Monday, January 01, 2007



If you already subscribe to my Feedburner feed, then you should be receiving updates from the new site. The feed is:

See you over there....

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Changes to this blog and advanced apologies

I'm putting the finishing touches on migration from Blogger Beta to Wordpress on my own domain, in time for 1 January 2007.

When it's done, I'll do a couple of big posts on the lines of "Wow..THESE are the plugins to use if you're going to do THAT" and "Welcome to my new place, here's the details".

Here's a sneak preview of the header:

If I've previously linked to any posts on your blog, you may notice new pingbacks from my new domain. That happens when my old posts get imported to Wordpress.

Posts from the new blog should just appear in the Feedburner feed, without you having to do anything. If you don't subscribe through the feedburner feed, here's the details: I'm guessing that when the new blog is fed in, the 111 previous posts from this blog will show up in your aggregator. Apologies for this in advance.

I'm busy, busy, busy and having fun, fun, fun so will update more soon.

New job descriptions for libraries

When people ask me "what do you work as?", I can easily say "Reference Librarian and Philosophy Subject librarian". The other bit of my job, which is looking at emerging technologies and how we can use them in our library, doesn't have an official label or job title.

Back in June, when thinking about what Librarian 2.0 jobs would look like for Australian libraries, I said:

I suspect Librarian 2.0 positions will be created as people in existing positions redefine their jobs and add a bit here, drop a few responsibilities there.
I'm really excited by a trend in the US, one that I hope will hit here. Entire postitions are being created for librarians to do tasks that didn't even exist 2 or 3 years ago. I'm encouraged by the Emergent Technology Librarian at East Michigan University Library and the ten (yes, ten!!) new positions being funded at the Albany Library at the State University of New York.

1. EMERGENT TECHNOLOGIES LIBRARIAN at the East Michigan Univeristy Library

I chuckled when the ad posted on Web4Lib said they were looking for an applicant with "mad skillz". Made me feel about 100 years old and terribly unhip.

Position Description:

The Eastern Michigan University Library seeks a proactive, creative, service-oriented individual to play a key role on its Information Services Team. The Emergent Technologies Librarian will serve as an explorer of and advocate for the use of emergent technologies to support online learning and enhance the effectiveness of library information and instructional services . The Emergent Technologies librarian will coordinate virtual/chat reference initiatives and provide scheduled reference assistance (face-to-face, email, telephone, virtual/chat).


    • Explore, evaluate, and encourage the deployment of emergent technologies to engage library users and staff in new ways

      Provide training and support for other librarians on emergent technologies

      Explore and develop opportunities to integrate library resources and services into course management, online learning, and other campus software initiatives

      Collaborate with other librarians to develop online learning initiatives

      Coordinate, assess, and work with other librarians to evolve virtual/chat reference initiatives

      Provide scheduled reference desk and virtual/chat reference service, including some evening and weekend hours

2.Ten new postions at SUNY

Laura Cohen's library has just received "huge, anonymous donation to fund ten new positions for as long as we want them". (Yes, Virginia, there is a Library Santa Claus). They've set aside one position to use later. With the other positions, they are dreaming big, and realise that there is overlap between the positions:
  1. Social Networking Support Librarian
  2. Collaborative Publishing Librarian
  3. Multimedia Publishing Librarian
  4. Coordinator of Student Participation
  5. Programming Risk Taker
  6. OPAC Transformation Librarian
  7. Testbed Technologist
  8. Remote User Librarian..

and the one that really caught my fancy.... After 38 years, I finally know what I want to do when I grow up!!
9. Exploration and Training Librarian:

Does what all librarians should do but wlll get to do it full time: read, experiment, play, develop skills, listen to conference and training broadcasts, imagine and ruminate. Will develop a seminar program to present colleagues with the results of these efforts. Will assist colleagues in determining new ways of doing things based on these explorations. Will recommend readings, Web sites, podcasts, RSS feeds, etc., to assist in staff education. Establishes a culture of fun-loving, beta-craving, humorous attitude toward change.

TODAY'S HIPPIE CARD: Let go of the past

UPDATE: A couple of hours after I wrote this, into my aggregator popped an article from Michael Stephens on ALA Techsource that nicely summarises the last year of Librarian2.0 job descriptions in the US. Desperately seeking the adaptive librarian: on the 2.0 job description (part 3).

How my local library is getting it right for me

Just visited my local public library for the first time in about 3 months.

They’ve upgraded their website and a new feature caught my eye. New users can create a temporary membership online. This allows them to reserve items today, and provide their ID when they come to collect the item. A quick trawling of the web reveals this is probably “bog standard” with the Spydus ILS. I also liked the “item not in our library - fill in this request form and we’ll try to get it” option.

As someone who once joined up 4 family members at a loans desk, while trying to control a bored two year old, I applaud this. I would have loved to have entered our family’s details at my leisure and then known that what I wanted was ready for pickup BEFORE I ventured to the new library.

I registered both kids for an interactive storytelling of Charlotte’s Web with riveting “get-em-up-off-their-bums-and-moving” storyteller, Glenn Swift, next month. Having visited Narnia with him last year and re-enacted the battle scene in the library with spaghetti string and balloon swords, they can’t wait (OK…me neither!).

Mr 9 also joined in the Australia wide Summer Reading Club..after seeing at the front door the cool prizes he could win. He received a very nice “showbag” of reading related activities, including a “choose your book type” flowchart quiz, that steered him toward book choices that would suit him. He gets to go to a party where they dish out the prizes at the end of January.

The library also had very bright new signage - not just a small part of the shelf labelled, but large cardboard cutouts taking up the entire side of the shelf, top to bottom. Very clear and made each shelf feel individual, and like it held an adventure.

