Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shape Shifting Owl

It's in Japanese, but the footage is incredible!

Stand By Me

I found this beautiful version of Ben E King's Stand By Me on the ABC Radio Queensland blog.

It's from a documentary called "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music" and features musicians from all over the world singing the one song.

Grandpa Elliott of New Orleands and Clarence Bekker of Amsterdam are my two favourites.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Almost Time to Say Goodbye 2008

Can you believe it's almost 2009? I am amazed at how quickly the year has flown past, it seems each year passes faster than the last. It's been a year of ups and downs for me, some awful things, some amazing things. From a relationship breakup, a beloved friend being diagnosed with cancer, and a lot of other stresses to a promotion at work, the tail end of my awesome trip through the US, meeting new friends and getting to see old ones after a long time, and generally just growing more comfortable in who I am.

I have some goals for 2009. I don't like the idea of resolutions because if they don't happen, there is this sense of failure that I don't feel is healthy. But I'm setting some goals to work towards. Let me see:
  • Get more creative. More writing, more photography. I've already bought myself a two year subscription to FlickrPro, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_sleepydumpling/ for my photostream) in the hope that I will keep adding photos as I go. I want to purchase a good quality digital SLR camera before too much longer. I've got my eye on a Canon one.
  • Spend more time on me. I love my job and am passionate about it, but I would like to focus some more on my own life outside of work.
  • Find a church that suits me. That's probably the hardest one!
  • Read some of my mammoth TBR pile (To Be Read) before I add to it.
  • Not date any jerks ('nuff said).
  • Generally just read more than I did in 2008. I lost my reading mojo a bit this past year.
  • Buy a bicycle.
  • Go to Perth for Christmas

I'm sure there are lots of other things I'd like to have happen over the next 12 months, but these are the ones that pop into my head at the moment.

What would you say are your goals for 2009? Post a blog to tell me about it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thank God for That!

burrito baby
Originally uploaded by ?who?
I'm sorry but I just have to share this one. WHO mistakes a burrito for a baby???

I've heard of some dodgy burritos before, but never one that cries or poops.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Window Into My Mind

Probably a scary concept right?

Well, I'll give you a little bit of insight into my mind and what drives me. In my Google searches, I got a hit on Adam Savage from Mythbusters for this video of a presentation he gave some time ago. I have seen it before, or a version of it anyway, from a hackers convention he was a guest speaker at some time ago.

Just an aside, the word hacker has been unfortunately taken to mean something negative, a malicious person who breaks into computers, systems and other things they don't belong in to either steal information or cause damage. In fact, a hacker is someone who likes to disassemble things to gain an understanding of how they work, and to modify them to work better or more elegantly or to look different. I am quite proud of my budding hacker status.

Anyhow, back to the video that I found. As I said, I found a version of this on YouTube some time ago, recorded by someone at the hacker convention, and it was pretty good quality, and I've blogged about it on my other blog before, mostly because of some controversy that was around some statements he made in the Q&A after the main presentation.

However, I found this beautiful quality version of the presentation, and shall share it with you here:

Adam Savage on Obsession

It's a long piece, but basically it's about obsessions and passions. And while I was listening to Adam talk about his obsessions and passions, a lightbulb went on in my head, because that's EXACTLY what I am like. I have folders in my computer of things that I am fascinated/obsessed with. I buy/make/collect things that replicate things I'm into. I collect a thousand little bits of trivia and factoids on things that I am passionate about. And the end result isn't really what it's about. It's the process of being totally immersed in something that interests me.

For a long time, I thought that I was the only one who got like this over things that interest me. But with my explorations on the internet, I've found that a HUGE percentage of people actually have minds that work this way. Quite often it's suppressed because we're told we're obsessive or fixated or that it's somehow a bad thing to be completely immersed in something.

But it's becoming very apparent to me, that this kind of drive and passion needs to be encouraged and fostered. Things get DONE by people who are totally fascinated by what they are doing. Whether it be someone recreating a prop from a movie, someone designing a beautiful garden, someone inventing an item that is otherwise unavailable, someone proving a scientific theory that had been unproven, someone drawing attention to a cause or just someone working on a piece of art. That kind of focus and drive is what changes the world.

So that's one of the amazing things that the internet has brought to us, with the advent of what is collectively called Web2.0 - the way the internet allows us to create and communicate in ways it was not possible to do so in the past. With these tools, we can learn, explore, discover and SHARE our passions. We can do things we would never have had the opportunity to do in the past, because now all of this information is at our fingertips.

What are your passions? Do you get fascinated with things that consume your thoughts and life? Have you found that this has grown with your use of the internet? Blog about it if you have, and leave me a comment so I know to go and read it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas from the Animals

I just have to share this video that I found on Cute Overload:

Talk about hilariously silly!

The Days are Ticking By...

So we're winding down for the year, winding down for 23 Things and I'm winding down in energy! Though I think that is predominantly the heat that is causing the energy lag.

Two weeks from today, this project run of 23 Things will end. I hope to see the majority of people have finished the training modules, because this is an awesome opportunity we are being given to learn a lot of useful tools. Particularly as unlike most formal training, you're not being told how you have to use the tools once you've learnt about them. You learn what they are, how they work and then apply them to your own work and life. None of us will use Web2.0 technologies in the same way or even use the same tools.

Already I've seen some wonderfully creative and innovative ways to use Web2.0 technology from my colleagues. I've seen that you are artists, musicians, gamers, cooks, storytellers, fashionistas, model makers, writers, poets, travellers and so much more. Working in public libraries we need to draw from a really broad knowledge base to help our customers, and this project has really highlighted that we HAVE a broad knowledge base right at our fingertips. With a bit of collaboration using these great connective tools that we now have, we can share that stuff easily, and save ourselves so much time and effort. Plus it's fun to find out what our colleagues are interested in, and share common interests. I haven't found any fellow Mythbusters fantatics amongst BCCLS yet though!

It's been a huge learning curve for me too. Maybe not as much in the tools themselves, because I've been tinkering around with them for awhile now, but in the way people can use them and how they apply to libraries. I think we're probably at a huge tipping point right now into a whole bunch of innovations and shifts for the way we do business. WHAT we do isn't going to change, but HOW we do it is morphing into new territory. It's pretty exciting times, particularly as it's influencing things like telecommunications infrastructure, education methods and entertainment.

I for one am looking forward to being part of it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Blast from the Past

I found this song on YouTube:

How many of you are old enough to remember it and the TV show? I loved that show!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why I Love Jamie Hyneman

I know, it's been awhile since I've posted anything Mythbusters on this blog. Or in Spanish... Cazadores de Mitos.

Recently YouTube held a live event in San Francisco which they streamed out over the internet. They had lots of famous guests and infamous ones too - some the creators of those viral videos that become a big hit were there too.

Because it was held in San Francisco, home of the Mythbusters, and one of the most played videos on YouTube was Leonardo the robotic paintball artist by the Mythbusters, Jamie and Adam were invited to participate.

