Wednesday, August 16, 2017

silence for #glamblogclub

There are a lot of ways this can be explored.  I thought about the ideas of the Silence and Silence in the library. Since starting this post I have read Jane Cowell's piece on silence which I enjoyed.

I am interested in who in your community is silenced:
  • because they are not using the library
  • because their history and stories are not being collected in local studies
  • because people like them are not shown in the collection
This will vary from library type to library type.  My comments are mainly about public libraries, but are relevant for other libraries too.

Who is the library silencing?

With membership data it is possible to see, at least roughly, who is using the library.  For public libraries membership data could include postcodes and location names.  It should be possible to work out if there are geographic areas where residents are not connecting to the library.  There can be many reasons for this, and each library will need to investigate as they can include:
  • not knowing what the library offers
  • knowing what the library offers and not thinking it is relevant
  • hours which make it hard to access the library
  • slow download speeds so that even if you can get to the library to join borrowing econtent is not feasible
  • the programs and services are not seen as relevant 
Are the programs targeting a narrow range of the community? When you try something different and have lower numbers, do you interpret this as a fail, and decide to never try something different again? 

Is how the collection structured silencing people?  In Australia we have not had the same high profile approach as the We need diverse books in the USA.  We also need diverse books, so that everyone is seeing someone like them in the collection, in fiction and non-fiction, but also so that we are all seeing a wider world.  This means working a bit harder on collection development. Also keeping in mind every community needs this diversity, even if the same diversity is not visible on the street (because you don't know who you are silencing).

Local studies as a special area of the collection also needs to not silence people.  Only collecting people of certain backgrounds is silencing everyone else.  As well as silencing them, you are making them invisible as well

We all need to change our ways.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A few thoughts about Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)

Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow by Cheryl Knott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very disturbing book. I read it because of a tweet from @Tuphlos. This is a book, wherever you work in the world, if you work in libraries, you need to read it. It is important history for one location, but it highlights ongoing issues for libraries around the world. It demonstrates that saying your library is welcoming and inclusive are a long way from your library actually being welcoming and inclusive. It also shows the need for effective outreach so that people who aren't using the library know about what it can do for them.

While this book shows legal barriers - segregation - to library use, make sure there are not other barriers in your area. This is a disturbing and important book to read. There was one sentence which highlighted problems "Most [libraries] who reported some move towards total desegregation also acknowledged that African Americans had not been told of these policy changes". Do you ever change something but don't tell the clients about it? Also "Libraries continued to restrict use to whites only...almost 2 million southern blacks lived in areas with public libraries that refused them service". This book continually demonstrated the need for a diverse collection and diverse staff - no excuses.



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Monday, July 31, 2017

#cookingforcopyright - what I made today

My grandmother hand wrote her recipes, because there were not a lot of other options. I have digitised these, and have started a slow transcription process - which I am really happy for others to join. Today I made a bran date loaf.

#cookingforcopyright
Bran loaf ingredients































The recipe for this is shown below.  The variations from the recipe are that I used oat bran (because I had it) and wholemeal flour (as I only have wholemeal flour).

On this page I have previously made the Quong Tart Scones and the Currant Scones - both of which are lovely.
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You can read an earlier post I wrote showing this recipe on a Spoonflower product I made.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

encouraging making

Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show 2017
 This photograph shows some of the action in one of the Woolcraft sheds at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show last week.  It was to encourage making (and give people a chance to sit down).  It really was an old blanket with which you could use the various items on the table to decorate - trying a new skill or participate in visible mending. I liked that it was simple, and was for experimenting with.  There was no overall design, so it was impossible to do the wrong thing with it.

Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show 2017
Showing detail on the blanket of some embroidery































Do you have things like this for adults in your library?

Monday, July 24, 2017

how to you let people know what hashtags you are monitoring?

Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show 2017
 This photograph shows a sign which was attached to a fence, at what was mainly an outdoor event.  It was easy to see.  It was helpful to have the social media streams spelled out, as with some organisations, this can be a challenge.

How do you let people know how they can connect with your organisation on social media?

Monday, July 10, 2017

A few thoughts on Servant of the crown (and there is a library connection)

Servant of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane #1)Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book because I wanted to see how a royal librarian was depicted in fiction. This is a political thriller and romance with a mistreated library in the middle. There are cataloguing problems (the single volume listing is stolen), supply problems for cataloguing cards (and creative solutions for substitutes), there are humidity issues which are destroying the collection, and on top of that there is theft and corruption. There also have been no new collection items acquired for over two years. This is not a problem of supply as there is a local publishing boom, but one of how new materials are not always welcomed in a heritage library. In this context since this library is similar to a legal deposit library a broader acquisition approach is needed. Issues of appropriate training for librarians are raised and that is a problem which is not effectively resolved.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

I will be participating in #glamblogweekly or #libblogweekly or whatever the hashtag is

I made it half way through #blogjune and then did not blog for the rest of the month. I really enjoyed reading the blog posts from others.