I left the library as one happy user.

TODAY'S HIPPIE CARD: Gentle Okayness

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The "To Be Read" Challenge

This looks like fun, so I'm doing it. The "To Be Read" Challenge from MizB of Literary Cache. I found it via Wanderings of a Student Librarian.

The idea is that before 1 January 2007, you list in your blog 12 books that have been on you TBR list for more than 6 months. Then, you read one per month. And..there's a sweetener from MizB:
Every 3 months, for the duration of the challenge, I will pick one challenge participant's name from a "hat". That person --if they've read the amount of books for that time (ie: 3 books in 3 months; 6 books in 6 months, etc)-- will receive a small gift (via snail-mail) from me.
If you have a "Staff's favourite picks" list on your website or posted in your library, why not add a "Staff's TBR list"? It would be great to share with your users, they'd get to know a bit more about you, about some of your bookstock and it would provide such an interesting talking point.

As I wrote the last paragraph, I thought "of course, this would only apply to public libraries". But I'm wondering...."Why couldn't we do it in an academic library?". Too worried about our credibility as a research institution, or that our users don't come to us for THAT kind of thing. If not, why not?

Here's my list. It turned out to be harder than I thought. I've just found out that I'm pretty good at following up and reading books on my TBR list:

  1. A delicate balance - Rohinton MISTRY

  2. Tipping point:how little things can make a big difference - Malco

  3. Born on a blue day - Daniel TAMMET

  4. A spot of bother - Mark HADDON

  5. Martini: a memoir - Frank MOOREHOUSE

  6. A prayer for Owen Meany - John IRVING

  7. The night watch - Sarah WATERS

  8. I know why the caged bird sings - Maya ANGELOU

  9. The tent - Margaret ATTWOOD

  10. The bone people - Keri HULME

  11. One hundred years of solitude - Gabriel GARCIA MARQUEZ

  12. History of Western Philosophy - Bertrand RUSSELL

Special mentions, but published in the last 6 months:

  1. The inheritance of loss - Kiran DESAI

  2. Chart throb - Ben ELTON

  3. Moral disorder - Margaret ATTWOOD

UPDATE 29.12.06: This one has been sitting on my bedside table so long that it's become part of the furniture, so I owe it a mention to prod me into finishing it:

  • Johnathon Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna CLARKE

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

5 things you didn't know about Kathryn Greenhill

I've been sitting out here on the "C" list in Australia, waiting to be tagged with this meme. I've just had three "driveby" taggings - of the "if you're reading this, you're tagged" kind - so off I go...
  1. Neither my husband nor I were born Greenhill. It's the family name we chose when our first child was born. We changed our names by deed, then registered the birth.
  2. I've just come out of 9 years of looking after small children and dying parents, so the opportunity to choose what I do with some hours of my day is novel and exciting. I'm like a kid in a lolly shop.
  3. In 1991, I was removed by police from a public bar in Swansea, Tasmania, making the front page of the Mercury. I was having a quiet drink with some other women the night after the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission had ruled that the RSL could not legally continue to exclude women from the bar. The RSL President was drunk and belligerent and removing us was how the police kept the peace.
  4. I have a morbid fear of beetroot. The smell, the stains, the texture, the taste, the look...all spine-chilling.
  5. I am very good at yoyo tricks. I had pneumonia when I was 11, during a yoyo craze. While I was off school recovering, I put the time to good use.
Consider yourself driveby tagged if you're reading this, but particularly if you are:
  1. CW
  2. Dave Pattern
  3. Feral TB
  4. Rochelle Hartman
  5. Judy O'Connell


Sunday, December 24, 2006

YouTube and I say "Happy holidays".

Here's one I made earlier today at the windy beach.

If the YouTube viewer doesn't appear in your aggregator, try going here:

Friday, December 22, 2006

Only 9 more days to help Peter pick his glasses.....

I'm always fascinated by people using blogs creatively.

One of the students at my uni needs help picking his new glasses frames. The terms of his health insurance means he has to do it by 31 December. On his blog, he's posted pictures of himself wearing different frames and would like people to use comments to vote on the best.

He's shortsighted, so can't see what he looks like in the mirror..without his glasses.

Give him your opinion as a Christmas present......

Pick my glasses.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oh you cain't getta man with a booooook!

Oh yes you can..if you live in Victoria.

The State Library of Victoria is running "Text appeal" bring-a-book speed dating sessions. I can't explain it any better than the library itself:

Love is in the air at the State Library of Victoria this summer.

Text Appeal is a new take on the traditional dating formula. Each person brings a book they love, loathe or have recently read to act as a conversation starter. Jane Austen may find Patrick O’Brien, Salman Rushdie could be captivated by Zadie Smith, and JK Rowling - can take her pick. The books people bring may reveal who they are, who they aren't and perhaps who they are looking for, all in a three-minute conversation.

Text Appeal will run once a month from December 2006 to February 2007, with the final event being held on Valentine’s Day.

Time 6 Dec 2006, 17 Jan & 14 Feb 2007; 7-9.30pm
Venue Experimedia
Bookings Registration is essential. Fill in the form below, tel 03 8664 7555 or email
Cost $20 per session - drinks, entertainment and the promise of a bookish romance included (a three-for-the-price-of-two discount applies to group bookings

Now, I'm not looking for love..but I am really nosy about other people's reactions to their reading. I'd love to take part in something like that, particlularly listening to those who just hate my favourites.

My Co-Pilot has pointed out that if I did go along, I'd probably end up with my nose in the book and ignoring the person on the other side of the table. Hmmmm...after that comment, maybe I am in the market for lurve!