What they came up with, is this:

How awesome is that? ONLY Jamie Hyneman would have the cajones to stand in front of a high pressure machine that fires over 1100 paint balls across 15 feet of space at him, while wearing a suit of armour. I love the man, he is just a total legend.

And while we're talking the mighty awesomeness of Mythbusters, I have a new favourite explosion. It's the "Water heater of death":

It's the ultimate stress relief. One can totally shed all the tensions of the day by watching Jamie and Adam blow stuff up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guys in Las Vegas Never Enjoyed Reading, Until Now...

I just have to blog this photo. I'd love to see it at night all lit up. I wonder if the owner of it will allow me to use it as an avatar?

Perhaps we could put neons like this outside our branches, to get the punters in the doors?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

She's Beautiful...

I found this video posted on Boing Boing today:

Sara is a walrus that tangoes and mimes playing the saxophone. I think she's beautiful.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wanna Collaborate?

I have officially finished 23 Things some time ago, but I realised I needed to take a little time to revisit a few things that haven't fully gelled with me. Online applications were something that I knew what they were, but didn't really think about using them myself.

So I've gone back for a play and have decided to create a document that any of you, my readers, are welcome to join and co-create with me.

Fabulous New Things I Have Learned from 23 Things

The link above goes to a document I created about the cool things I've learnt, specifically that I like to use, not generally for what they CAN do. So if you want to co-collaborate with me on this document, and share the groovy stuff you have learned, let me know and I'll hook you up with the access.

For those of you friends who aren't doing the 23 Things but are reading this blog too, you are also most welcome to collaborate. The subject is about those cool Web2.0 things that are out there. What ones do you use (eg Facebook, blogging, YouTube, Flickr, mashups... all that stuff) and what do you do with them. I'm interested in hearing all the innovative, cool and fun stuff people do, and when we get going I'll turn the document into something I can publish here on this blog.

Let's play!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yes, I am One of THOSE Women...

... who wants to see the Twilight movie.

Yes, you can sneer at me for wanting to see that "teeny-bopper romance vampire thing" but have any of you read the books? Or does that get the sneer treatment too?

I have to say, I used to avoid certain genres or scenarios when reading and watching movies, but I never really bothered if other people were watching them. But after a few times where people who's taste often mirrors my own have challenged me to read or see things I normally wouldn't try, and then I've loved it, I've really learnt to never make any assumptions until I've read or seen it myself. If someone recommends it and I know they tend to like the same things as I do, then it's worth giving a try.

That's what happened with Twilight. My friend Melissa in the US, who has recommended a lot of fantastic stuff to me before, practically begged me to read Twilight. She was sure I would love it as much as she does. And she was right!

When I heard that Robert Pattinson was going to play Edward Cullen, I knew I just had to see the movie. He's so physically beautiful, which is the whole point of Edward. And ladies, if you haven't read the books, I can tell you, they are sexy as. Whoowee.

If you'd like a bit of an idea into the books/movie, here's the movie trailer:

It feels to me that they've captured the whole atmosphere of the movie really well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

OMG! It's Christmas!

Yes, it's that time of year where we're all shocked to find ourselves in December again. The Christmas decorations have gone up, the cards are starting to arrive in the mail from very organised people, it's getting hot and stormy and the kids don't disappear off to school in the morning and leave you alone until 3pm.

I took this photo the other morning on my way in to work the sky was just lovely and the tree and Treasury Casino looked so good, I whipped my camera out of my bag (I take my camera everywhere) and snapped off a couple of shots.

I was in the US this time last year. San Francisco on the 5th of December, which was awesome. Mythbuster territory. It was clear and cool and rather delicious.

I spent Christmas in Michigan, and was lucky enough to have a white Christmas. Christmas in the US is absolutely magical, they really know how to do it over there. It's like one of those Christmas specials you see on TV - all warm and fuzzy and merry. I'd happily spend every Christmas in the US, no problem at all. Mostly because I hate Summer.

So who is coming to the BCCLS Christmas picnic next Sunday? The email went out to everyone a couple of weeks ago, but if you need the details, email me. I'll be there, and I hope to see lots of other folks there.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Bit of a Giggle

I don't even know who this guy is, but he made me laugh.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Librarian Shoes

Shiny red shoes!!
Originally uploaded by library_chic
I found this fantastic image pool on Flickr. It's called "Librarian Shoes". Basically, librarians take photos of their shoes (while they're wearing them) and add them to this pool.

What a fun idea. If you want a look, or to contribute, go to:


Friday, November 28, 2008


Well it's the end of MoVember, you know, when all the guys find a legitimate reason to go around with big, bad 70's porn star moustaches. They basically grow them up through November, and folks sponsor them money that goes to charity for men's health. Specifically prostate cancer and men's depression. I think it's great that men are getting proactive about their health issues, we gals have been having morning teas and pink days and all kinds of things to raise money for women's and children's health for a long time.

Anyway, yesterday was the big day, and those guys that were too scared to wear a mo for the whole month shaved out their beards to just mo's, people had morning teas and other events to raise money.

The Wellness Centre in my work building sold moustachioed cupcakes to raise money, and Di was kind enough to go and buy some for us. Here are some of the ones she came back with:

This guy has a serious overbite.

I'd look worried if I was green with big red lips and that mo.

Hitler cupcake anyone? There was no real reason that the boss got this cupcake. HONESTLY.

And Di spotted this one and was sure I would like it:


Why? Because it looks like Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters!! Don't believe me? Check this out:


Ok, then look, I modified it a bit to make it more like him:


I should have made little paper clip glasses. All right, shut up, I know I'm a nutbar.

A few guys in our office did the whole MoVember thing, but none looked quite so dodgy-riffic as Will:


To be fair, he always has a beard, he just shaved that tragic shape into it this morning for one day. Poor precious, it's his birthday tomorrow. What a look to sport!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Shanachies Visit BCCLS

It's time to tell you about the fantastic day I had when the Shanachies (Jaap van der Geer and Erik Boekesteijn from DOK: Delft Public Library) came to visit us here at BCCLS.

After meeting them at the SLQ UnConference, I was really looking forward to a longer workshop session with them here at BSQ, and for their reaction to Brisbane Square library. I was hopeful they would be as impressed with BCCLS as they had been with SLQ.

Introducing themselves to us and to camera for their documentary.

They gave a fantastic half day workshop, showing us lots of video of their trip around the US libraries, with lots of food for thought as to what lies in the future for libraries and librarians. They were full of great stories about what other libraries are doing around the world, and then finished the session by showing off lots of beautiful photos of DOK, the library concept centre in Delft, Holland, where they work when they're not travelling the world.

Showing us what they do, where they've been and what they've seen.

The thing that particularly impressed me was the fantastic gaming console unit they've come up with. Totally self contained with Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and X-Box with a huge LCD screen in a portable, lockable unit that can be transported anywhere and plugged in with one simple power plug. No more messing around with cables or leads or what bit goes where. I would really love to see us have something along the same lines that we could use regionally for gaming events in the library. Actually, here is a video Jaap and Erik have produced to demonstrate it:

Gaming Flightcase from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.

How cool is that hey?

