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Have you heard of ‘The Dannevirke’?

“1864”  by Tom Buk-Swienty is the true tale of a little-known chapter in European history, the brief and bitter war between Prussia and Denmark in the winter and spring of 1864. This brutal war had its roots in the disputed duchies of Schleswig/Holstein, which lay between Denmark and Germany. Lord Palmerston, the British PM at the time of the war, later said; “Only three people…have ever really understood the Schleswig–Holstein business: the Prince Consort of Augustenborg, who is dead, a German professor, who has gone mad, and I, who have forgotten all about it.” However, the details of this complex affair are lucidly explained by Buk–Swienty.

The war was partially driven by the ferocious ambition of Otto Von Bismarck, who very often rejected political and diplomatic solutions. Bismarck summed up his bellicose attitudes most famously in 1886; “…these matters…can only be carried through with blood and iron.” As is so often the case, the war was made truly terrible for the troops by mulish, incompetent and downright treacherous politicians who interfered with senior commanders without any regard for the lives of soldiers.

The Prussian–Danish war of 1864 featured trench warfare, terrible bombardments, and suicidal mass frontal assaults against entrenched forces. In this regard, it was a precursor to the 1914–1918 conflagration.

Thyraburg fortress

Thyraburg fortress

Looming large in 1864 is the ancient Danish bulwark against the Germans, Thyra’s Fortress, more generally known as ‘The Dannevirke’. The Dannevirke features strongly in this story; in 1864, it was the Danes’ principal static defence against the vastly superior invading Prussian/Austrian armies.

We meet Christian de Meza, the elderly and eccentric Danish commander who dreaded cold air (a strange idiosyncrasy for a soldier campaigning in the depths of winter). His (shared) decision to abandon The Dannevirke was greeted with outrage by Danes and ended his career, but ultimately saved the Danish army from complete annihilation.

Meet Ditlev Gothard Monrad, Prime Minister of Denmark. He was one of those who strongly insisted on the withdrawal from The Dannevirke. When he got back to Copenhagen a few days later, however, he found the city in a state of near riot. The citizens were outraged at the “cowards and traitors” who had sold out their brave soldiers, ordering them to abandon the great symbol of Danish sovereignty.

Monrad immediately denied having anything to do with the withdrawal. The author theorises that Monrad was bipolar, and his extraordinary incompetence at the subsequent peace talks in London would seem to confirm this. Monrad was so mortified by his failures that he emigrated to New Zealand with his family. He returned to Denmark after five years and attempted to re-enter politics, but failed.

Meet, also, a large cast of officers and ordinary soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Buk–Swienty has meticulously researched his subject, and brings the events of 1864 to extraordinary life, using actual letters the soldiers wrote to their wives, families and sweethearts. Many of these make moving, and occasionally horrifying reading. The war came to a head at the bloody Battle of Dybbøl – the greatly outnumbered Danes put up a brave fight, but lost the battle and ultimately, the war.

Not only does Buk–Swienty clearly explain the complex political causes of this little-known conflict, he explains coherently how the Prussian–Danish War of 1864 contributed to the shaping of the geo-political causes of WWI.

An excellent, enthralling and informative book, highly recommended.


Reviewed by Keith Smith

Bookmyne – free app for library catalogue and your card


Bookmyne™ makes it quick and easy to access your Library account on the go with Apple iOS or Android mobile devices.

Search the library Catalogue, renew or request items and find suggested reading instantly with your mobile device (smartphone or tablet):

  • Search the library catalogue: Search for items by title, author, subject or general keyword and place holds on interesting items.
  • Manage your account: Keep track of your checked-out items, holds, fines and account information. You can quickly renew items when you are out and about.
  • Use the bookshelf feature: Make lists of titles and their details of books and DVDs directly from the catalogue for later reading or recommending to your friends.
  • Find suggested reading: Can’t decide what to read next? Get recommendations powered by Goodreads. Or check out the latest best-selling and award-winning titles.
  • Search by barcode: Use your device’s camera to scan the barcode on a book, DVD or other item at a friend’s house or bookstore and search for available copies at the library.

Getting started

Download the free BookMyne app onto your mobile device from iTunes App Store for Apple iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices:

BookMyne Apple App Google playstore logo

Tap BookMyne icon to open BookMyne Android App

Select your library branch

If you have Location Services switched on, BookMyne will automatically try to locate the libraries near your present location. Tap the plus icon next to Dannevirke, Pahiatua, Woodville or Eketahuna to select (any one of these will do to access the entire Tararua District Library).   See below for advice on setting up your account.

