Monthly Archives: June 2016

Celebrating Naidoc at Katoomba Library

Blue Mountains City Library is proud to support Naidoc Week 2016 with Katoomba Library hosting a display of artefacts commemorating the dedicated service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the front line for more than a century.

In spite of official policies aimed at discouraging enlistment, some 1,300 Indigenous Australians fought in the First World War, and thousands more served in the Second World War and beyond. For many, their time in the armed services was the first time they were treated as equals.


Filled with real and replica uniforms, equipment and artefacts, this Memorial Box helps unravel the unique wartime experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and commemorates their significant contribution to Australia’s defence.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that the Memorial Box contains content relating to deceased indigenous servicemen and servicewomen.

Free exhibition

Katoomba Library

4  to 18 July 2016


Mini Book Sale at Springwood Library

Springwood book sale landscape 2016Springwood is the location for Blue Mountains Library’s first ‘Mini Book Sale’ of the year.

The sale tables will be stocked with a great range of good-as-new and pre-loved books for adults, teens and children as well as DVDs, CDs and magazines.

Don’t miss this chance to grab a bargain on

Saturday 16th July

Springwood Library, 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood

9am to 4pm

‘Youth’ wins out in poetry slam

The title of Blue Mountains Slam Champion last night (Thursday 16th June) went to newcomer 15 year old Chloe Humphrys for her poem Youth, a spirited and brilliant examination of how it feels to be young and on the brink of entering the adult world. Chloe, a student at St Columba’s High School, delivered her poem with assured ‘Slam’ confidence and perfect timing at the Australian Poetry Slam heat in Katoomba Library in front of over 100 audience members.

APS 2016 l-r Chloe Humphrys, Philip Wilcox, Lewis-Alan Trathen

Photo (L-R): Poetry Slam newcomer Chloe Humphrys takes the title for her poem Youth at the Australian Poetry Slam heat in Katoomba Library; with 2015 Slam Champ, Philip Wilcox; and runner up Lewis-Alan Trathen.

Second prize went to local Lewis-Alan Trathen for Sunlit. Lewis, a poet and spoken-word performer, has been slamming for over two years and was a finalist in the 2015 NSW Poetry Slam so the audience was treated to a skilled and electrifying performance.

Overall, in this thrilling yet uncompromising and off-beat competition – where poets must perform their own, original work in front of a live audience for strictly two-minutes or risk penalty – the fourteen competitors enthralled the audience with tales of love-lost, messages to God, skin, Tetrus, eye-pochondria and much more.

But the evening’s highlight was a chance to catch performances from last year’s Slam Champ, Philip Wilcox, and experience the reason why he and other Slam poets continue to draw audiences and advance the standing of poetry and poets from around Australia.

Both Blue Mountains winners will now advance to the Australian Poetry Slam’s State Finals later this year.

Last weeks of the Paragon Cafe display at Katoomba Library

Katoomba’s renowned Art-Deco gem the Paragon Café reaches its 100th anniversary this year and, to celebrate this milestone, the Friends of the Paragon have set up a display of original artefacts and curiosities from the café at Katoomba Library along with a brochure outlining the history of the building and business.

Be quick, the display is only on until the end of June.


There are many more photographs in the Gallery on the Friends of the Paragon website.

#bookclubread, the Read Watch Play theme for June 2016


Book groupJoin us in June as we talk about book clubs, what they are reading and what exactly makes a book good for discussion.

Whether you are looking for a serious discussion or an excuse to regularly catch up with friends, a book club is a wonderful way to share the joy of reading. You will probably be reading books you would never have chosen yourself, this can lead you to some truly wonderful experiences, but it can also prove quite a challenge!

Books like Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Help by Kathryn Stockett  and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls  almost certainly owe their success to book clubs. More recently, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty  and All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr have been popular choices for discussion.

There is no guaranteed formula for book club success, but historical fiction, themes of triumph over adversity and stories that are uplifting or inspiring are in high demand. Consider how much time your book club has to read – A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry  and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt  are wonderful books for discussion, but at 800+ pages each, they might be daunting for many readers.

Traditional book clubs have involved a group of adults reading and discussing the same book, but we are now seeing groups especially for children, young adults or for parents & children.  Groups may choose to read around a specific theme or genre, or in a certain language. Groups are also exploring different formats like film, article and audio book discussions.

Modern book clubs may not meet up in person at all, many book discussions take place online onTumblr, Goodreads and Twitter or on television programs like ABC’s The Book Club.

Book Clubs are such a big part of life that we often see them in pop culture like Channel 4’s seriesThe Book Group, or the page to screen success The Jane Austen Book Club.

It can be hard to join a book group; they are such fun that spaces don’t come up that often. Don’t be shy to start your own, get a couple of friends to invite a couple of friends and have a first meeting to talk about what you’d like to do – you have the advantage of being able to make it up as you go along. Click on the For Book Groups tab at the top of this blog for information on starting your own group.

Your local public library can be a wonderful source of resources for book clubs. Many have meeting rooms that can be booked for a small cost or event for free, some libraries have open book discussion groups that are open to all members of the community and it is becoming common for libraries to collect sets of books especially for book clubs to borrow.

Blue Mountains City Library has Book Club Kits to support our many local book clubs. Local book clubs can apply for a special Book Club membership card and use this to reserve and borrow a set of books for the club (8 books + reading notes) and borrow them for 6 weeks at a time. Click here for more information.


There are a number of websites dedicated to supporting book groups.  They are a great source of ideas and readers’ guides and include LitLovers , Reading Group Choices and  Reading Group Guides.

If you are looking for some more book club resources, try the NSW Readers’ Advisory Services Wiki, and let us know your favourite book club reads in the comments.

These are just a few #bookclubread ideas and suggestions and you may have different ideas about the theme – we would really like to hear about them. Don’t forget that while you are reading, playing or watching your #bookclubread, you can tweet about it using  #bookclubread and #rwpchat, so that other people can have a conversation with you about it.  You can also add to the discussion on Pinterest, or post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #bookclubread #rwpchat so that others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

Twitter logo for RWPchat postsA date for your diary : There will be a #bookclubread Twitter discussion on June 28 starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Time, 8am – 10.30am, 2pm – 4pm, 6pm – 8pm GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

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