Friday, November 21, 2008


One of my favourite awards, the Ernies are awarded for sexist public comments. The annual Ernie Awards have 10 categories and are decided by the level of boos, jeers and stamping of feet at the women's only event held at the New South Wales Parliament.

This year the Golden Ernie was awarded to the Mayor of Mount Isa, Councillor John Moloney for suggesting that ugly women should move to Mount Isa, in NW Queensland where men outnumber women 5:1, to find themselves a husband. "May I suggest if there are five blokes to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa," Cr Molony said. But it was when local women retaliated against the comment that Mr Molony earned his golden Ernie award by replying, "The protesters are blaming me for their looks."

Winners of the Silver Ernies, from whom the Golden Ernie winner is chosen were:

  • Western Australia's Treasurer Troy Buswell picked up the Political Ernie for snapping the bra of a female Labor staffer, making sexist remarks to a Liberal MP and famously sniffing the chair of a Liberal staffer.
  • The Nine Network's John Westacott won the Media Ernie for his comment that "Sheilas do health and consumer stories - you want your blokes, your main guns, doing the real news stories."
  • Professor Mark Wooden from the University of Melbourne won the Industrial Ernie for saying - at a National Press Club panel discussion no less - that "The pay equity gap has got a lot to do with the fact that women are not prepared to work longer hours."
  • The hotly contested Elaine Award, "for remarks least helpful to the sisterhood", went to federal MP Sophie Mirabella for her comment during a debate in parliament about taxpayer funded staff at the lodge. Pointing to Deputy PM Julia Gillard, who does not have children, she said "You won't need his (Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's) taxpayer funded nanny, will you?".
  • On a positive note, the Good Ernie Award "for boys behaving better" was a dead heat between rugby international Brendan Cannon, and transport company Veolia.
    Cannon said, "I don't want my daughter Phoebe growing up in the country where almost all women will be victims of physical violence or sexual abuse during their lifetimes" and the Veolia transport company was acknowledged for applying to the Anti-discrimination Commission for exemption from the Anti-Discrimination Act, so they could exclusively employ women drivers "because women are better drivers and gentler on the buses."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congratulations Obama

Heard this on the radio the other day and loved it:


Friday, November 7, 2008

The Last Post

So, this is my second time going through what was originally the 23 Things. I've learnt a bit more, but I do feel that some things could have been done in more depth while other things, as mentioned in my previous post, have not been covered at all. I feel this has been a show-us course and now I'd like to see Library 2.0.1 giving us more in-depth information, some this-is-how-you-do-it-yourself support and assistance in getting up and running with some of this stuff.

That said, I do appreciate the hard work that the PLNSW team have put in and their feedback via comments and Help! emails has been great. Well done boys and girls!

This is for you (does a wobbly curtsey)

I've mentioned to our manager that maybe small groups of us could take a web thing and really investigate it, work out how to work it, assess it's potential for our library and perhaps DO something with it. Time, money, getting staff together, motivation - all are potential barriers.

There is, though, so much potential for exciting, interesting web 2.0 stuff


Networks. Hmmmm

The Rotarua Bebo site was awsome - looked really smart and dynamic. And the Coshocton Animanga Club looked cool. I'd like to take a look at the East Renfrew Council Facebook site but I'm all out of time today (only access between 12 and 2pm).

It'd be nice to have something like that for BMCC. However, as always, I fear funding and lack of time will preclude that for this little library. It takes enough time to keep things going in the Readers in the Mist blog, never mind Bebo/Facebook/MySpace - and would we just choose one of those, or would we need to be in several places? The latter I think. And would enough people take a look to make it worth all the effort? How many 'friends' or page views would constitute making it worthwhile.

I just don't get the whole SecondLife thing at all I'm afraid. I have an active enough FirstLife with a family, friends, Rural Fire Service, two bookgroups, 3 schools, children's sport, my sport, reading, having a sex life, childcare, meetings, uploading pictures to Flickr, work, homework, cooking, blogging, cleaning, sleeping, dog-walking, being an insomniac, keeping fit, listening to music, watching the sun rise, navel-gazing, LIVING . . . where would I find the time? Why would I find the time? What do the people do in those SecondLife libraries? Why?

