Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lest we forget

101 Field Battery
My dad was with the artillery
 Marching (in jeans) Toowoomba 2008
Today we celebrate Anzac Day in Australia.  Wikipedia  defines Anzac Day as a national public holiday that 'commemorates the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli during World War 1.'   Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the futility of war, and a time to remember the men and women from all the wars who fought,  and gave their lives for their country.
My dad is a Vietnam Vet.  I was unaware of this fact whilst growing up, and only found out when I was in Year 12.  I still don't really think I fully comprehend what that means, or all that he went through.  He decided to march for the first time ever in an Anzac Day Parade in 2007, and in 2008 my whole family attended a dawn service in Toowoomba to watch him march.  It was a very moving experience, and one that hopefully we will always remember.  This year he decided not to march.
I still remember one year stopping to buy a lapel pin when my son was little.  We looked at them all and he asked where the Vietnam pins were.  At that time there were none available, and my son said no thanks, he wanted one that remembered his Grandpa!  Out of the mouths of babes.  I am glad that these are available now.
As you go about your day today, please take a few minutes to reflect on the futility of war, and remember the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can be free.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


5 things that I am grateful for this week:

1. I was accepted into ALIA's New generation Advisory Committee.  I applied for this in December, and found out just last week.   No doubt it will be a massive learning curve.

2. Great supervisors!

3. A wonderful husband.  This week I have been building a ning network and was having problems with some HTML coding.  After I gave up and took a break, my husband kept going and worked it out!!

4. Professional Development.  Tomorrow I am attending an Edna  workshop at USQ.  I am looking forward to learning some new things and hearing cool and inspiring stories of what others are doing.

5. WIFI!!!  Am at the Star Cafe opposite our library, and for the cost of a great cup of coffee, I can use their newtwork.

PS Thanks to Flexnib and Kalgirl for reminding me to be grateful :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Week 3 SLQ Licence to Test Drive

This fortnight I have revisited wikis, as part of the SLQ's Licence to Test Drive.   Their definition follows:

A wiki (originating from the Hawaiian term for quick) is an open shared space
for collaborative editing. Contribution to a wiki requires no HTML or
programming knowledge. Unlike protected Web pages, any information added
to a wiki can be changed or deleted by "anyone". Previous versions of pages
are saved for easy recovery from errors.

I have enjoyed looking up some of the links given in this exercise, and viewing what others are using wikis for.  I especially liked Wookieepedia - a stars wars wiki that encourages fans to add to the collective knowledge of the site.  I showed my Stars Wars loving husband and son, who have since spent way to much time looking up things!

In contemplating their use in libraries, I especially like the thought of using them as an intranet based procedures manual.  All staff then have access to all information pertaining to how the organisation works, including all those piddly little in house rules!!  Would be a great way to introduce new staff to an organisation in a very un-threatening way.  Would be especially good for all staff to add their job descriptions, how-to manuals etc so all the information is contained in one place.

I also liked the Library Success:  A best practices wiki .  I spent a fair bit of time on this site following links on subjects that I was interested in.  This site embodies one of the things I like best abut libraries - the free sharing of information.

One of my best 'wiki' experiences was with my daughter last year after reading a post on Tame the Web.  We followed a link and Miss 9 and I added some local Toowoomba content to help Abbey - an American school girl - complete her homework .  We edited the wiki, added a photo of ourselves and included some links about Toowoomba and our library where I work and the school Miss 9 goes to.  We then sent a postcard to her as per the instructions on the wiki.  Miss 9 still talks about helping Abbey do her homework!  For me, I still think about that librarian dad using his skills to think outside the square and use technology to enhance his daughter's learning journey!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Next Gen Librarian

I can't believe I forgot to share one of the best parts of my Relay for Life experience!  Our tent displayed a sign which stated, 'will read books for money', which was out team's attempt to raise more play money for the Relay for Life.  I was in charge of bringing books to read.

Instead, I bought my trusty iPhone!!  I have blogged before about Stanza,  an ebook reader app that I have downloaded onto my phone.  Stanza would be one of my favourite applications, and I love the sheer volume of free books that are available.  So, being the nerdy, geeky, tech loving librarian that I am, I used the many opportunities I had to share with people information about literacy, and the many forms it can take.  I talked about Stanza, and font size, about Project Gutenberg and downloading free books.  I showed online catalogues, showed ebooks, and read pages from books.  I also talked about vision impaired people downloading stanza to their desktop, and choosing a font size that suits them.

I talked.  And shared two of my loves - reading and my iPhone.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Relay for Life

It only seems like yesterday that my Father in Law was diagnosed with Cancer.  We as a family dropped everything and flew to New Zealand to  spend two weeks with him as he started his chemo.  I will never forget watching the nurses get dressed in the many layers of protective clothing and gloves they wear to administer the chemo, and then watching them pump it through an IV tube into his body.  Somehow the irony of that still gets to me.  The above photo is one of my favourites of the trip - our kids teaching their Grandad new skills.  It helped pass the time and allowed him to learn new skills that he soon excelled at!
It was therefore an honour to partake in this year's Relay for Life .  Many thanks to Rory - a shelver at our library - who put the call out for all interested participants. Six staff members answered the call along with two ringins.  Staff who didn't walk participated by cooking, and then eating a delicious fundraising morning tea which raised nearly $80.00.  All together we raised $1000.00.

The opening ceremony was a very moving experience for me watching all the survivors walk proudly past.  It was good to see the Mayor of our Regional Council, local member Ian MacFarlane and some regional councilors participate.  It was also very moving to see many families remember their loved ones with banners, photos and candles lit in their memory.

Some highlights were putting up our tent - see dad, I did learn something from all that camping we did when I was young;  the ever changing weather - we experienced all four seasons in one day with thunder, lightning and rain, strong winds, high humidity and beautiful sunshine; and amazing conversations.  As we walked and talked, we worked out a few statistics.  The track was 1.6 kilometres round.  We walked for approximately 9 hours, it  took us 6 minutes to do one lap of the track, thus walking roughly 144 kilometres give or take a cuppa break or two!!

Thanks to all who donated money, and to those that walked - thanks for the new memories! My thoughts and prayers go out to the many families whose lives are touched by cancer, and to my FIL - I did this for you, here is to continued good health.  I love you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Week 2 of SLQ's Licence to Drive

Week 2 saw the discussion centered around online photo sharing, with Flickr being the main website looked at.  I just love Flickr, and have a personal account that I use regularly.  What I really enjoyed about this exercise was having a look at some of the other photo sharing sites.  I looked at photobucket, Smugmug and snapfish.  I had fun just typing in random words and looking at just how creative and talented some people are.

I have blogged about this before, and have posters up at my work on why we need a flickr account.  Our library is now one of 11 libraries within the Toowoomba Regional Council.  A paid Flickr account would allow us to keep all our photos in the one place, give us unlimited sets, and would allow us to start promoting the wonderful services that all the libraries provide.  Flickr also allows us as staff to engage in conversations, connect with customers and create masterpieces using the many Flickr toys!

On a very personal level, I have just read my friend Kelly' s first ever blog post, and have been blown away!  She embodies all that the 23 things/SLQ's Licence to Drive programs are all about:
 'I have created this blog as a commitment to myself, to continue my journey to learn more about myself, my life, my loves and all the things I don't even know about yet'.

What can I say but ALRIGHT Kelly, and thank you!!