It is a wrap

Blogging every day in June has kept me busy. I did not expect that it would keep me up so late at night. I imagined that I would be writing lots of lunch time posts and that most days I would be done by afternoon tea time. What a dreamer. I thought I would write more about libraries and felt slightly uncomfortable when I realized that I did not have the time to plan and write library related posts. I also noted that I tended to have moments of inspiration, when I had no time to do something about it. The exercise has also revealed that it can be a challenge to come up with topics for posts at 11pm!

I came close to achieving my goal. I managed the 30 posts (2 were a little late). It is nice that I have a record of some of the memorable moments in my month such as, getting the results for my last assignment, attending a conversation with the Dalai Lama and weeding the reference collection. The interaction with so many friendly librarians has been a highlight. I still have over 300 unread posts in my blogroll, so I will catch up with many of you over the weekend.

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Trick of the light

But that’s not her!
That’s just the light
It’s only an image of her
It’s just a trick of the light

The Triffids – Trick of the light

This is my first attempt at blogging and I realize I still have a lot to learn. I jumped in at the start of June without thinking too much about the consequences or the skills that I would require. Once I got started, I realized that I needed to consider developing is my blogging voice and establishing suitable topics for posting on a blog that would be shared with a professional network. I also remembered a post from earlier this year by the prolific Melbourne blogger Pip Lincolne that got me thinking about the importance of developing a consistent and positive tone, if you want people to return to your blog.

I did know from the beginning though, that my main aim for #blogjune would be to post daily and that the content would be of secondary importance, but I am still feeling a little uncertain about who I am meant to be writing for (audience – librarians?) and what I should be writing about (anything I can thing of in June..). A few participants have reflected and mentioned that they would prefer not to post daily, if this meant they were diluting the professional content of their blogs. Others such as @newgradlib have chosen to post from two blogs: professional and personal.

I feel much more confident than I did at the start of the month about blogging, so this has been a useful exercise. I’m sure that if I keep blogging I will eventually find my professional voice.

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My first yarnbomb

I have developed an interest in yarnbombing. This red and yellow pole piece is my first attempt. I need to go back for a better picture. I felt a rush of excitement as I sewed it onto the pole and several people stopped for a look.

My first yarnbomb

There are a few yarnbombers active in Brunswick, so I’m hoping to get involved in some projects and become part of a community. I have big plans for brightening up the 503 bus route. The bus travels along Albion Street, which is one of the ugliest roads in Brunswick. The road and footpaths are narrow and there are no nature strips or street trees to soften the streetscape.

If you live in Melbourne and are interested in yarnbombing, a group of enthusiasts meet up at a cafe in the CBD on Sunday afternoons to knit or crochet.

Earlier in June, I wrote about International Yarn Bombing and Knit In Public Day. There was an event at Federation Square and I went along with my sister and did some crochet and chatted to some lovely women. Craft helps people to relax and the conversations flowed. In an hour I met: a recently widowed older lady who share her life story as she knitted; a couple of school teachers; and a librarian who I had worked with in 1996. We sat in beanbags and on couches under an installation which is is part of The Light in Winter Festival at Federation Square (on till the 3 July). The community was encouraged to yarnbomb the structure and I contributed to a fancy crocheted lamp which is at the heart of the installation.

I made some of the decorative flowers on the lamp

International Yarn Bombing/Knit In Public Day

I highly recommend the following book, if you want to learn more about yarnbombing as a social movement. The book also includes lots of patterns and practical tips for planning activities and building communities.

Moore, M., & Prain, L. (2009). Yarn bombing: The art of crochet and knit graffiti. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.

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Song for a winter’s day

I look forward to any opportunity to put my headphones on and listen to music at work. I find it helps me to focus, if our open plan office is a bit noisy. I was listening to this song today, whilst I was checking a spreadsheet. I paused and looked out the window and thought that it was the perfect antidote to a cold, grey day.

Post inspired by 17thblogjune post from @newgradlib

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Weeding the reference collection

I have been reviewing lists of materials in our collection. In the next couple of weeks the Education collections and team are moving to a new library which has considerably less shelf space, so low-use items in our print collections will be relocated to an off-site store. Space is a valuable commodity at our campus.

One of the areas that has been getting a lot of attention is the reference collection. It has almost reached the end of its life-cycle, materials that were once in high demand are no longer used at all. The small collection of core resources that will come with us to the new library, will be stored in a compactus.