I was hoping there'd be some discussion of Twitter and how it is/can be used by libraries. I have come across several articles/blog posts about it through my RSS feeder over the past few weeks. I know other places use it, Chrystie Hill was very enthusiastic about it, but at the moment it's another "I just don't get it" web 2.o thing. I'll post the articles and share them anyway:

1. Social Groups built around websites

2. Finally I see a reason for Twitter

3. List of Twitter applications

4. Twitwheel

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Soothe me

I've got a headache now. I need something soothing:

I found this in the Widgets bit of the Web 2.0 Awards site

Ta derrrrrrrrrrrrr

Just made a quick trip to Tada list - another log in - two items in a list. Hmmm.
For just me - why not just write it in my diary like I always do?
If I was doing something with others? Perhaps . . . perhaps not.

Big poll question - give it a go


I had hoped to just be able to cut and paste from the googledoc I did but I emailed it to the SLNSW and myself several minutes ago and it still hasn't come.

I've just realised I haven't closed the googledocs thing and can just copy from there:
This document seems almost pointless - it's only going to you, Ellen - no offence intended. I can see how these things can be useful for collaborating on documents but what are the differences between googledocs/zoho type services and wikis? When / why would we use one over the other?

Another week where I'm a bit underwhelmed yet overwhelmed by the amount of stuff out there - looked at the CML Learn and play site which has a link to a Web 2.0 Awards site - it boasts 174 Web 2.0 Sites in 41 Categories - and these are only those deemed to be the best . . . there are literally thousands out there.

I can see that Zamzar might be useful - I can't open powerpoint files at home, I usually have to forward them to myself at home so it will be interesting to see if I can find something that will convert the powerpoint file to something I can look at. Probably won't get one for ages now . . .

The slideshow had Tada List - for to do lists - an incurable list-maker I will have to give it a go.

And doodle - my group of school mums might be able to use it for arranging a night out - instead of the 458 emails that go back and forth - only trouble is I've only just introduced them to the idea of using a wiki for that kind of organising as per the video we watched - introducing something else at this stage may cause a few heads to explode!

Now I'm going to close the browser and see if I can find it again . . .

OK so, signed in to Google I click on more at the top left and then on documents - easy!

Now I'm off to test drive a few of the apps - doodle and Tada I think.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Using Gurulib

So in the short time since my last post I have exported my LibraryThing database, created a Gurulib account, made a screen dump and saved it as a jpeg file and am currently importing my LibraryThing books into Gurulib. Easy!

Initially I didn't think it was going to work - look at the page I got. Check out how long until it thinks it'll have downloaded the stuff (6 days, 23 hours, 56 minutes, 57 seconds)!!!

Budge over LibraryThing, but to where?

I started adding books to Good Reads yesterday. It's quite easy to use but it doesn't have any tagging or any other indexing facility that I can see and I can't quite cope with that (spending too much time with the bearded one me thinks). I'd like something where I can have the already reads, the currently reading and the will-read-when-I-can in separate categories. I'd like something I can tag.

The Fiction_L list has come up trumps again with mention of an article called Social Sites for Book Lovers which very usefully appraises several sites. The author comes down in favour of Shelfari. It doesn't mention Gurulib though which I liked previously because it allows you to enter other media like DVDs and music. The article mentions that you can export your lists from one library to the other - makes life a whole lot easier and a little less tied to the computer.

I think at this stage, I'm going to abandon Good Reads and look at Shelfari and Gurulib again.

Oooh, I hate having to make choices.

Mair tattie tales

Having spent a fair time puddling about with web 2.0 and ignoring the trolley of cataloguing at the side of my desk this week, I'd PROMISED myself I would knuckle down and get through said cataloguing . . .

However, my beloved side-kick here has been doing Week 10 and asking me questions and I've got sucked in big time. We've had quite a giggle. She'll hate me telling you this (sotto vocce), but she Warhol-ed herself and ended up with a fabulous beard. All shredded now sadly . . .

Thought I'd let you know about two other mashup things while I remembered.

First up is AutoMotivator. Similar to the Motivator in Big Huge Labs. Helps you create posters. How creative could we get at work? Very I think.

Here's one I prepared earlier:

The second is Wordle. Have I mentioned it before? Take a muckle great wad of text and put it in Wordle and see what happens.

This is how To a Louse came out:

Now, isn't that so much easier to read??

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Budge over LibraryThing

Peeps, I've stumbled across another record your books thing. This one is called Good Reads.

