Category Archives: Fun & memes

A library day in the life – Round 8

A working day by Tupolev und seine Kamera via flickr CC

So, this week is Round 8 of the Library Day in the Life project and as I’m an occasional contributor to the project – here’s my day!

I am an outreach librarian within the Academic Services Unit at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. We ‘outreachers’ are the point of contact for academics and higher degree research students at the university and actively promote the research support services the library offers. In addition, I have recently taken on the role of collection co-ordinator within the Humanities, Creative Arts & Social Sciences Unit. As collection work and responsibility is spread across all academic services librarians here, there are 2 co-ordinators to keep track of the projects and tasks that form the collection part of our daily work.

8:00 arrived at work, did all the usual ‘waiting for my computer to warm up’ stuff – getting a cup of tea, chatting to the other early birds on the floor (there’s not many of us this early – it doesn’t take long!)

8:15 emails – not too many to deal with, accepted a meeting request for later today, put a couple of things in the ‘read/do something with later’ pile.

8:30 talked with a colleague who is new to twitter, answering a few of her questions, including looking at a couple of different twitter apps and comparing their features

9:00 met informally (as in, she wandered onto our floor so I grabbed the chance for a few words) with the manager of our Electronic Resources Unit (ERU) in my capacity as collection co-ordinator.

9:15 talked with (ie, sought advice from!) previous collection co-ordinator about a few issues that I haven’ t been able to resolve

9:30 realised it’s library day in the life week and that today may be a reasonably interesting day to write about so started writing this

9:45 read a document on producing reports from our back end catalogue system ahead of a briefing/training session on this later this morning. I desperately need to learn how to do this to get a pile of backlogged collection projects underway.

10:00 Coffee with a few team members 🙂

10:20 back to reading my training document

11:00 went off to learn in practice how to produce reports

12:30 lunch under a shady tree in the courtyard with a colleague

1:00 preparation for a meeting with the Centre Manager of one of the research centres within my Outreach portfolio. The centre is relocating to a smaller space and looking for advice on how to review their book/report collection – it’s mostly grey literature so I’m looking for some resources to point them towards. I’m also eating chocolate.

2:00 meeting at the research centre. Very successful meeting, leaves me feeling very positive about the relationship between the library and the centre.

3:15 quick coffee break with a colleague

3:30 at my desk, dealing with email that arrived while I was in the meeting and following up on a number of issues resulting from the meeting. Also set up a meeting with an academic from another centre who wants to get up to speed with the support we can provide for her teaching this semester.

3:45 quick meeting with a colleague who has been doing research around whether we continue to subscribe to a particular journal

4:00 debrief with my team leader on the significant 2pm meeting

4:20 home

It was really hot and muggy in Sydney today, I felt like I’d run miles when I got home. Most days I don’t mind public transport – some days, like today, I’d give my right arm for an airconditioned car.

Back to work

This week marks a couple of things. It’s my first week back at work after nearly 4 weeks off following a combination of enforced university shutdown and annual leave. Was great. Not talking about that here.

I have come back from leave to a newly renovated workroom, with new furniture, a new spot on the floor and new desk neighbours. It’s all very fresh and clean and it’s great just to have a change to mark the new year.

It’s also 2 years this week since I went for an interview for what would become my first professional library position, at my previous place of work.  I have been trying to remember what that week was like – I was desperate for a job, nervous about the interview (in fact I had thought it went quite badly) and so excited when I got the call to say I had been successful.  I remember it was a really hot day, and I actually went to 2 interviews on the same day, racing across the city from one to the other.

So all in all, it’s fitting that this week’s theme for the Friday Photo 2012 challenge is ‘work’.  I’m not particularly inspired by the theme – but did take this picture of my desk before I started unpacking the boxes on Monday.

I need to unpack....

5 books meme

Gimme five! by Funkdooby via flickr CC

With thanks to @flexnib for this one:

1. The book I’m currently reading:

Thud by Terry Pratchett.

2. The last book I finished:

Jingo, also by Terry Pratchett (I’m going through a phase)

3. The next book I want to read:

On my bedside table is The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. It’s been sitting there a while as the storyline is about 2 missing little girls and the unravelling of a community, so I’m not sure if I’ve got the internal fortitude to read it….

