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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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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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Wiki good

At work we have been using a team wiki for close to two years and it’s proved to be a great workspace where information, passwords and procedures can be stored. I even co-wrote a conference paper with Iggy on our work wiki. It proved to be more effective than emailing each other a word document. Back and forth, back and forth…

Lately I have been using a wiki with about six other librarians who are trying to organise a special workshop in Melbourne in early 2008. It’s set up includes, topics are listed, with text then added or documents uploaded for ease of access and to facilitate sharing. I have encouraged the use of names, who uploaded what, for ease of reference to that person if something needs to be clarified later or to know who has made what suggestion. A small handy tip.

Since it’s logistically hard to get 7 very busy people together at the one time, I set up a wiki to get our thoughts and planning bedded down. What has been the success of the wiki? It’s proving to be a useful collaboration tool. It’s meant we can move forward with our work, at anytime we like, and then when we meet up, we can get on with the discussion, but then return to the wiki afterwards to make more notes. The wiki is proving to be a comprehensive listing of information, that is becoming richer by the day. Hence, it’s been wiki good !!

Does anyone have any examples of how they use a wiki?

It would be good to make a comment on my blog, as I think many people are still not sure of their use.

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What time of year? you ask… It’s performance review time.

This time of year, usually sends many staff into belly loads of groans. I myself, grapple with the amount of various paperwork we have to fill in, and get a bit confused with the whole process and wonder “will this ever amount to anything?”

Well, this year I can see the progress, I can see where I was last year and how much I have accomplished over the year, and I can now methodically plot out my course for future work and refinement on my library, intranet and myself.

One of the most valuable things I have found that has been of benefit to myself this year is being involved with fellow library colleagues. As I work with one part time person (Katy), my involvement with other librarian has been out of my work environment. And it has been very rewarding this year. I also work on the Vic Specials Committee with Katy as I wanted to work with her outside of work. !! She’s awesome and such fun.

So, what are some of the things I wanted to work on in 2007? My leadership skills (done that via Aurora, professional coaching and many other personal reading and development items), redevelop the Intranet (big big tick) and work on my library services (always on going).

Big big clap to myself, hooray, things are rolling along well. I’m very proud.

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Yay, Donna and Katy have published edition 3 of the Vic Specials Newsletter, here is the link for the newsletter, http://alia.org.au/groups/specialvic/vicspecials/

Here they give a blurb of what’s contained in this edition,

We’ve got some really interesting articles, including a review of our
second site visit to the SBS library, and an interview with a librarian
who takes research questions such as ‘what’s the economic value of a
penguin to victorian society?’ in his stride.

Also, there’s another competition with prizes to be won. I will end this
email with one of the prize winning jokes from edtion #2 – this one
submitted by Gemma from the Ballarat Health Services Library.  There’s
one more edition of this newsletter to go for ’07, and we’d love for you
to contribute an article, a review, a letter, whatever. If your library
service is doing something good, or there is something that you would
like to read more about, then drop us a line and we’ll follow it up..

Here’s groovy Gem’s joke…

A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and
says: “book, bok, bok, boook”.

The librarian hands the chicken a book. It tucks it under his wing and
runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book
into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: “book, bok,
bok, bok, boook”. Again the librarian gives it a book, and the chicken
runs out. The librarian shakes her head.
Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts
all over again: “boook, book, bok bok boook”. The librarian gives him
yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door,
she follows it.
The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the
riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The
chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: “Book, bok,
bok, boook”. The frog blinks, and croaks: “read-it, read-it, read-it”.

Great work girls !! And look at Katy on the front page there, she’s a model !!

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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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