Category Archives: Reviews

Book Reviews, Tech Savvy

What’s Your Dewey? 340 Law

Have you ever come across something that really bothered you to the point you thought ‘Surely they can’t get away with that? There must be a law about that sort of thing!’ Examples big and small abound: Urban developments advertising SPACE  (the 10cms between rooftops?); or people constantly blocking your driveway making it difficult to safely enter or exit your property; or tradies who botch a very expensive job; or the sudden disappearance of the last remnant vegetation on route to work… There may very well be a law to cover all contingencies, but then again – maybe not.

We are constantly governed by laws, they pervade our every action in society – yet do we really know what they are and what our rights are within them? Fortunately, there are books out there to help us better understand the law and how they translate into our rights and responsibilities. Below are just a few examples.


Natural resources and environmental justice : Australian perspectives; editors: Anna Lukasiewicz, Stephen Dovers, Libby Robin, Jennifer McKay, Steven Schilizzi and Sonia Graham. There is little to show us how to achieve fairness and equity in environmental governance and public policy, ultimately causing conflict between different community interests. Natural Resources and Environmental Justice identifies best practice in Australian environmental management. Written by experts in in the fields of environment, social sciences, law and economics, this book covers many current issues, including coal seam gas, desalination plants, community relations in mining and forestry, the rise of sea-levels and animal rights. It proposes a social justice framework and an agenda for future research in environmental management.


Integrating human service law, ethics and practice by Rosemary Kennedy, Jenny Richards, Tania Leiman, introduces human service workers, psychologists and social workers to the relationship between law, ethics and human practice. It includes activities for practitioners to improve their understanding of how human services and the law interact, giving them an appreciation of how it impacts their work. Included are real-life cases involving human services.

Law’s Strangest Cases: Extraordinary but True Tales from over FiveCenturies of Legal History by Peter Seddon.
Nothing but the truth, the whole truth and the unbelievable truth from this fascinating collection of the strangest cases ever to appear in a court of law. A rollicking collection of barely believable stories from five centuries of legal history – you’ll be gripped by these tales of murder, intrigue, crime, punishment and the pursuit of justice. Meet the only dead parrot ever to give evidence in a court of law, the doctor with the worst bedside manner of all time, the murderess who collected money from her mummified victim for 21 years, and explore one of the most indigestible dilemmas – if you’d been shipwrecked 2,000 miles from home, would you have eaten Parker the cabin boy? The tales within these pages are bizarre, fascinating, hilarious and, most importantly, true. (Harper Collins) Look inside here:

Crimes that shaped the law by David Field. The law is constantly changing to reflect the society it serves. Criminal cases arise that dramatically dictate the need for alterations. This book includes twelve real-life cases that triggered some of these changes. The cases include ‘baby farming’, domestic violence, mistaken identity and sleepwalking killers. The laws affected involve the accused’s ‘right to silence’, the ‘battered woman syndrome’ and the validity of eyewitness accounts.


The journalist’s guide to media law : a handbook for communicators in a digital world by Mark Pearson ; Mark Polden.
We are all journalists and publishers now: at the touch of a button we can send our words, sounds and images out to the world … and everything you publish or broadcast is still subject to the law. But which law?’ This is a practical guide to the laws governing online media addressing a broad range of topics including defamation, privacy, intellectual property and ethics. ‘The leading text book from which most journos learned their law’ – Margaret Simons, Director of Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne
Take a sneak peek here:

Of course this list is only scratching the surface of the law titles available, on topics addressing all fields of social interaction. Just type the word law into any catalogue to browse.

Nola Cavallaro

What’s Your Dewey? 690’s Home Maintenance – D.I.Y. or P.I.O.?

Finally! You’re in your own home, off the rental treadmill and looking forward to relaxing in an environment of your own making… well, almost. There are just a few little ‘tweaks’ to make before it becomes ‘just perfect’. You haven’t actually got the funds to get someone in to do it – but how hard can it be to paint a bathroom ceiling, replace a damaged skirting, glue down the carpet – oh! and unstick that window? Only problem is, you don’t quite know where to start.

