Friday, November 27, 2009

Valley Mobile update

Due to rostering difficulties the Valley Mobile will not be going to the Yarra Glen site this afternoon. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Valley Mobile off the road

Due to staff illness the Valley Mobile is off the road today. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Cheers, Maryanne

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WiFi update

WiFi is now available at Ringwood, Croydon & Healesville libraries.

There is no charge for the service but people need to be aware that they need to be a member of the library to use it. Those members who already know their PIN can log on straight away otherwise all they need to do is ask a friendly staff member for help in getting a PIN set up. For those people who don't wish to become full members of the library they will be able to apply for a special WiFi/Internet Membership  that will give them instant access.

Cheers, Maryanne

Internet back up

Internet is back up and running at our branches

Cheers, Maryanne

Internet down at our branches today

Due to a radio problem at our Administration, public Internet is currently unavailable at our branches. I'll let everyone know when the connection is back up.

Cheers, Maryanne

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Eastern Regional Library Show

 Library staff members Lesley Conway and Pia Butcher run a radio show each Wednesday 12:05pm-12:45pm on Eastern FM 98.1 called The Eastern Regional Library Show. Tune in next Wednesday for a great show.

On 4th November's show

GREAT HINT have time to read an entire book while waiting for your Christmas cake to bake. Lyn Baines tested the premise last weekend, and successfully completed Hazel Holt's Any man's death in the time required. If you are a fan of 'cosy crime' this is a good read. To quote the publisher's promotion .....
"the village of Mere Barton would be a different place without local busybody Annie Roberts, the tireless retired nurse organizes and oversees all local activity with military precision. When Sheila Malory gets roped into Annie’s latest project, a compilation of the village’s history, she has a feeling it will lead to trouble. But the project is cut short when Annie is found dead from a nasty case of mushroom poisoning—and Mrs. Malory seems to be the only one who finds the death suspicious".
You can't get any cosier than Rumpole of the Bailey. John Mortimer may no longer be with us in the flesh, but a collection of Rumpole short stories published in various journals over the years have been collected to give us Rumpole at Christmas. If you have yearned for a return of the wonderful TV series Rumpole of the Bailey, then you should know that ERL has series 1 - 3 in the collection, and series 4 - 6 on order.

If 'police procedural' is more your thing, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles  Fell purpose, the latest of the Bill Slider series is a must. I get hooked on this sort of series, where the twists and turns of the detective's personal life are as interesting as the whodunit. Another of this genre with a grimmer theme, Necessary as blood by Deborah Crombie is a
"dazzling addition to Deborah Crombie's acclaimed mystery series, a disappearance, a murder, and a child in danger lead Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid into London's legendary East End—a neighborhood where the rich and the poor, the ambitious and the dangerous, collide—to solve one of the most challenging and disturbing cases they've ever faced".
And another detective who has been around for a long time, Sharon McCone, is up to number 26 in a series set on the US West Coast, Locked in by Marcia Muller.
"McCone returns to her office to retrieve a forgotten cell phone and stumbles upon an intruder with a gun. Before she can get out of his way, he shoots her. She lives, but the bullet is lodged in her brain leaving her in what looks like a comatose state. She can't move except for her eyelids but she is fully aware of what is going on around her. The diagnosis is locked in syndrome and the doctors can't predict whether she will ever recover.The McCone Agency goes to work full time to find out who the shooter is. With just blinks to advise them, Sharon is still their touchstone. Separate cases turn out to be related but even when they are solved, Sharon's killer is still unknown".
On 11th November's show

Hot days, cool lounge, cooler DVD's. You're spoiled for choice at Eastern Regional Libraries, with lots on shelf, and many thousands available to order in. My hot tip for watching this summer is the films of director/producer Robert Altman. Many of us first experienced his distinctive style with MASH, released in 1970, however he had had a career in television before this, often in conflict with studios about his anti-war sentiments and push for naturalistic dialogue. Apparently on the set of MASH his stars wanted him sacked for his unconventional directing, yet the film became an immediate classic on release and won the Grand Prix for Best Film at Cannes that year, and several Academy Awards.

