Archive for July, 2007

Taking a break…

 Since my paper on the weekend, I have been forced into a little non-voluntary down time, but that’s good to do now and then. Mind you all the blog items keep swilling around my head.

However, I am about to embark on a wee bit bigger break for 2 weeks so this post will remain a bit scant till after 4 August…or maybe a bit more….

Many ideas and things to do that I have floating around include:

  • Write a paper for the Ark Conference in Sydney. The conference is called “Management Strategies for Libray and Information Service Centres” and my paper will be co-written with a collague (Ignatius) called, “Get the Edge on Urbis’ blog and wiki implementation model” Click here to read the conference program
  • Wrap up the NLS4 website a bit more
  • Attend an Intranet Leadership Forum in Sydney on “Web 2.0”
  • Possibly help get together a small leadership programme in Melbourne with other like minded people…details to come later in the year
  • Gather some RSVP’s for the next ALIA Vic Specials Tour
  • As well as my other usual work at Urbis…like go and work in our Sydney office etc.

A well deserved break will give me some time to reflect on the first half of the year, and help me to plot out my strategies for the rest of the year and next year…

Please return to this page again when this page will be flowing again….

Adios amigos, till August !!


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I’m presenting a paper  on saturday at the Australian and New Zealand Theological Association Conference, my paper is titled, “Transform: yourself and your library service with some handy tips and tricks using my toolbox”. I aim to post the paper to this site, but maybe not for a month or so.

The topics I will be discussing includes:

  • Information Organisation
  • Colour coding
  • Emails
  • Schedules
  • Saying No (when appropriate)
  • Listen to your clients
  • 80/20 rule
  • Networking in your organisation
  • Policy and procedures…
  • Technology to make your life easier – intranet, blogs and wikis
  • Improve yourself
  • Mentoring students and staff

Anyway, I have a style that likes to engage the audience and keep them interested in what we will be discussing. As well as poking a bit of fun at myself. I have taken a few snapshots to show them in the introduction of my paper to get them interested.



Yes, that’s my illustrious co-worker Katy and myself, trying to demonstrate that my tips and tricks offered at the conference will transform yourself and your library from feeling very busy and from wearing alot of hats at one time to feeling refined and in control.Enough of the gas bagging, back to the paper…

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Drought Gauge


I had intended to use our dam as a gauge as to the state of the drought, but it seems that no sooner had I decided this, but the dam filled up within a few days. Okay, okay, I have my farmer Jill hat on again, but I think it’s imperative to our lives to have some interest in the state of our environment. I won’t give a lecture here, or rabbit on about it. I posted an earlier photo of the state of our dam in March, and it remained that way till last week. As I mentioned, the papers were trying to whip up more media frenzy by saying they wouldn’t fill for another few years, hence, the media was wrong, yet again. I thought it would be good to record that Melbourne might possibly be moving out of a drought it has experienced for over 10 years, but how do you really measure that?

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Winter Sun

Winter Sun

Here I am, playing around in the winter sunshine. I just love those long shadows created by the sun…bet you can’t tell I have a beanie, huge coats and jeans on because it’s sooo cold.

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The time has come for Minzah’s placement to wrap up. Here’s what she has to say about her last week and her placement…

My placement has come to an end! I have learnt so much over the three weeks and gained a lot of knowledge during my time here. I would like to thank the Knowledge and Information Management team at Urbis for helping me throughout my professional development. Before commencing my placement I had expectations of what I may learn, and believe me I have far exceeded them.
During my time at Urbis I was able to develop capabilities of reflective analytical practice and socially and culturally responsible practice specific to Urbis. With these skills I was able to evaluate services offered by Urbis, in relation to its clientele; observe and evaluate the activates, processes and systems which support the organisation’s functions; observe the range of resources within the organisation and their relationship to the services offered; and finally evaluate the strategies employed to assess the effectiveness of the organisations services and programs. 
What I most enjoyed from working Urbis was the ability to explore the many different sides of Knowledge & Information Management. I was able to examine how the Knowledge and Information Management team is broken down into sections, such as library staff, database staff and GIS.  
I undertook many tasks throughout my time at Urbis and the great thing was each task varied day-to-day. From doing desk-circulation work; to creating a library induction for podcasting using MediaWiki. I was also given the opportunity to go through the process of cataloging
I spent a lot of time with Katy Li (library technician), which gave me an insight of the daily activities commenced in the K&IM team. She helped me understand the cataloguing system whilst explaining the two types (electronic and hardcopy), with the help of Katy I was able to observe and participate in management processes which helped me in understanding how data is managed and maintained at Urbis.
Finally many students think placement involves sitting in front of you desk and typing away, well this maybe right depending on where you do it. Fortunately for me I was given hands-on experience, with the opportunity to visit the Athenaeum Library, Bureau of Metrology Library and the State Library. My experience at Urbis has been excellent, I am now able to explore future career opportunities and asses my professional development. Thanks Jill for this fantastic opportunity