An American librarian, Patti, wrote about it on the Fiction_L list. I'm sure she won't mind me showing you what her Good Reads page looks like here. As you can see you don't just record what you have read, you can list what you'd like to read - for me sitting down here in Cataloguing, with all that yummy new fiction coming across my desk, that list gets bigger every day.
There's a networking element to this one too so you can see what your friends are reading. Might send you an email sometime soon?

I'm off to give it a go and will then add another widget gadget.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Champit literature

Is Literature Map a mashup?

I think it's one of the coolest RA sites whatever it is.

Champit tatties*

*(scots. - mashed pototoes - as in haggis, neeps and champit tatties as eaten at a traditional Burns Supper. Yummmmmm).

Lots to look at again this week. But it was fun and interesting.

Had a read of the wikipedia description of mashups first and looked at all the different sites. Thought the AlertMap was great. There's a "locust and other beetle infestation" at Temora right now! Great site for kids doing their 'disasters' projects.

Also impressive was CLEARMAP, in use by the Chicago Police to record and warn citizens of crime levels in their area. Useful for statisticians, politicians, sociologists and students for up-to-date and retro info. on crime. Wonder if any local police services are doing similar things? Didn't like the google maps do-it-yourself one though; too open to nefarious posts I should think - people trying to make up crime stats to suit their own purposes (see politicians above!).

Diaroogle - what a sensible site I thought, then I read it's mission statement - "It's for the discerning, on-the-go defecator who is brave enough to use a public bathroom, but still demands a hygienic and private bathroom experience." Hmmmm. That aside Diaroogle does help you find quality public toilets from your mobile phone. Handy. Compare it to the National Public Toilet Map, an initiative of former Liberal government minister, Bronwyn Bishop - with that one you have to check out the loos and try and estimate which one you'll need to use BEFORE you go out. Indeed the site acknowledges this - there is a Trip Planner to make life easier.

What a hoot the Big Huge Labs are. I've made a little brag book of the new babies for my daughter to take to school, and a dice on the same theme. And here's me by Andy Warhol. Quite fancy myself in the MOMA.

See my library poster? The boss has already ordered A3 copies from the printer so expect one in your boxes soon.

London : a life in maps. Love it. Can see the Local History boy having fun doing something like that. Have bookmarked it to really pour over later. Need to hurry before we're disconnected at 2pm.

The Public Library finder has obvious relevance to our lot. Anyone doing that in Oz?

When you have a spare several hours, have a look at The Generator Blog. There's hundreds of things to play with. One recent one is The Lazy Bloggers Post which I've already flagged before.

Sign language

The Sign Language pages from the UK's Daily Telegraph had me laughing out loud.

There is more than just one sign each week; see there are more to scroll through at the top right hand side of the page. To go to a previous week click on Related articles under the scrolly thing or on the Last week's sign language link under the main picture.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I found this on Unshelved (cartoon about a library - great fun for your RSS feed)

It seems Cedar Mill Community Library makes a regulat habit of naming their trolleys.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Rene Decart is my favourite I think. The Ramona one had me baffled. What about you?

Can we come up with some fun names for ours?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 9

Podcasting - looks like there could be uses in the library, but would have liked more on how to do it for yourself and tips to avoid doing rubbish. Here's a blog about what to be wary of with podcasts : 6 reasons I'm not hooked on podcasts. Some sound advice for us if we choose to go down this path.

I noticed that the Library Success wiki page had a How to bit but several of the entries made reference to ringing a number and recording your podcast. Surely not? - might be a job for someone . . . sometime . . .

I'm a bit confused about the use of podcasting in some cases. I can see how they would be great for storytelling, etc. but for promoting library events? I think I'd really prefer to just read about the next great project. And you'd have to make sure the person doing the podcast had an appealing voice - use a monotone and it'd be a mono audience.

However, having looked at OCLS and LibVibe and the others, I can see how literary talks, storytelling and book reviews could be a good idea. And several people suggested using them for recording Living Books. As an online education tool they would be useful too. I liked on the OCLS site that you can download for your MP3/ipod etc, and/or watch it on video for some topics ~ I would have liked it even more if the link had opened and I'd been able to watch it. What a shame LibVibe seems to have stopped in June although the narrator illustrates my point above regarding annoying voices! I listened to a little bit of a podcast from Cheshire Public Library where they are using podcasts to give the local youth a voice - great idea - allows the kids to showcase their talents and air their views. This project is teen-driven.