The films which followed in the 70's were also successful, McCabe and Mrs Miller, The long goodbye, Thieves like us, Nashville and more. If you would like more information, check out the wikipedia entry at

My all time favourites are more recent films, Pret-a-porter of 1994, Gosford Park made in 2001 and A Prairie Home Companion in 2006.
Pret-a-porter (Ready to wear) is classic Altman, with several seemingly seperate stories happening around the Parisian new season fashion parades, which eventually combine (or collide, depending on how you look at it). The cast is enormous and top class, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Marcello Mastraioni, Tim Robins and Julia Roberts being but a glimpse of the talent. Gosford Park was made from a screenplay by Julian Fellowes who nailed the uneasy relationship between upstairs and downstairs in an English country house of the 1930's. Altman always manages to work with exceptional actors, and the cast for this movie includes Maggie Smith, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Jeremy Northam who personifies an urbane and charming Ivor Novello. A Prairie Home Companion will be familiar to those who heard the radio show of the same name, produced by Garison Keillor in the 1980's. The radio show of gentle comedy, wonderful music and a lot of nostalgia for the small town life of the American prairies had a cult following. This film shows what happens on the (fictitous) last night of the show. With a cast including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson and the inimitable Garison Keillor himself, it's a joy from start to finish.

On 18th November's show

For all family history buffs....Kathy is still pursuing access to the UK 1911 Census via the Find my past database, but in the meantime, the best way to go is via the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) or the  Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (AIGS). Through these organisations you can purchase vouchers which give you entry to the databases without having to take out a full subscription, the GVS being the easiest to navigate. Websites for these organisations are GSV and AIGS

Both of these organisations have sub-groups with special skills in researching family history in different parts of the world, so if you are searching beyond the UK, USA and Australia, this could be the way to go. Not forgetting that we do have some useful resources at Ringwood Library which can get you started, such as the Vital records index Western Europe CD-ROM or Ancestors in German archives : a guide to family history sources.

There is some good news though, with Ancestry database adding London Parish records and Australian Electoral records (for all states except SA). If you thought you had run out of records to search, think again. Both Ancestry and Find my past are accessible from all ERL library PC's, and can be booked for up to 2 hours per session, so take advantage of the cool library this summer and track down some more ancestors.

A completely free resource newly available is a record of wills lodged in Wales, available through the site of the National Library of Wales, at, so another lead to follow up if you have Welsh relatives.


The Eastern Regional Library Show 21st & 28th October 2009

Things have been a bit hectic lately so I have been remiss in updating the summaries from the last 4 episodes of The Eastern Regional Library Show so I'll upload them here in these two posts. Many apologies.

For those that don't know, library staff members Lesley Conway and Pia Butcher run a radio show each Wednesday 12:05pm-12:45pm on Eastern FM 98.1 called The Eastern Regional Library Show. Tune in next Wednesday for a great show.

On 21st October show

History Week and Childrens' Week, from the 25th - 31st of October makes for a very busy time in our libraries. There are a range of activities and exhibitions from Local History groups which are interesting for the light they throw on our region, and also can provide some extra data for family historians. Several of the photographic displays have photos for which the organisers are seeking identification. If you have some local knowledge, or family connections, you may be able to help fill in some of the gaps for the Historical Societies. Kathy Smalley reminded us that Ann Dixon will host a talk and display Hats, history and the Cup at Yarra Juntion Library on Wednesday the 28th of October, and that the Military History group is meeting at Croydon Library on Friday the 30th of October.

Kathy wanted to let family history researchers know that the two databases which are available on public internet access in our libraries, Ancestry and Find My Past, have not made available the newly published 1911 UK Census. It is available to individual subscribers, and public libraries will continue to lobby to have it made available to organisational subscribers. We will keep you posted.

An interesting upcoming event for family history researchers is  Introduction to  Italian family history for Australians which will run at Lilydale Library on the 23rd of November, don't forget to book.

At this point most of the activities for children are booked, but there are still places at Boronia Library on Friday the 30th for Halloween hullabaloo for kids, and some presentations on literacy for 2 and 3 year old children presented by visiting librarians from the United States, at Lilydale on Friday the 30th of October.

Music today was from At the drop of a hat by Flanders and Swan.

