Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

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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My student (Minzah) has been moving right along with her learning, and a fair bit of it is self driven as I like to see my students become independent in the workplace. As this is what it will be like for them when they hit the real world.

Minzah was given a task to create an entire new (but small which is good) collection. She was required to assess our GIS CD-ROMs’ with the GIS Consultants help, to determine what categories they should be filed in. (our special library files items on the shelf by category, not dewey).  Once the items were in their sections, she needed to think about the fields that would be filled out in the Library Catalogue, and then if she was unable to fill out all the fields, due to information missing from the CD cover, she could ask the GIS Consultant to fill in the gaps for her. Together, we determined the shelf numbering of the item, and how it would look on the shelf. And off she goes…

She also carried out many other smaller activities, like quick reference, getting a quote for book acquisitions and doing some hands on work in the library. Just to mix it up a bit.

Here’s what Minzah has to say about Week 2 of her placement

Wow another week already over. This week was quicker than my first. I must admit I had an exciting week as I was able to apply my theoretical studies to practice.

Early this week I had a meeting with the Knowledge & Information Manager. That was great as he really got me thinking about my future goals. During this meeting I was able to examine the services offered by the K&IM team to Urbis and understand how I&KM is applied to the organisation.

Mid-week, I was given a problem to solve which really got me thinking about information management. From scratch I had to organize CD’s into a collection that agreed with the current library cataloguing rules used by Urbis. Firstly, the CD’s were arranged in sections, then I examined what appropriate fields should be used, finally with the help of Jill we decided on suitable shelf numbering and the CD’s were ready to catalogue. I enjoyed going through the process as it gave me a break-down of how cataloging is done.

I have also been doing a lot of on MediaWiki. One of the projects I have been given during my time here is to set up an induction page which is to be turned into a series of podcasts. I have been using MediaWiki to share my thoughts and ideas with the team. I think it’s a fantastic tool to use, as it allows me to collaborate with others.

Yesterday Jill, Katy and I went to visit the Bureau of Meteorology library. I really enjoyed that, it allowed me to understand the organisations range of resources and services offered. It gave me a different perspective of a specialised library.

Overall I have an excellent second week, and covered so much.


Her learning is now moving up a notch and she is working and communicating well with our team. The group collaboration with the podcasting activity, while using the Wiki is also facilitating her interactions.

I’m looking forward to next week, and of course, we’ll give you an update at the end of the week…

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I thought it would be a good idea if you heard from my student. She has also given permission for me to put her name on this site.

Here’s what she has to say about her placement so far…and, it’s her first blog…

Minzah Hussain, RMIT, 2nd year…

My first week is already over and it feels like I have just started. I had an interesting first week and met many new people and learnt numerous things. Before commencing I really had no idea how broad a Knowledge and Information Management can be, well not the practical side anyway. Now I am gaining a vast understanding of how it can operate in an organisation and the elements that make up a team, such as this one.

I have also had one-on-one time with the Database Manger which gave a good understanding of how the organisation stores and maintains their information. Further more, I met with the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manger where I learnt about the spatial database and its importance. It was very appealing to me as I never knew such a thing existed.

I have created myself a check list of all the things I hope to learn during my 3 weeks of placement and I am fortunate enough to say I have already covered half my goals thanks to the K&IM team.

Tasks which I have completed so far include:

  • Cataloguing
  • Distributions of journals
  • Shelving
  • Conduct various searches on Amazon and The National Library Australia website
  • Learn how to use various databases

My learning outcomes so far include:

  • Managing information relevantly
  • Evaluate and modify practices
  • The ability to use I.T systems relevant to Urbis.
  • Understanding of the cataloguing system

Overall my first week has been extremely satisfying for me. I was able to gain and develop many key skills which will help me through out my professional development.


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…has been a success. She has been involved in a range of activities. Many of them are self driven, which includes the library induction podcasting activity.

Today I showed her how to use our Wiki to ensure collaboration with Katy and myself with regards to filling in the gaps on her podcasting activity.  Meaning, she can set up the wiki in her specific area and then invite Katy and I to fill in the gaps on what she needs help in.

I also got her to chunk down the activity, okay, so I’d like an induction on the general library, but we also need a number of others, including how to the use the library catalogue and the intranet.

She now has about seven headings to work on, and then she can select a few to concentrate on, such as the library catalogue. While she is on her mission of working out how to inform users on how to use the library catalogue, I have encouraged her to gain a general evaluation of the catalogue which can only be undertaken by playing with the application herself. Encouraging her to think about the application in terms of how users would gain access and as well as thinking that her playing with the library catalogue can be used in the context of being on the job, or fullfilling a uni assignment requirements.

So far, she’s had a great week, she has learnt a range of general library activities, like cataloguing electronic resources, as well as learning what role the intranet plays in the organisation.

We went for a tour of the Athenaeum Library and was even offered some work there !! (on her first day)

Next week we are visiting the Bureau’s Library at the other end of Collins St, and many other fun activities, which I’ll post next week.

She might even do a summary of her week for you on here, stay tuned !

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I would like to find ways, by using technology, to give my colleagues more information about the National Library Service at Urbis. Currently, we have offices in Melbourne (where I’m located – 90 staff, hardcopy library), Sydney (60), Brisbane (40 – hardcopy library), Perth (new office with 20 staff) and Dubai (2 staff). I give induction tours for Melbourne staff each week, and the Brisbane and Sydney Office participate in a tour / information session when I visit their office, which is usually about once every two or three months. To bridge that information gap, and to allow people to receive as much information as possible on commencing at the company, my colleague and I are going to develop a few podcasts and transcripts of the library service, and they will be stored on the library portal. I have viewed RMIT’s model and believe this is quite useful. Provding both the transcripts and the podcast will give colleagues a choice regarding whether they would prefer to download the information to their i-Pod and listen to it, listen to it from their PC or read the transcript. Subjects we are looking to include are: library induction – office specific, how to use the electronic system, about the library portal, subscriptions and reference queries. I’ll follow up on my blog in a few months about how the design and implementation has gone.

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