Search Articles Home Online Catalogue

Library News

Your Library > Library News


In a celebration of Children’s Book Week, beloved children’s author and Australia’s Children Laureate Leigh Hobbs will be appearing for Maitland City Library at two special events on 31 August and 1 September.

Leigh Hobbs is an artist and best-selling author of more than 20 children’s books. He is probably best known for the extremely popular books including Old Tom, Mr Chicken Goes to Paris and Horrible Harriet. Leigh has three times been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award and his books have won every major child’s choice awards in Australia. His characters have reached almost cult status, delighting children for more than two decades.

He is also the 2016 - 2017 Australia’s Children’s Laureate. The Australian Children’s Laureate is an initiative to champion and promote the transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.

Maitland City Library is proud to host Leigh Hobbs in Children’s Book Week in events both for children and for adults. Children from Maitland and the surrounding area have the opportunity to hear Leigh speak on Friday 1 September at special sessions for schools to be held at Maitland Goal.

Not to miss out, parents and teachers are invited to An Evening with Leigh Hobbs at Maitland Library on Thursday evening 31 August. At this exclusive, free event for adults, Leigh Hobbs will talk about how to engage children in reading, writing stories and drawing.

“Leigh Hobbs is one Australia’s most loved/ iconic authors” says City Librarian Keryl Collard. “He inspires and engages the imagination of children in his talks, and Maitland is very honoured to have him appear for Children’s Book Week”.

Event details: An Evening with Leigh Hobbs
Thursday 31 August
6.00pm – 7.30pm
Maitland Library
Bookings online at


Book lovers and bargain hunters will be spoilt for choice at the upcoming Friends of Maitland City Library Book Sale, coming up on Saturday 5 August at the Maitland Town Hall.

‘The Book Sale is a great opportunity for people to add to their collections,’ said Friends of Maitland City Library Chairperson, John Brown. ‘There is a wide selection of books in good condition, from fiction to non-fiction, paperback to hardback. You are bound to find some gems to take home’.

Each year the Library sorts through its collections, removes redundant stock and offers it at bargain prices. The Book Sale is always a huge hit with members of the community, and offers great value for money. Prices are very reasonable, ranging from $1- $2, or buyers can fill a bag for $10.

Entertainment will be provided by the Maitland Community Concert Band.

Information on the book sale may be obtained by phoning Maitland City Library on 4933 6952.

Details include:

Friends of Maitland City Library Annual Book Sale

Saturday 5 August

9.00 am - 3.00 pm

Maitland Town Hall


Winner of Book of the Year and Indigenous Writers Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Bruce Pascoe will appear for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program on Thursday 3 August.

In the award winning Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident, Pascoe presents an alternative view of pre-colonial Aboriginal society, arguing for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.

Instead he argues there is considerable sophistication in the technological and agricultural practices of the Aboriginal peoples, including sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing.

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘Bruce Pascoe is a powerful voice on indigenous history. We are honoured to present this accomplished author in association with the national conference of the Slow Food Movement in Australia.’

As a Board Member of First Languages Australia and the past Secretary of the Bidwell-Maap Aboriginal Nation, Bruce Pascoe presents a powerful voice on indigenous history and indigenous language revival.

Bruce Pascoe will be joined in conversation with Amorelle Dempster, Leader of Slow Food Hunter Valley and the Australian Councillor for Slow Food International. The Slow Food National Conference will be held at Tocal Agricultural College from 2 August to 6 August. Bruce Pascoe will appear as part of Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program.

Thursday 3 August 2017

6.00pm – 8.00pm

Tocal Agricultural College Chapel



Local author Margaret McMahon will be talking about her experiences moving from corporate Sydney to a rural Hunter Valley life at the next Look Who’s Talking Local Author event to be held at Maitland Library from 6.00pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Like many others, Margaret McMahon dreamed of a tree change. In a spur of the moment decision, she made the move from the city to the country. Leaving her Sydney home and her career as a solicitor, she and her husband moved to the Hunter Valley to buy and run a grazing property. What started as a dream move quickly turned into a nightmare.

Running a commercial farm was often dispiriting and hard work but Margaret was undaunted. Trial and error and the imagination to challenge existing agricultural practices prompted a new approach.Her book ‘Tree Change: Koalas in the kitchen – butterflies in the bush’, tells of Margaret’s experiences and challenges in combining the demands of motherhood, carer, solicitor and farm manager with her love of working with the land and the environment.

