of 9am and close at noon on Friday 23 December.

The Library will reopen on Tuesday 3 January 2017, from 10am to 5pm.

Christmas bonus! All loans for 4 weeks items have been extended to 6 weeks.

Best wishes from the Library staff for a happy and safe festive season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season’s Greetings

wrting-cardsEvery year, do you mechanically write out your Christmas cards at the last minute, using the same message for everybody, while getting a sore wrist?

Do you write “Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year, love from…” Even if that is what the card’s verse basically says?

cropped-santa

 

Or do you cringe when you have selected or made a beautiful blank card that needs a message? If you would like to saysomething more poetic and personalised, then Just the Right Christmas Words could be what you need.

just-the-right-christmas-words-cover-largeJudith Wibberley has created a selection of messages that you can use for your festive cards and invitations, to make the people who receive them feel special. She includes a variety of wording for Christmas and New Year greetings in both prose and in verse. There are messages for loved ones and different relatives, including families who have a new child.

Judith also writes for friends who are living overseas or serving in the armed forces. She includes a special section for Christian messages and for writing to Jewish friends celebrating Hanukkah. So as is noted on page 155 of Just the Right Christmas Words,“This Christmas, Spend a little, Laugh a lot, And enjoy.”

You can reserve Just the Right Christmas Words through the online catalogue or enquire when you visit the Library.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Work experience student Holly recently spent one week with us at Tea Tree Gully Library. Not only did she learn about the library and all of the work that goes on behind the scenes, she also learned a lot about herself.

‘Hi, my name is Holly and I attended work experience at the Tea Tree Gully Library. I am going to be writing about stepping outside of your comfort zone.

What types of qualities do you need to step outside your comfort zone? Courage? Bravery? Persistence? Resilience? I think they pretty much cover it. This year, I have had to deal with stepping outside of my comfort zone a lot. I still am. Is it easy? No, of course it isn’t. A way to help me through a confronting situation is to think about the positive outcomes. Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me more confident and independent in the long run, even if at the time I am really nervous or freaking out about it. I know that if I do the certain activity, I will be better off for it.

comfort zone

‘Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me more confident and independent in the long run.’

One instance of me stepping outside of my comfort zone was whenever I had to deliver a speech to my class. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I can’t help but get nervous. When I get nervous like that, my hands shake and I talk really fast. I am sure that’s common. However, the more times I get up in front of people and talk to them, the more confident in speaking I will become. Over the year, I have gotten better at speeches in front of people. There is still room for improvement, but practice makes perfect. In all honesty, I don’t mind delivering speeches, but my shaking hands and pounding heart suggest otherwise. It must be a subconscious thing. To get rid of this subconscious worry, I will need to face the anxiety head on by delivering speeches. The more I do it, the more comfortable I will feel, which will decrease my nerves. I hope that in the next couple of years, I will get even better at public speaking.

Another instance of me stepping outside of my comfort zone is performing in front of my drama class. Don’t get me wrong, I love drama, but sometimes doubt seeps into my mind. What if I’m not good enough? I bet everyone else is better than me. This is so embarrassing, I look ridiculous! I don’t even want to know what people are thinking of me right now! Those are some of the thoughts that whirl through my mind as I try to perform. This results me in getting very nervous, my hands shaking, my heart pounding and me speaking my lines way too fast. Sometimes, my performance levels will drop because I’m too scared that I will look ridiculous. If I am holding a prop, it will be very obvious my hands are shaking. I have to do a monologue in drama for my exam in a few weeks and I find it very difficult to rehearse it in front of everyone, as my character gets a little crazy. However, the more times I do it, the more times I step out of my comfort zone, the easier it gets. My confidence has built so much since my first drama lesson this year. My teacher has noticed it too. I now can rehearse my monologue or other parts of the script without the nerves or fear of people watching me. Again, there’s still room for improvement, but if I keep persevering, I will get there. I love drama and wish to continue it throughout school and maybe even after it, so if I can build my confidence, which would enhance my skills, that would be amazing.