After the presentation, Sharan presented the guys with some fun gifts to remember Brisbane by:

Jaap re-enacts his encounter with a deadly brown snake. Somehow I think he may be exaggerating a little. While Erik meets Kevin the flotation crocodile.

After a luncheon down on BSQ13 (we just had to feed the poor guys, they were exhausted!) Sharan, Deannah, Deb from BSQ and myself took them on a tour of BSQ library. It was lots of fun to show them around, and I was so surprised that at the end of the tour when the guys wanted to conduct some interviews, Sharan put me up to be interviewed about Web2.0 and 23 Things! I was just there to be gopher and carry the bags!

They have put up the video they have made on to Vimeo, so I can share it with you here:

Brisbane City Council Library from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.

All in all I had an awesome day and I really hope to visit Delft sometime in the not too distant future so I can see for myself the magnificent DOK library concept centre.

Thank you so much to Erik and Jaap, it was a pleasure to have you here and please come back again soon.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chocolate with Noeleen

Noeleen and I are practicing our image embedding in blogs. To demonstrate, here is some chocolate....

Seriously, give us all your chocolate and we promise not to hurt anyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snoop Dogg Makes Mashed Potatoes with Martha Stewart

This is too surreal NOT to share:

Martha blogs too by the way. Check it out at here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shanachie Video - State Library of Queensland

Before I go on to tell you all about when the Shanachies came to visit BCCLS, they have uploaded this video of their tour of State Library of Queensland. They mention someone we all know at the beginning. Enjoy!

Queensland State Library from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.

Note that Erik and Jaap use www.vimeo.com to host their videos. An alternate service to YouTube.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

UnConferencing in BrisVegas


Had a few nutty busy days there, and life was pretty jam-packed. But I've had a couple of days of down time and I'm fresh and ready to tell you about something REALLY cool that happened this week.

Some of you may know that BCCLS had the Shanachies visit this week. Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van der Geer of DOK, Delft Public Library in the Netherlands have for the past couple of years travelled around the world investigating library innovations and futures. Some of you may have been fortunate enough to come along and see the guys give their workshop on Friday morning, and I'm sure you'll agree that they are not only thought provoking and inspirational, but they're lots of fun too.

I was fortunate enough to go to the State Library of Queensland UnConference on Thursday, which was a really fantastic day. Erik and Jaap opened the day with a presentation on what they do which was lots of fun. After morning tea they had concurrent sessions on topics that the attendees nominated. The first I went to was one on gaming in libraries, chaired by Erik and Jaap who have done some cool things with gaming in Delft, like getting kids to create a library themed computer game called Dark Ink, Nintendo Wii tournaments with kids and the elderly, 24 hour LAN parties and they have created the most aweseome portable gaming unit that contains a Wii, an X-box and a Sony PlayStation as well as a big LCD tv, all in one box, with one plug and it's fully transportable and lockable.

After that, the next session was about engaging librarians and library staff in Web2.0, as well as extending that out to the entire organisation (ie councils or schools). We had just sat down in the training room at SLQ when Mary K from SLQ came in and said "Who had nominated a discussion topic that fits into this one?" I was sitting right by where she was standing so I owned up that I had, and she said "Thanks, you can chair the session then." Eeeep!

I was really pleased that I had Luke from CPL on one side of me, and Nataliya from BSQ on the other, so that I felt I had some BCC buddies with me! It wasn't so bad, with us being in the thick of 23 Things, we had plenty to discuss, and other public libraries were full of fresh approaches and ideas, and were also keen to see if we had overcome any of the challenges that they were facing. It was interesting to see that the same challenges were everywhere.

After lunch David West and Anne Spelman of Moreton Bay Regional Council Library Service gave a presentation of their Mash it Up Short Film Festival, which was a really cool and simple idea for drawing a new audience into libraries as well as injecting some imagination and culture. The day was ended by volunteers from the attendees giving short presentations on what their library service is doing with Web2.0. There are some interesting bits and bobs being done out there.

All in all a really rewarding event to attend, it filled me with lots of inspiration and direction.

I will be back as soon as possible to tell you more about the Shanachies visit to BCCLS on Friday as well, but this is enough for one post!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Favourite Nonsense Blogs

Looking for something fun to subscribe to once you've learned how to do the whole RSS feed thing? Well, I've got a few for you!

These are purely frivolous, silly bits of fun that I really enjoy each day, and I've got some examples here for you to go with them.

The first one is LOLCats or I Can Has Cheeseburger.

This picture is for Kerri B:


Then it's poochie counterpart I Has a Hotdog :


And then there is FAIL (a blog of when people get things terribly wrong!)

Cake Wrecks is fabulous fun too. It's subheading is "When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong."


That should give you all something to giggle over, and to bulk up your RSS feeds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Now Break it Up Fellas, Break it Up...

Notice it's always the chicks that step in to break it up huh?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reasons Why Cats Amuse Me, Vol 1

1. Because they put their heads in things and wander around looking silly...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Go Away Summer

It's hot today. I'm not happy about that.

You see, I am a creature of the cold. I LOVE the cold. I'm happiest when my nose and fingers are nippy, the wind is blowing and I'm having to keep moving to keep warm.

This time last year, I was in the US. Lapping up the tail end of their autumn, in Wisconsin to be exact, where it was cold and windy. The lakes were starting to freeze, bits of snow were falling, sleet was around most days and one had to really rug up to go outside. It was delicious.

If I had my way, I'd be over there in the US and Canada for six months of every year. I'd head over about late October (ready for Halloween) and come back at Easter. That way I could enjoy Brisbane's gorgeous crystal clear and cool winter, but avoid the sticky, humid, breath-stealing summer. I'd have a white Christmas every year (oh boy that was fun last year, I was in Michigan) and be back here to enjoy jacaranda season. I'd get to see all my lovely friends over there, but still come home to those that are here in BrisVegas.

I'm trying to keep myself cool by remembering the delicious cold over in the US. Tramping around the streets of New York City, with my purple gloves on, watching the squirrels scamper through Union Square. Walking across a frozen river on a covered bridge in Frankenmuth, Michigan, all rugged up with gloves, scarf, woolly hat and my nose turning red in the cold. Stamping in snow in Chigago, making snowmen and hitting my friend Melissa on the butt with a big snowball.

This is the picture I have on my desktop wallpaper here at home at the moment:


Yes, those are my feet, in Chicago snow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Hundred and Fifty Four!!

I just looked at my blog subscriptions in Bloglines, and I've subscribed to 254 blogs, and that number climbs every day.

Of course, well over 75% of those are library staff blogs. If you're registered in 23 Things with your blog, I'll have subscribed to you, or will soon. Just so you know you've got one reader out there, someone holding your hand so to speak! When I can, I will leave comments on your posts too.

People kind of look horrified at me when I say I read everyone's blogs, like that's all I must do all day. But using Bloglines (or any other RSS tool), I find I can usually spend less than an hour per day catching up on everyone's blogs. That's because of course, not everyone posts every day, so there's only a certain percentage of new material to look at, and also, when people post pictures or videos, they're really quick to peruse. I've got it all down to a bit of a fine art now - I've had to or I'd go bonkers. But tools like Bloglines, or Google Reader using the RSS feed technology has enabled that. It all kind of intertwines eventually.

