Archive for the ‘NLS4 Melbourne 2008’ Category

Hi there Blog Readers,

Thought I should give you one last update, before I really tune out on life, for a while.

My baby is due in 3 weeks now, due to arrive “about 26 July”, but who knows when it will choose it’s birth date! I am finding that I’m starting to “tune out” on life and other what nots, so you may not hear from me for a few months.

One accomplishment I have been really proud to get happening, while on maternity leave, is the NLS4 Website (see link to the site, on the right hand side). We opened registrations at few weeks ago, and announced the program and a few keynote speakers, with more announcements to come. We do have an interim plan, for a month or two while I settle into life with a baby, regarding the website updates. It’s good to be prepared in advance for that. The NLS4 team received some very positive feedback from our PCO (Professional Conference Organiser) and their IT Team saying our website is “one of the best they have seen, produced by an organising committee”. Ooooh wow, I feel really proud now. The website has really come together over the last year and a half, and will continue to show it’s true colours, as we get closer to the conference date.

My belly is now growing quite big, uncomfortable at times, with other usual end of the pregnancy related items, including feeling very puffed out / short of breath.

I’ll be sure to post some info about the baby when it’s born, and you may also find out via other friends what the outcome was. Ie. is it a boy or girl? Girl or boy??

Until, a few months time, this Information Super Sleuth, is signing out.



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Hi there happy readers / bloggers,

Happy New Year !! Yes, this is my first blog for 2008, and I feel terrible that it’s already February, but I have been contemplating the content for this blog this year. However, a few bloggers have commented that they love my blog – thanks for that – and I’ll keep continuing on my merry way and stop the procastination and evaluation.

2008 is going to be a biggie, it’s already been big, with Feb being the climax of some important work at Urbis. We are implementing a search engine on our Intranet, and since we don’t have one yet and I have never implemented a search engine, it’s a *real* learning curve. You know, I know all the academic terms of keywords, best bets, synonyms and metadata, but to actually knuckle in there and do the work, weeelllll, that’s a toughie. How to start?? Do a bit of planning with the Intranet Team, well done team, you are ACE ! we did some card sorting with terms and synonyms using post it notes, boy, did we cover two walls in a room! And then…during the next few weeks, myself and the team are doing the hard yards.

Today our graphic designer also showed us the intranet frontpage redesign, which we’ll launch with the search engine, on Friday February 29 ! The day I’m at a Leap into Leadership workshop, a group of us have devised together. Last time we had an intranet launch and I was also out of the office, so 2nd time around it’s okay, as last time the “big bang” theory of mine didn’t happen. I can always make a phone call to check in and see if there has been any comment by staff.

What else is happening in 2008?

  • I’m presenting at a ALIES Conference in March on Web 2.0 Technologies we are using at Urbis
  • I”ve just been to beyond the hype, Web 2.0 Conference in Brisbane, I hope to blog on that
  • Leap into Leadership at the State Library of Victoria on 29th Feb.
  • Oh, and not to forget the NLS4 Conference in Melbourne, December this year

There have been other things I’d like to do, but have had to take it a bit easier and say no to some things to ensure I’m not doing too much.

So, why the slower-ness of my pace?? Well…I’m nearly 4 months pregnant ! SO am taking a change in my career, from being full time worker / career focussed person, to focussing my life on a new little person whose about to enter the Stephens’ life. I have been contemplating whether to blog this news as I don’t want the little one to become a “Truman Show” extrodinaire (sorry about the spelling), but I will aim to give you a balanced view of my change in life. And yes, there is a small bump forming now. So it”s all becoming very real. One other blogger commented that they couldn’t get off the couch during their pregnancy, as seriously, they are all very different, so I guess I am achieving alot considering I”m carrying a little one.

I”m off to watch some spicks and specks, but will aim to be back sooner, rather than later !

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The NLS4 Team is humming along and we have made alot of progress over the last few months, including:

  • Confirming the date and venue, December 5th and 6th 2008 at CQ Functions, in Melbourne, Victoria
  • An email subscription list to stay up to date
  • Launched the call for Abstracts, to get people thinking over their Christmas break
  • Announced the Patron Competition, listing the Patrons for our Conference, Roxanne Missingham and Anne-Marie Schwirtlich
  • We also had a new committee member join, Welcome ! Margie Anderson, who is the Victorian Local Liason Officer – ALIA
  • We are using Flickr as our photos host site. Gem is our guru on Flickr. I myself find it a bit frustrating, but hope to learn more about it next year. I did manage to put the Flickr graphic onto our page.

BTW, some of this info comes from out News Page  and we also have an RSS Feed, which I am just starting to master !

I’m going to have a nice break over Xmas, all pumped and ready for more website edits in 2008 ! And I’ll also consider what other sorts of Web 2.0 technologies we can introduce to the site.

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Apologies for being a bit quiet on the writing side lately. So much has been happening, but I just haven’t been sitting down to the computer to make a summary.

What’s been going on?