One of the biggest examples of me stepping outside my comfort zone is when I volunteered to go to my school’s Sri Lanka mission trip. At first, I was just very excited. I haven’t really been overseas before, aside from a cruise to the Pacific islands with my family. I have never been on an international flight. I haven’t been that far from home before. This would be the longest time away from my family and most of my friends. As the time got closer, I started to feel more nervous, doubts creeping into my mind. It was feeling a lot more real to me now. What if I couldn’t do something that the team wanted me to do while I was away? What if I humiliated myself? What if something goes wrong? What if people in the team didn’t want to talk to me? What if I became lonely? What if the kids at the homes don’t like me? These questions were clouding my mind, making me feel more anxious about the trip. Even with all of my doubts, it didn’t stop me from wanting to go. I still wanted to make a difference to the kids’ lives. I leave for Sri Lanka this Sunday, which is both exciting and scary. I need to step outside of my comfort zone and deal with any problems that come my way the best that I can. I have pushed out all of the negative thoughts and try to focus on the positive. Just because it’s a new situation doesn’t mean that it will be bad.


The most recent instance, which also includes the time that I was writing this, is my work experience. I applied to the Tea Tree Gully Library. I thought it would take a while for them to contact me, but it only took about a week or two, which was a pleasant surprise. I have to be honest here. I, like almost the entire Year 10 cohort at my school, did not find a work experience placement at the start of the year when we were handed our forms. My reasoning was that the places I already looked up either didn’t accept Year 10’s, didn’t have the correct days, or already had work experience students. I am glad that someone suggested I should try the library, as I do like to read myself. It’d be interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes of a library.  Right up to the moment I stepped into the library, I was feeling extremely nervous. I had no idea what to expect or where to go. The same could be said for the interview process. I was worried because I had just come from school and was still in my PE uniform! I had wished I had time to change. At least when I went into the work experience week, I had time to make myself look presentable.

Once I got to the council, one of the librarians came and got me and brought me down to the work room. This was when I was most nervous, but I pushed through it and carried on. There were a few little introductions. I knew I wouldn’t remember anyone’s names straight away because I am not really good at names. Michele talked me through the introduction to the library and gave me a tour. I started to feel more relaxed, but I still felt a little bit nervous. Soon enough, I got into some work. I started off at the chute with Chris G. I enjoyed it, especially since I got to know Chris a little bit better. I think that’s what I like most about each job. I get to talk to and learn more about the workers here at the library. This helped me feel more relaxed. My favourite job on Monday was probably being at the customer service desk. You can interact with customers as well as the staff around you. Even though checking in lots of books and sorting them into the right boxes and trolleys may seem tedious and a little boring, I didn’t mind it. I found myself getting into a rhythm. By the end of the first day, I was really tired. I wasn’t used to this type of work day. I went home tired, but looking forward to coming back for the next few days.

Tea Tree Gully Library

‘I am glad that someone suggested I should try the library, as I do like to read myself. It’d be interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes of a library.’

On the Tuesday, I had to find my own way to the library, so I decided to take a bus, which is something I don’t normally do. I really didn’t want to get there late because there was a staff meeting, so I decided to get an earlier bus than I had planned. I was a little nervous, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and have a little faith in myself. It was the right choice. I got to the library in plenty of time. The staff meeting was right at the start of the day and I had a chance to look at all the staff, as I had not met everyone yet. My favourite activity of the day was helping run the ‘Facebook/Messenger on your tablet’ session. Even though I don’t use either application myself, I managed to help some of the people in the session, which was great. This session was a lot different compared to the other jobs that I had done so far. I even learned some things from attending that session. Just like the first day, I put 100% effort into everything I did, even with the more tedious tasks, like labelling wine bottles.

On the Wednesday, I caught the bus again, but I decided to catch a slightly later one. I still made it to the library in plenty of time. The first task I did was to find the expired holds. There wasn’t too many to do, so I spent about 45 minutes also just shelving books. After morning tea was the fun part. I got to attend the ‘Baby Bounce’ and ‘Toddler Time’. A couple of staff members and myself sat in the corner of the library in front of a crowd of kids and their parents. The 10:30 session was for babies and the 11:30 session was for toddlers. What we had to do was sing songs to the kids and do the actions to them. I was nervous and uncertain about it at first, but I quickly got into it. These sessions were something that I have never done before, but I really enjoyed them. The little kids were so cute!

