Monday, 18 June 2012

Keeping up to date (day 10 #blogjune)

I've posted before about some of the methods I use to keep up to date. Con and Kate blogged recently about what they read to stay up to date with what is happening. I still intend to do a post on some of the blogs I read, but as I'm on my iPad right now am not sure if I can get links to work efficiently. Will look at that later.

I also blogged about the fact that #blogjune causes my feeds to explode enormously (at the time of writing I am now under 1000, currently at 857 unread feeds!). I continuously add more subscriptions to my reader and leave them there to read when I feel like it. I don't always read everything, a lot of the time I skim them to see what catches my eye. I've started unsubscribing from feeds that only have a summary post; I don't have the time or inclination to keep jumping to sites to read the post in its entirety.

I subscribe to Library Link of the Day,which is the only way I get news via email now, unless it is sent to me directly. I get a lot of information from Twitter and use to see what has come through on Twitter that I may have missed.

I'm on the magazine routing list at work and skim through many from Australia and overseas to see what catches my eye. These include journals about public libraries, technology and literacy. I pay more attention to these ones, as they directly relate to my work. I also receive journals on academic libraries and I skim through these to identify any emerging trends that may translate across into my sector. Needless to say, these pile up quite quickly...

Memory keeping (day 9 #blogjune)

And so I have another memory keeping project about to happen. I do this because of course I don't have enough projects happening, I need to add more to the list. In my defence, this is an easy one and should be extremely sustainable, even though it spans a long period of time. 

I'm planning to start a 5 year journal. Sounds daunting doesn't it? Committing to keeping a journal for five years, but I promise it won't be :).  Every day for a year I'll be answering a set question posted by Debbie Hodge on her site. After the first 12 months, I'll start answering those same questions again, building a record of comparisons over a five year period. It should take no more than two minutes of my time every night. As the full month's questions are released ahead of time, I aim to do a little planning and write the month's questions in my diary as soon as I get them. 

There is no need to answer the particular questions allocated to that day; you can even choose to write your own line about the day, but I don't want to be self directed in this instance. Answering a question will speed up the process for me. 

What are your thoughts - prompts or self direction?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

A competition with Con, or The top 100 books of all time (day 8 #blogjune)

I don't read much anymore.  Novels that is.  I still read but nowhere near the amount I used to.  It's quite ironic that I stopped reading around the time I qualified and that since that time people think that is all I sit around doing. Looking at a recent post of Con's I thought I would see just how many of these 'classics' I've read (note, I am sure there aren't many!)

I've italicised those that I have read.

1984 by George Orwell, England, (1903-1950)A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906)
A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)
Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910)
The Aeneid by Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)
Beloved by Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931)
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957)
Blindness by Jose Saramago, Portugal, (1922-2010)
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935)
The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400)
The Castle by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)
Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911)
Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986)
Complete Poems by Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837)
The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)
The Complete Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849)
Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852)
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)
Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375)
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967)
Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616)
Essays by Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592)
Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875)
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832)
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553)
Gilgamesh Mesopotamia, (c 1800 BC)
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870)
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745)Gypsy Ballads by Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)
History by Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985)
Hunger by Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952)
The Idiot by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
The Iliad by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)Independent People by Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994)
Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784)
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961)
King Lear by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768)
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977)
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)
Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC)
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942)
The Mathnawi by Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273)
Medea by Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC)
Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987)
Metamorphoses by Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC)
Middlemarch by George Eliot, England, (1819-1880)
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947)
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891)
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)
Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300)
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924)
The Odyssey by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)
Oedipus the King Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC)
Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850)
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)
The Orchard by Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292)
Othello by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)
Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986)
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002)
Poems by Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970)
The Possessed by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817)The Ramayana by Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC)
The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa, India, (c. 400)
The Red and the Black by Stendhal, France, (1783-1842)
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922)
Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929)
Selected Stories by Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904)
Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930)
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)
The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972)
The Stranger by Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960)
The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (c 1000)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930)
Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500)
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927)
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)
The Trial by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)
Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989)
Ulysses by James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, England, (1818-1848)Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957

11!!! Well I beat Con (sorry Con, I'm sure you never meant it to be a competition, but when you've read 80 books in 6 months, and I've read, umm, lots too, well I have to take what I can get!).  Note, this list is 10 years old, so are these really still the top 100 books??

