Month: November 2022

eAudiobooks and holidays – bliss!

Listening to a story is a wonderful way to spend family time or to simply relax, so, as the holidays are soon upon us (yay!), here’s a big shout out to eAudiobooks. Whether you’re travelling in a car, on a boat or an alien aircraft, or just chillin’ out at home or the bach, or in the caravan or tent (though not on the beach, devices, sand and sea, hmmm?) eAudiobooks are an amazing, hassle-free way to listen to books. And remember, if your child is signed up for the library’s Summer Reading Programme, listening to stories counts!

The two platforms the library provides are Borrowbox and Libby (eBooks are also available through both, as well as eMagazines through Libby). Best of all, you can access all these for free with your Palmerston North City Library card, and using the platforms’ mobile apps, you can listen to titles offline once you’ve downloaded them.

There’s a large number of titles exclusive to the individual collections, so it’s worth downloading both BorrowBox and Libby. An extensive range of adult, young adult and children’s titles are available and there’s no worry about late returns as eAudiobooks simply expire on their due dates (as do eBooks and eMagazines).

Have a look at the ebooks & e-audio page on our website for more information, to download the apps and sign up. If you’ve forgotten your library card password, we can help with that, just give us a call. Click, sign-up and enjoy the myriad of stories that await.

Merry Christmas and joyful listening!

The Story of Home Service Deliveries

Two women at a Home Delivery in 1975.

2022 marks 50 years of the library’s Home Service deliveries to members of the public who can’t visit because of illness, disability, limited mobility, and support. This is the story of our home service deliveries from 1972 to today.


In February, a ‘Housebound’ service began as a trial, with 17 customers and 6 delivery volunteers. By November the service was made permanent.


The service has six volunteer delivery drivers, 17 housebound clients, and was expanded to 3 local rest homes. The image to the right shows a home service delivery taking place in 1975 and was originally published in the Manawatū Guardian. Source: Manawatū Heritage.


The talking book service was enabled by the Palmerston North Rotary Club. As part of the Rotary International 75th Jubilee project, $3,000 was donated to the Library to provide about 100 talking books (audio books) to start the scheme.

The new Talking Book kit under review by Marie Moncrieff, Librarian; William Mansfield; and Dorothy Mansfield (‘House-bound’ borrower)

Originally published in the Manawatū Evening Standard in 1979. Source: Manawatū Heritage


The service was expanded to 30 volunteer drivers and 65 clients.


Under the guidance of Housebound Coordinator Deon Knox, the service had 40 volunteer drivers!


The service had 82 clients.

Having the Home Service is excellent for me. I don’t have any transport except taxis, so having books and a jigsaw puzzle delivered every few weeks is something I look forward to and enjoy.  I love reading, it takes you out of where you are and to wherever you’re reading about. Jigsaws are always a challenge – the harder ones are the ones I really enjoy.  Because of Covid, meeting and talking with anyone who delivers the books and puzzles hasn’t been possible but to me, the Home Service is JUST THE BEST. 

Home Service client Betty Holmes


The Library’s Home Service are shared winners of Asia Award for home services and reminiscence programme.


Heather Hurrell retired after 10 years as home services coordinator. In November Nora Kilpin took up the reigns as home service coordinator, and is still in the role in 2022.

The service introduced new ‘Victor’ players for the audiobooks, replacing the ‘daisy players’ that were offered to customers for long term loans. 

Home Service deliveries offer a chance to chat.

Source: Manawatū Heritage


Covid-19 restrictions pause Home Service deliveries during the first lockdown of 2020. When lockdown was lifted, staff picked up more of the selecting and delivery work, to keep our clients and volunteers safe.


February saw 50 years since the inception of the service, while November is 50 years since the service was an official, permanent service at Palmerston North City Library.

We welcomed back our volunteers from July.

Being an avid reader myself I have enjoyed selecting for those who otherwise might be deprived of reading material. Long may this fantastic service continue.

Home Service volunteer Annette Bolton 

I’d like to help!

Our volunteers select books according to our client’s preferences, and deliver and pick up bundles once a month, on DAY OF WEEK/ DATE. We are always happy to welcome new volunteers – to find out more contact us here.

I’m interested in receiving Home Service deliveries

If you’re unable to visit us because of illness, disability or limited mobility, and no-one else can do this for you then the Home Service may be for you. We discuss your interests and needs, and select a bundle just for you. And it’s not just books – we deliver music, DVDs and puzzles too!

Contact us by email, or call (06) 351 4100.

Digging in the crates

A guest post from Anton Carter, Group Manager – Community Services. Anton hosts a weekly radio show ‘Audio Mechanics’ on Radio Active (Wtgn). He is a board member with Manawatu People’s Radio, and former member of NZ dub fusion band Rhombus.    