Baby Bounce

‘What we had to do was sing songs to the kids and do the actions to them. I was nervous and uncertain about it at first, but I quickly got into it. ‘

I then spent a couple of hours at the customer service desk. I got into a steady rhythm. After the customer service desk, I had some time to continue this blog. While I was working, one of my school teachers came to see how I was going. We had a quick chat about what type of jobs I was doing. I then went back into the work room to continue writing. After the allocated project time, I attended an early development and index meeting with Holly, another librarian. Throughout the week, it would be disorientating when someone would call my name, but not be talking to me. I have rarely come across someone with the same name as me before. During the meeting, there was a power outage, so a lot of people left early, including me. It turns out the whole state had a power outage.

On Thursday, I started the day by doing holds. However, I only had time to do a few because at 9:15am, there was a morning tea for a staff member’s birthday. That lasted until 10am. I then went to help David for a couple of hours around the library. After that, I did some of the pick list with Stephen. I then spent another couple of hours in the toy library, which was interesting. It was good to interact with Lyn and the volunteers there. After that, I went back to the chute for a while with Pam. We also managed to do some of the pick list as well. To finish the day off, I had more time to work on my blog.

On Friday, my last day of Year 10 work experience, I came into the library early once again. It gave me time to look over my schedule. I started the day by doing some admin with Nicolle. It was a little bit confusing, but if I had more time for it, I am sure that I would have got it. I then went to story time with Kim and Julie. I listened to them read stories to the kids, helped hand out the crafts stuff and joined in with any actions for the songs. The kids were really cute and excitable. After story time, I went back to help Nicolle with admin. After lunch, I worked in the chute and customer service desk one last time. At the end of the day, I had a final catch up with Michele to talk about the week.

Now that the week has ended, I can say that I’m glad that I applied for the library. It gave me a good variety of tasks. It would probably be boring if I did one thing for the whole week. Work experience in general is a great way for kids to break away from their school life and have a glance at the real world. It may be outside of their comfort zones, but it does prepare them to do well in their futures when they do have full time jobs. Work experience gives you more independence and confidence, so I definitely recommend you doing it. Tea Tree Gully Library is a good option if you are unsure of where to go. It gives you a taste at a range of different jobs.


In conclusion, nothing worthwhile in life is easy. You will feel much more joy if you have to put a lot of effort into achieving something. If you could do anything without much thought or effort, the impact of the achievement will be a lot less. Something may be outside of your comfort zone, but don’t let that stop you. Be brave. Be resilient. Be persistent. Have courage.’

Jigsaw puzzles: erasing mental cobwebs since 1760

Jigsaws are good for your head. Fact.

When you put together a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both sides of the brain: the left side of the brain which deals with logic and sequence, and the right side of the brain that deals with emotions and performs tasks holistically. When you use both sides of the brain, it intensely exercises your brain cells and increases brain capacity.

DSC_8996

Staff tackling one of the library’s communal jigsaw puzzles.

The process of completing a jigsaw puzzle is also a form of meditation. Focusing on the same image for a long period can induce calmness and peace in your mind, as your concentration eludes everything else around you.

Chipping away at a jigsaw on a regular basis sharpens your memory and improves your clarity of thought, clearing away mental cobwebs. You can really lose yourself in a jigsaw, just like you do when you read a page turning novel.

London cartographer John Splisbury, is credited with commercialising jigsaw puzzles around 1760 and they have been a hit ever since. Not long afterwards they had the approval from the British royal family, being used in geography lessons for their children. The word jigsaw seems to be a misnomer, as they were meant to be named ‘fretsaws’, after the tools that cut the wooden pieces.

Tea Tree Gully Library has in excess of 200 different jigsaw puzzles. They are all available for customers to take home, without having to formally check them out on their card.

Our jigsaw collection features a range of graphics, including foreign cities, nature panoramas, cartoons and more. There are jigsaws with 100 pieces, and some with 3000. Make your selection on the challenge you’re up for!

You can always contribute to the library’s communal jigsaw table, which is right next to the collection.