Friday, January 1, 2010


I have moved my blog to a new address:

Feel free to follow me over and update your info :-)

Keep moving forward.....

Happy New Year!  I cannot believe how fast 2009 flew by, and how so much will be changing for me in 2010.  This time of year brings with it the requisite thinking about the past year and hopes and dreams professionally for the year to come.

-was accepted as a member of ALIA'S New Generation Advisory Committee 
-was accepted into the joint QUT/ALIA's ePortfolio pilot study
-began to build and truly value my PLN
-went back to work full time as a Young People's Library assistant
-turned 40
-spent some time in our Regional Libraries and met many of the staff who work there
-lost and gained friends, and learnt much from this
-accepted a three month contract as a Young People's Librarian
-co-wrote/edited a paper for LIANZA on ePortfolios
-resigned from my job

-accepted a new job as Youth Outreach Librarian with Logan City Council Libraries
-attending VALA in Melbourne in February
-will be meeting in real life some of my online friends
-have written some proposals that may or may not eventuate - will let you know....
-accepted as a committee member for New Grad stream of ALIA Access 2010
-to make the most of every moment and take joy in the little things as well as the big things
-to keep moving forward

My goal for 2009 was proactive participation, and to thy self be true.  The same can be said for 2010:  to keep learning, keep loving and keep growing as a person and in my profession.  To spend as much quality and quantity time with my family and to cultivate things that bring joy to my life, be it reading a book, going for a walk with the family or trying new things.  Oh, and in the words of @KatieTT to have more red lipstick days in 2010!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Don't sweat the small things....

My Grandmother - Norah Dean - passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday 11th December 2009.  She had recently turned 86, and for her birthday gave me a present, some of her rings.  She has been very sick this last year, and had spent some time in intensive care.  She told me a month before she died that she was happy to turn 86, but that was it.

Our family was lucky to be able to spend a day with her whilst she was in the hospital a few weeks ago.  She was very lucid, and spent the day regaling my kids with stories about her parents, grandparents and her only son (my dad).  It is a memory that I will cherish forever - her in the hospital bed and my kids sitting next to her listening intently to stories about the infamous Granny Cackles.  We took photos of her with the kids, and I am so glad to have these last photos of her.

The funeral was held on the Gold Coast yesterday, and was just lovely.  The service opened with one of her favorite sayings: 'Don't sweat the small stuff, just sweat the big stuff'.  It was just a short service, with my whole family in attendance, as well as some of my Nan's bowling friends, residents from her nursing home, her best friend of 49 years Una, and many of my dad's cousins.

She knitted and sewed right up until a few weeks before she died, with her creations going to various charities across the Gold Coast.  I remember her trying to teach me to knit when I was little, and her deciding that I was unteachable.  I still cannot knit, but when I learnt to stitch and quilt, she was delighted to receive one of my quilts. She took great pleasure in showing the quilt to her friends whilst telling them that I still could not knit!

It is very sad to lose her, but I am so glad she is not in pain anymore.  She will be greatly missed by my whole family and myself.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart.                                                                                         - Helen Keller

Monday, November 30, 2009

Storylines Q150

I was very lucky to be able to attend a two day workshop run by the State Library of Queensland last friday.   The workshop was part of the Q150 celebrations, its aim for participants to create a digital photostory that captures a memory or story somehow relating to Queensland.

Three staff from our library, four retired volunteers from the Milne Bay Military Museum and a partridge in a.. oops and a retired oral historian attended the workshop.

I must say one of the best parts of the workshop was talking with the other attendees.  I learnt heaps from them, and was on the receiving end of some great tech tips!!!  I was also very moved by the amazing war digital stories that they created.

I chose to create a story based on some interviews I had done with some of the parents who attend our storytime.  Due to time constraints, I only used one of the interviews.  We used a free program called Windows Movie Maker, and below is the end result.  And yes, that is me with the ducklings on my fingers!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 6 SLQ Licence to Test Drive Part B

Test Drive #6 looked at the rise of online videos.  This is in part due to increasing improvements in  technology and the decreasing costs of the tools needed.  This has led to a massive rise in creating content, uploading content, and being able to freely share it.   My  9 yr old has asked for a digital video camera for christmas so she can start making movies......   Youtube has made it very easy to upload and share content, and I know our whole family uses it when looking for 'how to' information.