Your Library account home screen


The home screen displays:

  • Your preferred library branch
  • Search the library catalogue field
  • My Account field with your account number.
    A notification badge (red button with a number) will display if you have items due soon, or holds ready for collection. Tap this field to see a list of all the items on your library account.
  • My Bookshelf is where you will find the BookMyne user guide and is useful for creating lists after searching for items in the catalogue then save them for future reference, e.g. save a list of books for your holiday. You can place requests from this list. To find out how to add and manage lists, refer to the My Bookshelf section in BookMyne user guide.Note: The download eBooks facility is not available through this app at Whangarei Libraries.
  • Suggested Reading Tap this field to access recommended reading from Awards (award winners), Popular (best-sellers) and Social (links to Goodreads website).

Set up your account

Tap My Account button and enter:

  • Your library card number – the barcode on the back of your library card.
    (Note:  digits are zero, not the letter ‘O’). Please NOTE: if your library card number does not work, try typing TR underscore in front.  E.g. TR_B00123456.
  • Enter your PIN (existing library password). If you do not know your PIN, please contact your local library – identification questions may be asked – or ask a librarian for one next visit.
  • If you don’t want BookMyne to remember your login information on your device, tap the locks in the Library Card No. and PIN fields. However, then you’ll have to re-login each time.

To quickly place requests or holds on items while using the search facility, it is best to log into your account before starting to search the library catalogue.

Account Set up

Search the Library Catalogue

Library Catalogue

Tap the arrow next to drop down list to search by general keyword, title, author, subject.

Type in search terms and tap the magnifying glass icon.

To search by barcode

  • Choose Barcode from the list. The keyboard appears. You can enter the barcode numbers manually or tap the camera icon.
  • Your device will open its camera and display a viewfinder screen. Use the viewfinder to make sure the entire barcode is visible to your device’s camera.
  • Your device automatically scans the barcode and searches for matches in the library catalogue.
  • If a match is found, BookMyne displays the match. If no match is found, an error message is displayed ‘No results found’.

To place a hold or request on an item

  • Tap the round button on the left of the items’ cover image and a tick will appear. Then tap the action button to get the hold options.

BookMyne Action Icon

  • Tap Save it to My List to add to your list in My Bookshelf.

For more details about an item tap it’s field for information about it’s availability, summary, the author and reviews.

Using My Account

Tapping My Account field on the BookMyne home screen will display an overview of your library account.

From this screen you can do any of the following actions:

  • Log in and out of different library accounts
  • See notification badges
  • View and renew checked out items
  • View and cancel current holds
  • View fines and fees
  • Change your password.

BookMyne Account Details

Tapping each field will display more details about your library account.

Renew items

BookMyne Renew Items

  • Tap Checked Out Items section
  • Tap the circle next to the item you want to renew
  • A tick will appear if the item is available to renew
  • Tap the action button
  • Tap Renew Checked field
  • The item is renewed.


If the circle next to the item appears as a black dot and a Error message pops up, it cannot be renewed because:

  • The item has already been renewed twice
  • It has existing holds placed on it
  • It is a latest issue magazine on 3 day loan
  • It is a new release movie DVD.


Cancelling Holds

  • Tap the Holds section
  • Tap the circle next to the Hold you want to cancel
  • Tap the action button 
  • Tap Cancel Checked Holds field
  • The cancelled Hold will disappear.

Bookmyne settings

From BookMyne’s Settings screen, you can change these options:

  • Notifications When alerts display for items approaching their due dates – choose from 1 day through 7 days before due date.
  • Distance unit of nearest libraries – choose either kilometres or miles
  • Account Update How often BookMyne syncs with the Library catalogue to update your account – choose from now to every 2, 4 or 8 hours.

To find the settings page

  • Navigate to the BookMyne home screen by tapping the home icon in the upper-right corner.
  • Tap the action button
  • Tap Settings and the settings screen appears.


Return to Library Home Page  

Library services temporarily suspended

All Tararua District library branches will be closed Tuesday 10th May and Wednesday 11th May 2016 while a new library management software system is being installed. Normal hours resume Thursday 12th May.

This means that our buildings will be closed, and we will not be renewing items by ‘phone or email, as we literally have no computer programme to refer to, in the interim.

All online services will be unavailable until 12th May, except for ebooks – still available through the Wheelers ePlatform app or direct via the ebook site.