On 28th October show

Pia brought along a great range of children's and teenage books along today including Troll by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts which is a quirky take on The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Two stories are being told at once, a tale of  strangers trip trapping over Troll's bridge, and the tale of some pirates far out to sea. The pirates are moving from island to island finding treasure and getting hungry, but not enjoying their food. Gradually the two stories come together with a surprise ending.

Noodle Pie by Ruth Starke is about Andy's father (a former refugee) returning to Hanoi for the first time in over twenty years along with Andy. Vietnam is a shock to Andy. His relatives seem to be money grubbing and their restaurant is not the big place he expected it be. But he, and the reader, learn about Vietnamese culture and life at the same time. A wonderful, funny read.

Miki Falls: Spring by Mark Crilley is a teenage graphic novel, Manga style. It is Miki's final year in High School and she's determined to make it the best year yet. Enter a mysterious new male student. Hiro is very self possessed and doesn't seem to need  friends. Miki finds herself falling for him...

Ripple and the horses of White Cloud Station by Trudy Nicholson tells of Suzy, Alexa and Lucy who live and breathe horses. Unfortunately for Suzy her allergies prevent her from having a horse of her own. Until, that is, she finds Ripple. He has been gathered up in the annual round up on White Cloud station ready to be sold at auction. Through some happy circumstances Suzy finds herself Ripple's proud owner. A book about horses that young girls will love.

The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino relates the fascinating story of Jacques Cousteau, the undersea explorer, the undersea world he discovered and the inventions he helped build and design to enable himself and the world to see it better.

Cheers, Maryanne

Ranges & Valley mobiles & Croydon library closed

Thursday 19th November 2009 CFA has declared Total Fire Ban for Central Victoria.

Both Valley Mobile and Ranges Mobile will not be on the road today. Croydon Library is closed for electrical maintenance from 10am-1pm. Services as normal on Knox Mobile and all other library service points,  unless otherwise notified.

Cheers, Maryanne

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2010 Knox Short Film Festival - Green Foot Flicks Committee

Knox Youth Services are seeking enthusiastic young people to join the Green Foot Flicks Committee.

Join a committee of young people aged 10-25 years to meet people from event management and film industries, select films to be shown at the National Youth Week event (10- 18 April 2010) & create, promote and run the event
    The first meeting will be held from 5-7pm Thursday 19th November at the Youth Info Centre, 2 Capital City Boulevard, Knox Ozone, Wantirna South

    For more information or to let us know you’d like to attend our first meeting, contact Kate Clark: t: 9298 8550 e:

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Croydon Library closed tomorrow morning

    Croydon Library will be closed tomorrow, Thursday 19th November, from 10am - 1pm for major electrical work. We apologise for any inconvenience. You may renew your items via our web catalogue. The nearest branch is Ringwood Library.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Italian Christmas afternoon tea

    Join us for a celebration of Christmas - Italian style. Our own Federica will be the hostess and invites everyone to join us as we celebrate in the Italian tradition. All welcome.

    When: Thursday 10th December 2pm
    Where: Rowville Library, Stud Park Shopping Centre, Stud Road, Rowville
    Cost: Free event
    Bookings essential phone 92941300

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    WiFi is here...there...and everywhere

    If you're looking for free and easy WiFi access to the Internet you need go no further than your local public library. Eastern Regional Libraries were the recent recipients of a State Government grant that has allowed us to install WiFi equipment at all of our branches. At the moment the WiFi rollout has taken place at the Knox, Ferntree Gully, Rowville, Boronia, Mt Evelyn and Lilydale libraries with Ringwood and Croydon soon to follow.

    Margaret Hall, the IT Manager for ERL, said
    "We are very excited that we are able  to offer this enhanced service to our members. It means that students can log on quickly and easily to the Internet through their laptops. We expect to have all of the branches throughout the region up and running with WiFi by the beginning of December".
    There is no charge for the service but people need to be aware that they need to be a member of the library to use it. Those members who already know their PIN can log on straight away otherwise all they need to do is ask a friendly staff member for help in getting a PIN set up. For those people who don't wish to become full members of the library they will be able to apply for a special WiFi/Internet Membership  that will give them instant access.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Montrose Gardeners - The Art of Tussie Mussies

    Helen will demonstrate the fine art of making a "Tussie-Mussie" or word poesy: a small circular nosegay of flowers & herbs, tightly gathered and designed to carry a special message in the language of flowers.  The traditional tussie-mussie is composed of fragrant herbs surrounding one central flower,a rose.