My reader is exploding (day 7 #blogjune)

One of the things I really enjoy about the annual challenge of blog June is that I get to read a lot of thoughtful and thought provoking posts. I keep adding more and more blogs to my reader as more and more take on the challenge. My reader is sorted into categories and one of them, is, unsurprisingly "libraries" :)Another very unsurprising fact is that my feeds have blown out to unbelievable amounts. It seems that I can rarely get them under 1000.... I'll share another post with some of my favourite blogs, not all of them, just a brief snapshot!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Free iPads (Day 6 #blogjune)

My previous blog post was about attending ILT2012. This was an amazing conference and I learned so much. One of the things that stood out to me was the prolific use of iPads, both by delegates and by speakers in their programs/presentations. The intuitive nature of the device makes it ideal for those with many different types of learning disabilities. Add to this the fact that you can get a number of applications that will read text out to students, convert text to audio, allow for interactivity and create content. Web pages can be converted to ePub, and then annotated, with these notes aggregated at the beginning of the book. Words can be defined while reading or spoken out loud, again using ePub format.

The conference actually had 200 iPads for usefor free by delegates (nowhere near enough to satisfy all! I think there were 1200 delegates all up) for the duration of the conference. Many delegates tweeted and took notes, but the most interesting use was delegates taking photos of slides rather than taking notes! How would you use your iPad at a conference?

Breaking barriers (Day 5 #blogjune)

Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend ILT2012, an excellent conference on inclusive learning technologies for struggling students.  While the conference appears to have its roots in the teaching sector, I think libraries have a huge role to play here and can offer many valuable contributions via papers and presentations.  That this is an unusual consideration was evident on many levels:
a)      The assumption that I was from a school “Hi, I’m [name].  Which school are you from?”
b)      The continued assumption that I was from a school when I said I was a librarian “Oh that’s great; which school again?”
c)       The absolute total incredulity when I would answer that I was from a public library “Oh I HEARD about you! [name] this is the librarian from Melbourne that [name] was telling us about.”
The reactions were quietly amusing and the overall support for what public libraries are doing for the community was very heartening.  Everyone I spoke to was encouraging and impressed, seeing the role public libraries had to play.  What was less encouraging was the lack of knowledge of what public libraries are, and have been,  doing in the community for years.
This lack of knowledge is from educated professionals in a field that supports research and learning.  Why are we not out there breaking barriers and making ourselves known to others?

Friday, 8 June 2012

A technologically connected social butterfly (Day 4 #blogjune)

The other day @jobeaz posed the question of whether we are too connected nowadays. Are we spending so much time connected to our devices that we are forgetting how to socialise in person? Forgetting the art of conversation?
It made me stop and think about why I use my iPod/iPad/phone and whether I am spending too much time on them at the expense of more real life time with friends, colleagues and associates.
I've always been a technologically connected social butterfly, even when the most prolific form of online communication was email. One of my first uni subjects was about the Internet and my first assignment was to write a paper collaboratively with study partners (allocated at random) using only online methods. Enter ICQ (remember that??) and Yahoo Messenger. While I did enjoy chatting to friends via these mediums (mainly ICQ) what I didn’t like was the fact that I would be constantly tied to the computer during the communication process. For this reason, I preferred email.
For years this was my main way of keeping in touch with those who weren’t close by, along with texting. I still used the phone, but email was far cheaper. I checked my mail regularly and was rarely behind. Perhaps because this was something I chose to do rather than something I was required to do.
When I convened NLS4, the committee was very disperse, coming from all over Australia. Again email was the main method of communication. By the end of the conference, however, I was so over being glued to the computer, out of necessity, that I didn’t want to check my emails anymore! I even went so far as to put a password on downloading email, so I could access old correspondence but not download new email :)
The pattern I see here is the feeling of being chained to my PC. Enter my iPod (first device) and things changed. I could look at my email from wherever I was (with wifi), go ‘flick, flick, flick” (imagine corresponding wrist action) and within a few minutes have actioned and deleted what used to end up being a backlog.
Do I spend more time on devices than I used to? Definitely. Has this been at the expense of real conversation with people? I think not. There is a time and place for everything. There are some that I only speak with face to face, others via some form of electronic medium (including texting) and others using everything.
All my family are connected but I do have parameters in place as a way of educating the children of when is an appropriate time to be connected. Remember, this is the norm for them, so they don’t see tweeting, texting, emailing or wearing headphones at the dinner table unusual, much less rude.
Oh and I’ve resisted 3G as one of my own parameters :) I really don’t want the option of being connected 24/7 wherever I am!