The 690’s is the place and the Complete do-it-yourself : an essential guide to painting, papering, tiling, flooring, woodwork, shelves and storage, home repairs, home insulation, outdoor projects and outdoor repairs edited by John McGowan (it’s a mouthful!) is likely to set you on a sound D.I.Y. footing.

A practical guide to many indoor and outdoor home decoration and maintenance projects, topics include painting, woodwork, flooring and tiling, insulating, decking and outdoor water features. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by over 2000 photographs, tooling information and project safety guides. An excellent resource for even the most timid of DI.Yers.

If a complete reference guide is too daunting in itself, then well-established do-it-yourself expert David Holloway’s offering of Home Repairs may prove more accessible. This title details a range of every day home maintenance projects and includes filling cracks, replacing tiles and patching carpets. Holloway also outlines the necessities for a basic toolkit with information on common items such as fixtures, fillers and adhesives

For many, getting right back to basics is a priority, not only doing the repairs themselves but also creating cleaning products and constructing money-saving household features.

The Home Book from Murdoch books is a back to basics book with invaluable tips on the simple, ongoing home maintenance tasks in every household, from cleaning to composting. Handy tips address typical issues such as yellowing linen, rising damp, noisy pipes and stain removal. Ideas for reducing electricity costs and establishing a kitchen garden are also included. The Home Book is available in print and eBook format, and all of the above titles can be reserved here: Home maintenance


Increasingly people are moving toward environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, and tool-industry leader Black&Decker has demonstrated this is not only possible with home maintenance, it is easy and relatively inexpensive. The complete guide to the green home : the good citizen’s guide to Earth-friendly remodeling & home maintenance by Philip Schmidt presents manageable home-care projects from remodeling to landscaping and promotes consumer-friendly  sustainable products, efficient energy use and reduced toxicity.


The adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’ can easily be applied to home maintenance, particularly if your new or recently remodeled home has few issues to compromise your enjoyment of ownership. Fix it before it breaks : seasonal checklist guide to home maintenance by Terry Kennedy provides  a checklist system for home owners to create a simple, ongoing  preventative maintenance program to forestall major future repairs. The checklist takes homeowners through all aspects of home care, from building site to construction and fittings, when to do-it-yourself or call in an expert. The Checklist also gives advice on what to look for when assessing work done by repairers and steps readers through developing a Personal Home Maintenance Plan. You can have a quick peek here:

Sometimes it’s the little things, the barely referenced tips and hints that make the difference between the place you live in feeling like a house or a home. Brilliant home tips and tricks not only presents readers with many easy home maintenance and repair instructions but also provides a wealth of information from home-care professionals and folk wisdom. Topics of particular interest not covered in other titles include de-cluttering, sewing, time-saving measures and alternate uses for everyday objects.

Armed with a multitude of choices for titles on general maintenance, major repairs, remodeling, ongoing home care and when to call in an expert, the 690’s will guide you through the best way to enjoy your home – from the specific to the eclectic. D.I.Y. or P.I.O.? Personally, I tend to D.I.Myself!

Nola Cavallaro

How Does That Work? Your Library Card – More than just borrowing.

So you ask… How Does That Work?

This new blog series, will explore the different questions we get asked daily by our customers.  You may find that some of the answers are dead simple or simply something you never realised, but every time we will endeavour to answer your question.  This time round the question is… What can my Library Card do?

Your Gawler Public Library Card can give you access to so much! Apart from having the ability to access ANY public library in South Australia to borrow books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and so much more, you can use your card membership number with your account PIN to use the computer and printing facilities in any SA Public Library too.  So wherever you find yourself in our state, you can grab a book, print your tickets or use the WiFi.
You can also access your library account at any time via our website.  Head to our online catalogue ( and Log In.  Your Login consists of your Username (the Barcode number on your card) and a PIN assigned to you when you first joined the Library.