I've absolutely loved reading my colleagues blogs. So many people tell me their blog is boring, or that they don't know what to say, but I've discovered so much about people. I've discovered that we're full of artists and musicians, folks who've travelled, people with adorable pets, fascinating hobbies, great memories, interesting tastes and often just new perspectives on things. It's been a really steep learning curve on just how diverse and full of knowledge and skill and talent we all are.

Plus it all helps me do what I do... which is help you, my colleagues. That's what I'm passionate about in this whole 23 Things - not the technology itself (though some of it is lots of fun and really cool), but in helping you guys all learn what is happening in our library services and the big wide world, and helping you all find ways that you can streamline your work so that the day is just that little bit smoother. I figure if you save 10 minutes per day, that's time to have a cuppa that you might not have had before, isn't it?

And after the cruddy day I had yesterday, today I had two people who said the NICEST things to me. It really makes a difference when someone just says "Thanks", it makes the times you feel a bit run off your feet or tired or whatever really worth it. So to those people who have made a point of thanking me or complimenting me... I thank YOU. It's the positive, upbeat folks who really give me the warm fuzzies while I'm working on this project.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Had a Real Rough Day...

I've had a rough day today. Had my bum kicked, had someone be really rude to me, worked like a dog only to feel like it was for nothing, and I'm tired and grumpy.

How do you deal with a really rough day? What do you do to make it better?

I have a few things. I usually start by going for a walk with my iPod on, and listening to "Rough Day" by Paulini Curuenavuli. I can't find a decent version of it on YouTube, so I can't share it unfortunately. But it's upbeat and fun, and it's about someone who has had a rough day and they just want to get out and have fun to forget their day.

Then I like to put on some Mythbusters and watch them blow something up. My favourite Mythbusters explosion is when they vapourise a cement truck. Check it out:

Lovely, isn't it? Go on, watch it again. You know you want to. Better still, have some chocolate while you watch it again. Chocolate and explosions... I can't think of anything better!

Hmmm, I feel better already! Of course, while I have been getting that video for you all, I've watched about a dozen other Mythbusters explosions on YouTube. Go on, have a search, you'll have fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Multiply Your Intelligence

I've needed a wee break from blogging for the past week, things have been kind of intense with me dealing with a close friend who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and I've needed some time to process that before I got talking about other stuff. As you may have been able to see from my last blog post, my tolerance level had dropped considerably!

But I'm back ready to blog!

I've found a wonderful subject to talk about today. Mythbusters! Ok, it's not directly Mythbusters, but the lads have cropped up with regards to the internet and Web2.0, that I think is VERY relevant to our whole 23 Things journey.

Being the solid Mythbusters fan that I am, I have Google alerts (where you get an email that tells you if there are any new pages/blogs about whatever subject you choose) on them. One of the alerts pointed me to this WONDERFUL interview with Patti Schiendelman from Makezine online magazine of Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage from Mythbusters fame.

It's such a comprehensive interview it's split into two parts, if you'd like to read all of it go to:

Make with Mythbusters: Part 1
Make with Mythbusters: Part 2

The part that particularly stood out for me as relevant to our 23 Things journey was this quote from Jamie:

JH: Well, the strange thing is that I'm finding it just as entertaining to read non-fiction. In particular, the thing that I've realized, especially recently - people talk about the impact of the Internet, and I'm sure different people use it, obviously, differently, but for me, it's just absolutely fantastic because I have no end of questions and I can answer those questions almost instantly. Obviously a lot of it's crap that you're going to run across; if you learn how to filter it, you're better off. I was halfway through my master's in Library Science, had a degree in Russian Language and Literature before that, I was
already really into Information Science, way before Mythbusters, before getting anywhere near where I am now. But the Internet - I think of it as something that's practically mind-altering. The amount of power that you have for advancement and development of technology - I don't think we've really seen the impact of it quite yet - people may not realize the potential of it. But when one learns how to really use the Internet, it's like you've multiplied your intelligence, your abilities by huge factors.

I knew I liked the guy! Not only is he a prolific reader (and if you read the whole article, some of his favourite fiction titles are a delight to discover), but he was also studying to be a librarian before he got into the career he is in now. How cool is that?

Now his point on the internet and it's potential really impressed me. This is not a man who jumps on to technology because it's new and cool, he's known for always taking the unadorned, elegant approach to problem solving. This is also not a young man (he just turned 52 in September), and this is also one of the most phenomenally intelligent men in this world. And he completely sees the potential of learning how to use the internet and it's tools (which is what Web2.0 technologies are, internet tools) to multiply your intelligence and as a source of information if you learn how to use it effectively.

Web2.0 is very much a buzzword, and unfortunately people are naturally adverse to buzzwords. I know I am. That's why I really loathe the term myself. But I don't want to see us tainted against these tools simply because the hype has overshadowed them a little. Think of books you've read or movies you've seen that have been hyped up, and you were a bit over the whole lot, but when you DID find out for yourself, you've been so glad you did so. Harry Potter was like that for me. I avoided reading those books because of all the hype, but when a trusted source convinced me to try them, I found them truly wonderful and regretted that I hadn't picked them up earlier, that I'd let hype turn me off them.

The whole point of 23 Things is that we are leading you into learning what the tools are, how to use them effectively and then YOU choose how they apply to you. Once you are armed with the skills and knowledge, your intelligence multiplies and you're able to do so many things more effectively and efficiently.

I really urge you to read the whole interview with Jamie and Adam, you won't regret it, they're both fun and fascinating. And as a treat, here are a couple of my favourite YouTube vids of the Mythbusters in action.

Jamie shooting fish in a barrel, Mythbusters style:

Adam demonstrating the power of lighter and heavier gases on the human voice:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Start Typing...

Ok, I have no idea what I am going to blog about tonight. I'm too lazy to get up and get my little ideas book that I keep in my bag, for jotting things down that I want to write about. But I did read somewhere that with any kind of writing, if you just sit down and start, then something will flow and you'll find yourself writing something interesting. At least I hope that's what will happen!

Oh, I know what I wanted to talk about. RSS feeds. I keep getting people saying to me "I don't know why I would bother, it's just more stuff to read." Or "I can't see how I would use it, I just go to whatever I want to read." What I'm thinking is that many folks just don't "get" the usefulness of RSS feeds at all. So I'm gonna tell you how I use them and why they work really well for me.

Think of all the magazines in your local newsagent. Say there's about 500. Now you're not going to be interested in every single magazine there right? Out of that 500, maybe 20 of them are something you'd like to read. So you buy a copy of each.

Now some magazines are weekly, some are monthly, some bimonthly, some seasonal, some totally sporadic. We know that from trying to catalogue the damn things. If you want to read them regularly, you need to keep going back to the newsagent to see if there is a new issue out. OR, you can subscribe and get them delivered to your door, whenever there is a new issue. No more multiple trips to the newsagent, it just shows up ready for you to read when there is a new one.

