My first library conference

On Wednesday the 14th from 7.30am – 12.30pm I was a student volunteer at the 2011 ALIA National Library & Information Technicians Conference. This on its own is an excellent opportunity for a Library Studies student, but on top of this I was also free to attend sessions for free once my shift was finished which was pretty cool 🙂

I was pretty nervous beforehand because I had no idea what a professional conference involved (previously I had only been to a Science Fiction con and Supernova, a Pop Culture expo 😛 ) and I was worried that I wouldn’t be up to the task, but once I started I found the people (organisers, delegates and speakers alike) were really lovely and the work was pretty straightforward. basically my responsibilities involved greeting delegates and speakers when they came to the registration desk, giving them their name badge and a bag of goodies, directing them to rooms/toilets etc., and telling them when certain sessions start and where they’re held. I did have a couple of added tasks such as putting reserved signs on seats for speakers and ushering in an Aboriginal dance troupe that opened the days proceedings (that was a particularly fun job :))

What with the easier-than-expected jobs, lovely people to work with and the stunning venue my shift went by very quickly and then I was free to have a wonderfully fancy (free!) lunch, network with lecturers and fellow students who were in attendance and go to whatever afternoon sessions that tickled my fancy.

While at the registration desk I could hear some pretty exuberant laughter coming from the Golden Ballroom where keynote speaker, Rachel Green was speaking so I thought her afternoon session, Networking conversations guaranteed – meet, greet and speak with ease, would be a good start. It was one of the most amusing and entertaining professional development sessions I had ever been too – a rarity in an area that is often very bland and to the point. Rachel has a unique way of speaking that is very engaging and instead of just talking about networking she actually put it in practice, getting us all to get up from our seats and sit next to someone we had never met – 3 times! Because of this I got to meet individuals working in the industry who gave me insight into the world of Library Technicians and advice on my career path. I left the session feeling more confident and ready to mingle over afternoon tea with people who I didn’t know – which I went through with, chatting to a WA Library Tech as well as four from the eastern states, and Rachel Green herself!

I then wanted to go to a session called Taking the scenic route – seeking diverse experiences and undertaking further study to improve skills and fulfil aspirations, followed by one called Getting the job you want: tips and tricks. However when I went to the room that the first session was being held it was already full so I decided to hang around until it finished and the next one begun.
While waiting I got to talking with another lovely stranger from Tasmania who was enjoying the Perth weather (funnily enough the next day or two we got rain!). She was waiting for the next Rachel Green session, Mindfulness – The easy way to peace and calm in a stressful world, and when the time came I couldn’t resist skipping the tips to getting a job one and going to hers. And boy am I glad I made that decision! The mindfulness session was also amusing and entertaining but was much more relaxing than the networking one, with periods of guided meditation – the perfect end to a lovely day 🙂

I’m so glad I filled in the form to volunteer for the conference – I gained some once in a lifetime experience in a beautiful hotel, met some interesting people already in the industry, ate some amazing free food and even was given a free meditation DVD by Rachel Green. All I can say to anyone out there is this – if a similar opportunity comes up for you, don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it!

More information on the fabulous Rachel Green can be found on her website.

Children’s Book Week

This week at libraries around Australia the sound and sight of school children could be found in the middle of the day. Why? Because it was Children’s Book Week, an annual initiative of the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Children’s Book Week is the longest running Children’s festival in Australia as it’s been run for 66 years. Each year the Council compiles a shortlist of the best books for children that have been written by Australian authors or illustrated by Australian illustrators and published that year. From this shortlist a winner is announced for the following categories: Older Readers Book of the Year; Younger Readers Book of the Year; Early Childhood Book of the Year; Picture Book of the Year; and the Eve Pownall Book of the Year which is for non-fiction or informational books. Two books in each category also receive an Honour award.

