Friday, October 28, 2011

Online conference presentation - Library 2.011 conference

I'm pleased and excited to assist my research colleague Michael Stephens present at the Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference next week. The conference will be held online in multiple time zones over the course of two days (November 2 - 4) (three if you encompass all time zones), and will be free to attend.

Our presentation is 9am (AEST / UTC + 10hrs) on Thursday 3rd Nov.
is the latest release of data from our research project. You can read more about the project at

From the conference organisers: More than 3,500 information professionals from 149 countries have signed up to join the global conversation on the current and future state of libraries. The groundbreaking event will be a whirlwind of information with 160 presentations scheduled over two days!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Stating the obvious about Twitter

In a few hours this morning, Twitter has once again demonstrated why it has become almost invaluable to my daily working life.

Thanks Twitter!

Mapping Newspapers

Two useful tools mashing maps and newspapers have filtered across my screen this morning.

newspaper map
Via the always excellent, always entertaining Very Short List email comes newspaper map. In the words of VSL:
The Newspaper Map does exactly what it promises to do: It maps 10,000-plus newspapers all over the world and lets you browse through, and read, every one of them.

For a more local (Australian) view on mapped news, try Newserve - one of the entries in Libraryhack 2011. The link is to a video demo. This link to the live version isn't working for me, but you might have better luck.

Newserve provides an easy-to-use search interface, interlacing the results on the map and a timeline. The ultimate goal of Newserve is to provide a single point of access to all newspaper resources in libraries of Australia - whether it be just catalogue information of the newspapers stored in the libraries of Australia or be the digitised newspaper collections. So far Newserve uses newspaper catalogue data of State Library of New South Wales and Trove digitised newspaper collection.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Ideas for 'blogging' every day of June

If you follow any blogs by Australian library workers you may have noticed this little activity - Blog Everyday of June.

I was kind of inspired to try it out, but didn't really feel like committing to it until I read Mal Booth's idea to share content each day, over a variety of online platforms. Now that interests me.

There are quite a few online places where I hang out, mostly watching and reading with not much participation and sharing. My aim for June is to change that around and create / share something for each day of June. Oh, and that's the other small distinction - I aim to create 30 days worth of content, not necessarily new content each day.

All of this coincides with another project - 30 Days of Creativity, a project being supported by ABC Pool.
From the 30 Days website:

30 Days of Creativity is a social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June.
Your brain is like a muscle. When you exercise it, it gets stronger.

So some of my so-called "blogging" aka content creation may be something physical and tangible, but I'll still try to share it somehow online.

Here goes!

(will edit/update this blog post to keep track)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Position Vacant at CityLibraries Townsville

Would you like to come and work at CityLibraries Townsville? We are recruiting for a Librarian - Branch Operations.

From the job ad:
An exciting opportunity exists to provide leadership, drive new initiatives and have input into service planning in the role of Librarian, Branch Operations for Townsville City Council. The successful applicant would be responsible for leading the customer service teams and planning operations for Townsville’s static library branches – Thuringowa, Aitkenvale and Flinders Street.

As part of the Customer Service and Operations leadership team, you will help lead staff through a time of significant change in service provision and in turn enjoy a high level of autonomy supported by clear reporting lines and a clear shared vision.

This role will suit a person who is bold, energetic and flexible, with enthusiasm for working in a diverse and innovative team environment. Can multi-task and seize opportunity with proven skills and experience in leading high-functioning teams in a public library.

If you are interested in shaping the future of libraries and is someone who is customer service orientated, then tell us how your values, skills and experience will help us deliver great customer service.
CLOSING DATE >> 5th June 2011

I don't know too much specific information about the actual job, but would be happy to answer general questions about the library service, living in Townsville etc. Drop me a line at (removing nospam from email address)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"She started to cry..."

At work, when we receive positive feedback from customers, we like to share them internally with staff. This one was quite powerful so I thought I'd share it more widely. (The note has been edited to protect people's privacy).

Just a note to mention a good news story that occurred this morning at the library. I signed a lady up as a new member and after explaining our free internet policy for members ~ including the wireless access as she had her own laptop ~ she started to cry. I asked if she was ok? and she said she was just so happy to hear of our internet service and cheap printing, as she has not been able to afford internet access or printer at home and was overwhelmed as she lives locally and can pop down here now when ever she needs to.

The services we provide do make a difference in people's lives.
If you're not already aware of Feel-good librarian, check it out for more positive stories.

Friday, March 04, 2011

2010 Reading

I've never kept a list of books I've read, until last year. I can't remember exactly why, but was partly due to encouragement by a colleague, and a desire to play around with an online service like LibraryThing.

I started many more books, but don't finish them if I'm not enjoying them.

So, for what it's worth (and publicly sharing) - my list of completed (and therefore recommended) books for 2010.

Sir Edmund Hillary: An Extraordinary Life by Alexa Johnston
I bought this at the Edmund Hillary museum at Mt Cook in New Zealand, after being inspired by his accomplishments. I only ever knew him for being famous for climbing *that* mountain, and didn't realise how much more he did with his life. Inspirational read.

The secret life of wombats by James Woodford
I wanted to read this book ever since it came out, and was reminded of it after seeing wombats at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania in 2009. I like James Woodford's writing style, relaxed and very informative. The opening chapters alone are worth reading, for the story of schoolboy Peter Nicholson who snuck out from the school camp at night, to follow and crawl down wombat burrows.

Pirate Latitudes: A Novel by Michael Crichton
An easy light-weight novel. About pirates.

Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
After reading this list of 20 core steampunk titles, I wanted to give a couple a try, and this was the first. I really liked it, and would try another novel by the author.

Mainspring by Jay Lake
The second steampunk title I tried, didn't like this one as much.

Legs on Everest : the full story of his most remarkable adventure yet by Mark Inglis
Also picked up from the Edmund Hillary museum. Mark Inglis was the first double amputee to reach the summit of Everest. Inspiring story.

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer
Apart from a small gripe about the writing style (a bit over the top), this is one of the most moving, extraordinary true stories I have ever read. Moved me to tears quite a few times.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
The infamous Hannibal Lecter! Enjoyable reading.

Pay Off by Stephen Leather
I used to read a lot of this genre in high school and my early working years, and Jack Higgins was a favourite author. I think I've read better books by Stephen Leather, but this was a short, enjoyable read.

The Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal
The first third of this cookbook is a short autobiography of this amazing man's journey into food, cooking and science. The middle section is a cookbook with recipes and extensive, entertaining notes, and the final third contains a series of articles about the science behind food and cooking. Amazing reading. I've loved the few series we've seen on TV or DVD, including Heston's Feasts and Big Chef Take On Little Chef.

My Life in France by Julia Child
I picked this one off the library shelf on impulse, after liking the movie Julie & Julia. Julia Child's personality and style come through strongly as the narrator, and the book is the first things that has ever made me consider visiting France!

Chasers by James Phelan
Book 1 of a trilogy, aimed at young adults, in another old favourite genre / setting - apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction (some of my favourite books from primary school are John Christopher's Tripods trilogy and the Prince in Waiting trilogy). This book has a massive twist in the tail, totally unexpected. Can't wait for the next books!

David Attenborough's Life Stories by David Attenborough
Transcripts (but easily read, especially hearing David Attenborough's voice in your head) of a BBC radio show, covering all sorts of topics related to natural history. Plenty of illustrations. Very interesting.

The Great Barrier Reef by James Woodford
An interesting look at the state of the Great Barrier Reef.