I like how libraries are using Youtube to share staff training, new programs and resources, how to guides, promotion and marketing and talking about the future of libraries.  I have uploaded some of the school holiday programs run by our Young People's team.

I have also used Vimeo to host a couple of digital photo stories that I have created about our library.

I have chosen to embed this clip from Youtube as it is sort of an in family joke in our house.  Both my husband and son game, and WOW terminology features heavily in their conversations.  Heard repeatedly:

Me: That's it! Get off that computer now or I am going to....
Husband or son: I've just got to log off somewhere safe....

My son found these clips on Youtube and they have become family favourites!  I especially like the little brother, and in another clip he talks about how he had to visit the local library and use their resources as his mother had banned him from all technology!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Google - or week 5 of SLQ Licence 2 Test Drive

Week 5 is titled More Google!!  I have been increasingly using google for more and more things lately.  I now have a gmail account - as do both my kids - and have customised my google page at work with iGoogle.  I have added weather and news widgets, my google reader, a star trek quote widget, a SLQ search widget, and a coffee quote widget - all the important things, lol. I use google docs and I have also been playing around surfing (or trying not to sink) on the new Google wave.  I use Google maps regularly, and also the Google calendar, synching it to my iphone.

I am constantly surprised by the amount of *things* Google does.  I enjoyed playing around on Google books and wasted spent some time searching and narrowing my searches using their advanced search box (such a librarian, I know..).  I also was amazed at Google translate as I had only vaguely heard about this site, but had not played around on it.  I typed in my blog's URL and then translated the page from english to spanish - just because I could!

This site has great potential for explaining information about the library's services and resources to multi-cultural patrons.

I read somewhere - can't remember where - about people being afraid of Google's domination in our online lives.  I guess this is where we as librarians need to be able to step up to the plate and teach digital literacy skills that equip our customers to critically think, live and learn in an online environment,  I know of many libraries that do this already.  I like this quote that I read in an Educause Journal about digital literacies:

Ironically, while some see the profusion of realities as threatening to us, to our children, and even to democracy, the new media is nothing if not simply another way of viewing our world, of interacting with one another, of opening ourselves to learning in realms of possibility we never conceived of before. In our development as higher-order thinkers, multiple realities are far less important to our survival than our ability to understand what we see, to interpret what we experience, to analyze what we are exposed to, and to evaluate what we conclude against criteria that support critical thinking. In the end, it seems far better to have the skills and competencies to comprehend and discriminate within a common language than to be left out, unable to understand.
PS - I am updating my post with my response to a comment on this post. 'Quite ironic really that I completely forgot to include google as a search engine, google reader, You tube, blogger and google scholar. Just goes to show how completely integrated they are within my life that I didn't even think to include them!'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Licence 2 Test Drive - Part B - Week 4

Week 4 of the State Library of Queensland's Licence to Test Drive Part B looked at web browsers.

A web browser is the software program loaded on your computer, Smartphone or a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) which you use to connect to the Internet. The browser is used for retrieving, presenting, and navigating information resources on the World Wide Web and email.An information resource is identified by an address or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) this may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content. Hyperlinks in web pages or other resources enable you to easily navigate your browser to other sites or resources. 

I looked at some of the popular web browsers, including internet explorer, firefox, safari and google chrome. When I bought my iphone last year, I used safari for the first time, and now use it as the web browser on my mac.  My work computer uses internet explorer as its SOE.  I was quite surprised watching this You tube video about web browsers.  I have never used firefox, but my friend in IT up the road at council is always telling me how much better it is, and after watching this little clip I am thinking of installing it on our computer downstairs.  But then I was quite impressed by Google chrome as well....

So, this Licence 2 Test drive has been a good one, and has forced me out of my web browser comfort zone and challenged me to try some of the others available.  So, if for no other reason than that, then I am very grateful to have been gently pushed.