  • For the last few months I have been working with a group of Melbourne Aurorians to develop a small one day leadership taster course, to be held at the State Library on 29th Feb 2008, more details to hit the email lists soon, but it’s an opportunity to get people to further develop their leadership potential, and there will be guest speakers who will share their leadership experiences with the group. I will also list the details on this site when it’s ready for announcement.
  • The NLS4 Conference preparations are coming along nicely. Recently we announced the Conference Venue and Date of 5th and 6th December 2008, so we are on the less than 12 months countdown. The “guess the patron” competition was also announced, with photos of the patrons going on our “news” site. Subscribe to the RSS feed to stay up to date. As there is another announcement coming next week. The NLS4 team truly is an inspiration, and I feel very lucky to be a part of this exciting conference team.
  • I attended the two day Intranet Leadership Forum in Sydney. The 2 day workshop helped me to get my spark “mojo” back for the Intranet. Of late, the library has been receiving alot of my focus, so it was good to knuckle into intranets and hear other peoples experiences. At the end of the workshop, I listed 4 items I’d like to work on, on our intranet in 2008. This is a great way to kick off 2008 with momentum! Some of the items included: possibly put an A-Z index on the intranet to immediately help staff to find information, implement wikis onto the portals so staff can edit the portals themselves, and implement search or a CMS?
  • I had a gathering of my staff, ex staff and students. I’m getting a collection now and it’s great to see them all meeting up and getting along to exchange information and ideas and to create their own new networks.
  • students-and-staff.jpg

We have, back left to right, Katy, Vanessa and Jill (me)
Front, left to right, Alison, Sue and Cristian

  • Katy left Urbis. Sob sob, she has been such an inspiration to work with. And she works like a machine, hence, we call her that now. She’ll be missed at Urbis and the Athenaeum Library, but Whitehorse City Council is soon to benefit from her enthusiasm and skills. Stay in touch Katy !


  • On a personal note, my husband spent all year making me / us a large bedroom out the back of our house, with ensuite and walk in wardrobe, we moved in a few weeks ago, and I love it !!

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Okay, small observation, but I seem to like doing this.

All of the NLS4 Team is blogging, see in my blog roll on the right for the links

  • Aus Library Technician
  • Ballarat Library Chick
  • Dunn and Wilson
  • Librarian Idol
  • Thoughts and Reflections
  • Totally Trevor
  • and of course, moi, Intech the Verve

This wasn’t deliberate, but what a great way to consolidate our thoughts and concentrate on areas in the profession we like. It will be good to see what we all focus on. Me, seems be education, students, NLS Website and photos and other mish mash. Oh, okay, the technology part seems to get me too.

It would be good if we could hook up all our blogs on the ONE page !! MMmmm, how could we do that. That would be interesting…thoughts anyone? Is it possible? I’d say it could be.

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Last night at the ALIA 70th Birthday celebrations in Melbourne, our team launched the NLS4 Melbourne 2008 website. About a month ago, we set 20 August as the date for launching the website, as it made good sense to launch it when we had a captive audience, and why not also perform this at our Associations significant birthday.

And I was amazed at how well our team pulled together when I asked for content on each of the pages. It was a thrill to see the content flowing in over a day or so, and the pages coming together. The launch is a significant milestone and proves what a functioning and interactive team we are, considering quite a few of us are dispersed over the country. Gotta love technology that enables us to move on with our job and connect to each other.

By launching the website, I feel like a proud mother who has held her child close, readying them for the real world, who is now lauched into learning, and ready to be filled with information. I’m sure there will be those who will hack on what we have done, but it’s funny, you tend to only hear the bad, so I’m used to that with web work. I seem to be a bit numb to that critical element and tend not to take it personally. And I now know how to elicit those good stories from people I meet or chat to about the site.

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Well, I came home from work on Friday, after a bit of a fun night on Thursday, glad to be home so I could catch up on some sleep but also do some of my other extra curricular activities, only to hit the house and find the house pump blew a gasket !! (literally). So that threw Friday night’s activities out the window where I had to go back to mans basic needs and attend to our water problem ! It’s lucky we didn’t lose the thousands of litres of water that’s in the tanks, so I presumed the blow out hadn’t happened long ago. I rang a plumber, who was obviously at the pub, and he patted me down by assuring me that I could do the job MYSELF !!! I was pretty cranky at womens lib issues at that time, as I thought, “here we go, now we have to do these jobs ourselves since we think we’re so independent”. Anyway, after much deliberation I rang a more obliging plumber who fixed my leaky pipes, but not till the next day and after considerable hours without water…

The good thing I taught myself this weekend, in a heartbeat, is podcasting. I am very impressed. I asked the guy at Dick Smith for a microphone to make podcasts, and since he was younger than me I thought he’d know what I was on about, anyway, he took me somewhere else in the store, and I said “I need a mike, like the one you sing into…”. He looked confused. So obviously he didn’t know about podcasting. Oh well. I got a super duper mike as I want to have good quality, came home and downloaded audacity, and then “testing testing” and it worked ! Hooray. This is easy and great. I am podcasting a launch on Monday night (details to come after Monday) where we will put the launch on the website. Plus, I also want to do a range of podcasting at work. Where else could it be used?? Gem suggested to tape our meetings for the NLS4 Conference, for those who can’t attend out meetings. What an awesome idea. And I’m sure there will be other uses…maybe those Karaoke nights (you want to forget) or any other fun you could benefit from it.

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