Palmerston North City Library has an excellent curated vinyl collection and it’s a great way to discover new and old music, but also to have the physical tactile experience that digital streaming can’t offer. I’ve been a vinyl junkie and record collector since the early 80’s and am always keen to do some vinyl crate digging, as you never know what you will find.

Here’s few of my picks:

  1. Alice Coltrane / Journey in Satchidananda 1971

Alice was married briefly to legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane but is a significant artist in her own right. This double gate fold-out album on Impulse Records has wonderful liner notes and photos of the artists performing. Providing depth and details of the recording before you even put the needle on the record.   

This is Alice’s fourth full length album, on which she plays piano and harp. The title of the album indicates Alice’s spiritual leanings, as it refers to Swami Satchidananda, of which she was a close disciple. And you can hear the eastern musical influence in many of the tracks and is a strong theme over her career.  

The album needs to be listened to multiple times, as there’s so much subtle interplay between the artists, you are always discovering new elements of harmonics. While the tracks have a start, middle and end, each of the tracks have their own life and move in different directions. At times in opposite directions but always coming back together to form a cohesive musical statement. The album has been described as ‘fusion music with a cosmic opulence’ with tracks called ‘Shiva-Loka’ and ‘Isis and Osiris’, it highlights Alice’s personal and musical journey in life. 

I had the privilege of seeing Alice perform solo on piano in a small intimate club in LA and you couldn’t but help realise you were witnessing jazz royalty.

Other notable albums by Alice Coltrane include; Universal Consciousness 1971, Lord of Lords 1972 and Illuminations 1974 with guitarist Carlos Santana. And of course, John Coltrane’s classic 1964 album ‘A Love Supreme’ is also highly recommended. 

  1. This is Soul / Atlantic records 1968

If you don’t know what soul is, then this compilation is a great introduction. Released in 1968 on Atlantic Records, this album features 12 smash hits from the home of soul.  

Starting off with Wilson Pickett’s ‘Mustang Sally’ and finishing with Pickett’s version of ‘Land of a Thousand Dances’. The record features artists like; Percy Sledge, Sam & Dave, Ben E king, Aretha Franklin, Carla Thomas, Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. All giants of their time and you can hear the raw energy in each of these recordings, no flash recording studios, multiple takes or overdubs. Which is what makes soul music unique, the raw emotion of singers digging deep within their own experience to bring out something special. You can feel their pain, longing or joy with each word.

Eddie Floyd’s ‘Knock on Wood’ and Percy Sledge’s ‘When a man loves a woman’ are probably the most well-known songs on the album. The album back cover also features pictures of the albums which the original songs come from, along with other soul artists from Atlantic Records. A great way to learn about soul music and the many pioneers of the time. 

  1. Easy Star All-Stars / Dub side of the moon

Easy Star All-Stars formed in 1997 in New York and have built a solid reputation for their reggae inspired reinterpretations of classic albums and sometimes very unexpected versions. Covering unlikely bands such as Radiohead, The Police, The Beatles and Michael Jackson, is what makes their albums interesting and standout. 

Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is not at album that you would expect to be reggaefied, but the spacey ambient nature of the original album does lend itself perfectly to the dub echo chamber of Jamaican music. This comes through particularly on tracks such as ‘The great gig in the sky’, ‘Eclipse’ and ‘On the run’. With long meandering intros and classic Roland Space Echo breakdowns, you can imagine yourself being weightless and floating effortlessly in space.         

The vocals on the album are done by some serious reggae heavyweights like Ranking Joe, Frankie Paul, Dr Israel and The Meditations. Which adds to the authenticity of the music, not just cheesy fluffy covers but real reworkings of the songs by accomplished musicians.  

If you’re a fan of Pink Floyd and want to hear another take on this album, then this one is a real trip into an alternative musical universe.

  1. Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra / Floating points

This album is a collaborative effort from Manchester born electronic artist Floating Points (Sam Shepard), free jazz legend Pharoah Sanders on tenor saxophone and the LSO. Composed by Shepard the album is a single 45min composition broken down into nine movements.   

The beauty of this album is the sparse nature given to Sanders’ playing, where each note speaks volumes and is allowed to hang in the air. The album is a slow sonic meander with textures of synthesisers, harpsichord, piano and strings guiding you along the way. Released in 2021 this was Sanders’ final album before he passed away in 2022.

As expected, each movement has its own life. At times the movements collide in a frenzy of activity, almost a 70’s psychedelic vibe with violins and sax creating tension that keeps building and building into a swirling climax. I’d describe the album as a modern version of experimental jazz with no jazz. Meaning not the traditional jazz sounds or approach but a high level of musical creativity and innovation. 

