Archive for the ‘Library’ Category

…gee, I have just found some old library photos and have realised the funny lengths I have gone to, to promote my library and it’s services.

I am a true believer that libraries must promote themselves to the maximum of their abilities to show patrons what services they offer.

The first photo of myself with a barcode on my head is an informal photo taken as a joke.
The second one I found amongst all my old photos, so I must have been trying to be funny when it comes to promoting library services. I don’t recall this one being used to promote my library, formally.

The third photo from the left, was used to promote my national library service to all of my clients. The ad actually worked and I found more people ringing me for information searching after this initiative was launched.
The last photo, second column was used to promote myself within the Melbourne Office as many staff didn’t know where I sat, it was aimed to take the mickey out of me, to show I’m fun and “at your service”, of which, this promotion also had an increased use in my services.

Therefore, it pays to lose some humility and promote yourself and your library, show that you are NOT invisible within an organisation and let people know you are there to help them with their information needs.

What sort of quirky information promotion have you undertaken in your service?

Does my promotion ideas give you any ideas you could use or do?

Goodluck !!


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Gosh, things have progressed very quickly for me. In the last few months or so, I have been deciding to return to work, and also been trying to gauge the sort of job I will have that will “re launch” my career.

It seemed that after a 3 year break, that there were some barriers towards me entering the workforce. This had been lightly mentioned in interviews I have had when I went for senior positions. But luckily, the people called me back, I was turned down on the jobs as other people had “more direct experience”. But I was offered casual work.

I commenced at a public library and was extremely happy with the induction program they ran and the lovely staff they had onboard. I was happy to continue with this work, till…the telephone rings from a University situated in the same area. I went in for a chat not knowing if this was a “mini” interview, a thorough razzing or something informal.

Well, it ended up being “very” informal, lively, fun, informative, and embracing. On the spot, I was offered the job AND “can you start tomorrow”. Woah, I have never been in this situation before.

Firstly, the work sounded much more interesting, challenging, a learning experience and somewhere where all my library training could come to the fore.

After the first two days, I have realised that I have made the right decision. All the the library learning HAS come back and it’s now consolidated as I’m doing ordering, looking at Marc records, transferring files to vendors or finance, downloading information, keeping and adjusting records, liaising with librarians and vendors and I’m LOVING being back with a library team !!!

After some time thinking if I’d taken some steps back in my career by dedicating the last 3 years to my son, I have now let my skills come to fore, to give my life some “work life balance.”

I love you Ronan, but I also need to use my brain !! 🙂 It’s all working out just fine.

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As mentioned a few days ago, my career is being re-launched after spending the last 3 years looking after my son. I have loved many many moments of being home with my son, some moments have been trying, and I am now looking to find some balance with him (Ronan) and unleashing my mind back into the workplace.

On Tuesday I commenced work in Public Libraries, a sector I have never worked in, but have always been interested in investing my time and energies in. I have worked in many other sectors, including Tertiary, a “Joint Use” campus of a Uni, TAFE and High School, a number of special and corporate libraries. I am very interested in enhancing the education and knowledge of local communities and believe public libraries will allow me to assist this improvement.

After two days working in Public Libraries have I noticed any differences or similarities to other sectors?? As I strongly believe it should be easier than what it currently is, to move between sectors. The differences are the wide range of the clients, it’s important to understand that Under 18’s have a number of restrictions on their borrowing and internet uses.

And to me, so far, that is the main difference.

The similarities are MANY !! Borrowing, returns, claims returns, holds, information searching, databases, books, CD’s, DVD’s etc. The audience can be different, in special libraries the transaction with the customer and be MUCH longer, where in Publics and Academics, the transaction is “mostly” shorter.

I’d really love to do further research and assessment on this area. What do you think??

Overall, I’m glad to be back. I think I needed to “come back” / “return” in my own time. It’s taken quite a while. But I felt I needed to give Ronan alot of support and then get my own career back on track.

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It seemed like it would take forever for this time to arrive, but it soon caught up, and I have now commenced the first day of my “new life” as a ??? maternity leave person? impending mother? ummm, I’m not quite sure how to word it. I don’t want to use the words housewife…I still have my “other” library interests and activities to keep me involved in my career, such as the NLS website. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get right into the swing of things.

Today, I have already updated the “exciting news” on our NLS website, and have looked after the concreters who are here working away.

I had a fantastic farewell at Urbis this week, it actually started last friday with a joint lunch, with another person who was leaving. I preferred to undertake a “joint” event as it took the “heat” off myself. Many people gave me lots of lovely gifts for the baby, stuff that makes you go gooey and imagine the little one wearing or using once they arrive. And on the last day my boss did a wonderful speech rounding up the library and intranet services and their progress from when I started at Urbis, close to 3 years ago, to how they look and work now ! I felt tired after reflecting on all that. It’s good that Ian and Ignatius are now taking over the services, they can look at them from “fresh” eyes and implement further changes, progression and development.