While in the ABC site I could've gone mad - oh how careful you'd have to be about your download limits. I must admit though, I'm a little confused there too because the ABC had stuff about RSS feeds - can I use my bloglines RSS feeder or not? If not, I'll have to wait till I get home to subscribe to a podcast feeder. What I was really interested in was the ABC's new iView service but couldn't get it to work - not enough bandwidth for it I think - but could this be the start of something entirely new?

[One of the downsides of all this web 2.0 stuff is all the different things you have to join up to ~ I'm considering a spreadsheet to record them all, I'm loath to use the same login and password all the time but the number I have to remember is getting unwieldy and I'm running out of room at the back of my diary!]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's nothing more nauseating than an ex-pat in full flight!

It's official, The Guardian Books Blog is my favourite blog and Carol Rumens my favourite contributor.

Why? She's promoting Robert Burns' To a Louse as the Poem of the Week.

Ms Rumens writes "His mastery is exhibited in this week's poem, "To a Louse", chosen in preference to the equally delightful but extremely well-known "To a Mouse". The speaker's tone here is understandably less tender to the object of his address. The movement of the verse is wonderfully tetchy and jumpy. But as the argument develops, we see that Jeanie's airs and graces are mocked by her unsavoury guest. And of course, Burns sneaks in a neat touch of anti-clericalism for good measure. Readers wishing to enjoy more of the bard in Calvinist-baiting vein may like to sample Holy Willie's Prayer - with the help of Michaelian's Glossary, of course."

To A Louse

On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet, At Church

Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho', faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her-
Sae fine a lady?
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! in some beggar's haffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Whaur horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rels, snug and tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it-
The verra tapmost, tow'rin height
O' Miss' bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' grey as ony groset:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,I
'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum.

I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit dubbie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't?

O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin:
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!

Notes: ferlie= a wonder or marvel
wonner=a wonder (contemptuous)
haffet=lock of hair at the temple
breech, aiblins=perhaps
toy=woman's old-fashioned cap with ear-flaps
wyliecoat=flannel vest.

And here's the YouTube clip (not the best quality in the audio but it'll give you the gist of it)

Monday, October 13, 2008

On a personal note . . .

In the past few days I have become the wife of a grandfather (I am having great difficulty coming to terms with my husband calling himself Grandad so be nice to me)

Jono, Narelle and
Fraser George Colquhoun
(born 9th October 2008)

and an aunt again . . .

Me, my sister Karen and
Xavier Christian Hale
(born 12th October 2008)

What a busy girl I've been!

Here's a slideshow of the weans :

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ho hum

I'm completely underwhelmed by both Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers. At the risk of sounding like a complete fuddy duddy I don't like them at all.

I can see danger Will Robinson! I took a look at the health bit in WikiAnswers - Danger, Danger. How can proper answers be given to simple questions? Health professionals, like librarians, need to ask several questions and listen carefully to the answers to understand the question being asked and to give an answer in terminology pitched at the right level for the asker.
I applaud the efforts of the librarians 'slamming the boards'. Oh what a teeny weeny drop in a muckle great bucket though. We as a profession certainly need to ensure we promote the use of reliable Ask a Librarian type services, as several colleagues have noted we seem to deal with fewer reference questions in the library nowadays and the quality of answers out there can be abysmal.

Some of the questions were so purile!

I put in one question in WikiAnswers and I've already got 101 points. What's that all about?

I noted in WikiAnswers that there seems to be no clear indication of where answers end and commentary/feedback begins, eg:
The last answer/comment made me smile though : Good table manners are learned from one's parents or nanny. If they have failed in that duty then you should purchase a suitable book on the subject. (I can see that person so very very clearly in my minds's eye!!! ) I hope my children get a nanny soon because I feel I have very little influence; no matter how hard I try mealtimes still seem like the monkey's tea party.

I did like the Taste website though. And good, reputable publishers behind the recipes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Starz Bunnies

My sons got me on to Starz Bunnies; fun 30-second animated retelling of great movies - all starring bunnies, or as we call them in our house, runny babbits.

Here's a sample:

Monday, September 29, 2008

If you think Week 7 took a long time . . .

how long do you think these guys took not to do their 'real' jobs?

(Don't you just love the embed thing? It used to take AGES to download clips into my blogs).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 7 And so the story ends in the LibraryThing

And was it an anticlimax? Not at all. LibraryThing was the best part of this week's exercise.