4. The last book I bought:

52 Suburbs, the book of the blog.

5. The last book I was given:

I got Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks for Mothers Day 🙂

A library meme…

'library' from uberculture via flickr CC

I came across this ‘channel surfing’ on the interwebz tonight, thanks to Nose in a Book for the inspiration.

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
I don’t remember learning to read – I know I was quite young and could possibly read by the time I started school.  Certainly mum & dad were (are) both great readers and I know we used to go to either the library or the newsagent (it was a small country town) for me to borrow or buy a book each week.  I was really lucky, mum & dad never censored my reading (except perhaps by price I guess!). 

2. What do you find most challenging to read?
Science fiction and anything that won a major prize.  I suppose I like to read for fun and if it’s TOO challenging then it’s no longer fun? Someone gave me Wolf Hall for Christmas this year, looking forward to reading it as I love historical fiction but a bit scared by the Man Booker sticker!

3. What are your library habits?
I love my public library and use it regularly.  My daughter & I often spend our ‘Tuesday night girls night’ at the library – she doing research while I browse and borrow books and magazines.  Sometimes I will go with a specific idea in mind, more often than not I’ll browse shelf ends and display titles and pick up something that takes my fancy.  I’ve also been known to pick a random non-fiction shelf bay and choose something to borrow from the books on offer. 

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
If anything I use it more.  We were frequent library users as kids, mum and (more particularly) dad used to take us to borrow and read all the time.  When my kids were little I used to take them for storytime but not on a regular basis as parking was so difficult due to its popularity!

5. Has social media changed your reading life?
Twitter puts me in touch with lots of things to read that I might otherwise not have ever heard about.  I follow a lot of blogs – some of them review books, but if it sounds interesting I’m likely to read it regardless of the review I might have read.

6. What percentage of your books do you get from new book stores, second hand books stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, e-books, other?

I rarely buy new books. I have a thing about spending money to start with, then there’s the whole sustainability issue so I’d rather re-read, recycle or buy second hand.  I have a healthy book swapping habit with a few friends and usually borrow a few from my mother when I visit her as well.  Then there’s the library of course – probably about 50% of my reading comes from there.  I don’t do e-books but LOVE audiobooks.

Having said that, I have a few author friends and the whole business of library vs buying the book does strike at my conscience a little when I consider them….
7. What are your pet peeves about the way people treat books?
Would you believe I don’t really have any? I’m pretty hard on books, the only thing I really hate is when I get sand in them at the beach….. 

8. Do you read for pleasure or for work?
Both. Most emphatically both.  Luckily, it often crosses over 🙂

9. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
Usually by considering their interests and choosing something I think might interest them but is just ‘off centre’ enough to be pretty sure they might not have bought it for themselves.  I love buying books for my kids – I have made some bad choices there, but not too many over the years.

Telling stories

Yes folks, it’s another creative, collaborative, fun learning challenge from my libraryland PLN.  This time it’s story telling. #Octshowntell is designed to get us thinking about and using Web 2.0 storytelling tools.

To be honest, I was at first unsure whether to post this new activity here or on my personal blog but in the end I have decided that it’s a professional activity based around learning & using new tools, so it belongs here – even if the content of my storytelling isn’t work based (and so far it’s not).

My first effort is here then.  I’ve used xtranormal because I’m familiar with it but I’ll use something outside my comfort zone before this 4 weeks is up, I promise!  I’ve already started playing with Storybird and doing some collaboration with some small members of my extended family as a way of creating a connection with them and am keen to have a look at animoto as well.

image: Get Your Learn On by Hryck via flickr

Zombies here, zombies there…

Over the weekend I listened to the May instalment (ok, so I’m a bit behind) from the crew at Adventures in Library Instruction.  If you haven’t heard this podcast and you are in anyway involved in information literacy training and/or instruction it’s worth at least having a peep (or hearing a peep if you want to be really technical).

As a learning tool, podcasts appeal to me for several reasons.  I like audio and can engage in it more easily than reading (witness my raving about audiobooks), I can listen to it in the car which is good use of time that is otherwise dead to me and I get a sense of the personalities and people behind the information.  I’ve been listening to ALI pretty faithfully since they started (well, since I read about it in PD Postings anyway – but I have heard all podcasts up to and including May this year now) and feel I’ve not only learned a lot but have had good insight into how other people do their jobs and WHAT they do for their jobs.  This is particularly important for me as an OPL.