Maitland City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘Margaret McMahon’s story is one of courage and perseverance and it tells of the author’s journey to establish a new and better life and her determination to make it succeed.’ Margaret was born in 1940 and followed her father into the legal profession after completing a law degree at Sydney University. She has won a number of prestigious awards and her book ‘Moving Out’, a guide to adult living for young people, was especially popular. She and her husband have now retired and live in Newcastle.

Bookings for this event are essential and may be made online at For more information call Maitland Library on 4933 6952.Margaret McMahon appears for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking Local Authors on

Wednesday 19 July 
Maitland Library 
6.00pm to 7.30pm.
The event is free.


Two husbands, four trials and one bloody execution – journalist Caroline Overington delves into the archives to reveal the terrible true story of Louisa Collins, a 41 year old mother of ten children from the Upper Hunter, for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program on Thursday 8 June.

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, “Award winning journalist Caroline Overington tells a gripping story of murder, mystery and gender politics in 19th century colonial society. This true story of Last Woman Hanged has a local interest, centring on Louisa Collins, who was born in Belltrees and grew up in Merriwa.”

In January 1889, Louisa Collins became the first woman hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa's husbands had died suddenly and the Crown, convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic, put her on trial an extraordinary four times in order to get a conviction, to the horror of many in the legal community. Louisa protested her innocence until the end.

Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand. Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law - except when it came to the gallows. They could not vote or stand for parliament - or sit on juries.

Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa's life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men - male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor, governor and Premier - could not with any integrity hang a woman. The tenacity of these women would not save Louisa but it would ultimately carry women from their homes all the way to Parliament House.

Caroline Overington is the author of eleven books of fiction and non-fiction, including the top-selling The One Who Got Away psychological crime novel.

Caroline says, “My hope is that Last Woman Hanged will be read not only as a true crime story but as a letter of profound thanks to that generation of women who fought so hard for the rights we still enjoy today.” Caroline Overington appears for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking Local History program:

Thursday 8 June 2017

6.00 pm

Maitland Gaol Auditorium



Have you ever wondered what it’s like to read the same book at the same time as half a million other Australians? Join in the fun when Maitland City Library celebrates National Simultaneous Storytime at 11.00am on Wednesday 24 May.
Every local library branch in Maitland will be hosting a Storytime with local Councillors reading this year’s nominated book ‘The Cow Tripped Over the Moon’, written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.
City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘National Simultaneous Storytime encourages children to enjoy books and reading. It’s a privilege to take part in this Australia wide campaign.’
The Cow Tripped Over the Moon is a wonderful reimaging of the classic nursery rhyme with themes of friendship and perseverance.
National Simultaneous Storytime is taking place at East Maitland, Maitland, Rutherford and Thornton Libraries at 11.00am on Wednesday 24 May. National Simultaneous Storytime sessions are open for all children to attend. If you can’t make it into a branch, you can take part by watching Eddie Perfect read the book on Storybox, an online reading room which can be accessed at


To mark the centenary of Les Darcy’s death in 1917, Maitland is set to host a number of events and exhibitions aimed at celebrating the life of one of Australia’s most iconic sportsmen.
Les Darcy, considered by many to be ‘Maitland’s Favourite Son’, was one of the best middleweight fighters in the world and his career record finished at 50 fights, with 46 wins and just four losses to his name. Tragically, Les’ story came to an end much too early, when he died at 22 years of age of pneumonia after contracting a blood infection in Memphis, Tennessee.
Born at ‘Stradbroke’ near Woodville, Les came from humble beginnings and after leaving school at 12 to be a carter, he took up an apprenticeship as a blacksmith in East Maitland at 15. He soon fell in love with the sport of boxing and would go on to carve out an incredible, though short, career in the sport.
Maitland Mayor Cr Peter Blackmore says, ‘Les Darcy lived a short but very special life. He was a champion boxer, but he was also so much more than that because he had a real affect on almost everyone he met and he conducted himself in such a mature and respectable way. I think that’s why we’re still celebrating his life 100 years on.
‘His legend lives on through all the great stories we hear about not only his boxing feats, but also his character, charm, incredible work ethic and his ability to inspire a nation.’
To celebrate his life, there will be a range of different events and exhibitions happening in and around Maitland.
Wednesday 24 May
 12.00pm – O’Neills Tyres, 61 Melbourne Street, Maitland. Unveiling of a memorial bronze plaque by Maitland Lions Club.
 12.30pm – Les Darcy Monument in East Maitland Park. Public ceremony to celebrate his life with guest speaker Mark Hughes and M.C. Scott Bevan. From 1.30pm East Maitland Bowling Club will be playing footage of Les’ fights throughout the club. Opportunity to view the Les Darcy memorabilia display.
 St John the Baptist Maitland – Celebration Carnival with local Catholic schools.
Centenary exhibitions
· Maitland Regional Art Gallery – Les Darcy Exhibition from 20 May until 18 June.
· Maitland City Library – ‘Remembering Les Darcy’, commencing Tuesday 23 May, will include a slideshow of old photos from Les Darcy’s funeral displayed on a projector in the library and a new ‘Walls That Talk’ display on the outside of the building.


