Friday, June 12, 2015

Jogging Friday

Every Friday after work I go jogging round the river with my friend. As we jog, we chat about our week, the things that annoyed us, the things that we liked, and then about the direction our lives are going in, life balance, our partners, philosophy, current affairs, you name it! By the end of the hour we're feeling pretty good, de-stressed, and ready for the weekend. We've only missed a couple of Fridays in the last few years. I took this photo on our run today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On kindness

So today I had to do something that I didn't want to do, something that made me uncomfortable. I had to phone two people and tell them that they didn't succeed in their job applications. I spent a bit of time working out how I would word it, based on how I would want to be let down - that is to say, gently. I wanted to be completely honest at the same time. Kindness and authenticity are traits that are really important to me, that I try to enact with all my interactions with people. The phone calls went well, considering.

Here's a quote from Dalia Lama XIV, who is in Australia at the moment -

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Small library chaos

Today was a funny day at the library. It started out with me not being able to get in. The automatic sliding door had jambed and broken in the closed position, accompanied by a loud beeping alarm. I had three interviews lined up for a casual position, so this was not the start to the day I was looking for! The technician came within an hour and set out his tools and ladders all over the entrance. Lucky it's the mid year break with not too many students around. When he went into the ceiling he found some cable that had burn damage which caused a bit of panic and calls to the electricians, campus manager, building manager and so on. The sparkies arrived and spread out their equipment over the remaining free space on the floor. I got busy thinking about the location of the fire equipment, how to use the fire equipment, the fact that the burn damage was right over the only library exit... A fire can start so easily! But - false alarm, the cable was an old one that wasn't connected to anything and had been heat damaged by lights that had been removed long ago. The automatic door was quickly fixed, the vacuum got rid of all the dust and fluff that had fallen from the roof and the library was restored to normality about 5 minutes before the first interview of the day.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Rarely a day goes by when I don't work on making something - usually it's a bit of knitting, or planning the next thing I want to sew. My queue of projects waiting to happen is enormous, and lives in Pinterest and Instagram. Today I had a making-marathon, and I finished a dress in a day! It's the first dress I've ever made, and I couldn't have done it without the help of my mum (who sews, quilts, prints, stitches, dyes and does everything, and has all the equipment for everything). I'm so happy with how it turned out. I learned so much from my mum about sewing techniques and skills today. Also, it was so nice to spend the whole day doing it - so often the fun and relaxing things (like reading!) get relegated to the end of the day when we're already tired, why is that...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

When inspiration doesn't strike

On the weekends I try not to think about or do work or library stuff, so I was a bit stuck as to what to write about today. But as usual, reading other people's blogjune blogs has delivered the inspiration -  I'll write about what's going on with me right now, in list format (like Kate and Con did).
I'm reading - Kate Atkinson's A God in Ruins
I'm watching - A friend lent me The I.T. Crowd, which I'm just about to start
I'm cooking - raw food salty peanut chocolate slices (ok, that's not actually cooking), and lentil & pumpkin stew
I'm drinking - hot herbal tea
I'm thinking - about how to make extra money on the side to fund my hobbies
I'm taking - a day off work on Monday for some ME time
I'm missing - Japan - the food and the craft supplies
I'm enjoying - making stuff and wearing winter clothes
I'm making - another knitted jumper (a little bit each day) and sewing a winter dress (which should be finished tomorrow)
I'm planning - my extended trip to Sydney for NLS7 and holiday
I'm listening - to a CD called Night Cafe 

Friday, June 5, 2015


It will be a short post today as I'm completely exhausted after an all-day vendor roadshow, followed by a 7 km run with my bestie, and then a shopping marathon at the sales in the city.

The vendor roadshow was great, they had so many new things to show us and they are always thinking of the future. They are preparing for a world where BibFrame and linked data has replaced MARC cataloging, where library books are searchable through Google, and where circulation and everything else is in the cloud.

Are libraries as motivated to prepare the future as profit driven companies are? So far, I would say we haven't been, but I'm seeing more and more signs that we are thinking about it more seriously and more collectively than we have in the past.

Good night 😴

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Photo storage

I got a message - would I like to install the Google Photos app? I almost always say yes to see what it's about so I did, and felt happy about its promise of free unlimited storage across all devices. My phone's doesn't have much space left, and every time I want something new, I have to choose what to get rid of, so the photo app seemed an easy and convenient solution.

Then I realised it's got this amazing capability to search. Type dogs and pictures of dogs will come up, even though they're not labelled or tagged in any way. That's not all - the app will actually sort your photos into albums of 'Things' and 'Places' without you doing a thing. The photos in my phone for 'Things' got sorted into the categories of beaches, cats, food, screenshots, and flowers, and for 'Places' it was Perth and Mexico. I haven't actually got any photos of Mexico on my phone so that was a bit random. Did I mention that it can make animated GIFs too?