We both agree that her experience has really come together and that her placement at Urbis has benefited her learning with regards to what happens in a private corporate library. I look forward to posting another blog as Minzah progresses in her career. And who knows, our collaboration, and that with my other students, may evolve into some research down the track.

Thanks again Minzah.

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Since I have been reporting on Minzah’s experience at Urbis, I got to thinking about some other ideas for reporting how my past students are going. I think it’s excellent to hear about a current student, but even more worthwhile to hear how they have gone on their journey since they left my workplace.

I’d like to introduce to you Vanessa Lastrina, a 3rd year RMIT student, who undertook her work placement with me a year ago. Here’s what she has to say about her progress over the last year…

Wow! It has been a year already since I did my placement at Urbis, what have I been up to since then?
Urbis allowed me to undertake some library experience and gave me an insight as to how information is stored electronically. In this new information age, it is vital to have both physical and electronic methods of storing information that can be accessed by necessary staff at any time.

The last placement I undertook was at Latrobe University– School of Public Health where I worked at the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group Library. I was a little disappointed with this placement as my interests lie in web and database development as well as working with organisational documents stored electronically. However, I was prepared to have an open mind and learn about the library sector and how it differs to the corporate sector. I learnt how to construct a ‘real’ thesaurus with all health related terms and words as well as undertake a stocktake in the library of all the Health Issues Materials such as articles, books, reports, conference papers, etc. I also was able to use a few different medical databases called Procite, Medline, etc as well the library catalogue where we were required to enter or edit records. During my time at Latrobe University I observed that  Academics do not have a structured working environment compared to those working in a corporate environment.

I am currently undertaking another placement at the Department of Education- Victorian Education Channel; they are located in the Information Technology Division of the Department. The Channel provide links to online resources for school students, teachers and principals, these links/websites have been recommended and reviewed by educators. I have been able to work in an environment where my interests lie and have been able put my studies to practical use. Towards the end of placement, I have been able to catalogue websites for primary school students and add metadata to them using the Dublin Core Metadata Elements, I was able to participate in forum and discuss what student learning means to mean, I have been able to observe the working of the Department’s new Intranet called the Ultranet and their upcoming information portal called eduGate which will provide a central gateway to information systems and allow for collaboration and sharing knowledge. Currently, I am amending a particular part of a website called the Website Tool Kit, which has quite a lot of redundant and unnecessary information. I have the opportunity to edit and then publish the site using the Education Channel’s Web Content Management System

The activities I have undertaken during placement have been very interesting in learning and understanding about different organisations. Their restructure of web content and the purpose of information management in an organisational and educational setting to cater for all user needs, has provided very useful insights and application of theory into practice in the real world. (Vanessa Lastrina)

Thanks for your thorough update Vanessa, you have certainally started to up your learning and it’s great to hear you using all the library terms such as Metadata, Dublin Core, Portals, Intranets and Ultranets. It sounds like you have quite a varied experience by coming to a private company like Urbis, then going to a University and then working for the Victorian Government. I am curious to know where you will end up at the end of this year.  Please keep us in touch.

Are my readers enjoying this element of collaboration?? I’d love you to make a comment and let me know about your thoughts…

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Jill’s Weekend Toolbox

This has been my random weekend toolbox for the last few weeks. My wheelbarrow consists of native seedlings, a shovel (rarely, the crowbar), potting mix and water crystals, oh, and a bucket for watering them in. This photo hasn’t turned out very well as it was raining at the time, and I was keen to get these last lot in and hang up the shovel for another year. This year, we have planted approx 100 plants in our front yard, varieties include bottle brush, native gums, hebes (pretty purple or white flower, very hardy), acacia and anything else that is hard that I can get my hands on. I am looking forward to the blooming results…

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