Maitland City Library, in collaboration with the Hunter Writers Centre and Lake Macquarie Libraries, is all set to launch the 2017 Writing Workshop program. Now in its third year, the program offers a range of workshops to help you find your inner voice and foster creative expression.
Launching this month, there are one off and continuing workshops on poetry and creative writing. Whether you are new to writing and want some tips and techniques to start, want to express yourself through poetry or simply join a supportive writing group that meets regularly, there is a writing workshop for you. The workshops are relaxed sessions where like minded people join in a supportive and collaborative environment.
City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘The workshops provide a springboard for people wanting to improve their writing skills. The tutors from Hunter Writers Centre are experienced and published writers that provide the skills and the encouragement to take your writing to the next level.’
The first and only Poetry Workshop is being held tomorrow at Maitland Library from 9.30am to 1.30pm at a cost of $50.00.
This is followed by a series of Creative Writing Meet Ups which will be held on the third Friday of the month from now until October. They will be held in East Maitland Library from 10.00am to 12.00pm and will cost $12.00 per session.
In addition, workshops called ‘Poetic Voices’ will be held on the fourth Saturday of the month until November from 10.00am to 1.00pm at East Maitland Library and are free of charge.
To find out more information about the workshops and to book in go to


Council is calling on citizens to help shape the future of Maitland as part of the review of the Community Strategic Plan, Maitland +10.
Maitland +10 sets out the community’s goals across a range of themes including facilities and services, transport needs and other infrastructure requirements, through to local democracy and connections of Council to Maitland residents.
The plan has been under review for the past 12 months and Council has been talking to members of the community about the future of Maitland to help inform its review.
Council’s Executive Manager Strategy and Performance Leah Flint says, ‘We have been listening to the aspirations of our citizens for the city and we have had some great feedback. Council will further explore some areas raised by our citizens to further understand what the community would like to see over the next ten years.’
Over the next six weeks Council will be asking a series of questions seeking more information from citizens in the areas of education, the city’s heritage, attracting local business and jobs, long term planning for Maitland, the environment, and what might be next for Central Maitland.
‘Sharing your views will tell us the direction you want to take for these areas. There are plenty of ways to get involved in the conversation and we’re keen to hear from all members of the community,’ added Ms Flint.
One survey a week for six weeks will now be released and will be available at and through the Maitland Your Say Facebook page. Hard copies can be completed at local libraries, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland Gaol or Council’s Administration Building.


Love, hate, haute couture and high drama – The Dressmaker has it all. Join Rosalie Ham, author of the book that became a star-studded film, for a special screening of The Dressmaker for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program on Friday 24 March at Reading Cinemas.

The Dressmaker tells the story of a Parisian courtier who collides with her past in a small Australian town in the 1950’s. A best seller in its own right, the novel was adapted for film by Jocelyn Moorhouse and released in 2015, starring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving and Judy Davis. Through the success of the film, Ham’s book enjoyed a renaissance.

Rosalie Ham is in the unique position of being able to share her knowledge of the book and its characters while also providing inside information on the process of turning the book into a movie.