At the end of the month I read this post by Kathryn (so make sure you head over and read her post now).

I am viewing #glamblogweekly, #libblogweekly  (or whatever the hashtag ends up being) as an encouragement to blog, and work on writing and communication skills, rather than a threat.  I have lots of deadlines in the rest of my life which have no flexibility, so the choice and encouragement of blogging once a week will be viewed as a choice and an encouragement.

I have set up my calendar alerts, to remind me to write posts. I am not going to guarantee to write a post every week - since I did not manage every day of June this year.  Some weeks will be photographs with little writing.  I look forward to seeing what blog posts are written by others participating in this.

Happy blogging.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Using storify - work done by @abcemergency

ABC Emergency on storify is great local studies work. This account brings together information about (mostly weather related) emergencies across Australia.  I would be interested to know how local studies staff are using this information and these resources as part of their collections as photographs of different local areas are included.


Have a look at the work done by ABC news on storify too.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Using storify - work done by @hrw

Human Rights Watch uses storify to highlight issues of concern around the world.  I have embedded a recent one, but you can see more here. I am including this group because of the wider information potential they have.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A few thoughts about Grief works: stories of life, death and surviving

Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and SurvivingGrief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving by Julia Samuel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book because I heard a talk by the author on Dan Snow's history hits. I would suggest going and listening to this first.

This is an impressive book, and although I have finished it, and returned it to the library, it is one which I want to reread and mull over more. This book highlights the need to talk about death in whatever way is most needed by those who grieve. It is a series of stories of different people grieving. At times this is a very sad books to read, and a little awkward on public transport, or other public locations. This is one to consider adding to library collections, but also reading yourself. It is hard hitting while also being very gentle and compassionate. One to read to think about how you grieve, but also how you can help others who are grieving. There is no simple solution, but there are a few things not to do. Give it a go. It is most likely to appeal to people who read for story or character.



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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Burton Barr Library - making and connecting

Phoenix Public Library is very interesting.  They have some very lovely libraries, and they keep looking at changes which can be made.

In their central library they have added Mach and Hive.

Hive is for small business
Hive - ​Burton Barr Central Library
with a mix of books
Hive - ​Burton Barr Central Library
and other elements
Hive - ​Burton Barr Central Library
space
The hive - ​Burton Barr Central Library
and they make it easy to find out about social media.
Hive - ​Burton Barr Central Library

Mach is about making and is impressive.
3D printers - Mach - ​Burton Barr Central Library

Thursday, June 8, 2017

readers' advisory - it is about the client and not you

I know this is a tough idea for some people to understand. I still hear people 'recommending' and not suggesting titles.  There is a really big difference.

Becky Spratford has a great series on her blog which is a Call to action which makes vital points about readers' advisory skills in public libraries. I would suggest reading all of Becky's blog at RA for all, and RA for all horror are there are great ideas which you can use straight away at your library.

Start by reading this post Call to Action: Allow People To Dislike The Books You Suggest and go on from there.  It is about the client and connecting them to something they may enjoy (and not your latest read, not matter how much you think they may like it).  You want to encourage them, and not scare them.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

a few thoughts on Reading the reader: A survey of Australian reading habits

Recently the report Reading the reader: A survey of Australian reading habits was released.  The whole report is here, or you can read an overview here with some graphs.  It is a good idea to look at the methodology because it shows that there were some library connections in the research.  I think the research shows some recognition of the work that libraries do with readers' advisory work in many forms. 

This graph (and you are going to have to click the link as it won't let me embed it), actually proves the value of appeal characteristics for readers advisory work (think of the Nancy Pearl element of setting, story, language and character), because 90% of people said that 'topic, subject, setting or style' were important elements.  45% of people said price was key too, which makes me think there should have been more research with people who use libraries as that removes the price element. 

Go and have a look at the report and think about the implications for readers' advisory work in your library and how you suggest reading to your clients.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Connecting information...local land services

There is an impressive series of videos produced by Local Land Services Western Region in NSW. It really looks at land is a variety of ways.  The video I have embedded is by Ben Flick, a local Indigenous man, and is part of the Through our eyes series which has Indigenous people talking about the land and sharing stories. 
 
These videos are interesting, and highlight the importance of exploring local information.  These are impressive local studies videos, and hopefully they are being collected by relevant libraries and promoted to their communities.  This shows some partnerships for libraries, including with their local land services.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

does the library support local sporting teams?

Some public libraries in the USA and Canada have been having fun with book spine poetry to support their local sporting teams.  Have a look a this article which brings together some examples.  How do you think this would look supporting people who play sport in your community?