We have been slow to get started on the print deselection process in comparison to many other academics libraries and yet our eReference collections are strong. These pictures provide the answer, our management of the reference collection has been driven by the physical space.

 

This is the reference area in our existing library, the space was refurbished in 2008 and the architects nostalgically embraced the concept of the classic reading room. It is a successful space, during semester it is one of the most popular quiet work areas of the library. The shelves of books around the edges of the room create ambiance.

The Library currently houses the Education, Engineering and Science collections, however, once the education collection are relocated I suspect the shelves will be relatively bare. I wonder if the room will be redesigned and if it will remain a low technology zone.

Whilst I was checking the relocation list, I may have been slightly distracted by titles such as:

Ehrlich, E. (2002). The highly selective dictionary of golden adjectives for the extraordinarily literate. New York: HarperResource.

Holder, R. W., & Holder, R. W. (2002). How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Laugesen, A. (2005). Diggerspeak: The language of Australians at war. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Quinion, M. (2002). Ologies and isms: A dictionary of word beginnings and endings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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July – Planning ahead

I was quite low on enthusiasm for turning the computer on tonight, so I thought I would look ahead and make some plans for July. It is going to be a busy month with a few twists and I think a list may be necessary, if I want to come close to achieving a state of Zen.

Blog about the new library – We are relocating to a brand new library midway through July. We will be open our doors to the University on the 25th July – 1st day of semester. This will be exciting so I will have plenty to talk about.

4 books in July – I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t read enough books recently to complete the five book meme. I will try get back into the swing and read a book a week.

Declutter a cupboard a week – my cupboards are in desperate need of a tidy (hello pantry!) and some are so full that I can barely shut the doors. Tania mentioned that she had recently participated in a declutter challenge and this could be just what I need to get started on creating some order.

Cook something new each week – I have a stack of recipes to test.

Exercise 4 times a week – Runkeeper is my friend where this is concerned. I’m looking forward to re-establishing my exercise routine after illness and injury.  Please add me on Runkeeper if you want to expand your street team.

Yarn bomb on the 503 bus route – I have a plan to yarn bomb bus stops along this route.

Get more sleep!

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Music meme – 25 Albums

I ripped this meme from Facebook. This is an improved version of a list I wrote in September 2010.  It was originally, fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. I’ve added to the list tonight and increased it to 25 albums. I have not attempted to present a balanced list or the artist’s best work. I just have a strong emotional attachment to these albums.

  1. The Cure – Three imaginary boys
  2. The Cure – Seventeen seconds
  3. The Cure – Head on the door
  4. The boys next door – Door door
  5. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Once upon a time
  6. The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
  7. The Human League – Dare
  8. Neil Young – After the gold rush
  9. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
  10. Billy Bragg – Back to Basics
  11. Depeche Mode – Music for the masses
  12. Michelle Shocked – Short, sharp, shocked
  13. Elvis Costello – Spike
  14. Massive Attack- Mezzanine
  15. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  16. Chumbawamba – Pictures of starving children
  17. Tom Waits –  Mule variations
  18. The Magnetic Fields – 69 love songs
  19. Patti Smith – Horses
  20. Redgum – Caught in the act
  21. Paul Kelly – Post
  22. The Go Betweens – 16 lovers lane
  23. The Blackeyed Susans – Welcome stranger
  24. The Triffids – Born sandy devotional
  25. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -The Good Son
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Clean and happy

My boyfriend came over tonight. He offered to vacuum my house whilst I was making the lasagne for dinner. This was a totally genuine and unexpected surprise. He said that he wanted to be helpful rather than sitting around watching TV. I think he was secretly horrified by the grubbiness of my kitchen floor but to be honest, I didn’t really care about his motivations.

I am the kind of person who would happily wash the dishes for anyone, but I can’t imagine EVER volunteering for vacuumming. I know that Grant vacuums most days at his house. He owns a really, really, old beast of an Electrolux vacuum. One day I plan to splurge and surprise him with a shiny new Dyson

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Too tired

I fell asleep on the couch and have just woken up. I am too tired to post tonight.

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A church in Daylesford

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My glass is half full

I received my mark for my final assignment tonight. My distance education experience has been a long and winding road. The last couple of years of combining work, study and the responsibilities of single parenting have been really hard work.

bottle of wine

Celebrating with CSU wine

I was going to let the moment pass without comment but I have decided that it deserves some acknowledgment. I can’t wait to graduate. I am done!

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