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, “The Dressmaker brings the gothic tradition to an Australian setting with elements of betrayal, deceit and revenge. Author Rosalie Ham promises a wonderful insight into this best-selling book and box-office film. Rosalie also starred as an extra in the film so we can expect some behind the scenes stories from this experience.” Rosalie Ham has written two other novels, including Summer at Mount Hope and There Should be More Dancing. Bookings for this event may be made online at For further information phone Maitland Library on 4933 6952. Rosalie Ham will appear as part of Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program:
Friday 24 March 2017
Reading Cinemas Maitland
5.30pm Book sales
6.00pm Author talk Rosalie Ham
7.00pm Screening of The Dressmaker


Can poetry make the world a better place? As part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Poetry Day, Council is launching an initiative that calls for both established and budding poets to team up with enthused café owners. The program, called ‘Verses’, will see metaphors and similes blossom along with Maitland’s growing café culture.
The Verses ‘writers in residence’ pilot program, part of Council’s Cultural Plan, connects volunteer poets with local cafes for a three to six month part time placement. From 1 May, Poets will be given space to write and create poetry based on the hustle and bustle of café life, the local area and their own experiences. The idea is for poets to enrich the cultural life of the cafe through conversations, connections and performances.
The purpose of holding the program in cafes is to immerse poets in a wealth of everyday material that focuses on the excitement surrounding café life.
Maitland Mayor Cr Peter Blackmore says, ‘The Verses initiative is a great way to connect local people with the power of poetry and with each other. Verses will provide opportunities for connection between people, as well as creative expression.’
Readers Café and Larder is one business that’s jumping on board the program. Owner Amorelle Dempster says, ‘People come to cafés to enjoy the delicious aromas of coffee and food and to share time, ideas, laughter and tears. Cafes are actually a great source of material for poets.’
World Poetry Day, held on Tuesday 21 March, recognises the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
Local Hunter poets and Maitland cafes are invited to participate in the Verses project by completing an EOI at, with applications closing on Friday 21 April.
For further information about the Verses Program contact City Librarian Keryl Collard on 4934 9704 or email
For more information on UNESCO’s World Poetry Day go to



Singer songwriter Holly Throsby appears in conversation with local broadcaster Carol Duncan for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program on Tuesday 14 February.

Highly regarded as a singer–songwriter with five critically acclaimed solo albums and four ARIA nominations, Holly Throsby has turned her creative talents to writing fiction, with a debut novel published late last year. The novel, Goodwood, is both a dark coming-of-age story and a clear-eyed portrait of time and place.

Set in a small community with a dark mystery at its core, Goodwood is a compelling read. It tells the story of not one but two missing people, and the speculation that arises in a town where it’s impossible to keep a secret. Rich in character and dry humour with a strong sense of place, Goodwood was awarded Book of the Month at Dymocks across Australia in October 2016 and included in The Guardian’s List of Literary Highlights.

The talented Throsby has also released a collection of children’s songs and published two comic books, as well as contributing to albums by other artists such as Josh Pyke and Jack Ladder and collaborating with singers Sarah Blasko and Sally Seltman in the band Seeker Lover Keeper.

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, “Holly Throsby is a multi-talented artist who brings a distinctively lyrical voice to her first novel. Holly will be joined in conversation by Carol Duncan, well-known local broadcaster and journalist.”

Holly Throsby kicks off a program which includes names such as environmentalist Tim Flannery, author Hannah Kent, wordsmith David Astle and The Dressmaker’s Rosalie Ham.

Bookings for this event may be made online at For further information contact Maitland Library on 4933 6952.

Holly Throsby appears for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program:

Tuesday 14 February 2017
Maitland Regional Art Gallery
6.00pm – 8.00pm
$25 ($20 early bird special for bookings prior to 31 January)


Following a huge year which featured appearances from the likes of former NSW Premier Bob Carr, renowned journalist Kerry O’Brien and popular TV host Paul West, the Look Who’s Talking program will be back once again in 2017.

There are five strands of the Look Who’s Talking program, featuring a great range of speakers and topics, including Literary, Local History, Wellbeing, Local Authors and Local Stories.

Some of the exciting speakers include leading environmentalist Tim Flannery, best-selling author of ‘Burial Rites’ Hannah Kent, winner of the NSW Premiers Literary Award and former speech writer for Paul Keating Don Watson, author of the enduring ‘Romulus, My Father’ Raimond Gaita and for crossword fans David Astle from ‘Letters and Numbers’.