Other notable albums by Pharoah Sanders include: Pharoah’s First 1966, Black Unity featuring Stanley Clarke on bass 1971 and Message from home 1996. Also, worth a listen if you like classical music collaborations is ‘A brand new me’ Aretha Franklin with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 2017.

  1. Nas / Illmatic 1994

Rated as one of the top 10 hip hop albums of all time. Nas first came to light with a guest verse on Main Source’s ‘Live at the Barbeque’ 1991. From just one verse his reputation quickly grew, and a full-length album was highly anticipated.  

The album was released in 1994 and featured some of the best hip hop producers at the time including Dj Premier (Gangstarr), Large Professor, Pete Rock and Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest). Which only added to the hype of the album, as the line up of producers were some of the most respected East Coast hip hop producers in the game.

What makes the album significant is Nas’s ability to paint vivid pictures with words. A modern-day storyteller, gritty and real but also respectful. The album is what I’d call ‘headphone food’ rather than ‘dancefloor fillers’. ‘NY State of mind’ gives you an idea of what it’s like growing up in New York, while ‘Halftime’ (one of my all-time fav tracks) is a solid headnodder from start to finish. ‘The world is yours’ and ‘One Love’ are both anthemic odes to ‘street life’ while offering hope and inspiration.

It’s rare for hip hop albums to have more than two or three singles from an album but almost every track on this album was released as a single, which just shows the quality of the album. 

Other notable albums by Nas are: ‘It was written’ 1996, ‘God’s Son’ 2002 and ‘Distant Relatives’ featuring Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley 2010.

Meet Manawatū author Vicky Adin

Award-winning historical fiction author Vicky Adin is coming to the library on Thursday 10 November to tell us about her New-Zealand inspired novels as part of our Writers and Readers programme.

Vicky describes herself as a genealogist in love with history and words. She loves to weave family stories and bygone days together in a way that brings the past alive. She recently won a Gold Medal in the Women’s Historical Fiction Category in The Coffee Pot Book Club Book of Year Award 2022 for Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner.

Her latest novel, Elinor, is a dual-timeline tale about discovering your roots. The story follows a rural family living in the Manawatū throughout the post-war years of the 1920s and into the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Vicky has many connections with the Manawatū. Her surname may be familiar to some. She married into a family who first came to Foxton in the 1860s. Many descendants still live in the area today. A wander around the cemetery will tell its own tale, or you could read her first book, The Disenchanted Soldier.

The Disenchanted Soldier is inspired by the true story of Daniel Adin, a British soldier fighting in the New Zealand Wars of 1864. Delve into the riveting experiences of a young British soldier in war-torn New Zealand and after, where Daniel, as patriarch and the father of World War One conscientious objectors, faces natural disasters, endures family tragedies and witnesses the birth of a nation.

We had a chat with Vicky to get the conversation started:

PNCL: Hi Vicky, please tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a Welsh-born, Cornish-raised Kiwi. I’m also a genealogist, antique lover, wife, mother, grandmother, and all-round nosy parker. I love Mediterranean food and red wine. Fortunately, I love to cook, but I love words more. My favourite past-time is delving into the past, looking at old photos, reading old newspapers and discovering those who shaped our world.

PNCL: What inspired you to write your latest book, Elinor?

Genealogical research. It’s such a mouthful, I wish there was a simpler word for it – but I find by digging into the social aspects of the past I understand more of how New Zealand developed as a nation. Elinor is not one person; she is a compilation of many women; women who survived whatever life threw at them. The fact she lived in Manawatū and for a short time in Pahīatua, is a bonus.

PNCL: What inspired you to write your latest book, Elinor?

New Zealand is a young country by world standards. After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Pākehā immigrants began to arrive in their thousands to create a new way of life in an untamed land with little infrastructure. My stories reflect the everyday struggles of those immigrants to our beautiful country. Except there was nothing ordinary about how the women survived; women who rarely appear in the annals of history but who oversaw the birth of a nation and helped shape many lives. They are the people who inspire me.

PNCL: How many books have you written?

I have six books in The New Zealand Immigrant Collection – they are family sagas about overcoming the odds. Some are entirely historical, some are dual-timeline, others are contemporary novels about searching for the past. One of those stories, Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner is set in Karangahape Road at the turn of the 19th century. The other stories in the collection are The Disenchanted Soldier, The Cornish knot, Portrait of a man, Brigid : the girl from County Clare and The Costumier’s Gift.

Elinor is Book Two in a new series The Art of Secrets, a series about about finding your roots. Book 3 is due out next year.

You can meet and hear from Vicky at the Central Library, second floor, on Thursday 10 November at 10:30am. The event includes morning tea and a chance to win a prize. Please RSVP to