Think of RSS feeds as being subscriptions. Of course there are millions of things out there on the internet available for you to read. But you choose the ones that interest you. Now you can either go back to those websites every day, to see if there are any new posts (or issues) and waste all that time visiting sites with no new content, OR, you can subscribe via RSS feed, and have the new posts come to you. You get notification that there is new content, and then you can go and read it.

In my case, I'm finding it a Godsend when it comes to keeping up with all the 23 Things blogs. When I tell people that I read ALL of the staff blogs, they look horrified at me. But then I explain that I do so in usually less than an hour each day. That's because a) not everyone posts every day, and b) I subscribe to them all, so that I just go to bloglines (my subscription reader of choice) and it collates all the new posts for me. Easy peasy. And trust me... there are over 240 of you who are blogging so far, so that's a lot of trips to the newsagent so to speak!

But when I'm not 23 Thing-ing, there are other blogs I subscribe to. Friends of mine are blogging, and I love to see their photos and stuff, so I subscribe to those so I don't miss anything. There are a few fun things I subscribe to, like Cake Wrecks, Cute Overload, Ugly Overload, Shorpy, PostSecret and Photoshop Disasters. Then there are the informative things that I like to keep up with. Mythbusters website, some writers blogs, some library industry stuff and some women's health things I'm involved with.

The point is, what you subscribe to is what YOU find interesting and useful. Just like the magazines you read. We're not all going to be reading New Scientist, or Women's Weekly, or Patchwork and Quilting. It's all about collating what you read and getting it to you in an easy, timely fashion.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

I needed to smile. I've had a bit of a rough day, got some worrying news this morning that has had me upset, and I was feeling really ragged. So I came back from lunch and was thinking I should blog, but just wasn't feeling like it, so I looked through the little notebook I keep my writing ideas in, and I found an entry called "Where the hell is Matt?" and I knew that's what I needed to post.

So may I introduce you all to Matt:

I discovered Matt Harding way back in 2005, when he made this first video and it became a bit of a viral thing on the internet, being emailed around, cheering people up. I watched the above video and was just delighted. Apparently he made this first video for his friends and family, so they could keep up with his backpacking around the world, posted it on YouTube and it got picked up from there.

Then I heard a bit over a year later that he had been sponsored by Stride Gum in the US, to go around and make another "Where the Hell is Matt?" video to advertise their gum. Being a wise man, Matt said "Yes! I will take your money and go visit all kinds of exotic locations and do my goofy dance." And here you have Where the Hell is Matt 2:

I particularly love the Rwandan children dancing with him in the second one. I always break into a smile at that point, if I'm not already doing so.

After seeing the second video, I emailed Matt through his website http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/, and told him how much I enjoyed watching his goofy dancing all over the world. He replied back and told me that he would be in Brisbane in late October/early November 2007, and was looking for people to come and dance with him for his next video. Unfortunately, that happened to co-incide with when I was in the US myself. D'oh!! I was really disappointed that I couldn't take part.

But then earlier this year, I saw his latest video:

It has brought me even more joy. I love that he's expanded on dancing with groups of people, particularly children around the world, and that he's been able to do his dance on the "vomit comet" zero gravity experience. And I LOVE the Bollywood bit in this latest one. You can see he has indeed included Brisbane again (I believe he has lived here on and off) by dancing in front of a Moreton Bay fig tree in the City Botanic gardens.

I was delighted to see that he has included two of my favourite sights from my trip to the US (though my visits didn't co-incide with him being there unfortunately), the "Bean" in Chicago, and the "painted lady" houses in San Francisco. Proof that I've been there myself, here are two of my photos from my trip:




Anyway, watching Matt do his goofy dance around the world has been just the tonic I have needed today after having a really tough morning, and I hope the videos make you smile as much as they do for me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Heart BrisVegas

Just thought I'd share the new project I am working on. I'm writing a blog about Brisbane! It's nothing lofty or precious, just the thoughts of a Brisbanite talking about my favourite bits of Brisbane. If you want a look, go to:


Out of the Mouths of Babes

Yesterday afternoon while waiting for the bus, I heard a little tyke of about 4 years old pipe up "Mummy... you suck!" Darling child. Wonder where he learnt that from?

But it got me thinking of some of the hilarious things that I've heard children say. Some of you might not already know, but before I got into libraries, my career was in child care. I was a full time, live in, 24 x 7 nanny for 5 years, and then years later I worked in a child care centre for a couple of years. I've also done stints in kindergartens, after school care and home day care.

When I worked in the child care centre, dealing with LOTS of kids from all kinds of backgrounds, I would hear the funniest things. One that particularly stands out in my mind as a bit of a hilarious eye opener was the dainty young miss of 5 who, when I complimented her on her adorable glittery shoes, piped up "Yeah, my Mummy stole them from the shop for me." Okkaaayyyy....

It was made all the more funny by her older brother nudging her and going "Shhhh!"

And then there was the little lad at after school care. We were having a group conversation with the children about the perils of smoking, and the teacher asked the group, "Put your hand up if anyone smokes at your house." A gorgeous little boy of 4, as cute as a bug, pops his hand up and the teacher asked "Who smokes at your house house Daniel?" To which Daniel eagerly replies "Uncle Marty does, sometimes through a bong." Righhhtttt....

Have you had any really cracker stories of kids saying highly inappropriate, hilarious or bizarre things? Leave me a comment!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fancy Pants?

Tell me something. When did wearing pants become optional? Now I'm not talking about knickers, I'm talking about PANTS. Trousers, slacks, jeans, or as my Grandad calls them, strides.

I ask because I notice an alarming number of young women wandering around Brisbane who don't seem to have any pants on. And it's not just Brisbane. Have a look at this picture of Mary-Kate Olsen:

She's not wearing any pants!!! I know she's not a shining example of young womanhood, but the look she is currently sporting is one I see often around the traps on ordinary, every-day girls. She was just an easy photo for me to find with Google to give an example.

Somewhere, tights or pantyhose became pants. Now I'm not talking leggings, those cotton/lycra mix fitted pants that we all wore in the 80's and 90's. They're pants, you can't see through those, and there are usually seams on at least the inside leg. If they are made by Razamattaz or Kolotex, and come in a cardboard packet... they're not PANTS!! They go under a skirt ladies. They are not a garment on their own.

Are pants now considered an accessory? Something you can choose to wear to accessorise an outfit? So often I see young ladies wearing an outfit that consists of a white man's shirt, a wide leather belt worn high under the bustline like an empire line, and opaque tights or even pantyhose. Yes, sheer pantyhose.

I know Humphrey B. Bear never wore them, but he was a man in a large bear suit, not a lady on her way to work or the movies or shopping.

The other day, I was walking down the street (along Fairfield Road to be exact) and was walking behind a young lady wearing the white shirt/no pants configuration, when she started to walk up the stairs of the overhead pass to Yeronga Station... and I got flashed by a white cotton gusset!

That's right - as a pants substitute, she had those pantyhose on with the white cotton gusset. Talk about a traumatic experience.