Holocaust survivor John Grushka and Robyn Barnes, who lived under the shadow of a cult for many years, will share their incredible stories and those things that contribute to our wellbeing.

Insights into Maitland’s local history will examine the impact of floods on the community’s settlement patterns, Maitland’s Jewish connections, the story of Duckenfield House and an investigative account of the last woman hanged in NSW.

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘I am very excited about what 2017 holds for our Look Who’s Talking program. There are some really interesting people to look forward to, all from different walks of life that have great stories to tell.

‘We had a number of sell out events last year so it’s clear that we have significant interest in these sorts of events. If you don’t want to miss out it’s important that you book and you also have the opportunity to take advantage of early bird discounts before the end of February.’ Holly Throsby, singer songwriter turned novelist, will appear at Maitland Regional Art Gallery on Tuesday 14 February from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. An early bird offer on this event will be available up until Tuesday 31 January.

For more information about the Look Who’s Talking program go to


The Riverlights Multicultural Festival returns to The Levee Central Maitland on Saturday 8 October bringing together a variety of cultures in a celebration of food, music, language and dance.

Entering its fifth year, the festival remains a popular celebration of the cultural diversity of Maitland and will once again turn The Levee Shared Zone into a bright and connected global space. The conclusion to the evening will see the Hunter River lit up with a floating lantern display for an unforgettable family experience.
Maitland City Council Events Coordinator Adam Franks says, ‘This year’s festival will have more cultural villages to experience, with 23 villages and approximately 30 cultures represented through a range of activities such as food tasting, performance, craft, hair braiding, henna and much more.
‘Not to be missed is the riverside lantern parade and the spectacular Riverlights lantern flotilla where hundreds of colourful glowing paper lanterns are floated down the river, which will be a great end to the night’.
The popular cultural passport will again be at this year’s festival which is a great way for the kids, families and festival visitors to collect stamps to show where they’ve been. Also returning is the Language Lounge which is the perfect opportunity if you’ve ever wanted to learn another language or to count in Polish, Swahili, Sudanese or one of the many other languages represented at the festival.
Leading up to this year’s event the community is invited to make their own paper lantern to be part of the flotilla at the festival with free workshops to be run at all Maitland City Library branches during the school holidays. For more information on these visit
In addition there will be a lantern making workshop held at Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council building on 23 September facilitated by Council’s Community and Recreation Services Team in partnership with Mindaribba, which is open to everyone. A workshop will also be run at Maitland Library on 29 September by Ability Links in partnership with the Library for their members and the general public. There will also be lantern making at the event from 3.00pm to 7.00pm.
Maitland Riverlights is a free family friendly event. Head to The Levee from 3.00pm to 9.00pm on Saturday 8 October for an immersion in culture through interactive stalls, dance, food, music and arts and experience the diversity of the four corners of the world right here in Maitland.
For more information about this year’s Riverlights Multicultural Festival visit


Authors Merridy Eastman and Annemarie Fleming will appear at Maitland City Library‘s Look Who’s Talking event at the Maitland Gaol on Tuesday 13 September from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
Merridy Eastman is an author and actress whose career began in the 1980s as a Playschool presenter. She is well known for her roles in Always Greener, Packed to the Rafters and Rake. She has written three humorous memoirs There’s a Bear in There, Ridiculous Expectations and How Now Brown Cow. Finding humour in misfortune and negative experiences, Merridy’s books are full of humour and wit.
Merridy is currently writing a fourth book in which she plans to reveal more about her discovery of her Indigenous heritage.
Annemarie Fleming is a Novocastrian who is best known as the author of The Collected Minutes of the Bad Mother’s Meeting that began as an occasional rant in the Heckler column of the Sydney Morning Herald and is now a very funny book.
It tells the stories of a secret group of women who get together when everything at home becomes just a little too much. The collection of minutes from their regular meetings is laugh out loud material and provides a few tips to help navigate and negotiate the way through motherhood.
We have all heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine” however very few of us know that this has actually been proven to be true. Come along for a night full of laughter, it’s good for you after all.
So get along to the Gaol and enjoy a very funny night out. For more information call Maitland City Library on 4933 6952 and bookings be made online at


The winners of the Write Now! Awards were announced on Wednesday 24 August during a special presentation ceremony at East Maitland Library. The awards, which recognise excellence in writing by infants and primary aged children, were established by the Friends of Maitland City Library in partnership with Maitland City Library and the University of Newcastle in 2008.

