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Happy 365 :)

Posted: June 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: anz23mthings, project | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

I am really enjoying being involved in another flickr project which sees me taking photos with mobile devices most days. This is a great use of skills I’m learning by playing with Thing 2 things for #ANZ23mthings. In 2011 I was involved in a Daily Image project. This year I am doing the Happy 365 project, both of which were dreamed up by @libsmatter (Thank you!). Info from her blog:

Very simple idea – from 1 January 2013 post an image each day showing something that has made me happy. I would like to know what makes other people happy too, so I have invited a number of Flickr contacts and am very happy for anyone else to join in.

Due to silly me not fixing zero packet data connectivity situation on my phone for months, I am very behind on updating my Happy 365 set and then adding to the Happy 365 group. I have also missed taking photos on quite a few days. But that’s okay, I’m getting there, and enjoying the memories as I do.
Follow the action on twitter @Happy365Flickr and by searching #happy365 on twitter & elsewhere.


Are you playing Happy 365? Or are you involved in another photo project? :)

Write less, more often

Posted: June 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: blogging, project, writing | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

Write less, more often.

Uploaded by Nationaal Archief.

Uploaded by Nationaal Archief.

I have a few draft blog posts that are lurking in the dashboard of my blog. Waiting to be finished. Or to be begun.

The post you are currently reading only had a title: “Write less, more often”.

Okay then, I will.

It seems the appropriate place to start Con‘s #blogjune challenge.

Are you on board? :)

Day in the Life of a Children’s and Youth Librarian

Posted: March 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: librarian, project | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Library Day in the Life is an excellent sharing project conceived by Bobbi Newman who writes the info-and-fun-filled Librarian by day blog. Designed to share what a ‘typical’ day is like for a library worker/student/educator/etc., people everywhere chronicle their day via twitter, blogs, Flickr, YouTube, etc. and share it with other library folk. Perhaps more importantly, it is also hoped that non-library folk experience Library Day in the Life (LDITL). People share and follow various Days in the Life by searching for #libday8 on twitter, blogs, Google+, and so on. Library folk get to read, see and watch what others do – it’s a great opportunity to try on a different Librarian’s hat and/or cardigan for a day. If posts/tweets/photos/videos of our Library Day in the Life are seen by those who dwell outside Libraryland, perhaps we can enlighten interested others as to what we do all day. It may well lead to stellar ideas from others about any aspect of our work days: ideas about tech, management, promotions, task prioritising, and so on. Sharing our days may result in collaborations, myth-busting, who knows?! The process also helps the individual reflect on how effectively they use their time at work, and at home. Library Day in the Life forces participants to analyse our prioritisation of workloads: we see what tasks demand the most of us, and what are neglected. This is the 8th round – hence #libday8 – of this very valuable and fun exercise.

I have a new desk!


I’m starting with when I rise to indicate when I start learning, sharing & ‘living’ in Libraryland i.e. when I start reading twitter, RSS feeds, blogging, etc. I’ve not included after work because I didn’t really visit Libraryland as I didn’t bring any work home or go online, or read any work related stuff. I did mention I have a new baby, right?!

6.00am Awake, get up.

6.05-6.30 Nurse #GeeBee (who?), make coffee, open twitter, and google docs for recording #libday8 notes.

6.30 Trawl twitter, watch new Hunger Games trailer then tweet it to personal and work accounts.

6.40 Keep drafting another blog post.

6.45 Meander around net reading music stuff…. drink coffee, and goo-and-gaa at sleeping baby!

7.05 Remember cool idea for tumblr post, find YouTube clip and queue post.

7.10 Trawl tumblr feeds; so much eyecandy and earcandy!

7.20 More blog post draft, twitter links, coffee drinking, #GeeBee soothing/cuddling/stoking-out-on.

7.40 Save draft, wake most excellent wife J., then shave, shower, get ready for work.

8.20 Somehow pries myself away from #GeeBee and drive to work. Take work ideas and tasks notes on post-it as I drive – safely!