So why zombies? The May edition of ALI featured 2 librarians from the University of Florida who had organised library involvement in a campus wide zombie themed alternate reality game (ARG) and developed a libguide to zombies as a way of tapping into what the students were interested in but also getting some library and information literacy instruction into them as well.  Have a look at this video the library produced as part of their involvement in the week long ARG:

It was a great episode of the podcast and this post doesn’t go even close to doing justice to the level of detail and involvement that went into this. While I can’t do anything like that here at MPOW (University of Florida has about 50,000 students and we have about 300!), the take home point for me was tapping into student culture – whatever that may be in your neck of the woods.

image: How to survive a zombie attack by Hryck via flickr

You know you’re information literate when….

Some Friday afternoon fun!  How do you know if you’re information literate?

This question was recently posed on the ALA Information Literacy Instruction e-list by Becky Alford, Reference & Instruction Librarian at Clarke College, Iowa.

Becky very considerately collated the responses and posted them to the list – it goes something like this:

You know you’re information literate when:

  • You have at least 2 active library cards.
  • You often find yourself gleefully suggesting, “This calls for immediate research!”
  • Your motto is “Think before you google.”
  • You think not crediting a source is worse than not recycling.
  • You hear the Cheers theme when approaching the reference desk.  (Subsequent highly scientific research has indicated that it would be better to use the Friends theme instead.)
  • The library website is your homepage.
  • You can easily name your 3 favorite databases.
  • You narrow searches with the ease and precision of a ninja.
  • You believe most books are only as good as their references.
  • When visiting libraries you can find and check out books in 5 minutes or less.
  • You spot irrelevant search results immediately because you just can’t stand them.
  • You tested out of Defense Against the Dark Arts by flexing your superior critical thinking skills.
  • You could easily defeat Chuck Norris using Library of Congress subject headings.
image: Without A Library by wirelizard via flickr

To meme or not to meme?

When I first started #blogeverydayinjune I had no idea what a meme was.  I ended up ‘doing’ a few, but was curious about the origin of the term, and what it actually meant.  I was startled to find some quite in depth discussion of meme-ing out there in cyber space (even a TED talk on the concept).

Now I’m curious about correct sentence construction around the word ‘meme’.  Is meme a noun or a verb in popular usage? Do we participate in a meme? Perhaps do a meme? Or am I memeing?

It’s Friday afternoon.   I could probably expand this thought much, much further.   Just not today.

Top 100 for 2010 meme

A meme I’ve copied from Justgirlwithshoes, who got it from Rien d’important the Angus & Robertson top 100 books for 2010.
* = Books I have read
+ = Books I have enjoyed reading
@ = Books I would like to read