So, here is the Urbis Technology & Knowledge Team, some of us.

L-R: Ian, Ignatius, Johan, Me – Jill, Andrew and Adriana

Geelong Library Event

Last week I went to a Geelong Library and Information Week event, and it was good to connect with some of our regional counterparts. I had to be careful when I said, “I work in the city”, because that doesn’t mean, “I work in Melbourne”, most thought Geelong, so I needed to clarify. When I asked them why there hadn’t been an event for a while they mentioned that it “all got too complicated with ALIA”. But I don’t think a group needs ALIA to get like minded librarians together from a variety of organisations, so I do hope they keep meeting up. It will be good for myself, and easier to get to, than going to Melbourne during the next year. I was amazed I knew so many people, before I went I knew I’d know two people, but when I got there I knew about 6 people and a few others had heard of me through the ALIA lists. It was good to get chatting to people to talk library talk I hadn’t done for a while, such as document delivery and talk about the progression of those services through the use of technologies. So, I think I have found one way I can keep up to date with my profession while out of the workplace.

Anyway, I’m off to keep on with Day 1 of my new direction.

Thanks bloggers and blogging readers for making comments on some previous posts, it’s good to stay in touch.

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Seems like Kathryn had a blogging reflection day on Sunday as well, and she has noticed her posts are slowing down. As I have noticed many blogs are doing the same (see blog list in right hand column). I find Kathryn and others blog posts highly interesting and informative, I learn about new library or general technologies, what other library interests others have, I connect with librarians who I have never met personally (I met a few of you at Beyond the Hype, which was great) and being a soon-2-be stay at home Mum, it will allow me to stay connected with the library community.

I don’t want to stop blogging as I don’t want my blog to become a “fad”. I have tried facebook and am still on it, but I value blogging as being somewhere that my profile can develop and gain a personality of it’s own. Where I find facebook easier for chatting with others. To me my blogis a record of what I have done / progressed in my library career and how I have done it. It could possibly develop into some research or a PD or, as it has some back ground information that could develop into a potential Phd, that I may tackle, one day.

Some bloggers post every two months or so, but I enjoy reading what they are up to, not matter how infrequent they post, and I know they will come back and submit a post, when it’s their time. So, I guess this blogging thing is about finding your mojo, and realising it can be like exercise (like Kathryn has said) and that at times it may be neglected, but as long as you are getting enjoyment out of it, it’s good to keep your posts up, because not only do you benefit but your general library community does. Overall, it’s up to the blog owner to decide when it’s fate is up. If you do, I know we’ll meet up in other ways.

Let’s see if other bloggers discuss this issue further.

Or, you could try the 20 questions Kathryn has listed on her blog.

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will note that I post interviews given to my previous library students or staff. Meredith started with us at Urbis in December 2007 and I sent her an interview that shows the consolidation of her educational and work experience and how she’s putting her past and current experience to work at Urbis. 

Jill – Welcome to Urbis Meredith, can you tell us a little bit about yourself

Meredith – Well, to start with, I’m really pleased to be working with you here at Urbis. I guess I’ve taken a fairly indirect path to get here, via a range of admin roles and English teaching, but I’ve always been been interested in finding out information and organising it for others. These general interests led me to enrol in the Graduate Diploma in Information Management at RMIT and I’m due to complete my last two subjects in the first half of this year. Jill – So, you are studying at RMIT, what have you learnt from some of the courses at RMIT and then applied to the workplace?

Meredith – I’m really glad I enrolled in the RMIT course as it’s provided me with a good overview of information management issues, concepts and standards (and what many of those acronyms and jargon words mean!). I’ve gained confidence in learning new software, researching unfamiliar topics, ascertaining end-user needs and tailoring information. The group projects develop time management and teamwork skills and help you get to know other students – and I’ve met some really great people. The course can’t prepare you for everything because there are so many potential work environments for students to move into. However it does introduce you to networks such as professional associations and industry blogs, which you can access to develop specific areas of knowledge. The work placement program offers an opportunity for hands on experience and also helps you to discover what kind of work environment you more likely to be suited to.

Jill – It’s ideal that you have worked before in a planning company (name the place)?? and then for Melbourne City Library in their Planning Library (your experience is uniquely matched to our library), are there any similarities you are seeing at Urbis, compared to the other two organisations?