The account area has four tabs –
Personal Information, Checkouts, Holds & Fines.

In the
Personal Information area you can check your details to make sure they’re correct, check your preferences and if necessary you can also change your PIN for your account.
In the
Checkouts area you will see the items currently loaned out to you as well as any digital checkouts (ebooks & audiobooks) you may have on your account.  In this tab you have the option to renew your items on loan.  Just tick the box next to the items you’d like to renew and select Renew at the top of the page. 

Holds area is where you will find your pending requests in sections; your physical items and digital requests.  In this tab you can Cancel, Suspend or Edit Pickup Location(s) for your holds.
The Gawler Public Library has three pickup locations to choose from; Evanston Gardens Library, Gawler Administration Centre and the Library room at the Gawler Sport & Community Centre.
On both of the previous tabs you will also find Group Checkouts or Holds,  (if your family is part of a group on our system). Once set up, this function will enable you to see what items your group has checked out and has on hold.  This is particularly good for parents of children who have their own cards. If you would like to find out more about Groups, please ask a staff member the next time you’re in the library.
The Fines tab will only apply if you’ve lost an item or used a library which fines (Gawler Public Library does not) and returned your items late.  You will find any current fines, accruing fines and your payment history.  If you owe a library money and they have a PayPal account, you can pay this online through your account.  It will indicate if this is available to you. If you have any queries about this tab’s information, please contact the library to discuss further. 
Your Library barcode number and PIN also gives you access to a range of library resources using the following Apps (available to download on your device’s app store):

 – Library catalogue & account app
Libby & OverDrive – ebook and audiobook catalogue/reader/player – video tutorial database
RBdigital – digital magazines catalogue and reader

ePlatform by Wheelers – ebook catalogue/reader


We also have Online Databases you can access in the library using your library login details. They include the Computer, and Carter’s Price Guide to Antiques.
Using the computers and WiFi in the library at Gawler and around the state is much the same –  you log in with your library barcode and PIN to access these facilities.

Did you know your humble little library card could do so much? Give it a try!

Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy

 #GawlerPublicLibrary  #HowDoesThatWork? #TechSavvy #LibraryCard  #Libby #RBdigital #LyndaLibrary #ePlatformByWheelers


Tech Savvy A-Z Apps Series – I can do that! (Craft & Making)

Do you like to create?  Do you sew or knit? Maybe you like to work with Bonsai trees or do your crafty skills tend more towards the digital? Do you love to create short films? There are so many ways to stretch your crafty muscles and just as many apps to assist you in your passions! Do you have an especially helpful app you use? Let us know and check out some of our staff favourites below.
Craftsy – ( – Google Play and Apple iTunes App Store — A FREE app to connect you with thousands of like-minded crafters from around the world.  You can browse the offerings from other makers for tools, supplies and ideas.  Download step-by-step tutorials (an extra in-app purchase) and you can also watch via your AppleTV if you have one.  A very popular and well reviewed app.
BlockFab-HD – ( – Apple iTunes App Store — This is a FREE, well used and well recommended quilting app suggested by one of our staff members; Annette.  As she is an expert quilter, her opinion has great weight behind it here. This app contains great guides on how much fabric to use and how to cut your pieces to form your preferred designs. 
Craftgawker– ( – Apple iTunes App Store — A FREE app collating over 41,000 craft blogger DIY ideas for people looking through all those lovely images you find online.  They have links to helpful step-by-step guides, illustrations and photos to get your creative juices flowing and get to making your own masterpieces.  From hanging gardens planters to painting, papercraft and Game of Thones cutting boards, there’s sure to be something for just about every person and skill level.
WikiHow– ( – Google Play and Apple iTunes App Store — This site/app has literally anything you could think of attempting and MANY different languages to choose from. WikiHow have boasted over 150,000 how-to guides for you to choose from with their tag line being; wikiHow… to do anything! You can learn about resume writing, avoiding theft while travelling  planning a cookout, painting sunflowers and much more. 