As noted before I've had a LibraryThing account for some time and have kept a list of what I have read since opening the account. Maybe I should also go back and add what's on the shelves at home that I haven't read for a while. And the kid's reading??

After admiring them for some time on staff blogs by High Altitude and Snow, I was especially thrilled to finally learn how to add the LibraryThing widgets to my blog. And aren't there a lot to choose from, one could go mad. And I added a "chiclet". Go me.

Go search my LIbraryThing - does it hurt? NB: It only seems to like one search term at a time, a search for "Ian Rankin" brings up Ian McEwan too???

I had a quick look at Shelfari and Gurulib too. Shelfari is aesthetically more pleasing perhaps than LibraryThing but appears to be no different otherwise. Looking at the sample library on Gurulib, it seems to allow you to add music, films/DVDs, games and software too which I haven't seen in LibraryThing. I might have chosen it first if I'd seen it. It's also aesthetically pleasing and has Wishlist and Recommended sections.

How long will it take me to move my LibraryThing collection do you think? Too long I suspect.

Week 7 The technocratical bit commences. . .

So you can look up a blog on Technocrati? Not sure why I would use it again, although it's interesting to know it's there. Perhaps.

I'm very excited about this though: I did a search for Readers in the Mist (advanced search - all of the words). click on the Blogs tab and RITM comes up.

See we have Authority 2? "Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has. It is important to note that we measure the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to your blog many times, it still only count as +1 toward your authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days." (Tecnocrati Support FAQ)

Clicking on Authority 2 you see which blogs have made mention of RITM or posts from RITM. You can see we get a little bit of coverage. Including links from Iain Banks' website/blog (or Iain M Banks if he's writing Fantasy) - excellent Scottish author by the way.

To report on the Discover #2 thing - I had the same results with 'bookmobile' as others did - same results for general search, all words search and just one more for exact phrase search. No blogs result and 40 for tagged. So?
Couldn't find anything for nswpl2008 except under blogs tag. Maybe the blog should've been registered? How do you do that though? Yet another login and password?
Off to do the last wee bit - LibraryThing.

Week 7 The yummy plot so far . . .

OK. I've got as far as creating a
Heidi account
and have populated it with two links which I have also put in to two 'bundles', all tagged and ready for action.

I didn't download the Extensions thing today because our system wouldn't allow it and I haven't worked out where I go back in to do it were I to do it from home in order to "make it easier to access your account and add new bookmarks." Without the Extensions it seems easy enough to do so how much easier can it get? Maybe I'll investigate and report back on that one?

After the blogs and Flickr and YouTube and the likes, seems very plain and pedestrian. Where's the bit where we get to put in pictures and stuff? I can see how it can be very useful in the library environment. The National Library page was interesting and a great resource for reference. Do we use it, or start our own internal one, or a bit of both?

On looking at the Cleveland Public Library site, I thought would be a great way for us here at BMCL to get around having to inform our IT department when we come across a great site we want to add to the Recommended sites pages of the BMCC website. But then I noted that each link went to a different CPL site - that just seems counter-productive to me.

I'm not keen on the tagging at In Blogger tags are separated by a comma so multi-word tags are possible, eg. Books and Reading in Readers in the Mist. In Flickr you put your multi-word tags within inverted commas ("Springwood Colquhouns"). I don't like the underscore that some people are using, (United_Kingdom) so I have taken to running words together (BooksandReading). It'll have to do.

Now, which of my myriad Internet Explorer Favourites do I want open to public scrutiny? Hmmmmm.

Am feeling a bit overloaded at this stage and will look at the networking bit after lunch - or perhaps even next week.

And there's still Technorati to look at. Luckily I've been using LibraryThing for a while now (love it) so that cuts down the work a bit. What a full on session Week 7 is.

Corduroy Mansions #2: 2

That was soooooo easy. All I had to do was click on Get and Share, then choose Embed, then select Blogger and it arranged to stick it all in a new post.


Corduroy Mansions #2

Having another go at embedding this. It's different this time so maybe it'll actually work.
Here goes:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Adding a newsfeed

We had our first (but hopefully not our last - VE???) struggle session in the lower mountains this morning. I for one got some assistance and you will see that I now have a feed from The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh on my sidebar. Thank you VE.

However, we were unable to help poor Allnew2me who has been taken over by aliens!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

The Daily Telegraph (UK) is serialising Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith at the moment. You can sign on to get each chapter sent to you one day at a time via email. (I've done that but haven't actually got round to reading any further than Chapter 1). It seems to be like 44 Scotland Street but set in London not Edinburgh. In that it's about the various inhabitants of a tenement house.