8.55 Arrive work. Only 5min early; this year I am aiming to (mostly) only work rostered hours to keep a better work/life balance.

9.00 Switch on pc, check for any urgent email, fill in calender, check diary, eat nuts – NTS make breakfast!

9.05 Allocate new items. Trying to do this as soon as they come in, to give people current items asap. Sounds fair, right?!

9.15 Create draft version of annual events calender for manager to take to managers’ meeting.

9.50 Morning tea, info share featuring cake – clichés are true :)

10.00 Library open (til 8pm)

10.05 Email supervisor two questions to ponder. This year I am trying not to ask too many questions in person – i.e. less interruptions. Hmmmm, see how I go!

10.10 Continue events document.

10.45 Allocate more new items. Help customer with photocopier.

11.00 Read about proposed staffing restructure.

11.10 – 11.35 Discuss library newsletter, dubious image searches!, future event planning with my supervisor.

11.45 Meet local community group who use library in rain. This is occasional; I would like to offer our space to more groups, because it is not our space, it is theirs. Oh and surely community driven space is the future of librarianship, if not the present.

11.50 Print promos/posters/flyers for 2012 programs.

12.15pm Tidy up task list, flagged items in Outlook (MPOW email client). Help customer find Captain Underpants book.

12.30 Lunch in lunchroom with colleagues.

1.00 Email local primary school about library lesson attendance in 2012.

1.20 Fill in paper diary. Still using this, but for how long?

1.28 Had a great idea (an aha moment!) for project with local primary school – must flesh this out, and follow through…

1.30 Prepare for serials (magazines) meeting.

2.00 Serials meeting.

3.25 Cup of tea (at desk) while checking emails. Help customer find books similar to the ever-popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books; we have Big Nate books. (Do you know any other read-alikes?)

3.30 Event planning document discussion with supervisor.

4.30 More emails, tidy desk, make list for Monday.

4.40 Learn I need to come in for early shift on Monday for non-fiction and adult fiction selection – good practice.

5.10 Leave. (Only 10mins late, an improvement on average finishing times of last year.)

So that’s my day, thanks for reading! (You can my previous LDITL posts here and here.)

Please leave a link to your LDITL in the comments. Or even a link to or paragraph about your NON-Library Day in the Life. Sharing is caring!

Book review: Gossip girl : a novel

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: project, reading, review | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »



As I’m a Children’s and Youth librarian, I’m also reading Gossip Girl for reader advisory. Seriously, I am!

Book: Gossip girl : a novel by Cecily von Ziegesar
Publication date: 2002
Pages: 201
Publisher: Poppy
ISBN: 9780316910330

Rating: 3/5

Why did you include it in your Book Bucket List?
(Please see this post about the Book Bucket List challenge.)
Essentially because I’m a sucker for pop culture. I love watching America’s/Australia’s/New Zealand’s Next Top Model, Neighbours & similar schlock! I like the escapist, trashy, faux drama of it all. Regarding Gossip Girl, I’m keen to read the books before I watch the tv series. Such is my restraint that linking to the site was the first time I’d visited because I don’t want to spoil anything! There’s also an official book site which I haven’t looked at to avoid spoilers. I totally enjoyed It had to be you : the Gossip Girl prequel, so I’m keen to read the series if the quality keeps up. Which may/will be an issue, especially given the author hands over the glitter pen to a ghost writer for books 9, 10 & 11. As I’m a Children’s and Youth librarian, I’m also reading Gossip Girl for reader advisory. Seriously, I am! Also, my most excellent wife J. gave it to me for our first Wedding Anniversary as the tradition is paper. Everybody: “Ohhhhh!”

Was it worth it? Yes.

Brief Thoughts?

