Category: Library News

The latest from the City Library

Sinag Sri Lanka Foundation donates 60 books to Palmerston North City Library

The Sinang Sri Lanka Foundation of New Zealand has donated 60 books to Palmerston North City Library.

The books cover a wide range of genres, from novels, educational books, children’s stories and Jataka stories.

Jataka stories are Buddhist stories of the past lives of Siddhartha Gautama before he became the Buddha in his final life. These stories illustrate different teachings of relating to Buddhism. Each story features the Buddha, but in diverse forms: he appears as an animal, a king, a wandering ascetic, a monkey and more!

The donated books come in a mix of English and Sinhala, so that more people can discover the work of Sri Lankan authors, and so speakers of Sinhalese can access books in the language. All of the Jataka books are in English.

The books were donated by the President of the Sinang Sri Lanka Foundation of New Zealand, Mr Tishan Sampath Dissanayake, with help from the Sri Lankan High Commission.

The books were presented to Mayor Grant Smith by Tishan Dissanayake from the Sinang Sri Lanka Foundation on Friday 24 September. A big thank you to the Sinang Sri Lanka Foundation of New Zealand and the Sri Lankan High Commission for the donation to the Library and Palmy residents!

The books will be processed and added to our collection before becoming available to borrow in the future.

Kia ora rawa atu to Tishan and the Sinag Sri Lanka Foundation of New Zealand!

Publishing industry affected by Covid

Among the many unpleasant and upsetting effects of Covid-19, there was one that came as a complete surprise to me: the availability of books.

One of my consolations in Lockdown was that I still had books to read. When I ran out of library books I re-read some old ones I had at home. If I wanted to, I could use ebooks and e-audio (available from the Palmerston North City Library – just sign in with your card!). And I was looking forward to all the new books that would arrive once Lockdown ended.

The first effect for book-buyers when we got back in the Library at Level 2 was that Auckland was still at Level 4, and that’s where all the big distributors are. So, no new book deliveries.

Ironically, individuals could still order books from overseas, which has made Auckland publishers and booksellers understandably upset.

Libraries usually order books either direct from the publishers (mostly in Auckland) or from Library supply companies, which provide specific services we need such as partial cataloguing and processing. The company we use is in Auckland. Selection of titles could continue, we just couldn’t get any deliveries.

Even if the publisher is overseas, most deliveries go through distributors in Auckland.

This is tough for library customers in Palmerston North, but even tougher for people in Auckland whose livelihoods depend on the publishing cycle not being interrupted too much. (Plus all the booksellers around the country who are affected.) Remember that a publisher usually has to plan each release a year in advance, to coordinate getting the book printed, deliver books to shops, schedule promotions, author tours, launches, and so on.

Some titles have been delayed, and some will simply be abandoned, as publishers focus on the books they have confidence in getting a good return on. Due to the turbulence of the last couple of years, they have less capacity to take a chance on a title now.

Another thing which blindsided me: a paper shortage. For various reasons, including less plastic being used, and more deliveries happening due to online shopping, a lot of pulp now becomes packaging instead of pages.

On top of that, shipping has been massively disrupted. The cost of a shipping container has increased hugely, and will possibly do so again next year. Some people I’ve spoken to say it might double, or more. This increased cost will have to be passed on to the end user, and will affect everything from books to guitars to cars.

Is there an upside to this rather gloomy post? I like to think so. Maybe this will bring about a change in our society’s culture of consumption. Some have already chosen this path – now the rest of us are being forced to ponder it.

Climate change, colonisation, homelessness, poverty, inequal access to healthcare, the various ripple effects of Covid-19 – all of these things and more are coming to a head, and maybe there’s a better way forward if we look at them all together, holistically.

Ummm… so anyway, back to the library. Long story short: if new books become scarce, your local public library exists to provide for everyone, collectively. We’re always keen to hear your suggestions for purchases, and even if books take longer to get published and delivered, we can put your name on the list and let you know as soon as they’re available.

Long live reading!

Noho ora mai.

Learning Te Reo Māori through technology

This week are we celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Radio New Zealand shared a great story about Te reo Māori growth being boosted by apps. It talks about how more people are learning and using Te Reo Māori thanks to social media, websites and apps. Such a great thing, why rely on traditional lessons?

This article has a great list of useful apps including:

Other good apps not mentioned in the article are:

What is a karakia?

What is a karakia?

Karakia are Māori prayer and a way in how we connect with our Atua, used for spiritual connection or guidance.

How do I do a karakia?

Before you start your karakia, you need to think about what you want to pray about. 

Some prefer to close their eyes, bow their heads to the Atua above or stare at a spot and focus in on the spiritual connection and what you are asking for.