Our APNK Wi-Fi signal will still be accessible within range. We apologise for any inconvenience.sorry we will be closed.jpg





Does the King still rule?

I always relish getting my hands on a new Stephen King book, although I feel the Maestro has lost his edge these days. No longer can he thrill me with suspense, or horrify me, the way he once could. This is inevitable I suppose, as Father Time gradually takes away his powers, as he does with us all.

So I wasn’t expecting too much from this collection of short stories, “Bazaar of Bad Dreams”. I wasn’t expecting, for example, nail-biters like The Long Walk, or Kibazaarng’s short-form classics of sheer nastiness such as The Mist or The Raft. My expectations were fairly low.

But I’m happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this latest collection. It doesn’t match King’s work of yesteryear, but the Old Man still has his marvelous narrative gifts. This collection may not cause spinal shivers, or little roils of nausea, but it’s well worth the effort.

The stories are practically all new, Blockade Billy being a notable exception, and all of them are absorbing. Many are compulsively so, in fact King’s hand can still reach out of the pages and take hold of the reader. The hand is no longer the stinky, gore-stained paw of the past, it’s now a far more gentle, avuncular hand, but it’s still there. Some of these stories do contain nasty propositions and language intended to shock. There are some familiar elements – an evil car that eats people ; the end of the world ; an enchanted typewriter that automatically writes masterpieces becomes a magical Kindle that can summon up the works of great authors from an alternate universe. A hack internet journalist writes obituaries that…well, I won’t spoil it for you. At least one of the stories, Drunken Fireworks, demonstrates King’s terrific comedic gifts and turn of phrase.

Above all, Bazaar Of Bad Dreams is Entertaining…note the capital E…and you can’t really ask more from a book, can you?

Reviewed by Keith Smith


1888 newspaper heralded by meteor!

On 1 May 1888, James Clayton established the Bush Advocate newspaper, a first for the area and much appreciated by the early settlers.  It covered the area from Waipawa, Hawke’s Bay to Dannevirke, Tararua District – although at the time, that area was all considered southern Hawke’s Bay.  In 1901, new owners renamed it the Dannevirke Advocate, and in 1912, it was sold and merged with the Dannevirke Evening News paper.

Microfilm copies of this paper are stored at Dannevirke Library, however, it’s also available digitally via New Zealand National Library’s Papers Past site as is the Woodville Examiner (1883-1920).  The Woodville Examiner (1883-1938) is available on microfilm at Woodville Library also.

The advent of the newspaper was heralded by a blazing meteor, wonderfully described in following article.  It’s quite fascinating to read through some of the news, opinions and adverts of the past, and of course, there are many other older newspapers also stored on Papers Past.

Bush Advocate 8 May 1888 Vol. 1 Issue 1.

April 2016 school holidays : basic GIF making for kids

Something different for the kids (and for us) these holidays.  Learn how to add colour to a black & white image, then animate using GIF, which is an image file format for digital colour images and short animations. For students age 8+.

Book in for a free class at your local library. Registrations are essential as we have limited computers per session.

GIF example

Class times for registered participants

Dannevirke Library :   daily 11am – noon

Pahiatua Library :   daily 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm

Woodville Library : daily 2 pm – 3 pm

Eketahuna Library : Thursdays and Fridays 1pm – 2pm


Library contact details







Survey time!

take surveyTime for our annual customer satisfaction survey. Please spend 5 minutes letting us know your thoughts in this short survey ; all responses confidential. Survey open 1 to 30 April 2016.

The District Librarian uses this information to assess your needs, and try to improve our facilities and services. Thank you, in advance!



Ready, steady, GO!

Be at Dannevirke library on 1st April 2016 to grab some bargains!  Day one of our April book sale begins at 9am. Nothing over 50 cents.

Why do we get rid of books?  Well, we purchase about 5,000 new items per year so we have to make room for them.

How do we choose what goes?  Items removed from the collection are chosen using strict criteria and are usually those no longer being read, in poor condition, books we may have multiple copies of, or unwanted donations.

Why is the sale always at Dannevirke Library?   There are several reasons such as ; volume of stock (lack of space for sale tables at other branches); efficiencies of workflow (initially the items are all transferred to Dannevirke Library for assessment by the District and Senior Librarians, so it doesn’t make sense spending time/money sending them back) ; staff resourcing (Dannevirke Library is our main branch and has six staff; our other branches generally have only one staff member for much of the time), etc.