I liked it, although not as much as the prequel. (FYI – you don’t need to read the prequel to follow this book, especially as the prequel was written after this!) For the uninitiated, Gossip Girl novels are set amongst the super-mega-wealthy Manhattan elite. Gossip Girl (AKA GG) is an anonymous and definitely stylish blogger who chronicles the social lives of the most popular and therefore perfect private school students – with an emphasis on the stud. As GG says “The fabulous are fabulous for a reason, people” (p. 116). In Gossip girl : a novel, Serena the siren is back from boarding school & her ex-BFF Blair is keen to keep her away from her man Nate. As with all great gossip there’s a juicy love triangle and this scandal develops well; I was kinda hanging out to hear what was going to happen. Everybody wants to be with – or to be – Nate, Blair or Serena, and the main plot revolves around their social lives.  We follow this trio around glamorous bars, clothing boutiques, through Central Park and school, even to grungy Brooklyn, and are witness to “normal” events in privileged teenagers’ lives made super juicy by clever, biting fly-on-the-wall narration. The writing is often funny, always snappy, and designer-label bitchy. I completely want to know who Gossip Girl is, so the plot device is working wonders. It’s fun to read something so light which is a genuine page-turner.

Would you recommend it? Yes. Or as GG would say: “You know you want to”.

Notable quotable: “Only two nights ago, Nate had come over after a party with a half-drunk flask of brandy… and had murmered, “I want you, Blair.” Once again, Blair had wanted to scream and jump on top of him, but she resisted. Nate fell asleep, snoring softly, and Blair lay down next to him and imagined that she and Nate were starring in a movie in which they were married and he had a drinking problem, but she would stand by him always and love him forever, even if he occasionally wet the bed.” (p. 9)

Photo for #dailyimage2011 on flickr

An observation
It’s strange, in writing this I notice I almost feel the need to excuse reading this type of book. I joke about it’s lowbrow-ness. But really, who cares?! Or perhaps more importantly, why do I care? In defence of graphic novels, comics or magazines, or anything at work, I always say “any reading is good reading”. So why not believe it when thinking about my own reading?

Dear Reader:

  • Do you like the GG books? Perhaps the tv series?
  • Do you also have books you’re shy to talk about? What’s up with that?!

Library day in the life

Posted: January 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: project | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

My dear RSS reader recently delivered me this post by the always funformative Bobbi L. Newman at Librarian by day. In a nutshell, she has created a project – now in it’s sixth year – where librarians across the world document their days, and then share them. The hope being that library workers will gain an understanding of what is like to live a day as a librarian in a workplace/country/etc. different to their own. The other equally – if not more – important hope is that non-library workers will gain an understanding of what it is like to live a day as a librarian. It will be great to hear how (if?) the message escapes the “echolib” as it is known. As I see it, Library day in the life aims to educate my libraryland friends and my other friends, and of course myself, about an average day for librarians across the world. By participating in this project I will also have the chance to reflect on what I do everyday, because it’s not often (read: never) that I stop & write it all down. I’m guessing this will be very useful. John Kennerly explains it very well in this post:

It forces me to reflect on what I am doing as a librarian. By reporting on my daily activities, I can’t help but see a snapshot of my day-to-day efforts in a typical work week. It’s an opportunity for professional self-assessment. Granted, it only records one week of activity out of the year, but it is real activity nonetheless. Are there things that I can improve? (Time management? Goal adjustments? Priorities?) Can I validate my contributions to the profession? (I really accomplished all that today? I must have been on my game! Now that particular task was something I can feel good about and keep doing.)

For the record: I’m a Children’s and Youth Librarian in a Public Library in NSW, Australia.

Monday 24th January, 2011

Arrive MPOW & greet bookseller on way in door (I didn’t realise he was coming; I was hoping to use the time for other things!)

Greet new staff member – great to have a new smiling face on board, especially because we needed to fill this position for a few months.

9.00am (actual start time)
Log on & open email client, LMS, etc.

Go through eight milk crates of books & select titles for our four branches. I select junior fiction, picture books, board books, young adult fiction, junior graphic novels and young adult graphic novels.

