The Gunnedah Shire Library holds a range of materials for use by its members.
The adult fiction collection is broken up into genres:
Australian Fiction includes books by Australian authors or stories set in Australia. These books may contain themes of romance, mystery, rural life, family relationships or history.
Romance Fiction are books whose primary theme is a romantic relationship between two people. They may also contain themes of mystery, family relationships, history or science fiction or fantasy.
Mystery Fiction contains books that have a crime or mystery element to them. They include current and modern titles, all the way back to old favourites. There may also be themes of history, science fiction or fantasy.
Thriller Fiction contains books that have a crime element, but can also be a bit more detailed and include psychological themes, horror, and can be a little more intense than Mystery Fiction. At Gunnedah Shire Library, Mystery and Thriller Fiction are shelved together, as authors can write books that fit either category.
Fantasy and Science Fiction include works with themes of time travel, alternate reality, space travel and magic. There are some interesting books here, so well worth a look.
Westerns are books that contain themes of friendship, romance and adventure, all set within the landscape of cattle-ranching and ‘out-west’ of the U.S.A.
General Fiction contains works of literary fiction, family fiction, saga, historical fiction and books that don’t fit into any of the other genres.
The library’s non-fiction collection is organised into topic areas, including True Crime, Pregnancy & Parenting, Cooking, Health & Fitness, Animals, Gardening, History & Military, and Australiana. This makes it easier for library members to locate the books they are after, or to browse topics that they are interested in.
The biographies section contains the life stories of a variety of people. Athletes, actors, activists and authors have all compiled the stories that make up their lives and share them with their readers as autobiographies. There are also biographies of well-known people of the past, written by historians or their own families.
The Library has a collection of Indigenous non-fiction, including biographies, covering topics such as cultural, language and history. There are also children’s picture books of Dreamtime stories and highlighting Indigenous life.
The Legal Information Access Centre Collection is common to public libraries in New South Wales, and is sponsored by the State Library of NSW. Books in this collection provide information to the public on topics such as wills and estate planning, rights and responsibilities for tenants, family law and running your own court case. This collection complements the online resource Find Legal Answers, which contains some of these books in ebook format.
Foreign Language Bulk Loans
The Gunnedah Shire Library is able to access material from the foreign language collection of the State Library of New South Wales. These items are loaned to the Gunnedah Library through a bulk loans system, meaning that Gunnedah’s members can borrow these items and take them home to read. A wide range of languages are catered for and material includes picture books, junior fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction. Other material such as DVD’s may be available, but the range varies between languages.
Older items in the collection that are part of a series, popular with borrowers or are of particular interest are stored in the library’s stack collection. These items are still able to be borrowed. To find items in the stack collection, use the library’s catalogue to search. Ask the staff and they will retrieve the item/s for you.
Documentaries, concerts and instructional material form the basis of the Library’s Non-Fiction DVD collection. There are recordings of live classical concerts, BBC and ABC documentaries, how-to craft instructions and educational resources.
Large Print Collection
The Gunnedah Shire Library has a collection of books with text that is larger than the regular collection. These can be easier for older people, or those with vision problems, to read, but they can be borrowed by any library member. They are broken into different genres:
Large Print Fiction are light, easy to read books covering topics such as families, friendships, and works of historical and literary fiction.
Large Print Romance covers books where the main theme is a relationship between two people, but can also contain elements of historical, mystery, family relationships, and science fiction or fantasy.
Large Print Mystery involve storylines of crime or mystery. These books can cross-over into the historical or science fiction or fantasy arena, and include classic whodunnits as well as new authors.
Large Print Westerns are stories set on ranching properties in the United States of America, or during the Wild West era. They are light, easy-to-read stories which are very popular. They contain themes of romance, friendship and adventure.
Large Print Non-Fiction/Biographies
The Library’s large print collection also contains non-fiction titles, and biographies. These books are generally on subjects such as history or military and feature biographies on actors, historical figures and regular people with interesting stories to tell.
Adult Audio Books
These are stories that have been read aloud by actors or accomplished narrators and recorded.
The Library’s collection of audio books contains both regular compact discs and MP3-format recordings, which can be played on CD players with MP3 capability. The collection is separated into fiction, non-fiction and Bulk Loans.
Fiction audio books are marked as fiction, romance, mystery, science fiction, historical or Australian.
Non-fiction audio books cover a range of topics and also include biographies.
Bulk Loans are audio books that belong to the State Library. They are shelved separately to the rest of the collection.
Local History Collection
The Gunnedah Shire Library has a range of local history material that would be useful for those researching family history. There are books on researching your family history, as well as privately published books on local schools, villages, buildings and community groups. Books such as “The Way We Were”, published for the town’s sesquicentenary in 2006, “Gunnedah’s Lost Folks”, containing database of the burials at the Hunter Street Cemetery, and “The Final Curtain”, containing the biographies of many locals who have passed away.
