Sunday, August 31, 2008

Come to the Library...

I have been thinking about and talking about self promotion for awhile now.  The new council budget was passed down last week and it was decided that the Library would no longer charge for computer and internet classes.  YEAH!  The question then arose of how to attract people to actually attend the classes.  I mentioned Brisbane Square and the way the Learning Lounge has put aside certain times on certain days for this purpose.  This got me thinking, and reminded me of the post by David Lee King on new ways to think about technology and tools.  What I got out of his blog was connections, and our need for them. 

So, this takes me back to promoting what we do, for example our basic computer and internet classes.  Do we try and sell it as the learning of new technology? (well, that is part of it), but for me it is about the connections.  Come to the Library and learn how to keep in contact with friends and family in far away places.  Come to the Library and we'll teach you how to set up an email account.  Come and bring a friend to share your new learning journey. Come along and laugh and play!  Come and learn how to see the photos of the new baby/wedding that they want to send you.  Come and we'll teach you about Flickr.  Just come to the Library!!

So, my goal at work this week is to ask any interested library staff to come up with five free(or very cheap) ways to promote our computer and internet classes.  I have great faith in the answers I will receive from the many assistants, shelvers, casuals and librarians, and it won't cost a thing!  Except the knowledge that staff are thinking and talking about how we 'do' libraries, and what can be better than that?

Feel free to comment!  You can do so anonymously via the comment box below, or feel free to write your name.  Can't wait to hear your thoughts....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Book Week '08 "Fuel your mind"

What an amazing job the Young People's team at the Toowoomba City Library have done on Book Week this year.  The theme was "Fuel your Mind", and the staff put together an interactive, multi-media package.  It contained great stories, songs, dancing, shadow puppetry, a powerpoint display and most importantly, active participation from all the students across Toowoomba who attended the show.

My favourite book read was 'Aliens Love Underpants', by Clare Freedman and Ben Cort.  What a wonderful job you guys have done, and all the time and effort you have put in has paid off ! 

May the many children whose lives were touched by Book Week this year become active participants in using libraries as part of their life long learning journey.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Self promotion?

Was excited to see some of the displays in the Auckland Library.  This was one of the many interspersed around the collection and highlighted the Librarian's choice in books.  Such a simple display that adds such a personal touch to their space, and promotes who they are and what they do.

I have been thinking on this area of self promotion and still believe that we owe it to ourselves to do the best we can do, regardless of, and often despite our circumstances. I know some may disagree, and that is ok.  But for me, I need to believe that no matter how busy we are, how snowed under in our work loads that we still can find the time to promote who we are and what we do.   And it is often the small, unnoticed, everyday things we do that promote us the best!  The kind words spoken, the understanding smile at the mum who is having a bad day, carrying heavy books for an elderly customer, going the extra mile in a reference interview, bringing in a beautiful morning tea for staff to thank them for a job well done.  Our circumstances may be that no grand gestures can take place, but we can still smile and serve and provide customers with a great experience that will make them want to return!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Home again

I can't believe that we are home again.  What an amazing 10 days away.

We spent sat/sun/monday visiting Rotoura,  Taupo and Hamilton, and it was freezing. Minus 2 both mornings with frosts! We loved the drive and the scenery, and were amazed at the beautiful green countryside. We spent half a day visiting a Maori village and saw thermal pools, bubbling mud and the geyers, all wonderful memories of my own from a childhood visit.  We also rode a gondola and saw amazing views of Rotura and the lake.  We rode a luge down!!  The kids swam in a thermal pool in freezing outside conditions - crazy I say!  We visited the Huka Falls, and loved the botanical gardens in Hamilton, a definate highlight for Dion and myself.

We spent thelast day  in Auckland with Nigel and Carolyn, and headed out of NZ  at 7.30 am this morning.  I couldn't sleep, and have been up since 11.30 pm australian time.  The flight back was good, as was our travel back to toowoomba, though it is hard to get used to brown grass again!   Our cat and dog were very pleased to see us.