When I logged in to Google at work today, I checked my notification and there was one from Photos. The 'assistant' had created a slideshow of one of my categories that started playing on full screen. It's amazing, but I'm still undecided whether it's cool or scary. Once again I am trusting Google with so much of my private data. And it's only a matter of time before they work out how to sell the data we're providing with these photos. Would you trust them?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The world of academics

You know when you take research classes at uni and they ask you to look at a published research paper and find all the flaws in it? I'm pretty sure I did that activity in research subjects as part of my psychology degree, and again when I studied librarianship.

Anyway, today I found myself doing a very similar thing at work, for real. I've become a 'research librarian' and what that meant today was that I joined a committee of academics (all of them with PhDs) and we looked over and discussed research proposals from other academics, looking quite closely at the proposed design, methodology, research instruments and so on.

I didn't participate much in this meeting, and actually felt a bit overwhelmed by it all (it was my first meeting with them!), but it was so interesting to see the research process from this angle, and to start to become aware of the some of the many steps involved in getting research from conception to published.

After the meeting, one of the other participants asked what I thought of it. I replied honestly and said it was all a bit over my head at this stage! It was the right thing to say because we ended up having a really good chat and I ended up feeling ok about the fact that it will take time to settle in to this role, to find my place in the team, and see just what I can contribute.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Originality and ownership

Recently I am absolutely loving podcasts. At work we had a Mindfulness in May program running which involved listening to daily mindful meditations with the idea of increasing our enjoyment of the moment, and to slow down the whirring mind. These listenings were pleasant, easy and left me feeling quite happy. While searching for podcasts on mindfulness, I started coming across podcast topics that, if I'm honest, interested me a lot more. Podcasts on IDEAS.

My favourite at the moment is the NPR TED radio hour, and I guess I've listened to about 5 of their one-hour podcasts. The latest one was on originality and it wasn't about libraries in any way, except that everything that came up had applications for libraries.

For example. There is no such thing as an original idea. Humans are not capable of an original idea. But we are genius at finding a new perspective or remixing ideas (especially comedians!). Yet we have this idea of copyright and ownership of ideas. How does that make sense, when every new idea is just a remix or re-imagining of an old one? The ownership of ideas doesn't make sense, but the acknowledging of sources does.

The things that stifle originality and creativity are things like patents and paywalls. If we ever wanted to speed up the rate of scientific discovery, or development, just get rid of patents and database paywalls, so that anyone can access the technology and information, combine it with their own area of expertise, and create something crazy and new! This is beauty.

I also loved how they said if you want to have great ideas, switch from alcohol to coffee (and there's a great story behind that, but you'll have to listen to the podcast).

Next, I'm listening to a Radio National podcast titled Big Deals in the Knowledge Business: How Scholarly Publishing Divides Academia on Rear Vision. I know the history and the story well, but listening to it just brings it to life more than reading about it, without losing any of the depth.

Do you have a favourite podcast?

So, I learned how to use on OPML file with Feedly today. Thanks person who set that up!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Monday Meme

I'll join in the #blogjune Monday meme - thanks for getting us started Bun-toting Librarian and of course to Con for coordinating.

List 5 things you’re looking forward to about #blogjune

1. I'm looking forward to doing things in a different way to previous years where I blogged quite randomly about 'library' stuff (this will be my third blogjune). This time around I'll be blogging with the theme of 'Today's Aha! Moment' or 'What I Learned Today', in relation to library life. My posts won't be lengthy, but they will be reflective. I'm pretty sure I learn something new everyday (especially work days!).

2. As the only librarian on my campus, I always enjoy connecting with library peeps in the wider world. Especially the variety of topics that people write about as part of blogjune, its always inspriring and sets me to dreaming of possibilities. June is a relatively quiet period at work with the students doing exams, so the timing is good for me to get reflective.

3. I'm looking forward to the challenge of writing every day. I seem to recall I didn't quite make it last year - hence the theme this year! This list is also turning out to be a challenge (FIVE things!)...

4. I'm looking forward to having my blog come to life again. Since I have a work blog (in Sharepoint), I haven't really been keeping up with this blog. Also, I've been spending every spare moment lately doing things that make me happy - reading, running, knitting and sewing clothes for myself. I'm feeling so content and settled at the moment, after so many years of travelling and changing jobs every couple of years. I've been in my current job for 3 years now and still happy!

5. Finally, I always enjoy reading everyone's blogs, whether they're writing about library related topics or not. And there seem to be some first timers who I'm looking forward to reading too - yay :) 

Oh, and what I learned today - from reading everyone's initial blogpost for blogjune, I realised again just how beautiful diversity amongst people is. Thanks for your stories - they're what make us human.