Meredith – Well, I worked with Coomes Planning, a small planning company in a temporary admin role for a few months before I started studying information management. This was a small business environment where staff pretty much looked after their own information resources and documents, according to their work areas. I became aware of the kinds of projects, resources and documents used in the planning industry. Later when I worked in a short-term role assisting in the Corporate Library at the City of Melbourne, the range of resources was considerably wider, given the size of the organisation and the breadth of Council interests and activities. The library was also unique in that it was an information resources centre for Council staff, but was managed by the Yarra-Melbourne Library Corporation as part of the network of public libraries in the cities of Yarra and Melbourne. It was a great to learn practical ways of keepng up to date with information resources on a very broad range of subject areas – such as, setting up subject profiles with publishers for alerts on upcoming releases, using topic-based email lists, and building an accessible and frequently updated library intranet page so staff can find information easily themselves. This was especially helpful for staff who were located in other buildings or sites and couldn’t just drop in to see what was available. Now I’m here at Urbis where there are interstate offices and a diversity of business units and resources, but the Librarian and Knowledge Management team are based in Melbourne. There is a small physical library for the general reference books and serials here, and more recently, final copies of planning and property reports are being included too (see response below re shelving!). Email is a convenient means of communicating with library staff, and the intranet is a major source of centralising information. It’s a constantly evolving process, and I think the next version of the intranet (with a search facility) is due to be launched soon.

Jill – Our library has a range of shelving systems here, I think there are about four (4) distinct systems, what is this teaching you about classification systems and special libraries?

Meredith – As a general comment, special libraries aren’t static – they reflect the organisation they serve (and all the changes they have undergone, or may occur in the future!) They need to be end-user focused in order to be viable, so the library staff here have had to work out how to categorise a diverse range of resources so other staff can access what they need. As I’ve discovered, Dewey classification isn’t the full picture, although it is useful for cataloguing general resources. However it doesn’t work as well for the planning and property resources which are more easily located by municipality or regional area. So the library is split up into different sections, and once you get used to that, it does become initutive where things are likely to be. Clear shelf labels and signs are really important (many thanks to my predecessor, Katy Li!) Fortunately, shelving space is not an immediate concern, and there’s still room for multiple copies of some items, and also for a fiction book swap. In the future, it may be necessary to reassess what the physical library should contain and how it should be catalogued – especially in the interstate and overseas offices.

Jill – What sort of technologies are you interested in? And what do you think you will learn at Urbis in that regard?

Meredith – I’m not a real techie-type (eg. don’t have an i-pod or digital camera, and didn’t know the difference between GIS and GPS – shock/horror!) but at the same time I’m curious about technology and Urbis is a great place to see what is available and how it enhances business services and facilities. I went to a presentation recently by a new business unit in Urbis and saw how virtual reality (3D modelling) is being used to explore planning proposals. Really amazing! I’m also interested in intranet development and the Knowledge and Information Management team here have done a lot of work to make the breadth of Urbis information resources accessible via portals on the homepage. They’ve also developed a project summary database which is linked to resources in the library catalogue – so staff can find out information independently. I attended a brainstorming session a few weeks ago to help with the intranet search keywords (ie. yellow stickers all over the wall!) I remember doing something similar in a class about thesaurus-building at RMIT. I’ve also had some involvement with archiving procedures and can see how document management is an integral part of a general information strategy. So, in a nutshell, there’s lots to see and learn!

Jill – Anything else you’d like to share with us

Meredith – Well, I’ve been here at Urbis a couple of months now (sorry to take so long to get these answers back to you, Jill!) It’s a dynamic and ever-changing environment to work in and I’d encourage anyone interested in information management to make the most of any opportunities to work in a special library environment. Thanks Jill.

Thanks Meredith, you sound like you are enjoying your work at Urbis and have benefitted from being involved in many activities, including those that preclude to the Intranet. It shows what skills library and information can bring to a role/company. Keep enjoying what you are doing and learning and your last semester at Uni !

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Well, being pregnant has finally caught up with me. I must have been in denial that it would affect my career, my learning and ability to write and present papers at Conferences, as I have had to withdraw from the ALIES Conference next month and a number of other activities. And I know my paper would have complimented the others on Web 2.0, but sometimes, some issues make you decide to slow down a bit.

Also, a very wise industry expert called me and gave me her advice, to start – well – not start, but to STOP! Stop doing everything. I appreciated that advice, as it legitimised for me that I can’t keep on doing what I used to do and that my body is now working very hard, and I need to keep my energy reserves in stock. I guess I’ll be calling on alot of that energy in less than 5 months ! Thanks for the advice! You know who you are.

So, it leaves me a bit bare with what to talk about on my blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And no smart comments from some of those cheekier readers 🙂

Give me a bit of time to think about it, and I’m sure I’ll be back soon…however, my feet will be up this weekend!!

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