Enjoy the bargains!

April book sale 2016

Woodville Library is moving!

Tararua District Librarian Heather Taylor, is very pleased to announce that Woodville Library will be moving directly over the road to the councils former engineering services building. The I-Site will also be sharing the premises.  The Lindauer replica studio will remain where it is, pending further consultation with the community.

The building will be slightly renovated to allow more room ; there will also be public toilets, a covered entry, and plenty of off-road parking as the neighbouring section has been purchased.


Woodville town entrance.jpg

Woodville Library (right corner) will be moving over the road (left corner)

Why can’t you find that new title?

In May, we are switching to a new library management software system, which we are really excited about.  As we prepare for this, a couple of things may affect you :

Not all our ordered items are currently visible on the catalogue

If you’re looking for a new title on our system and you can’t find it, it doesn’t mean we haven’t ordered it.  Because of the transition, items we’re ordering between 1 March and 13 May are not going to show up in our catalogue. They’ll show up once they arrive, but before that, you won’t be able to put a reserve/hold on it yourself.  BUT the librarians can do that for you, using a secondary system.

change ahead roadsignSo, in other words, if you can’t find what you’re after online, please ask staff or email us.


Reading History

If you sign in online, you’ll know that you can see your loan history (the books you’ve borrowed). Because of the change-over, this list is going to be partially deleted, so only items issued from May 2013 will show up.  If this record is important to you, before the end of April 2016, please print out it out (right click, print) or copy your history by hand.


Library staff will be on stand-by to help our customers get used to the new online interface in May, so don’t worry about the new system. I guarantee you’re going to find using it enjoyable!



What can the Taj Mahal do for you?

I don’t really have a bucket list but if I did I would now have to add the Taj Mahal. I’ve just read a book that describes it so wonderfully that I almost wanted to book flights then and there. I also decided to buy this book for my sisters as it has several story lines that resonate with our lives at the moment. My younger sister thought that the title made it sound very high brow, but once I explained that it had a pink cover she was keen. What is it about the type of books that have pastel covers? What is Taj Mahalit? “Heavenly Hirani’s School of Laughing Yoga“by New Zealand author Sarah-Kate Lynch.

Unfortunately for New Zealand authors, buying this book anywhere else in the world was prohibitively expensive. It was suggested that I buy the kindle version but I am an old fashion type of girl so I have bought two copies in New Zealand and will ship them back to the UK. Hopefully that will be a cheaper option and will introduce a new audience to this author.

I myself have never been to India. Hubby, who has been everywhere thanks to the British Government or more accurately my taxes, has undoubtedly been there several times, if I ask him he has probably looked at the Taj Mahal from the window of the nearest Irish bar, something he has sadly done in many of the most beautiful and amazing places in the world. I don’t begrudge him, he’s a Philistine through and through but he does mix a great Margarita.

Just like the author and the character in this book, I was never sure I even wanted to go to India, it is such a country of contrast and extremes. But reading this book has made me want to go and explore this diverse and culturally rich country, as has the Kevin McCloud documentary mentioned in the footnotes at the back of the book. In fact, I have invited both my sisters to come with me when our children are grown. Unfortunately my older sister has quite selfishly had a beautiful daughter somewhat later in life, so it’s looking like we won’t be going till she’s 60. My one consolation is that at least I will have time to save!

This book explores loss, empty nest syndrome and heartache that many of us would struggle with. It made me laugh and cry as Annie tried to find her place in the world after one too many knocks. I empathized with her losses, her nervousness about such a foreign country and her inability to deal with the changes that we all face on our life journeys. This book was an uplifting soulful tale that left me better at the end of it.

And if a book does nothing else for us but this then surely that is enough. Until next time.

Reviewed by Corinna Carew

The strange library….

Strange LibraryWhat initially attracted me to this little book, “The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami,  was the lack of bumf on the cover. You know the stuff, “pulse-pounding action” and “heart-stopping suspense” are my particular favourites. Actually, if you consider it, why would anyone want to risk their life by reading a book that promises heart-stopping suspense?

You curl up on a rainy day with what promises to be a good read, and wind up dead of a stopped heart. It doesn’t really hold up as a selling point, does it? Perhaps publishers could just cut to the chase and print “This book will kill you dead!” on the back cover. I know I’m rambling, but book–bumf amuses me.