Perhaps young women are adopting Coco Chanel's old adage of before you leave the house, take a look at yourself in the mirror and take one thing off... and they're choosing their pants to be that one thing.

It makes me wonder, do parents no longer say "You're not going out like that!" to their daughters any more? I remember being told that when I was fully clothed, only in some kind of trendy 80's garb that my parents totally didn't understand (ripped jeans, black tights with holes in them worn over coloured tights, fluorescent leg warmers and sweat bands to match... you know, that goofy stuff from the 80's), but I can't imagine what reaction I would have got if I'd have tried the "pantyhose as pants" combination. I mean, I used to get hassled if I had make-up on, let alone the lack of any garment covering my body.

I asked a young friend of mine the other day "Kylie, am I getting old? Is this why I don't get the "no pants" thing?" to which my dear young friend answered "No Kath, I'm only 21 and I don't understand the lack of pants thing either."

Phew, I thought I was just becoming like my parents and just not getting the younger generation. But I'm not bothered by all the other trends that folks are running around in these days, while I wouldn't necessarily wear them myself, I know it's just fashion and they'll look back on it one day and cringe, just like I do when I think of my fluoro leg warmers and stuff.

But no pants... well, there's just too much exposure. It's not just some crazy fad, it's the complete lack of one crucial garment in any ensemble. It would be ok if there was a skirt present in lieu of pants, but I'm talking about no acceptable lower body garment at all.

So young ladies, if you are reading this, please put some pants on if you haven't already got some on. Again, Razamattaz is not a brand of pants. Cardboard packets with plastic windows in them containing garments that are in colours like nude, flesh, sun bronzed, midnight black, these are not pants. If it has a white cotton gusset, it is expected that you will wear something over the top of it.

You'll thank me in 20 years, I promise you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mmmm.... Mashy...

I'm finally making a little time to actually do my own 23 Things. I feel like I'm way behind because I actually haven't had a chance to do the modules myself, I've been so busy making sure everyone else is plugging along.

But today I decided to dedicate some time to it, as I really wanted to have a go at some of the things I'm not really up on.

One of those, is mashups. I knew already what mashups were, and was used to using other people's mashups, but hadn't really done anything along the lines of creating my own. So using http://www.bighugelabs.com/, I made this wonderful poster:


Whaddya reckon? I'm over cuteness at the moment, I'm going for some HOT! Ole Cedric Diggory up there does well as a vampire. Absolutely can't wait until the Twilight movie comes out, that's going to be awesome. Mind you, I need to catch up and read some more of Stephenie Meyer's series. I just haven't had a lot of reading time which sucks. I'll have to do something to actively change that. I don't buy the whole "There isn't enough time." schtick really. My belief is that if something is a priority to you, you'll make time for it.

Right, I'm off to play with some more mashups!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Petting the Sweaty Things

Why do we get ourselves so worked up, and so stressed, and so frustrated over things that shouldn't really bother us. I get a lot of emails or read blog posts that are simply "venting", and I don't take them personally, but I do wonder why we let things work us up so much. Because when you let yourself get worked up, you send out all those worked up stressy vibes out and the person you're venting at gets all worked up... and it just snowballs.

Is the world really going to end if we can't embed a video on our blog? Will your house fall down if the link to a page doesn't work? Is a policeman going to break down your door and haul you off to the big-house if you have to do a module of 23 Things again to "get it"? Are you going to lose your job if your blog comes out all funny with gobbledy-gook? I think not.

I do understand, sometimes it really gets on my quince when something doesn't do what it wants to do. I've got one blog site that "eats" my blogs the minute I hit "post"... which is particularly traumatic when it's a 2000 word blog I've just typed up! But really, is it WORTH getting so irate at it that you find yourself spewing out a big long email or blog post of complaint? I think not. Sure, have a bit of a foot stomp and a curse... and then let it go.

Remember, you can always ask someone for help. That's how Web2.0 and indeed 23 Things works. It's a form of "viral" education. I blog, you blog, we all blog. I post a video, or a link, or some other fun doohickey, and then if you like it, you post about it, learning from what I've done. The same way I have learnt from what someone else has done. I know it is a change to how you normally expect to learn something, but most importantly, it's a far less formal and structured way of learning. There is no real right or wrong with this programme and Web2.0 technology. It's all about having a go and tinkering with new things, and learning as you do so.

And besides, I see all of your odd bits that "don't work" before you get to fix them, and not one of you yet has done anything that's made me go "OH MY GOD!!! Look what so-and-so did! The idiot!!" Sure, I've got a few laughs, but none of them are laughs that I haven't had at my own self at some point.

So, a few pointers in how to deal with things that don't want to do what you want them to do, or don't make sense:
  1. Take a big, deep breath.
  2. Save whatever you're doing so you can go back to it later.
  3. Walk away... you don't have to finish anything NOW, THIS MINUTE.
  4. Ask someone. Calmly. If they don't know the answer, don't take it out on them, just ask someone else. Ask one of the "helper" folks, and yes, you can always ask me (just remember I will always get to everyone eventually, but I do get a bit swamped.)
  5. Take another big, deep breath.
  6. Have some chocolate, it always works for me.
  7. When you really want to have a rant, have the rant, but write it down and then save it.... don't hit send or post straight away. Pop it aside until tomorrow. It's more than likely you'll have got over it by then, and besides, the recipients don't really want that big blast of rant coming in their direction.
  8. Do something different. Ok, so the video doesn't work. Go find an article of interest or read someone else's blog. You can go back to what you were doing later, but still feel like you're doing something 23 Things related.
  9. And most of all, remember that this is supposed to be fun, relaxed, open ended training. The world won't end, I promise you. Nobody is going to write a big nasty report on you about how you were too stupid to embed a video, seriously. Instead, they're more likely to say "Oh, I couldn't do that either, doesn't that suck?"

And if you're really needing some help in the stress relief department, here's a nice video I found...

It's All Lies I Tell You!

Christy posted this on his blog, and I'm so impressed I have to share. We Aussies are SO clever!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well! I Never!

I've been stood up!

Ok, not me personally, but well... it feels that way. It could be the three rather hefty glasses of chardonnay talking though.

This evening I went to the launch of the QPLA Conference (Queensland Public Libraries Association) at State Library of Queensland. A rather lovely little soiree out on their tea-cup terrace, wine and nibblies in the cool breeze off the river. The guest of honour was supposed to be the absolutely divine William McInnes... but he didn't bloody well show up!


Now for those of you who don't already know, I'm possibly William's biggest fan. Have been for some... well, it will give away my age but it's about 20 years. I've run a fan mailing list for about 12 years, and a news-blog for about three. If you want to look at the news blog, go to: http//williamwatch.blogspot.com

He was supposed to be a guest speaker to launch the conference, and he just didn't turn up. The bugger! He'd better turn up tomorrow morning, he's the keynote speaker!

Well, if he's going to be like that, I'm going to go hang out with the other man of my dreams, Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters. He'd never stand me up. I'm sure of it!


Yeah, you can all hang shit on me now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

No Comment!

Well, just enough time for a quick Friday afternoon blog before I disappear for the weekend.