Corduroy Mansions is quite a package - as well as the daily chapters there are podcasts, character profiles, a Facebook page, a widget and a video tour of Pimlico.

I couldn't resist the idea of adding a Corduroy Mansions widget. You can see it there on the sidebar. But it falls off the side a little so I've added it here too (unfortunately only visible at limited times for our staff I think) :

(It's embedded here. Again I had to copy and paste into a Word document and then copy and paste here. If you do the Widget thing it sorts you out with a widget automatically - very clever.)

Feeling valued?

In the Guardian's book blog I came across an article entitled Bibliotherapy by one Stuart Evers about a London bookshop called The School of Life.

Initially I thought it might be about a great scheme which many UK councils are using whereby GPs write a prescription for a book title that their patient then takes to their library to get a copy to take home.

But no, Evers is talking about how this book shop is so different from the high street book shops with it's individualised service.

This is the paragraph in the piece that floored me:
"The idea that really marks out The School of Life from other book enterprises is their recommendation service, Bibliotherapy. For £50 - excluding books - a specialist will help you choose books perfectly suited to you; a sort of literary personal trainer, if you will. To my mind, it's a great idea. With so few of us near a bookseller of experience and understanding, it's the perfect way to pick your way through the minefield of what to read next".

As I have said in the comment I left, why does this man think it is a good idea to pay that ridiculous sum of money to have someone help him choose a book? Is that per book, or is it a life-time subscription?

Either way there are specialists in every library in the country who are able to provide this service for free - and it's us - Librarians!

You can read the full article here. See if you can read it without getting hot under the collar.


I looked up The School of Life website and some of my questions are answered here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just one bu##er today

See yesterday's post, I finally got that video to embed and wow is it muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch faster than uploading via the Add video link in the editing tools when doing a post.

I did it by going and finding (the same) clip on Google Video. If you click on the little arrow button in the bottom right side of the video clip another window opens with the Embed text and upload ability thingy. I tried straight copying from there and pasting into the blogger post but only got part of the text so I tried (a few goes later) copying and then pasting into a Word document - got the full text then and copied and pasted it from there into the blogger post. Still muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch faster than uploading via the Add video link.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bu##er, bu##er, Bu##er

Week 6 - the most frustrating week so far. Should have been simple but because of the restrictions the IT department put on some sites (YouTube for instance) I have spent 1 1/2 hours today getting nowhere. When we do get access to YouTube the rest of Council is trawling the net and you can't get the site - I spent 25 minutes earlier waiting for YouTube to load only to get a blank screen with Done at the bottom. Ditto the Google video site. When, hooray, I did get to YouTube it was at 2pm and my next link gave me the "You're not allowed to watch this during working hours, get back to work you slacker" page. Not happy.

I have only been able to complete Week 6 by coming upstairs to Springwood branch and logging on to the public PCs. I appreciate that that's a luxury many staff don't have.

So back to the Week 6 activities. I found the choice of things to look up a little strange - anyone else get a big kick out of "Liverpool plains" or "Kogorah". Perhaps they wanted to point out what a load of guff is on YouTube & Google video. And why would you go to Google video - my search results were almost exactly the same.

I can see how video clips would be good for showcasing library activities and staff to our customers although, as one commenter on the SLNSW learning 2.0 blog said, libraries would need to ensure the production was of a high quality. I really liked the We love our NJ Libraries clip.

And what a lovely thing for local history collections - not just the audio of an oral history but video too. What a gift to the generations that come.

There is a site where people are doing book reviews via video - will add link soon - I'm not sure it adds to the quality of the reviewing but I guess for some people it's easier to speak a review than type it so more may be added - from our Readers in the Mist experience we see how difficult it is to get people to write their own book reviews.

But staff orientation - please! I don't know how many staff PLCMC has, but I'd be insulted if the Library Manager couldn't be bothered to welcome me and introduce her/himself to me in person.

I'm not sure why the SLNSW have said there is a 10 minute cap on videos in YouTube because I have watched Michael Wesch's video, An anthropological introduction to YouTube, and it's 55:33 mins long - and every last second of it makes fascinating viewing:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wiki quickie

Just completed the week 5 stuff.

Liked the YouTube video explaining how wikis work. The Faulco mums have been trying to organise a night out - 200 emails later and still no one knows where or when we are going. Think we need a wiki.