When should I do a karakia?

Anytime, anywhere, any way that you feel is comfortable.

This could be anything, from guidance when travelling afar, starting your workday/hui, before you eat, going to bed at night or finishing for the day.

Why do we do karakia?

The reasons why we do karakia and what karakia is are the same. We seek connection with our Atua for spiritual guidance or to give thanks for what we have received.

Here is a short karakia that can be used before you start your day at work or at the beginning of a hui, or the start of something special to you.


Tuia i runga

Tuia i raro

Tuia i roto

Tuia i waho

Tuia te kupu

Tuia te korero

Tuia te mātauranga

Ā kui mā

Ā koro mā


Hui e

Taiki e!

Ngā mihi.

Want to get published?

If you want to see your name in print, submit some writing to the Versions project!

The Library is running Versions again this year. We’ve put out three photos from Manawatū Heritage as prompts. Simply pick one and write something based on it. It can be a short story, a poem, a play, heck we’d accept a song if you feel like writing one! Then we publish the submissions in both physical and digital format.

This is NOT a competition. We publish ALL submissions! (Everyone’s a winner!)

If you’ve never had work in print before, it’s a real buzz.

If you want help with your writing, get in touch. We just want to encourage people to create.

Get your submission in by September 30th, 2021.

For details, head to the Versions Facebook page, or contact

The 143-Storey Treehouse – coming soon!

How many more stories can they add to this large-scale building project? I don’t know, but let’s hope they never run out of material. Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s incredibly successful book series gets another addition in October. Of course, with potential delays in shipping and printing due to Covid-19, we’re loathe to put a specific date on when it will be available, but if you put your name on the reserve list here, you’ll be notified as soon as a copy is ready for you!

Books returned after lockdown

We were closed for the first day of Delta Level 2, Wednesday 8th September, but that didn’t mean we had the day off. We were kept busy with so many items being returned and over 600 items on our request list. We found almost all of them – only 45 left on the list at the end of the day!😁

The Square book-drop, one of the many times it needed to be emptied.
Some of the holds we have found.
The Hold shelf – we needed to add some extra shelves!

Women’s Prize for Fiction winner

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Piranesi is a mind-boggling book, a philosophical work that might just make you question your own reality. It’s quite different from her earlier work Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell but no less… shall we say dreamlike? Piranesi is about a man trapped in a crumbling labyrinth, but then again, maybe it isn’t about that at all. Personally I think it’s about how our minds work, and how we can be persuaded to think things. Congratulations to Susanna!

You can watch the acceptance speech here.

And you can reserve the book from the Palmerston North City Library here.

The City Library Under Level 2

Yellow background with black letters saying "City Library Update"

Kia ora koutou. Hi everyone,

We are looking forward to seeing you all back at the City Library, with a few changes. Most of our City Library locations will reopen under Level 2, but opening days and hours will be affected as we navigate health and safety requirements.

  • The Central Library will reopen on Thursday 9 September and will have modified hours until the end of September.
  • AshhurstAwapuniRoslyn, and Te Pātikitiki will reopen on Thursday 9 September.
  • Youth Space and Blueprint: The City Library Makerspace will reopen with modified days and opening hours from Wednesday 22 September.
  • The Mobile Library will be off the road because of physical distancing rules.
  • All onsite programmes and regular activities are postponed or cancelled under level 2. We will keep you updated with rescheduled programmes once we have more information.
  • All Library meeting rooms are closed and bookings cancelled.
  • All return bins are open.
  • There are no overdue or hold fees and no DVD/CD charges.

Some important information for when you visit any City Library location under Level 2:

  • Please stay at home if you are unwell.
  • Please wear a mask while in the library.
  • You will need to contact trace at all locations -please show staff your green check for NZ COVID tracer app or contact trace with a staff member before entering.
  • Please stay 2 metres away from anyone you don’t know, including staff.
  • Please be considerate of others.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we are hard at work bringing you the City Library services you value.

Read about Council developments and see the latest Central Government advice here.

For more Library Service information please see:

Missing our Food and Drink books?

I love looking through recipe books and the food magazines. In our library I can not seem to walk past the trolley of food books without stopping to have a ‘quick’ look through. Who doesn’t like food? Sadly with our library closed at the moment I don’t have access to the great book selection on our food shelves. One solution is looking at the great selection of magazines on Pressreader.

Pressreader is one of our digital resources available for free using your library card. You can find a link for it here Magazines & Newspapers • Palmerston North City Library (

Another idea is to dig out my well used recipe books. Check out my Edmonds cookbook. I can proudly say all pages are there and are in order, they just don’t look very pretty anymore. Though it makes it easy to find what recipes are good: they are the dirty pages!