The Library has a range of resources available on microfiche, such as the Sands Directory (1858-1933), Unassisted Passenger Lists (1826-1900) and the Register of Baptisms, Burials and Marriages (1896-1913).
Namoi Valley Independent (Advertiser)
The Library has a collection of Namoi Valley Independent newspapers, dating back to 1894. Historical editions are stored on Microfiche, while recent editions are still in hard-copy format. Microfiche records can be viewed using the computer with the microfiche scanner, while hard copies can be accessed by asking at the front desk.
Chinese Cultural Collection
This collection was donated to the library by Shenhua in 2011. The books in this collection cover a range of topics in China such as traditional dress and culture, geography, language and history. Some items are in English, while the text of others is in Mandarin, but the photography and layout of all the books make them interesting to browse.
The Library has a collection of popular and classic DVD movies for members to borrow. The collection is updated as discs wear out and new titles are available. Movies are catalogued along with the rest of the library collection. There are also donated DVD’s of television series.
The library has a range of magazines available for members and visitors to read. Current editions are restricted to in-library use, but past editions are able to be borrowed. The library subscribes to magazines such as Women’s Weekly, Good Health, Men’s Health, Gardening Australia and Better Homes and Gardens.
The library has newspapers available for members and visitors to read within the library. Newspapers purchased include Namoi Valley Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, Northern Daily Leader and The Land.
The Library has a range of paperback books which are available to be borrowed. These books are not listed within the library’s catalogue, so are ideal to borrow if you are going on a trip and are worried about losing a library or leaving it in a hotel room or train. While these items are not catalogued, they will still need to be presented at the front desk to be marked off for statistical purposes.
The library has a collection of Music Compact Discs which are available to be borrowed. These cover a range of tastes and age groups. There is a separate Junior CD collection with songs for children.
Young Adult Fiction
The young adult fiction collection are books that are written specifically for readers who have progressed past Junior Fiction, but may not be ready for Adult Fiction. Young Adult fiction is contains themes that teenagers find interesting and can be a stepping-stone to adult fiction titles written by the same authors. The themes covered in these books change with the fashions. Some years vampire stories are popular and many books will use this theme, or it may be technology, time travel or end-of-the-world.
Issues in Society
The Library holds a range of titles in the Issues in Society series on varied topics such as drugs and alcohol, legal issues, mental health and discrimination. Compiled as a collection of articles, like a journal, these are a fantastic resource for high-school and tertiary students studying a wide variety of subjects.
The library has collected all its comics or graphic novels into one collection. These books are popular with children and young adults, and can provide a more light-weight alternative to regular books. Some of the graphic novels cover topics of history, science or technology in a fictionalized, easier to understand format.
Junior Fiction contains books for children who are learning to read on their own. Difficulty ranges from very easy books with a short simple sentence and a picture on each page, to full junior novels with full pages of text and no pictures. There are many series that are written for junior fiction readers, introducing them to the concept of continuing storylines and more complex plot.
Junior Audio books
A range of junior fiction books are recorded on compact disc by actors or accomplished narrators, to be played on regular compact disc players. Classics from Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis sit alongside books by J.K. Rowling and David Walliams.
The Easy Readers section contains books from both the EASY section and Junior Fiction, to create a collection of books that can be used while learning to read. Books in this section range in reading level. Classic stories are re-told for younger readers, introducing them to great works at an early age.
The EASY collection contains books with colourful pictures, and ranging amounts of text. Picture books are designed to introduce young readers to a range of illustration styles, topics and themes and spark a love of reading. Many titles use humour, rhyme or “voices” to engage young audiences, resulting in tears, giggles or hugs. Designed to be read aloud, they are best enjoyed cuddled up on an armchair with a loved one.
EASY Non-Fiction books cover topics that young children find interesting, such as animals, insects, countries and history. They are intended as an introduction to the world of non-fiction reading and provide small amounts of information with large graphics and are usually presented in an easy-to-read and attractive manner.
Life Events/Picture Books
Gunnedah Shire Library has a section of its EASY collection which is marked ‘Life Events’. This is a go-to section when looking for books about a variety of topics such as going to the dentist, toilet training, a new sibling or moving house. These books are a way of introducing topics to young children in a way that is non-threatening, or presenting alternate attitudes.
The Library holds books that are made of cardboard, or non-tear materials, for use with very small children who have a tendency to pull at the books or tear pages. They include books on counting, colours, as well as books with pictures instead of words.
The Library’s collection of children’s movies is housed in this section. It includes cartoons, classic fairytales and family favourites.
The library holds a collection of large format picture books for classroom use, which can borrowed by schools, childcare centres, etc. These books cover a range of themes such as family, natural environment, animals, or just very good stories.
The library has a range of games that are able to be played in the library, such as Pictionary, scrabble, Trivia games, jigsaw puzzles and problem-solving games.