I liked the Ann Arbor and Rochester wikis - especially the good dining bits! And the mystery picture bit in the Rochester one - can you guess where this picture was taken? What fun!

We could do something like that - but would it/should it be a whole of council project?

Think we could use one for Reader's Advisory. Remember we were making reading lists, Crime Through Time and Legal Thrillers and Gourmet Crime after doing the RA course all that time ago. Well I think we should have somewhere we can use all that hard work. I'm investigating it so watch this space.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Off for a week

I'm off on leave for a week while we move house. I'll upload the address etc later from home when I can access the editing things which I haven't been able to from work for a while.
Anyway, once you can see where we're moving to please feel free to drop in if you are passing - or if you have to make a detour. I'll make sure the kettle, tea and coffee are first to be unpacked.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Week 4 Adventure conundrum

The Week 4 Adventure said to add a news feed to your own blog - did they mean add an RSS feed? I added a Newsreel gadget but have taken it off because I didn't like it. I doubt they meant a Newsreel anyway, not having mentioned it anywhere else in the Week 4 to-do-list.

RSS Feeds

What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
I like that they do exactly what the YouTube video says they do - they let you know, from one place, which of the blogs and other sites you like to look at have been updated. You save time by not going to each site individually only to find half of them have not been updated since Christmas 1848.

What sites did you select for your RSS reader?
I've had a bloglines account for some time now so I've got a fair few. I have found that some sites I stumble across as a result of reading other blogs. They seem fun/interesting and I add them. Some don't live up to expectations and are deleted againg. It's a fairly fluid list.
One of the blogs I used to subscribe to was I hate Asheville where a librarian was blogging about the customers he/she encountered - it was fun for a little while then went quiet for so long I deleted it - perhaps this was the librarian who lost his/her job because of the blog??

My blog feeds include: Aussie Bloggers * Blue Mountains City Library Local Studies * BooksForKidsBlog * CILGG * Circ and Serve * Citizen Reader * Feel-good Librarian * The Generator Blog * Give 'em What They Want * Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - books * i love typography, the typography and fonts blog * Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day * Judge a Book by its Cover * Learn & Play @CML * Librarian Avengers * Libraries Build Communities * LibraryBytes (Helene Blowers) * LibraryStream * Merryjack * Novel ideas : Manly Library * Powerhouse Museum Photo of the Day (as per Week 4 instructions) * Read it or Weep * The Reader's Advisor Online Blog * Readers in the Mist * News - News * Shelf Talk * The Shifted Librarian * Smart Bitches, Trashy Books * So Much to Learn...So Little Time * Springwood Weather * Stephen's Lighthouse * Wild Ephemera * The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
One of my favourite blogs is People Reading where the blogger roams about and takes pictures of people reading and writes about the book and the reader. What a great way to meet new people.
I thought about adding everyone else's blogs from the BM Library Manager's blog but the internet connection is so slow it's easier to click in and out from the BMLM blog.

How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work?
I use it to keep up to date with Library 2.0 stuff and other technology stuff. I also have feeds to book review blogs which keeps me up to date there.
I like that, if I read an interesting article/post, I can easily email it to a colleague/friend and share it with them from within bloglines.

How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?
Adding RSS feeds to our blogs will enable our 'audiences' to feed our blogs to their desktops.

Did you find any good examples of other library blogs?
I think the Sutherland blog is outstanding. Beautiful to look at; clean, clear and crisp. And, oh, to be able to have multiple pages hanging off the one title page.

Like Snow, I wasn't particularly impressed by the Quick Picks thing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ae Fond Kiss and Tam O'Shanter - how they should sound

I had a bit of a fright when I went looking for recitations of these great Scottish poems. Initially all I found was some AMERICAN doing a recitation of Ae Fond Kiss - nearly passed out! They don't even do well at English, never mind Scots!!

Then I remembered YouTube and found that there's heaps.

Below is Karen Dunbar reciting the exciting tale of Tam O'Shanter (click for the words). Set in Ayr where I went to boarding school, this is the story of a man who gets chased by witches and warlocks one night on his way home from the pub. We used to get learning verses of this as punishment.

This is one my Mum would approve of, a rendition of Ae Fond Kiss (again, click for the words) by The Corries.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Now I know I'm working too hard . . .