I think this covers a wide range of library skill sets.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

where photographs end up : part 2

I have an alert set up so I can see where the photographs I post on Flickr end up.  There are a wide range of places including articles about:


Thursday, June 1, 2017

back for #blogjune in 2017

I missed #blogjune last year.  It was my first year back at part time study while working full time, and I could not manage it, but...this year I am going to try.

I will probably look at games, readers' advisory work, local studies and whatever else takes my fancy.

That is where this photograph fits in.  I took it while the police car was parked, and I think that this is the reason for the social media promotion - to be read while the car is parked.  If you were reading it while driving along, you would be too close, and would have to be the passenger and not the driver.

So, think about how you let people know your library is on social media.  Do you make it possible to find out about this when library vehicles are out and about - or do you expect people to guess?

Happy #blogjune.  I look forward to reading what other people are writing this month.

Police and social media

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A few thoughts on The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures

The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary TreasuresThe Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an impressive account of one card catalogue, that of the Library of Congress. The illustrations include items from the Library of Congress matched with their card catalogue records, which is lovely. It is also an account of the card distribution service, which sounds massive, and the change to electronic catalogues. I now want to read a more general history of cataloguing , not what I expected to feel like reading.

This is an enjoyable, pacy read.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

writing about hope for #glamblogclub

This is a lovely theme, as we need to have some hope to keep going every day.

Even with the dangerous political decisions being made around the world, and the many grim things happening, there is still some hope. It may be in:
Making the point with a targeted sign.
an example of serendipitous discovery - a friend pointed this sign out to me as we were walking along
 
This is only a short list (with a mostly work focus), and there is a lot more.  It is also communities of people encouraging and helping one another, some of this is seen in the links above, some of it is online connections, and some are the face to face connections we all have.  It is also the knowledge that we can all make a difference, but we must choose to take action.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

scent and local studies

Earlier this year, as part of the Sydney Festival there was an exhibition called Scent of Sydney by Cat Jones.  People had been interviewed, and from their interviews, scents were created.  Under each ceramic cup there were ashes which could be smelled.

Scent of Sydney
 It combined oral history and smell, as you could listen to each recording, where people talked about places, and people, and the smells associated with these memories.  Then you could smell something which was evocative of this.  It struck me as a very interesting oral history project, and also as a powerful way of connecting to the stories, as you tried to identify the various elements of each combined scent.  This triggered memories as well. It was a very powerful combination of local studies and art.  You can read more about it here.


Scent of Sydney

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

a few thoughts on Social Media in Southeast Italy by Razvan Nicolescu

Social Media in Southeast ItalySocial Media in Southeast Italy by Razvan Nicolescu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book I have read in the Why We Post, series which looks at the work of 'anthropologists who each spent 15 months living in communities across the world'. I had read How the World Changed Social Media which brings together the findings of all the research projects. Social media in south east Italy, looks at how social media is used in one town, with use changing according to age, and commitments. How this changes is different in each of these communities, so I will be reading more of these books. This series of ethnographies is a reminder that while social media is the same, it is very different as well.

This is also a work of local studies as it explores daily life in a community, and indepth social interactions.

I am reading these both for the research methodology and the content. This book was an entertaining and engaging read.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How does your organisation encourage feedback and interaction?

The Tramsheds at Harold Park have a sign near the entrance (and near the old tram) encouraging feedback, and showing how to connect with them on social media.

Does your library make it this easy?
Tramsheds, Harold Park, NSW, seeking feedback with social media links

Friday, April 7, 2017

yet another post about Storify and local studies

I know Storify is not a conservation tool, but it is a useful way to bring together material which you may choose to collect for your library in other ways. ABC Emergency does a great job with Storify to bring together information (mostly) about extreme weather.

Think about how this could be used for bringing together information of local interest, with local studies potential.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Instagram potential for local studies by @oclslibrary

The library staff at Orange County Library System do many amazing things.  Recently on Instagram they announced an #oclslovesorlando instagram challenge. Each day through April there is a different theme.  This is a great way to see how your community sees their environment.  As part of this there is the potential to collect these images for locals studies as a great way of recording what 2017 (for example) looks like.  This is a very exciting project.  Other libraries have done similar things.

I would be very interested to know if libraries are collecting this kind of material for local studies, as collecting recent/current content is really important.

Great work by OCLS, and great hashtag.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Craftivism discussion, on video and with lots of links

While this is a long video to watch, it is a very interesting discussion.  It is one to give time to, and to see the different ideas, tensions and cultural differences.  It also demonstrates an extended hangout, and could be a method of programming to consider for a library.

Hearing this discussion is a reminder to think about how people are collecting for their libraries.  What craftivism and activism books/dvd/streaming have you added?