Monday, 4 June 2012

What are you doing now? (Day 3 #blogjune)

I posted a little while ago on my endeavours to declutter things - especially my feeds on Google Reader and reducing the amount of starred items I had.  Some I am relocating to my Pinterest account and others I am being more ruthless with, removing totally, especially *if* I had forgotten about even reading it...

I am across this gem from @sirexkat that I had saved for various reasons (not least of which is that the beautiful building she mentions is the branch I manage :) ).  The main one however, that jumped out at me this particular time was to blog about what you are working on right now.  Kathryn goes on to clarify that it isn't about what you have done, but more about allowing users to be able to offer suggestions for something current.

A lot of my thinking seemed to have been centred around what I am going to do or what I want to do, so that idea from Kathryn's post was a light bulb moment for me.  Why don't I blog about what I have done or what I am doing, and get my inspiration from there?

And so this is what I plan to do.  It's a shame that the lightbulb moment doesn't translate into increasing hours in the day, but I live in hope :)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Library quotes (Day 2 #blogjune)

I recently had the pleasure of following (and thus being followed by) Abigail Willemse on Twitter, editor of Lianza's Library Life (acccess copies here).  We had crazy tweet session, trying to find library related quotes that would fit within Twitter's 140 character limit and then tweeting them, using the hashtag #libraryquotes.  These are some of the gems we came up with:

  • A newspaper is a circulating library with high blood pressure. Arthur Baer
  • The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history. Carl T. Rowan
  • Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx
  • He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot. Anonymous
  • Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me. Anatole France
  • A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. Shelby Foote
  • A good library is a place, a palace where the lofty spirits of all nations and generations meet. Samuel Niger
  • Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one. Augustine Birrell
  • Librarian is a service occupation. Gas station attendant of the mind. Richard Power
  • (Libraries are) The medicine chest of the soul. Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes
  • A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. Henry Ward Beecher
  • A great library contains the diary of the human race. George Mercer Dawson
  • I've been drunk for about a week now, and I though it might sober me up to sit in a library. F.Scott Fitzgerald
I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed tweeting them :) And now, marking awaits!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Busy, busy, busy

And so June has started and with it another marathon blogging session done by a heap of library professionals.  Am I one of them? Yes.  Am I crazy? Yes! Why would I add yet another thing to my already overflowing schedule and to do list?  I have no idea.  Somewhere inside me I want to get more routinely used to writing about what has been happening and thus articulating my thoughts.  Maybe this will happen. Finally.

So here I am writing a blog post about how busy I am instead of trying to knock some more things on the head :)  A pile of marking from Charles Sturt University was sitting waiting patiently, saved on my laptop for INF333, only to now be joined by more marking for INF310.  Yet another pile awaits from Vic Uni.  That is on this weekend's list (along with more domestic requirements, but they're boring :) ).

I'm also Co Chair for the ALIA Careers Advisory Committee and am putting together an outline for a strategic framework of sorts to guide us.  This will be fleshed out in a couple of weeks when I meet up with Anthea and I'm sure the document will drastically change form when we've worked on it for a while!

In the meantime, my head is bubbling full of new ideas to promote and enhance literacy in our community, ideas that can hopefully be implemented region wide eventually, thus reaching even more of our diverse users.