I haven't officially 'done' week 4 and RSS feeds yet but I've had a feed going for a little while. One of my feeds is the Guardian newspapers books blog. I was initially intrigued by the post Heading: Classic Poetry gets the Jackson treatment. Can you imagine my horror however, when I followed the link to an article entitled Michael Jackson goes into studio with Robert Burns. According to the article, poems W Jacko is going to have a go at include Ae Fond Kiss and Tam O'Shanter.

OMG, it's going to take a while to recover from the thought. Where are my smelling salts?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holy Snapping Duck Do!

Holy Snapping Duck Do! I just had a terrible scare when I thought I have not updated this since petrol was cheaper than a bottle of Grange!... You would not believe that my hands were chopped off and I was waiting for bionic ones. I hope they bring chocolate!.I am lost in a sea of pseudo-olde-english with discovering time doesn't stand still, a ticking crocodile, just generally being a nuisance to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day is passing in a blur from the second star on the right, straight on to I am begging my kid to go to sleep or so help me God that kid will be decorating my wall, 'Duct tape still life'. I am avoiding recapture. perchance.I swear on my mother's grave I will blog about it when I find my way home. What? Assuming I don't get distracted by counting my chest hairs..

Post created courtesy The Lazy Bloggers Post Generator

Monday, August 25, 2008

About tags in Flickr

My mother has just set up her own Flickr site (she and my almost 8 year old nephew in Edinburgh have just set up their own blog too) and I've just been helping her get out of a little pickle.

If you intend to have slideshows on your blog you will need to take care when adding tags to your photos that you use tags that allow only your photos into the slideshow/photostream. For example, Mum and Dad have recently had a holiday to Egypt and Mum put a slideshow on her blog with the tag Egypt. She was then thoroughly miffed and frustrated when photos appeared in her slideshow that she and Dad had never taken!

When I tag my photos I use "Springwood Colquhouns" as one tag on everything then add "Springwood Colquhouns XXX" for a specific event/set of photos so they can be shown on one big slideshow or on topic-specific ones. Photos may end up with half a dozen tags. I find using an Excel spreadsheet helps me remember what I've used before.


Again I've been uploading photos into Flickr for a little while now.
It's a great way to share photos with family without having to send multiple emails with half a dozen picture attachments. I can also use it to create slideshows on the blog I share with family - one big Springwood Colquhouns one or separate ones for different events such as holidays we've taken. And sites like Flickr allow a little bit more security for your photos as an offsite storage - won't have to worry about everything going up in a puff of smoke next fire season.

Yes I have privacy concerns, especially since I put pictures of my children up there but if you close your photos off too much some of the people you'd like to have viewing them won't be able to because they aren't very technology savvy. I figure we're obscure enough not to worry about getting lots of people looking at our photos, although did get asked to allow co to use our pics a few months back - I told them no.


Got around the blog roll problem by creating a new one and copying all the blogs into the new one before deleting the original. Now I just have to wait and see if that upsets anyone else's access?????

Blog frustrations

Blogging can be such fun, but also immensely frustrating.

I'm not sure what's happening or why, but I haven't been able to post any new blogs on the blog roll on the BM Library Manager's blog since I posted my own. Sometimes I can do from home things that I can't at work but that's not the case this time round. I note that Snow, Good Oil, Silence and Our new home have been added so I'll have to find out how they have done it.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here we go . . .

This is the blog I have to do for the Learning 2.0 SLNSW course.

I actually went through the american web 2.0 thing late last year and have been blogging for a while now. It was the blogs part I really took off with and think they are a really good tool for libraries to communicate with their customers/borrowers.

I have a private blog for sharing news with family and friends oversees. It's a lot of fun keeping it updated and I got my sister and her husband and my Mum and my nephew at it too so I have links to their blogs from mine. I was hoping my children would also post but I can only get a few words off them at most.

I also set up a blog for one of my book groups. I tried them on a Yahoo group but most of them found the signing up bit too hard. I figured that with a blog set on view by everyone any of them can see what we are reading next and where to meet up. The more technologically literate can then also contribute posts.

I've had a look at the other blogs on the Learning 2.0 week 2 page. Isn't brown a popular blog template!! I am particularly impressed by the Sutherlandshire blog - those 'child' pages hanging off the main blog page - just what we need to de-clutter. I fell over it last week or so and immediately put in a call to find out how they did it. The wonderfully patient and generous Martin very kindly sent instructions but so far getting tabs eludes me - so far . . . I will persist.