Although the college is closed for the mid-year break Library staff have been working hard behind the scenes. The bulk of our stocktaking assignment is complete at Leederville campus and we are getting ready for the influx of new students next week. I'll be leaving my very capable team to manage on their own as I'm swanning off to Bali for two weeks, my first real holiday in years. I'm so looking forward to having no responsibilities for a while as well as finding out about another culture and its people. Then, of course, there's the shopping and I've been given a list of things that various people want me to bring home for them. I hope my luggage allowance will cope with it all.

During the so-called break I've prepared a project brief to have a trial run of "23 Things (Learning 2.0)" at our library and had it accepted to start in week 5 of the new semester. My manager wants to be involved himself and I don't think I'll have any difficulty finding 5-10 volunteers for the trial.

I've also done a lot of reflection as I worked on my performance management review. It seems that our HR department has had to justify its existence by producing more and more forms to replace the old ones. So much is repetitive and doesn't seem to serve any useful purpose. Why not just a few simple questions such as:
What have you done during the past period?
What have you been unable to do - and why?
What do you plan to do during the next period?

The beginners Virtual Librarianship course is complete. Last weeks' session was interesting and some quite lively discussion evolved but it ended very suddenly leaving me with a feeling that there must be something more. We didn't even have an end of course party - not that I would have been able to keep my eyes open much later than the 12.30 pm Perth time the session ended. I'm planning to register for the intermediate course and, now that SL is available on the staff computer network, I'm hoping to be able to attend classes at a more reasonable time.

Swan TAFE asked me to give a brief demo of SL at their Black Friday function last week. If only they'd told me about the theme I'd have dressed more appropriately both on and off screen! It went down well and I hope to have made a few converts among people who are looking for new ways to get in touch with our students.


A Hipper Crowd of Shushers

Many people have blogged about this post in the New York Times and it is recorded as being at the top of their most emailed article list. My comments yesterday about librarian's appearance/style were written before I saw this article but I'm pleased that I am on the same wave-length as so many other people.
People's perceptions about our profession are important. I'm tired of the comments about sexy librarians hiding behind a bun and glasses as well as "But you don't look like a librarian!" or "I'd like to be a librarian because I love reading". How did we ever get that way?
When I was at university and in my teens a boyfriend once suggested that I might be interested in librarianship. I was horrified at the thought because my perception of people who worked in libraries (if they worked there they must all be librarians) was someone of indeterminate age who sat in a large, badly lit room and said "Shh!". Later, as a secondary school teacher I was asked to run the school library and then I found out how stimulating the job could be. Several years later, when my children had left home, I had the opportunity to return to study and complete a Grad. Dip. in Information Management and I've never looked back.
I find it stimulating to be on the cutting edge, know what is meant by Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 and try to have aspects of it implemented in our college in spite of some solid resistance. Meeting with like-minded people and bouncing ideas around is also very useful. I loved Kathryn's post 20 reasons why learning emerging techologies is part of every librarian’s job and wish I could attend Librarians2.0 on the loose: a free unoffical unconference for Western Australian libraryland. Don’t think I’ll cancel a long-awaited holiday to get back to Perth in time though – in spite of the heightened security alert.


What does a Librarian look like?

I got to thinking about the stereotypical image of a librarian after my last Second Life Virtual Librarianship class and then saw a link to these pictures on Flickr. We had a somewhat heated discussion about the need for librarians in SL to dress up their avatars (or not) and the fact that finding clothes and changing one's appearance had been covered at the beginning of the course. One of the participants thought that appearance was not important as she was there to learn how to provide a service to her clients. The facilitator, Puglet Dancer, was of the opinion that her appearance was very important to her and often led to her making business contacts might not otherwise have come her way.
In many public and college libraries staff tend to dress casually and normal business standards of dress don't apply. I think appearance is as importance in SL as it is in real life and love the opportunity the virtual world gives me to look young, wear stiletto heels and change my hairstyle as often as I want. In RL I also try to dress well without reverting too often to "twinset and pearls".



I did attend the Perth BarCamp briefly last Saturday. Wish I could have stayed longer but Saturdays are always so busy and my mum (aged 95) hates to have me out of her sight when I'm not working. Many others have blogged about the event and it appears to have been very successful. Did manage to catch Kathryn's presentation on SL. So glad that someone had radio access and she was able to give a proper demo.

But ... this morning when I fired up my pc I saw the SL icon that I had tried to use but failed when Central TAFE's firewall blocked access. Decided to download the new build anyway to use at home and, I don't know why, tried to access SL again. Success!! I don't know if this is just an experiment and it may last for only a short time but I sure hope not. Considering that I've been doing a lot of agitating to have it enabled at Central I don't understand why I wasn't advised.