Friends of Maitland City Library Chair, John Brown says, “The aim of the award is to encourage literacy development, foster creativity and promote pride in achievement for young people. It has provided an exciting opportunity for infants and primary aged students to develop their writing skills and be rewarded for their efforts.”

“The quality and level of creative writing was very impressive this year. There were some amazing entries, including stories with suspense, humour, and heart.”

The award was open to entrants from years K to 6, including Stages 1, 2 and 3. Winning and highly commended entries were presented by the Mayor of Maitland, Clr Peter Blackmore to the following children.

Stage 1

Winner: Ruby Scanlon (Nillo Infants School)

Highly commended: Rosie Davis (Nillo Infants School)

Stage 2

Winner: Rajan Gandhi (Rutherford Public School)

Highly commended: Jasmine Parish (Tenambit Public School)

Stage 3 Winner:

Sophia Devine (Rutherford Public School)

Highly commended: Edith Mallon (Bolwarra Public School)

Judges were pleased to receive entries from students across the Maitland local government area and beyond, including 12 different schools and home schools.

City Librarian and one of the award judges, Keryl Collard says, “All entries were very competitive and of a generally high standard. This year’s entrants unleashed their imagination and brought to life superheroes that were courageous, powerful, and seemingly able to overcome any obstacle with amazing physical prowess while doing great deeds at the same time. The concept of heroism was also explored through everyday heroes, including parents, friends and others.”

The Write Now! Children’s Literary Award is held annually and is open to all K-6 children.


Bob Carr gives an insightful glimpse into his role as Foreign Minister when he appears for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program on Thursday 18 August at 6.00pm at the Cameron Centre, Hunter Valley Grammar School.
Six years after vacating his position as the longest continuously serving Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr returned to politics as Foreign Minister of Australia. While in this role he kept a diary documenting the behind the scenes, day to day workings of a foreign minister. The result is the highly compelling book Diary of a Foreign Minister.
Described as a ‘high octane internal dialogue on key issues’, Diary of a Foreign Minister ranges from the war in Syria to Australia’s election to the UN Security Council set against the backdrop of Labor Party infighting, plummeting polls and a leadership change from Julia Gillard back to Kevin Rudd.
Maitland City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘It is a great privilege to host Bob Carr for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program. Mr Carr’s Diary of a Foreign Minister provides a unique insight into politics on the national and international stages’.
During his 10 years as NSW Premier, Bob Carr led the State Government to become the first government in the State’s history to retire debt, host the Olympics and to achieve the nation’s best literacy levels. As Foreign Minister, Mr Carr fostered stronger relations between Australia and Southeast Asia, campaigned for a global Arms Trade Treaty and led the final stages of Australia’s seat on the UN Security Council. He is also the author of three other books Thoughtlines (2002), What Australia Means to Me (2003) and My Reading Life (2008).
Bob Carr is currently Professor in International Relations at the University of Technology Sydney, where he is the Director of the Australia China Relations Institute.
For further information contact Maitland City Library on 4933 6952. Bookings can be made online
Bob Carr – Diary of a Foreign Minister
Thursday 18 August 2016
Cameron Centre Hunter Valley Grammar School
6.00pm – 8.00pm


Book lovers, bargain hunters and art enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice at the upcoming Friends of Maitland City Library Book Sale on Saturday 23 July. The popular annual sale this year includes an exhibition from the Maitland Regional Society of Artists and will open from 9.00 am at the Maitland Town Hall.

Friends of Maitland City Library Chairperson, John Brown says, ‘The Book Sale is a great opportunity for people to add to their collections. ‘There is a wide selection of books in good condition, from fiction to non-fiction, paperback to hardback. You are bound to find some gems to take home’.

Each year the Library sorts through its collections, removes redundant stock and offers it at bargain prices. The Book Sale is always a huge hit with members of the community, and offers great value for money. Prices are very reasonable, ranging from $1- $2, or buyers can fill a bag for $10.