Is there collecting for local studies? Denver Public Library put a call out for collecting material from the local women's march, and various museums (including Fuller Craft Museum) are also collecting in this space.

Have a look at the analysis of twitter from the women's march in Washington, and some additional resources to explore for craftivism.

Has your library connected with local craftivists?  Don't forget groups like the knitters for Wrap with love.  There are many ways to connect with, support and record these communities.

What I wish they taught me in GLAM school for #GLAMBlogClub

This is a tough question.  It has been many years since I qualified as a librarian and there have been changes in workplaces.  I studied cataloguing as part of my qualifications, and my first job was as a cataloguer.  What I learned in my course was useful for this, but, it would have been useful to have been thinking more broadly about cataloging and metadata at that time, and to have been encouraged to think more broadly about these areas.  I still think learning about cataloguing and metadata is important.

Areas like local studies and readers' advisory work were not addressed at all, neither were programs.  There are important areas for public libraries, and have relevance in other library sectors as well.  It would have been helpful to have these areas explored as well.

There is a need for proactiveness in our personal learning.  We will each be interested in different things, or will need different information/knowledge.  Learning is active and continuous, through out our lives, and we will need to explore different methods of learning, and of obtaining information.  I appreciate when other people share what they learn, as I can also learn from this.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Growing library garden programs from @webjunction

Growing Library Garden Programs: Upon hearing news of First Lady Michelle Obama's surprise visit to school and community gardens, we thought it would be a good time to collect together a list of related resources and examples of libraries who are creating gardens and hosting garden programming. Many public libraries are connecting to community partners and transforming spaces to engage patrons of all ages in growing library garden programs. Perhaps the First Lady could visit some of the many library gardens next! Middle Country Public Library's Nature Explorium in Connecticut: Learn all about this innovative garden in a WebJunction webinar, Explore and Discover: Nature-Based Spaces and Activities at your Library Westbank Community Garden at Westbank Libraries in Texas rents out fourteen 8' x 8' organic plots to community members.



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Go and read the above post in Webjunction.  It is a lovely collection of what is happening in the USA in terms of library garden programs.  Library gardens can be useful for so many aspects of library services, and have the potential to connect with:

  • readers' advisory (non-fiction and fiction) - connecting plants to reading perhaps through seeing plants which have been read about, or mirroring the growing of plants described in books, or as a way to explore cooking or the environment.
  • reference and information - a garden may be the answer to information people are seeking, and instead of the answer being found online or in a print resource, the answer may be in a plant in a garden, or in a method of gardening
  • as well as local studies - with the growing of heritage or historic plants
Think about the potential for a library garden in your area.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

print on demand fabric - local studies potential

I recently had my first play with Spoonflower. The image below shows what the print looks like. I was impressed. I hemmed these and they became small table cloths (for gifts).

My first adventures with Spoonflower
There is a lot of potential for local studies digitised material to be turned into fabric, and Spoonflower is just one option.  I am a fan of Redbubble too, for the objects which can be created, but this time I wanted the flexibility of fabric, not an end product.

The print is from hand written recipes which one of my grandmothers recorded, and, as you can see from the scan below, became a bit battered over time.   I like that they were used. I have not made all the recipes on this page, but the Quong Tart Scones and the Current Scones are both lovely (even if I did have to look up weight conversions).
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You can see more of these hand written recipes on Flickr.  If anyone wants to help transcribe them, that would be brilliant.  I am doing them slowly as part of a family project.

I have not seen local studies collections encouraging the use of their collections for print on demand fabric, but was impressed to see State Library of Victoria encouraging using designs from their collection for paper.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boston Public Library profiling love of reading

I thought a while before I wrote that title, but, while obvious, it fits this series on Instagram
This is the first in what promises to be a series of photographs showing children of Boston Public Library staff, and what they like reading.  This is a lovely photograph.

I also like that this is a way to show that libraries have a range of jobs too.  Great work by Boston Public Library.

Monday, February 13, 2017

some thoughts on @Knitsonik stranded colourwork sourcebook

Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork SourcebookKnitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook by Felicity Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful and inspiring book about knitting. It is also a great book for local studies. Felicity Ford takes inspiration from daily object including brickwork, beer, fruit cake and walnut trees and turns them into stranded colourwork. Ford takes the reader through her process, and shows the various stages, including the colour combinations which she regards as not as successful. All the examples are kept as a record, and they are interesting in their own right. I look forward to exploring this work in more detail as I would like to see what I could come up with. I also want to try the fruit cake recipe which is included in this book.

How I think this book could work for local studies, is that local knitters could have workshops exploring the built and natural environment and knit their responses to this. Ford uses examples from Reading (where she lives), and from her drive to work, so some of the examples in this book are also recording material of interest for local studies collections.

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