To Murakami’s Strange Library; this literary diversion can be read in about twenty minutes, and the only bumf on the cover reads: “All I did was go to the library to borrow some books.” We all regularly go to our library to borrow some books, don’t we…and I’ve seen my share of strange things at our library, but nothing like this.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a pitch-black labyrinth beneath our library, and I certainly hope none of the librarians have a penchant for creamy, well-educated brains. The Strange Library has about eighty pages, no two of which are even remotely alike. The pages feature built-in dog-ears, coffee stains, and what appear to be peanut brownie crumbs – you know, those little titbits of food left for you by previous readers.

Because The Strange Library is so short, you could locate it in the M fiction section, relax in one of the library’s comfy chairs, and enjoy it without having to take it out. That way, you’d avoid the risk of returning it late, and you wouldn’t suffer the wrath of the scary, brain-eating librarian…

Reviewed by Keith Smith


Late opening 16 February 2016

FB Temporary Closures

A day in the life of a librarian…

Country town librarians do so much more than issue books……

Corinna Carew 2015 After I emigrated to New Zealand, I never thought that my dream job would fall into my lap, but it did and the last 5 years have been some of the best of my working life. When I tell people I am a librarian they say, ” Oh it must be nice to work in a library and read books all day!” I never bother to contradict them but If I did I might be tempted to say……

“The role of the librarians of my childhood and modern librarians are vastly different. On any given day I will issue books, order requests and shelve books yes. But I will also cash cheques (as part of council service centre role), help clients scan and email information, top up phones or download pictures. Give basic computer lessons, phone tutorials and sort gadget fumbles. Not to mention internet searches, blog reads, book reviews and Facebook posts.

People ask for ‘that book with the red cover’ or the title of the book they saw on telly last week, but they can’t remember. The World Wide Web makes this easier, but also harder at times. When I’m not standing behind my desk, I’m designing and decorating for a reading program, or preparing for events. Then there are the reports to management, the gathering of numbers and facts to make us look relevant. The continued study to keep up to date, the travel to educational seminars at times.

There’s blogging and tweeting and pinterest. There’s book displays and advertising and keeping up with the schools to make sure we work together. There’s talking to my older customers who may not see anyone for the rest of the day, distracting the toddlers while their mums look something up on our free computers, and the photocopying of that important piece of information for homework, craft or lawyer.

As well as library jobs, I organise burial plots and dog registrations. I collect rate payments and listen to people complain about the council. I sell rubbish stickers and dump tickets and fill in complaint forms.

I rotate my stock and order new books. I fight for my community’s right to access to books in their small town. I push for better facilities. I smile at all my customers and laugh with most of them. I run a noisy but comfortable library and I never say shush. I write to my boss about new concepts and interesting ideas. I talk to fellow librarians to make sure I don’t become jaded and I watch babies grow into children and hope that they will keep visiting the library.”

So when people say it must be nice to be a librarian,  I just smile as I tell them “Yes, it is”. Because as a librarian, my job is to give my customers the tools to change their world. Every single day.

By Corinna  (Eketahuna Library and Service Centre)


Like Jack Reacher? Meet Sam Dryden…

Sam Dryden has an amazing skill set due to his years as a member of a super-elite force that specialised in ‘acquiring’ people for the United States.  But that life is behind him now.  Or so he thinks. One evening, while out jogging, he literally bumps into eleven-year-old Rachel, who is running for her life.  A split-second decision turns Sam into her protector, as he saves her from Government forces targeting her for death.  It seems that Rachel was born and raised in captivity – her mother was part of a Government gene manipulation trial. But as Rachel was in-utero at the time, the effect on her was enhanced. Her abilities exceed those of her mother, or anyone else actually.

Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee

But all she can remember is being a prisoner for the past two months, where various people pumped her full of drugs and asked many questions. She has just escaped, having discovered her death was imminent.  The drugs in her system will block her memory for another week, but Sam and Rachel don’t have a week.  They have to find out right now why Rachel (and now Sam) are being hunted. And when they both find out…. well, let’s just say that Rachel isn’t who she thinks she is, and Sam soon has more than just the Government after him.

Sam Dryden and Reacher would get along pretty well I think.  Both skilled military men, tough but with good hearts, dragged into situations where they end up being the good ‘bad’ guy.  The author, Patrick Lee, has that knack of writing so convincingly that it’s like hearing Sam speak. I’m so glad that I happened across “Runner” and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second Dryden adventure ‘Only to die again’ (aka Signal).



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