    Please bring some flowers, greenery & herbs from your garden (Helen will supply some materials) and take home a beautiful "tussie-mussie" .

    When: Tuesday 17th November 1pm
    Where: Montrose Library, Corner Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road & Swansea Road Montrose
    Cost: Free event
    Bookings essential phone 9728 4224

    Cheers, Maryanne

    The Fire This Time with Robert Hillman

    2009 saw many crises in our world and Robert will speak on the impact of the fires from a local perspective.

    When: Tuesday 17th November 11am
    Where: Yarra Junction Library, Library Hoddle Street, Yarra Junction
    Cost: Free event
    Bookings essential phone 59671588

    Cheers, Maryanne

    User is stopped alert on the catalogue

    I've received feedback regarding the message User is Stopped when library members log in to their account.  This messsage will appear if you have any outstanding charges or overdue items on your card.

    If you see this message you will not be prevented from renewing your items, just click on Renew My Materials and make your selections to renew.  Items may only be renewed once and items on reserve for another borrower cannot be renewed.
    Cheers, Maryanne

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    What's on tomorrow at ERL?

    It's a busy day tomorrow with several great activities.

    First up it's the Belgrave Genie Exchange. Come along and meet fellow genealogists in your local area. Swap research stories, help others and in turn be helped with your own research.

    When: Thursday 12th November 10am
    Where: Belgrave Library, Reynolds Lane, Belgrave
    Cost: Free event
    No need to book, just come along

    Also at 10am we have Bookchat at Mooroolbark Library. Have you read anything interesting lately? Come along and share it with others.

    When: Thursday 12th November 10am
    Where: Mooroolbark Library, 7 Station Street, Mooroolbark
    Cost: Free event
    No need to book, just come along

    At Croydon Library at 12:30pm, Book Bites welcomes author Lisa Lang. Lisa Lang has been garnering prizes for several years, starting with storywriting competitions including our own ERL competition. She was awarded the a place in the Australian Society of Authors Mentorship Program in 2007, and this year she was named as the joint winner of the prestigious Vogel Award. Her manuscript Utopian Man a fiction work based on the life of E W Cole will be published by Allen and Unwin in mid 2010.

    In the meantime Lisa has also written the excellent small biography based on her researches into Cole of the Book Arcade Chasing the Rainbow (2007).

    When: Thursday 12th November 12:30pm
    Where: Croydon Library, Civic Sq, Croydon
    Cost: $10 (includes lunch)
    Bookings essential phone 92945640

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Croydon Library

    Croydon Library will be closed on Thursday 19th November 10am-1pm for major electrical work. We apologise for any inconvenience. **note new day**

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    Victorian libraries survey - Tell us what you think

    Did you make a trip to the library today? Please complete the Victorian Libraries survey.

    Complete the Victorian public libraries survey

    All Victorian public libraries are participating in a survey of users about how you use the library and the benefits you get. A particular focus of the study is to show the value of public library services to the community in specific dollar terms.

    The information from the study will be used to show government how valuable libraries are to people in Victoria and the benefits obtained from the money used to provide them.

    Your responses will be kept confidential. They will only be reported as an Eastern Regional Libraries group.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    WiFi at Ferntree Gully Library

    We now have a WiFi hotspot at Ferntree Gully Library. What do you need to access WiFi? Firstly you'll need a device with a wireless network adapter like a laptop, PDA or phone. Secondly you'll need your library card number starting 20023 and PIN (library staff will be able to look this up if you don't know).

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Ranges Mobile

    The Ranges Mobile is off the road today, Monday 9th November, due to rostering difficulties. We apologise for any inconvenience.

    Items may be renewed through our web catalogue or via the phone at any of our branches, phone 1300 737 277.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    A workaround for viewing My Account in Opera

    Thanks to Andrew for suggesting a workaround for Opera users when using the Review My Account screen.
    1. Go to our catalogue in Opera at
    2. Go to Tools > Quick Preferences > Edit Site Preferences in the browser menu at the top.
    3. Click on the Network tab
    4. Select either Identify as Firefox or Identify as Internet Explorer from the drop-down box. Also works if you select Mask.