Once again, thanks so much to Nigel and Carolyn for helping us visit, and for allowing us to spend this precious time with you both.  A privilege.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Whanau - family (farno)

We have spent alot of time sitting in the whanau room whilst at the hospital.  I really want to tell the story of the lady I met last friday.  Her sister was in one of the rooms in the last stages of breast cancer.  She had been fighting it for the last 9 years, and sadly passed away on saturday afternoon.  She had just spent a month in Australia with her three daughters.  The sister of the dying lady just wanted to talk, and was saying how she was unsure what she was supposed to do in the situation. She was torn between wanting to spend as much time as possible with her beloved sister, and trying to facilitate everything else going on around her.   They were waiting for her parents to fly in from South Africa, but sadly she died before they arrived.  As a 'sister' myself, it was a very confronting conversation, and makes me appreciate mine all the more for all the things she does (like doing our school washing whilst we were away!! - thanks!)

We also met some other amazing people in the blood ward:   Mark who has been battleing leukemia for over a year and his lovely wife Jane, 'the lady with the glittery hat' as Maggie called her, the homework 'helpers' (all patients) and the many family members of patients who we spent time with.

Whanau or family has never been so important.  Being part of a family, and appreciating them for all that they do - the good and  the bad is a must.  And never, ever taking them for granted.   Imparting this concept to my kids is vital. 

We are so grateful for the time spent with Nigel and Carolyn, and for the time that the kids have spent visiting with their NZ grandad.  We have tried to be as open and honest with the kids as possible, so this week has added new words to their vocabulary!!! as well as a new understanding of life and death.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tenakawa or hello or greetings

Have had a good last few days.  Yesterday we caught a ferry over to Devonport and climbed Mt Victoria.  What absolutely amazing views, I still can't believe how green everthing is. Also went to The Auckland Public Library which was three floors of amazing!!!!  I think our library has a much bigger collection but just not the physical spaces that only enhance the collections. After lunch we were back at the hospital and Nigel was up for a walk around the ward on some metal crutches.  So far no hideous side effects from the chemo, just some nausea. 

This morning we caught a bus to the museum and spent a few hours walking around.  I was amazed by the kids.  They were so uninterested in all the static displays, and yet as soon as the displays became interactive, I couldn't drag them away!  Very interesting statement on kids that are born with a mouse in their hands!  They especially loved the volcano display and the hands on oceans areas.

They have given Nigel a walking frame with a seat built in, and he has been hooning around the ward.  The nurses have told him to slow down!!  The kids are doing some homework and I am about to go and do some more uni readings. 

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Don't you just love technology?  My father in law has a new lap top, and I've taken over for my tech fix!

The above photo is of the kids doing a lap around the ward with their Grandad Nigel.  He is trying to go for a walk once or twice a day.  The difference in his colour now compared to last week is amazing.  The chemo was put off until yesterday, and they administered 3 different kinds one after another over the whole day.  Very amazing to think that they use hideous drugs to kill off hideous diseases.  The chemo went very well(very emotional to watch though) and Nigel is feeling very well, no side effects as yet.

Today we took the kids for a walk around Auckaland City and went up the Skytower.  Beautiful views.  My favourite so far has been One Tree Hill.  I am definately showing my age when I say I am reminded of the U2 song of the same name!!  Unfortunately there is no tree there anymore as it was vandalised and had to be taken out!!  Can you believe that?

Well, had better go and do some uni readings so I can try and keep up.  It is much better doing all the readings without being on the forums to get stressed out by all the postings!!

Thanks for all the kind wishes of good health towards my father in law.  So far so good.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The D List - does not include 'doing' facebook!

I haven't read a book for ages that I have enjoyed so much.  I laughed, cried, and commiserated with Jackie, the main character as she learns to live and love.   It's also a book about blogging and the power of words.  Definately worth a read.  I must admit that I found it as I was working in the returns room at my library.  Pretty good perks I say!  I read the first page and was totally hooked.

Today is D day in our house - doing stuff in order to go away tomorrow.  Doing things like washing, ironing, packing, taking the cat to the cattery, charging the billion and one gadgets that we all own, freaking out wondering if I've remembered everything.... the list is endless.

Am hoping to get to the Auckland Public Library so I can check some emails, do some uni postings and check my facebook (not that I'm addicted or anything).  Many thanks for all the well wishes for good health to my Father in law.  He started chemo on wednesday, so everyone is just taking one day at a time.  As one of the customers in the library stated when asked how she was, 'every day not underground is a good one!'