“Morning meeting”: we drink tea & fold & stuff envelopes with library notices and talk about work/weekend/colleague’s farewell dinner/tv/etc.

Continued (perhaps too quickly?) selecting books while nervously watching time as I had to prep for 11am event.

Set-up and prep for “Paul Jennings Fest!” School Holiday Activity event. (Jennings is an Australian author who young people enjoy. I chose him to link in with Summer Reading Club‘s theme of Scare up a good book. His website’s here.) I hurriedly created a display of items for loan, while re-brainstorming event plan, sound-checking talking book, and attempting to calm pre-event jitters (do these ever subside?!)

Start event by reading a short story called A good tip for ghosts from Paul Jennings’ Spookiest Stories.
Discuss the author and writing style, genres, what have you read, etc?
Decide against planned games because a. there’s not enough people for the 2 games I planned, and b. there’s not enough time to fit everything I planned in.
Decide against talking book option as the story I chose is too long and I’m already running overtime.
Talk about tv series Round the twist adapted from Jenning’s books.
Play one episode.
DVD skips then stops, even though it played fine at my house yesterday. Grrr.
Clean DVD, finish show & encourage readers to borrow from Jennings display (or anything!) and say thanks for coming, see you next time :)

Drink water (phew!). Re-set up junior area where event was. Check and send email.

12.35pm (5 mins late)
Go to lunch. Talk work, film (Black swan), gossip mags, foodstuffs, etc.

1.05pm (5 mins late)
Return to desk & read received email outlining syllabus for ALA (U.S.A.) course I’m considering paying for myself for professional development. Decide against it as I hoped it would be more teen-based. Make another nts to re-read ALIA (Australian) PD courses 😉

Send thank you email to LEGO for awesome School Holiday Activities (see photo).

Read General Manager’s blog post RE our council’s financial standing. Prognosis: hmmm.

Read, respond to & cull emails.
Write & re-write to-do lists – I do a lot of this!
I have a white-board, diary, to-do list pad, post-its, heaps of scrap bits of paper, task list in Outlook, Outlook calender reminders, etc., etc. Perhaps this is too many places for lists? Do others have this problem/obsession? Solutions welcomed :)

Go talk to my supervisor about budget, and then about Glee!

Create RSVP list for Summer Reading Club. Brainstorm Summer Reading Club party RE staffing, prize-drawing/presenting, food, etc.

Email staff RE Club party & RSVP process.

Change email signature to reflect what I’m reading. I like to include an “I’m reading…” mention as part of my signature to promote reading, my general love of it, and our collection. It can spark some great conversations too…

Edit draft children’s and youth services contribution for new format monthly library e-newsletter.

Discuss staffing for Summer Reading Club party. Especially given I may no longer be able to be there (oops) due to meeting at State Library.

Make tea & bring back to desk to drink.

Nibble seeds & nuts & sip tea while finalising newsletter contribution. Email this to colleague.

3.35 (& all day really)
Took a few more notes RE #libday6. Also took a couple of photos for this blog post & #dailyimage2011 flickr project.

Finally start allocating new items. I classify new/donated items as Junior/Youth Fiction, Easies (picture books), Youth/Junior Graphic Novels. Then I allocate them to one of four libraries. I had planned to start this at 9.05am.

Chat with supervisor RE procedures & staffing.

Continue allocating, occasional email.

Email most excellent wife J. & ask if it’s OK if I finish 15mins late? (I pick J. up on my way home.)

5.20 (20 mins late – sorry J.!)
Shut down & leave for home.

So that’s it. Thanks for reading :)
Now let’s share! What did you do at work today?
Non-library workers – pls let me know about your day! AND does my day surprise/excite/bore/perplex/other you?
Library day in the life participants – pls drop a link to your post/s.

To join: visit the wiki.
To follow on twitter: search #libday6.
See photos on flickr.
Check out the Facebook page.
Search the blogosphere with “librarydayinthelife”.