1 The Twilight Saga Stephenie Meyer *
2 Harry Potter 1-7 J.K. Rowling *+
3 The Millennium Trilogy Stieg Larsson*+
4 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee * +
5 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold *+
6 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen *+
7 My Sister’s Keeper Jodi Picoult
8 Sookie Stackhouse Charlaine Harris
9 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger *+
10 The Book Thief Markus Zusak @
11 Lunch in Paris Elizabeth Bard
12 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini *+
13 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
14 61 Hours Lee Child
15 Dragon Haven Robin Hobb
16 Vampire Academy Richelle Mead
17 The Silent Sea Clive Cussler
18 Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin *+
19 The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien *+
20 Tuscan Rose Belinda Alexandra *
21 The Power of One Bryce Courtenay *
22 The Notebook Nicholas Sparks
23 The Pacific Hugh Ambrose
24 Ransom David Malouf
25 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte *
26 Dear John Nicholas Sparks
27 Magician Raymond E. Feist
28 The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger *+
29 House Rules Jodi Picoult
30 Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte *+
31 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
32 Marley & Me John Grogan
33 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls Jane Austen & Steve
34 Breath Tim Winton *++++++++++
35 The Bronze Horseman Paullina Simons *
36 Cloudstreet Tim Winton *+++++
37 The People’s Train Thomas Keneally
38 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll *
39 Truth Peter Temple
40 Little Women Louisa May Alcott *+
41 Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert *
42 The Host Stephenie Meyer
43 The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown *
44 The Book of Emmett Deborah Forster
45 Ice Station Matthew Reilly *
46 The Road Cormac Macarthy *
47 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter Kim Edwards
48 Persuasion Jane Austen *+
49 Jessica Bryce Courtenay
50 Atonement Ian McEwan
51 Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom *+++
52 The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follet *+
53 The Alchemist Paulo Coehlo *+
54 April Fool’s Day Bryce Courtenay
55 Life of Pi Yann Martel *
56 Angels & Demons Dan Brown *
57 The Pact Jodi Picoult
58 The Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom *
59 Parrot and Olivier in America Peter Carey
60 Always Looking Up Michael J. Fox
61 Seven Ancient Wonders Matthew Reilly
62 The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien *+
63 Nineteen Minutes Jodi Picoult
64 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Burrows @
65 The Lost Symbol Dan Brown
66 Solar Ian McEwan
67 Fallen Lauren Kate
68 The Historian Elizabeth Kostova
69 P.S. I Love You Cecila Ahern
70 The Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis *+
71 Obernewtyn Isobelle Carmody *
72 A Fortunate Life A.B. Facey
73 Handle with Care Jodi Picoult
74 Cross Stitch Diana Gabaldon *
75 Dirt Music Tim Winton *++++
76 It Stephen King
77 Hourglass Claudia Gray
78 Tully Paullina Simons
79 The Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley
80 Shantaram: A Novel Gregory David Roberts
81 The Princess Bride William Goldman
82 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell *+
83 Requiem for a Species Clive Hamilton
84 The Other Boleyn Girl Philippa Gregory @
85 Break No Bones Kathy Reichs *+
86 Animal Farm George Orwell *+
87 The Six Sacred Stones Matthew Reilly
88 The Five Greatest Warriors Matthew Reilly
89 Maralinga Judy Nunn
90 Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk
91 One for the Money Janet Evanovich *
92 Worst Case James Patterson
93 Once in a Lifetime Cathy Kelly *
94 The Stand Stephen King
95 Anybody Out There Marian Keyes *
96 The Secret Rhonda Byrne
97 Temple Matthew Reilly*
98 All That Remains Patricia Cornwall
99 The Slap Christos Tsolkias *+
100 Interview with the Vampire Anne Rice

Music to my ears

I guess I can occasionally allow a personal post to make a fleeting appearance on this blog – there is a precedent and it is always a meme that gets me….

This one via Snail:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool!

Opening Credits: Prospero’s Speech – Loreena McKennitt
Waking Up: Lady d’Arbvanville – Cat Stevens
First Day At School: The Arrangement – Joni Mitchell
Falling In Love: New Sensation – INXS [goodness!]
Fight Song: Don’t Ever – Missy Higgins
Breaking Up: Lost in a lost world – The Moody Blues [goodness again!]
Prom: He’s a Rebel – The Crystals
Life: Here come the sirens – My Friend the Chocolate Cake
Mental Breakdown: Run, Baby, Run – Sheryl Crow [OMG]
Driving: Intermezzo Op.118 No2 – Roger Woodward (from The Swoon Collection II)
Flashback: Pants on Fire – Something with Numbers [I actually have no idea what this song is or what it is doing on my iPod but quite enjoyed listening to it!]
Getting Back Together: The Afternoon – The Moody Blues
Wedding: Working in the Coalmine – Razzle Dazzle Soundtrack
Birth of Child: I’m just a singer in a rock n roll band – The Moody Blues
Final Battle: The Selfish Giant – Graeme Koehne: QLD Philharmonic (again Swoon Collection)
Death Scene: Love gets me every time – Shania Twain
Funeral Song: Live to Tell – Madonna [oh dear]
Remembrance Song: Don’t be Stupid – Shania Twain
End Credits: This Nearly Was Mine – Anthony Warlow [oh my – how fab!]

I’m actually not quite as addicted to The Moody Blues as that would seem to indicate – yes it’s a double album, but I have some 2,000 tracks on my iPod and only one Moody Blues album….. Bringing us back to the whole ‘how random is random’ debate.

(Oh and Sally’s comment about the length of time spent searching for photos on flickr has a confronting ring of truth about it for me – sometimes I am not sure which I enjoy more: writing the posts, or searching for a suitable photo!)

image: but the man there said the music wouldn’t play by cvanstane via flickr