Does anybody read my blog? I read all of your blogs you know. Well, everyone who has either put theirs on the "Links to Library Staff Blogs" page or have sent me their blog address privately. I subscribe to every single one, that way I get updates when you make new posts.

One thing that is good blogging practice, is to leave a comment when you read someone's blog. Not every time, but as often as you can. Because it means your blogger keeps on blogging, when they have some feedback. They know they have an audience, they get to learn the bits their readers enjoy, and they can hone their skills.

So please, do leave comments if you are reading this blog. Tell me things you like, things you are not so fussed on (be constructive in your criticism though!), make suggestions. It helps me know what works in the blogosphere!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Visiting the Troops

I know, I know, I haven't blogged properly for some time now. This last week has kind of run away on me a fair bit, I've not sat at my desk for very long. And with a full day of formal training tomorrow, and two library visits on Friday, I'd better get in and blog now before the rest of the week runs away from me.

I'm really enjoying these library visits I'm doing. For many years, getting out to the branches and talking to the troops was something that I just couldn't do. So I kind of felt out of touch, and that I never actually got to talk to people about the realities of library-land. So often I would only hear of issues when they became big, unbearable ones, that I missed out on knowing what those smaller, constant, highly annoying issues were. It's good to meet people I've spoken to on the phone but not met before, and to see some long lost buddies who I used to work with when I was out there in library land.

I also really hope that my visits infect all of the troops with my passion for libraries and what we do in the community. I hope to spread my fascination with new innovations, and also bring some more fun to what we do. Cos I figure if you can't be laughing about the absurdities of life, then it's a pretty sad existance.

Plus it is also really good to get some feedback. To know what bits we get right, and what bits we need to work on. Not to mention that you're all so welcoming, it's lovely to go out there and get a change from sitting at my desk talking to you by email or over the phone.

So thanks folks!

Ok, just so you don't think I'm getting too touchy-feely or serious with you all, here's a video of a dramatic cat...

Which of course pays homage to the dramatic chipmunk:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Won! I Won!!

I got an email today from Penguin publishing to tell me that I have won Jamie Oliver's new book, "Jamie's Ministry of Food". Woot!! I'm so excited! I never win anything. And all for just getting the Penguin newsletter each month.

I think Jamie Oliver rocks. I really dig his passion for using his craft to change the world. He's not just making expensive meals at some exclusive restaurant. Nope, he's trying to change the way that Britain, and indeed the world, views food, changing nutrition and also working with getting kids off the streets and into a good solid career. You've got to admire someone with that kind of passion for what he does and for making a difference. I'm really excited about winning a copy of this latest book - anything that encourages me to cook more than I do is a good thing!

To be honest, I LOVE to cook. But I just don't bother most of the time because I'm only feeding myself. So I go for something simple, convenient and with my nutty busy lifestyle, quick. Not that I'm into junk food in a big way, but I tend to go for things I can just toss together quickly, OR I go for things I can cook up in a huge bulk lot and freeze. And it does get a bit dull - I miss spending an afternoon in the kitchen and coming up with a fabulous meal.

Maybe I need to throw more dinner parties. I am a great cook, really!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The World's Most Dangerous Recipe

So a bunch of people are sharing recipes on their 23 Things blogs. Well have I got a recipe for you all! Cop this:



4 tablespoons cake flour (plain flour, not self-raising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg 3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips(optional)
a small splash of vanilla

1 coffee mug


Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla essence, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes (in a 1000 watt oven). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Music Meme

Ok, here's a meme to help you with your video embedding skills.

This one is to go and find a YouTube video of your favourite song when you were in High School, and embed it on your blog.

My favourite song was this one:

Bit embarrassing... cos it's still my favourite song of all time, even though it has the cheesiest film clip! (And it gives away my age!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Beached As Bro

My friend LukeyB just told me about this video. I had to go find it right away. Totally cracks me up, seriously, made herbal tea come out my nose.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Now THIS is a Library Display

I've just read this article on Boing Boing:


I absolutely love this idea. What a gorgeous window!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Memory Meme

Well as promised, I thought I'd share a "meme" this afternoon, which is a little exercise or game designed to give inspiration for blogging.

So today's meme is:

Tell us about your first memory, and share a picture that relates to it. You can call the blog "Memory Meme"

My first memory is of shoes. Many of you won't be surprised at that! And here's a corresponding picture:


It was when I was about two years old. I can remember laying on the back seat of my Grandparents car, with my feet up on the window. Their car was white. I had on red patent leather Mary-Jane shoes, very much like the ones above, only a deeper red and they had gold buckles on them. I also had on little white socks, with frills around the ankle. I remember the sound of my shoes tapping on the glass, and the smell of Minties which my Grandma always fed us when we were in the car (in the vain hope that we wouldn't puke - never worked for me!) The car is stopped and I can see trees moving outside the window in the wind. It's nice, not hot, but not cold either. The shade from the trees is falling across the car really prettily.

So what's your first memory? Go blog NOW! Oh but leave me a comment first... nobody leaves me comments!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It's been awhile since I blogged. I'm getting comments from the peanut gallery that it's been too long, so I figured I'd better devote some time to it today, because the rest of the week is looking a bit scary as far as schedule is concerned.


Hmmm... dunno what I'm going to talk about though. Creativity is hard to muster when one is extremely busy. Thinking....


Oh I know, let's talk about technology and it's role in libraries. Cos that's what this whole 23 Things/Web2.0 malarkey is really all about, isn't it? Expanding our knowledge of technology so we know what is happening in the world around us, and finding the bits that will be of use to us to help us do our jobs more efficiently and effectively.

I went through a patch where I felt like I was out of touch with libraries and that I wasn't contributing to the beautiful, wonderous thing that I've always felt libraries are. When I was a little girl, the library was this wonderful, safe haven where I could always go and be happy. I loved that I could always find something interesting on the shelves, and to me, the people who were in my library were just amazing. I idolised our teacher librarian. In fact, a few years ago I was in line at an author event (it was Michael Palin, if you're curious) and there was a lady in front of me who I was sure I knew. I was talking to friends and she turned and said "Your name is Kathleen isn't it?" and instantly I knew who she was. She was Miss Stubbs, my teacher librarian from my early years in primary school.

I was so thrilled to run into her, and even more thrilled that she remembered me. I told her that SHE was the very reason I worked in libraries today, and that all these years later, I've never forgotten how she would hold the box of new books for me to read first each month, because I'd already read everything else in our little library. I'd never forgotten her telling me about books that she thought I would like, or her reading to me when I turned up at the library at weird hours a bit lost and forlorn. It was really awesome to run into her again and be able to thank her for her influence and inspiration in my early years.


And it was around the time that I ran into her that I began to question if I was in the right place, working in Systems, with a very technology based job, rather than those books and reading and literacy things I loved so much and that formed me in my youth.


But once I got thinking about it, I realised that I don't believe that technology and reading/literacy are mutually exclusive. In fact, I really believe that technology enables us as librarians to do what we do in a much greater capacity than ever before. We can communicate to more people than ever before, in more formats than ever before, and particularly with the whole Web2.0 thing (and you probably all know how I feel about that term, Web2.0) we're able to share and collaborate more than we ever have done.

