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ALIA Biennial – Day 2

Day 2 ALIA Biennial

Day two went quickly with the theme being literacy, reading and libraries.  Started with an author panel.

Author panel including Matthew Reilly, Richard Glover, Melina Marchetta, Anita Heiss, Pam Newton

Session – Wonders of Reading

  • Words to Dust session
  • words from the dust program
  • series of 12 programs
  • 6 locations
  • 3 hours each
  • consecutive days
  • # small exercises using memories from youth, school & homelife
  • Challenges
    • # some nervous about putting their stories online
    • # technology
    • Inspiring in the future
    • # self-managing writing groups have been established:
      • Cowra
      • Grenfell
  • #Continue to inspire & support each others




Found out about Pininterest about a year ago but apart from trying it a few times didn’t get into it much.  Rediscovered it recently and found that I really was enjoying finding different images to pin.  Not pretending that I know how to use it to its full capabilities but really enjoying exploring it.

Can see uses for the library but at the moment just exploring its abilities.  It would be interesting to see how libraries end up using it.  The instructions are easy to follow.  Reminded to continue to explore it by another blog post.  Interesting to see what happens with it.

New Years Resolutions …..

Think I’d learn by now that it’s never a good idea to have a new years resolution.  Since my last post I’ve been to VALA 2012 and got blown away with all the information presented.  Unfortunately life got in the way & I didn’t blog any of it.  Unfortunately between work, kids, studies, ALIA Sydney activities & rebuilding a house I seem to have lost my ability to find five minutes to blog.  Must try to reclaim some of the time to blog especially as ALIA Biennial is coming up.

AGLIN Forum here I come

Getting ready to go to Canberra for the AGLIN forum on “New technologies: value and practices in libraries”.  Looking forward to an informative day and possible networking opportunity.  This comes after a very informative and enjoyable evening yesterday at the ALIA Sydney “Knowing Me, Knowing You” networking event.  Fun time and lots of information for all who attended.  Especially good to see a good cross section of people from different sectors of the library and information industry as well as varying professional backgrounds.

One thing that came through in all the discussions is that if you have a passion for something follow it and you’ll find the perfect job for you.  The passion may be in libraries but it may also take you out of libraries as well.  Remember that your skills are transferrable to any role you take on.

AGLIN Forum “New technologies: value and practices in libraries”

Just organising my trip to Canberra for the AGLIN forum on “new technologies: value and practices in libraries”.  There is an interesting mix of people speaking.  I’m interested in looking into the semantic web and what that is about.  At the moment there really is a lot going on technologically both globally but also within libraries and sometimes it’s hard to keep up.  Will be blogging from the forum and tweeting if possible.

Online training

As more training gets done online these days I’m finding myself evaluating things that I like and don’t like about it and what bits are helpful.  I know we all do this but I’m finding that there are times where I wonder why I’m doing the training.  I’ve recently had to do some systems training and as the LMS provider is in the US the training has been done online.  Now I know there are technical difficulties that arise and there are time zones and other issues but I really struggle to follow a training session where all I’m doing is sitting at a desk watching my computer monitor and listening in while the trainer is showing me different links and areas of the system.  While I do find it interesting it becomes a bit of a battle trying to remember everything – while taking notes – and not to fall asleep during the session as it becomes a bit of a one way session.

I’m not talking about a session that is only 1 hour – this is a 6 hour training session that can become monotonous when all you have is one person talking and all you need to do is remember to move your mouse occasionally so that the screensaver doesn’t come on.   It gets worse if there are no training manuals provided – or are provided 5 minutes before the session starts and you haven’t had time to print them out.    I know there are limitations to what you can do but I’m not sure that anyone learns a lot in that situation.  I know that I’m usually left scratching my head and wondering what was it that I’ve just learnt.

Through the door

Lately have been wondering about how you would reach the non-library user?  How do you get them using your collection or telling you what they want as far as services / collections are concerned so that they will use your services.  With limited funds the libraries, whether academic, special or public libraries, need to be savvy with the way they use their funds and what they offer as far as services are concerned.

In the context of the public library, which is mainly my focus,  you get such a different range of people coming through that you can really be stretched.  I’m not only interested in the range of collections – do we focus on fantasy rather than science fiction or crime etc. – but also do we cut out the audio books in tape format – & yes we do still have some (some of our patrons will not  give up their tape recorders) – in favour of e-audiobooks or do we continue to purchase audio tapes, audio cds & e-audiobooks?

The question also arises for those who don’t come to the library – why not?  Is it not enough time? or we don’t have the resources/ things of interest? or are they just not aware of the services the library has to offer?  I’m continually getting surprised looks when I tell people what I do when I’m at work at a public library.  The usual assumption is “but you just loan out books don’t you?”.  There are days when I feel like I’m the counsellor, careers advisor as well as the person who loans out the book you want to borrow.  They get surprised when I say “yes I loan out books but I also train people on how to use computers, how to send emails, search for information, how to use Twitter and Facebook as well.”

It’s fair to say we can’t be all things to all the people but we sure can try and provide as much reasons as possible for them to use the library and to find value in what we do provide.  I don’t pretend to know the answers but I know that it’s something that I’ll continue to try and answer – who do we get the non-user using the library?



April 2018
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