The Book Sale is a wonderful community event. This year the Maitland Regional Society of Artists will be exhibiting their works at the sale and for the first time a new pop-up library will join the Olive Tree Markets at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery on the same day. Market shoppers will be able to purchase bargain books from the pop-up library and enjoy some winter-themed story telling for the kids.

City Librarian, Keryl Collard says, ‘The Friends Book Sale is a wonderful community event. With comfortable lounge chairs, plenty of books and art, it offers an opportunity to take some time out for reading and relaxing this weekend.’

Information on the Book Sale may be obtained by phoning Maitland City Library on 4933 6952.

Details include:
Friends of Maitland City Library Annual Book Sale
Saturday 23 July 9.00 am - 3.00 pm
Maitland Town Hall
Maitland City Pop-up Library
Saturday 23 July 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Olive Tree Markets
Maitland Regional Art Gallery


Francis Greenway's incredible legacies were played out through a remarkable life as mason, architect, forger, convict, emancipist, memorialist, civil engineer, public servant and farmer.

Alasdair McGregor will explore the importance of Greenway in shaping the colony of NSW and the events that led to the tragic end to his life in the Maitland district for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking Local History program on Thursday 14 July.

Presenting his recently published research A Forger's Progress: The life of Francis Greenway, Alasdair McGregor will draw out the paradoxes in Greenway’s life and career.

The first official architect for the Colony of NSW, Greenway’s personal and professional life appears to be full of contradictions. Francis Greenway: visionary or Rogue will reflect on his fascinating and tumultuous life, as well as his contributions as the honourable 'Father of Australian Architecture'.

Maitland City Council’s Heritage Officer, Clare James says, “It is an auspicious year to be reflecting on Greenway's life and contribution, with 2016 marking the 200th anniversary year of the Government Architect's Office, with the appointment of Greenway. The City of Maitland boasts fine examples of many buildings by other Government Architects through the 19th and 20th centuries including James Barnet and Walter Vernon.”

A memorial commemorating the burial of Francis Greenway is located at the entrance to Glebe Cemetery in East Maitland. His burial is recorded in the burial register for the Maitland Parish dated 25th September 1837, but his gravesite is unmarked and its location unknown.

Alasdair McGregor is available for phone interviews which can be arranged through Maitland City Council’s Media Officer, Oliver Watson.


The world is changing, the information we have access to is proliferating as is the technology we use to access it. Council is undertaking a review of Maitland City Library services to help ensure that our library branches continue to meet the needs of the community.

All library users are invited to take part in the review, whether they access services regularly or only on occasion. It is important to hear from as many different people as possible to find out what the community would like to see across all of Maitland City Library’s four branches in Central Maitland, East Maitland, Rutherford and Thornton.

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘We’re interested in understanding the different types of library services that appeal to our local community. We need to keep pace with changes in technology and lifestyle and we’re seeking to understand the type of library services and resources that the community wants to use from now and into the future’.

The easiest way for residents to share their views is through the library services survey. The survey is available online at until Friday 3 June.

The survey will inform a general review of library services, so they are in step with community needs and expectations. There will also be a range of other opportunities for resident to have their say, including focus groups and an ideas board located at each of the library branches.

‘A library isn’t just about books anymore. We’re changing, but we want to make sure that this transformation aligns will the needs of our community. Tell us how you would like local library services to support your learning, literacy and entertainment needs. We’re interested in a different approach to delivering library services’, said Ms Collard.

To find out more about the Maitland City Library review, visit, contact one of library branches directly, or email


Helen Garner, award-winning novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist joins Walkley award winning journalist Joanne McCarthy for a special Look Who’s Talking event on Thursday 7 April at Monte Pio Hotel and Conference Centre.

Recognised as one of Australia’s most pre-eminent writers, Helen Garner has produced award-winning work since her first critically acclaimed novel Monkey Grip was published in 1977.  With a career spanning four decades, Garner was recently awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for her body of non-fiction work, including the well-known crime books The First Stone (1995), Joe Cinque's Consolation (2004), and This House of Grief (2014). 

City Librarian, Keryl Collard says, “We are delighted to host Helen Garner as part of the Look Who’s Talking program.  Helen will be joined by Newcastle Herald’s Joanne McCarthy in a compelling discussion of her books and life as a writer.”