    I tested it with Opera 10 and it works fine. You'll be able to see the checkouts and holds.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Thursday, November 05, 2009

    New WiFi & Internet application form

    We frequently have visitors to our libraries who just want to access the Internet or WiFi hotspot but aren't necessarily wanting to borrow from our libraries. So we have created a new type of membership. It's creatively called WiFi/Internet membership. You'll be able to join up to the new WiFi & Internet membership from Monday 9th November.

    A few things you need to know:
    • You don't need to join up again if you already have an Eastern Regional Libraries membership card.
    • The membership will expire after 12 months. Once it expires just see staff and they will renew your membership again.
    • You can always have your card activated so that you can borrow books if you choose.
    • You'll need a parent/guardian to sign for you if you're under 18 years.
    • You'll need to show identification to join (e.g. licence)
    • You'll also get access to our online resources
    At present we'll get people to join up in person at the branches.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    WiFi now available at Lilydale Library

    We now have a WiFi hotspot at Lilydale Library. What do you need to access WiFi? Firstly you'll need a device with a wireless network adapter like a laptop, PDA or phone. Secondly you'll need your library card number starting 20023 and PIN (library staff will be able to look this up if you don't know).

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

    Scrapping and cropping

    Bern is coming to Lilydale Library on the following days to demonstrate the craft of scrapbooking. Come along and join her for a chat about this growing trend of preserving personal and family history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabilia, in decorated albums and scrapbooks.
    No bookings required. Each session is roughly the same content.

    When: Wednesday 11th, 18th, 25th November, Wednesday 2nd December 10:30am - 12:30pm
    Where: Lilydale Library, Anderson Street, Lilydale
    Cost: Free event

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Memories of "Weary" Dunlop

    Meet Valda Street, former secretary to Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop, and hear her stories about the man behind the famous POW on the Thai-Burma Railway during WW2.

    Morning tea provided.

    When: Wednesday 11th November 11am
    Where: Yarra Junction Library, Hoddle Street, Yarra Junction
    Cost: Free event
    Bookings appreciated phone 59671588

    Image: Brass relief of Edward Dunlop from his memorial statue in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne (from Wikipedia).

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Mt Evelyn Cookery Club - Christmas gifts with Jill Hess

    Nothing is quite as personal as a homemade Christmas gift. Jill will demonstrate some great cooked gifts. Light lunch and lots of tasting included.

    When: Monday 9th November 12:30pm
    Where: Mt Evelyn Library, 50 Wray Crescent, Mt. Evelyn
    Cost: $10
    Bookings essential phone 97363851

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Meet the author - Shirley Jones

    Join Shirley Jones as she signs copies of her book, A Quiet Painter James Alfred Turner. Shirley will be in the Library for those who would like a chat about her book.

    When: Sunday 8th November 3pm
    Where: Croydon Library, Civic Square, Croydon
    Cost: Free event
    No need to book, just come along.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Christmas/New Year hours

    Where has the year gone. Its November already and time to start advertising our Christmas & New Year hours for our branches and mobiles.

    View the Christmas/New Year hours for 2009/2010.

    Cheers, Maryanne

    Maroondah Festival

    Join us at Croydon Library on Sunday 8th November for the following fabulous events during the Maroondah Festival.

    Cartoon workshop with Richard Galbraith
    Bring your cartoons to life. BYO pencil

    When: Sunday 8th November 11am
    Where: Croydon Library, Civic Square, Croydon
    Cost: Free event
    Bookings essential phone 92945640

    Meet Leigh Hobbs
    Leigh Hobbs' art work can be found in places as diverse as the National Gallery of Victoria and Sydney's Luna Park. He is probably best known for Old Tom, the hero of five books and star of the cartoon series shown on the ABC. His other memorable characters include Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig and Mr Chicken.
    "If Roald Dahl hadn't had Quentin Blake to illustrate his books he'd have loved Leigh Hobbs"
    Meg Sorenson, Sydney Morning Herald
    Leigh's books will be available for sales and signing

    When: Sunday 8th November 2pm
    Where: Croydon Library, Civic Square, Croydon
    Cost: Free event
    Bookings essential phone 92945640

    Cheers, Maryanne