This is also the best place to put our very own app too! (FREE access using your SA Public Libraries membership).  Available on multiple devices, you can search, find and get stuck into your next project with great instructions and videos to guide you through. Check out our website to log in and get started! 
If you’re not so crafty but would love something handmade, download the FREE Etsy app ( to find so many options made by local and worldwide artisans that you’ll find hard to choose from!  They also have a specially made app for those of you who are getting so good you need to start selling items to cope with all the requests.
This brings us to the launch of a new series for our blog, starting this month, called How Does That Work?  This series will have many how-to guides of our own making for library related queries.  So if you’ve ever wondered how to use the catalogue, change your account details, reserve a DVD or use the photocopier, hopefully this series will give you the answers. Stay tuned and let us know what your burning questions are!

Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy


#GawlerPublicLibrary #AtoZOfApps #TechSavvy #Craftsy #BlockFabHD #Craftgawker #Sewing #Quilting #HowDoesThatWork?   


What’s Your Dewey? 573s – Senses (As I See It).

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, ‘sense’ is an ability to understand, recognize, value, or react to something, especially any of the five physical abilities to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. When we talk about our senses, we generally refer to the mechanisms by which our bodies react to internal or external stimuli which are many and varied within the animal kingdom. Most books that deal with the generally understood topic of the senses are to be found in the 573s – Specific physiological systems in animals, regional histology & physiology in animals.

There are many children’s books devoted to the 5 human senses. They are either sense organ specific (devoted to each of the ear, nose, eyes, skin or tongue) or general and refer to all of the 5 senses. While they are all very informative and a requisite topic for growing young minds, the ones that most intrigue are those which look at lesser known animal sensorial abilities.

Top 10 Super Senses by Virginia Loh-Hagan
This title includes many interesting facts about animals and their senses including the 15,000 taste buds of pigs, the tarsier’s exceptional night vision; and the 25,000 touch receptors in the star-nosed mole’s nose.  It is written with high interest, low complexity text and includes clear illustrations, glossary and simplified pronunciation. Preview here:

A Natural History of the Senses
  by Diane Ackerman
Ackerman’s book, variously described as inspiring, charming, intriguing, knowledgeable and even pure ecstasy, has received many accolades. Each of the 5 senses are presented as realms for discovery with unique takes. Smell is named the ‘mute’ sense  with a personality that can be mapped; the skin has ‘eyes’ in the section on Touch; earth calls us in Hearing; and the walls are round in Vision. The New York Times says of it ” Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.”
Quick Look:

A Tour of the Senses: How Your Brain Interprets the World by John M. Henshaw
A tour of the senses takes readers through the common understanding of the senses that help us interpret our surroundings, to the science behind the process underpinning Stimulus, Sensations and Perception. Henshaw explains how we see, feel, taste, touch, and smell. Making reference to Aristotle’s classification of the five main senses and examining sensory research today, Henshaw argues well for a reinterpretation of the number of senses available to living organisms. An interesting approach to the topic, well researched and easy to read.

We have the technology : how biohackers, foodies, physicians, and scientists are transforming human perception, one sense at a time by Kara Platoni.
Bioscience, metaperception, neurobiology, metasensory experiences, AI and augmented reality are all topics addressed in this witty, candid, intriguing and disturbing book by Platoni. An academic and science reporter, Platoni researches the ways we extend our ‘sensory experiences to make the world more real’. There is much food for thought to enlighten and challenge in this book.

Neurocomic by Matted Farinella & Hana Ros [graphic novel]
Farinella, graphic jounalist and scientific illustrator and Ros, neuroscientist  and documentary writer, introduce the complexities of the brain in graphic novel format.  ‘Neurocomic is a journey through the human brain: a place of neuron forests, memory caves, and castles of deception. Along the way, you’ll encounter Boschean beasts, giant squid, guitar-playing sea slugs, and the great pioneers of neuroscience. Hana Roš and Matteo Farinella provide an insight into the most complex thing in the universe.’ (