For me, the beauty of Web2.0 is that I can now know more about people. I don't mean that in a scary, stalker kind of way, but in that I can share things with people and they can share things with me. Knowledge is an awesome thing and I am personally always striving for more of it.


For a long time, technology was this big oogie-boogie thing that only a small percentage of the population could afford, access and understand, and it was quite isolating to be involved in anything technological. It used to be nerdy blokes who talked in this strange language and seemed to look down their nose at the rest of us who didn't have access or understanding of those technologies.

But along came Web2.0, and suddenly grandma's are putting their photographs on Flickr, mum's are blogging about their hobbies, sports fans are making videos to whack on YouTube, 50 year school reunions are being organised on Facebook and so forth, and we're all reading and viewing all this stuff. To "Google it" is now part of our every day language. And people like me, who are definitely not ever going to know the nitty gritty of technology (good gravy, I can't think of anything more boring than codes and stuff!) are able to do these things simply and almost always for free. We don't even need the "For Dummies" books any more because we can just Google information that we want. Who'd have thought?

And in relation to literacy and reading, I've found the internet constantly draws me back to books. Be it through the applications on Facebook for discussing books, videos on YouTube of author talks and even previews of movies that are based on books, social databases like LibraryThing, Shelfari and Good Reads, even podcasts of radio programmes about books and authors.

In the same sense that it draws me back to books, I do believe it draws people who might not be big readers to books and to reading in general. People who never pick up a book may be reading this blog right now. And reading is reading, no matter what the format. Perhaps reading a blog about books will be the catalyst to someone who might not otherwise pick up a book, to do so. Or maybe seeing something about the local library on Facebook or Flickr may be the thing that gets the person walking through the door next time?

I guess the real skill lies in working through the huge oceans of stuff out there and picking out what are actually useful tools out of all the fads and buzz sites. And one of the ways to do that I feel is to actually talk about this stuff. To try it out, to learn about it and to share ideas and experiences. So that's where that whole collaborative thing that goes with Web2.0 comes in, isn't it?

I'd love to hear what other people think about technology and it's place in libraries, reading and literature. Leave me a comment, or better still, blog about it and show me your blog! Let's collaborate hey?

I'll leave you with a little video interview with a guy whom I find fascinating, Michael Stephens. His blog Tame the Web is one that I subscribe to and read regularly, and it always gets my mind ticking over about what we do, and why we do it, in libraries.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Like the Otter

Ok, you may notice a theme in my blog subjects. I am a sucker for videos of cute animals. And this one wins the prize for cuteness...

I believe one of these otters just passed away. So sad!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Who'da Thunk It?

I just had one of those moments.

I was tinkering with an ergonomic arm for a monitor... you know, those things that we bolt to monitors to the desk with so that you can move them around all comfy depending on your height and how close you stand to the counter. And I just had this "Who'da thunk it?" moments.

Because you see, when I first started working for Library Services, the thing I was most experienced in doing, was changing dirty nappies and soothing crying babies. I'd had a LOT of varied experience in my professional life up to the point of joining BCCLS. I'd worked in retail, in hospitality, in book bindery, owned my own business (a music shop), started a community radio station, been a youth worker keeping kids off the street, and done an endless list of cruddy jobs like cleaning and picking fruit and stuff to earn myself an honest pay packet. But for the most of my professional life, I'd worked in child care, particularly as a full-time, live-in Nanny. I have always had a passion for reading and libraries, but had never been paid to work in one.

When I did start working for BCCLS, I thought I was going to be out there at the coal face, in the actual libraries for the rest of my career, because it was a very conscious decision that it was what I wanted to do. But now that I'm doing what I do... I can't imagine having as much fun doing anything else. I love that this job appeals to my inquisitive (and sometimes destructive!) nature in that I get to find out how things work. I learn so much every day with my job, and when I look back... good gravy have I learnt some phenomenal things over the years, that I never dreamed I would learn about or how to. Plus I still get to be all about libraries, which are a passion of mine.

But just in case you think I'm getting all philosophical on you, here's a chipmunk miming to Freddie Mercury:

Courtesy of Cute Overload. It's worth watching all the way through, really.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh Just Me Rabbitting On...

Well firstly, thank you to whoever sent me the choccies. I am touched at the gesture, and you've made not only me happy, but Roberto too, who always benefits from any spoils I get!

So... what are you all reading at the moment? I'm almost finished The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I saw Jasper at the Brisbane Writer's Festival a couple of years ago, went with a friend not having read anything of his. He was delightful so I went out and bought The Eyre Affair... and I'm only getting to read it now. It's very good, I love how it doesn't dumb down literature at all. He is assuming you've read all of those great works and will get all the in-jokes and references.

Not that I'm getting a lot of time to read at the moment. Lunch is usually wolfed down between answering a zillion emails and phone calls, running errands and appointments. I get home and I collapse in a bit of a heap to be honest. I need to make time to read though. It's good for me!

I did the Brisbane City Romp on Sunday. Aye caramba, it was far more intense than I expected. I need to map out just how many kilometres we walked. Pretty much a solid brisk pace for four and a half hours straight. All over the city and South Bank. It was great fun, we got to about 23 or 24 of the checkpoints, and only got I think 6 or 7 questions wrong. Not bad considering there were a lot of people taking it far more seriously than we were who didn't do as well. I think next year I'd like to be one of the volunteers though, that looked like much more fun!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Library quote
Originally uploaded by alexandrayarrow
I'm a huge fan of Shelby Foote. I discovered him on Ken Burns Civil War series, and just fell in love with his humour, wisdom, words and that gorgeous accent.

I just found this photo through Michael Stephens Tame the Web blog, and had to share it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Favourite Artist

I was just reading in this article in the Courier Mail that the Queensland Art Gallery has purchased one of sculptor Ron Mueck's works for permanent exhibit. In fact, they've purchased the one pictured above. If you click on the link to the article in the Courier Mail, you'll see another picture that shows the sheer scale of this sculpture.

Without a doubt, Ron Mueck is my favourite artist. I have only seen one of his works "in the flesh" so to speak, which was the Pregnant Woman sculpture that is owned by the National Gallery, and toured here in Queensland last year. It's absolutely stunning, and so lifelike that constantly you are waiting for her to take a breath, or stretch, or for the baby to move beneath her skin. I kept wanting to reach out and touch her, because I was sure if I did, her skin would be soft and warm, not a cold sculpture. Amazing considering these sculptures are made of fibreglass and silicone.

I'm really looking forward to being able to go and see another of Ron's works in reality, rather than pictures online and in magazines. I believe it will be installed at QAG from November.

If anyone is a fan of the Jim Henson (the Muppet Man) movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie, you will see a lot of Ron's early work in the characters in the film. In fact, quite often, Ron is inside the character "Ludo".

If you want to see more of Ron's work, have a look at the Flickr stream:


So who is your favourite artist? Perhaps you could share a blog on the topic yourself. Please leave a comment directing me to your blog if you do!