Her new collection of writing, Everywhere I Look, features opinions on, among other things, re-reading Austen, her friendships with writers, being a grandparent (and losing her parents) and the insults of age.  Spanning fifteen years of work, it is a book filled with the wisdom of life with piercing intuition, flashes of anger, incidental humour and many unexpected moments.

Bookings for this event may be made online at 

For further information phone Maitland Library on 4933 6952.

Helen Garner appears for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program:

Thursday 7 April 2016

Monte Pio Hotel and Conference Centre

6.00pm – 8.00pm



On Friday 26 February the Friends of Maitland City Library will celebrate 20 years helping to support and promote library services across the city. 

The Friends of Maitland City Library support and promote Maitland City Library and its services to the community, through advocacy, fund raising, and programs that contribute to the cultural and social life of the Maitland community

Maitland City Librarian Keryl Collard says, ‘The Friends of Maitland City Library have been a great support for the Library over the last two decades. They are advocates in our community for library services and have helped us to extend the scope of library programs. So many amazing people have been a part of the Friends over the last 20 years and I would like to express our thanks to each and every one of them’

As part of the celebrations, Maitland City Library is hosting a rare screening of the Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet at Maitland Gaol on Friday 26 February from 8.00pm. The screening is part of the Look Who’s Talking Local History program and presented in partnership with the Friends of Maitland City Library and the National Film and Sound Archive. 

A love story set in the time of the 1955 flood, The Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet is an animation based on the rhyming narrative poem of the same name by Nicholas Enright and narrated by Ruth Cracknell, both of whom were born in Maitland. Fittingly, Cracknell was also the Patron of Friends of Maitland City Library for some years. While the film has special significance for Maitland, it is also an important part of Australia’s film history because it was produced and directed by the country’s first female animator, Anne Jolliffe. 

‘The Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet is a charming and humorous film, and it is great to be able to screen it on this important occasion. It tells a uniquely Maitland story and showcases the talent of people from our city. Come along and see a special piece of Maitland’s history, said Ms Collard. 

The screening is free but booking is encouraged. To secure you place call Maitland City Library on 4933 6952 or head to
Look Who’s Talking Local History - Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet
Free screening, Friday 26 February 
7.45pm for 8.00pm start 
Maitland Gaol



Paul West, host of River Cottage Australia and author of The River Cottage Australia Cookbook will share his take on the simple life to kick off Maitland City Library’s latest Look Who’s Talking program on Thursday 4 February 2016. 

A fresh, exciting face on the global food scene, as well as a popular Australian television presenter, West started his career in Newcastle's Darby Street, worked for a number of years at Melbourne's chic Vue de Monde restaurant before moving to Tasmania to study permaculture design and work as a chef in Hobart. It was there he auditioned for the cast of River Cottage Australia, a spin-off of the hugely successful sea-change cooking franchise set up in Britain by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. 

With a passion for food, self-sufficiency and sustainability that runs deep, the River Cottage series has West living off the land on a beautiful farm amid the green rolling hills of the NSW south coast, where he raises chooks, pigs, cattle and bees, with a vegie patch to die for. His picturesque grey, weatherboard farmhouse doubles as a kitchen cooking set when filming. 

Returning for its 4th season this year, River Cottage Australia, West says the show is really about trying to educate and empower people to make strong decisions in relation to the food they buy and the meals they prepare. 

West published The River Cottage Australia Cookbook in 2015, a celebration and appreciation of delicious and healthy food. He says it is about getting back to basics - sustainability, seasonality and the provenance of produce. 

City Librarian Keryl Collard says, “We are delighted to host Paul West as the first guest for Maitland City Library’s 2016 Look Who’s Talking program. He has an appealing authenticity, conveying his enthusiasm for the simple life with both passion and conviction.” 

The Readers Café and Larder’s Amorelle Dempster, an advocate for the Slow Food Movement, will share the philosophy underpinning the concept of good, clean and fair food for all. 

Bookings for this event may be made online at For further information phone Maitland Library on 4933 6952.

Paul West appears for Maitland City Library’s Look Who’s Talking program: 

Thursday 4 February 2016

 Tocal College Chapel 

6.00pm – 8.00pm 

$25 ($20 early bird special for bookings prior to 29 January)