Each year Book Week has a theme chosen by the council and promotional materials, including a poster designed by last years Picture Book of the Year’s winner, are available for libraries on the Children’s Book Council’s website. This year’s theme was “One World, Many Stories” which opened up a world of opportunities for activities, events and other fun stuff at libraries. At Joondalup Public Library where I’m doing my prac for Library Studies, CBW has been firing on all cylinders and as I’m a general dogs body I’ve been helping out with CBW stuff while I’m there on Thursdays and Fridays, which I’ve been loving 🙂

Firstly I helped to put up the CBW display but putting out all the shortlisted books Joondalup has (which was all but a couple of them), putting up posters, blowing up balloons and erecting a spinning globe with children from around the world surrounding it.

Joondalup Library's Children's Book Week display

Apologies for the slightly fuzzy mobile picture :S

To celebrate Book Week Joondalup held a series of exciting activities including a public event on its opening day (the 21st), author talks and fun workshops. On Friday I sat in on a wonderful talk by Western Australian author Norman Jorgensen and then helped clean up afterwards, and it was so rewarding to see the enjoyment on the faces of the two school groups that attended. I also was in charge of putting the medal stickers on the covers of the winning books and honour books; taking the Display only/CBW/Not for loan statuses off the books at the end of Book Week so they could be borrowed; and put aside all the books that were requested (all but 4 of them!!).

There was some great looking books this year, so if you are looking for some new books for your kids to read, or quality books to add to a library’s collection, the list would be a great resource. The winners this year were:

Older Readers Book of the Year
The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett

Younger Readers Book of the Year
The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody

Early Childhood Book of the Year
Maudie and Bear written by Jan Ormerod and illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Picture Book of the Year

Joint Winner
Mirror by Jeannie Baker

Hamlet by Nicki Greenberg

Eve Pownall Book of the Year
The Return of the Word Spy written by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Tohby Riddle

There was some great books that received Honours too, so if you’re interested check out the entire list of  winners.

Stay tuned because I will also post about WAYRBA (the West Australian Young Reader’s Book Award) once the winners have been announced.

Hi ho, hi ho, a cataloguing i go!

Welcome to part two of posts about presentations I’ve done recently! If you didn’t read the first post, It was about my favourite author, Craig Silvey. This one will be about a presentation I did for my Information Literacy class, on a Web 2.0 (or Library 2.0) technology.

The technology I chose was Social Cataloguing. If you have never heard of this term before then follow the hyperlink to a Wikipedia article about it, or go to this wiki but I’ll give you a quick definition in my own words anyway.

Social Cataloguing refers to sites or apps where you can add items (like books/DVDs/games/food)  you own or have read/seen/played/eaten etc. and then rate them, write reviews, share them with friends, add tags and do a whole lot of other nifty things.

As this is a book blog I’m just going to give you links to ones where you catalogue books, but with a quick google search you could probably find the other categories of sites.

During the research for this class (we had to use the same technology for three assessments) I have completely fallen in love with Social Cataloguing. Before my research, I did in fact use a Social Cataloguing app – Visual Bookshelf on Facebook–  I just didn’t know that it was a “thing”. I have since joined 6 other Social Cataloguing sites to try them out. These sites are:



There are ones I loved …and ones….well, not so much, but I can tell how any of them could appeal to the right person.

My personal favourite was Shelfari, because of some neat features it has:

  1. You can choose the exact cover of the book you own/have read from a drop down row of covers, and if yours isn’t there then you can upload the right pic.
  2. You can easily edit your books using a drop down box, where you can tick boxes to say you’ve read a book, are currently reading it or plan to read it, as well as highlight a heart is it’s one of your faves, a gift box if it’s on your wish list, or a cute little safe if you own it.
  3. Your books are displayed on a lovely wood-look shelf 🙂

My lovely shelf 🙂

You can also put a widget of your shelf on your blog, which is a feature of many of the sites.

I would encourage any of you to take a look at one of these sites, especially if you love sharing what you read as much as me 🙂 a lot of them alow you to login via Facebook or Twitter, so you don’t have to create an account and some allow you to take a “tour” before you join so you can see all the features.

Once again if you want to know more, check out my Powerpoint slides: Social Cataloguing

Or check out the bookmarks I gathered on for the assessments: Social Cataloguing Bookmarks.

Happy Cataloguing!