27 February 2006

Librarian Bloggers Survey

My friend CW is putting together a paper on librarian bloggers, so has sent out some questions.
Here's my answers:
Where do you work? Inner suburbs public library
What's your job title? Coordinator Library Services
What are your main responsibilities? I supervise the library assistants, and most things relating to the lending services area. I also coordinate a young writers competition and a young artists competition. These are open to school age children in the metropolitan area. Since last November when I started, I've gradually been taking on more of the events management for writers nights and book launches as well. On the downside, I look after the, rosters.
How long have you been blogging? Not very long - since June last year and I haven't been very diligent, but I hope to keep it up, however intermittent my contributions are.
How did you begin blogging? Well, CW you're to blame for this - your enthusiasm and encouragement made me aware of blogging and its possibilities.
What do you blog about? I started out trying to have library oriented posts, but a lot of what I've posted seems sort of personal...what's going on in my job kind of stuff, what I had for Xmas dinner - I think I'm still in hte experiment stage - but so do a few of us - I'm sure I'll eventually get some kind of style and theme going.
Why do you continue to blog? I'm still getting to grips with the process - I like the idea of a community of library bloggers. I also use bloglines a lot and really enjoy reading other people's blogs - especially yours, of course. I think that I should be contributing something as continually lurking doesn't feel like I'm in the "spirit of blogging".....and of course "putting it out there" is the main thing - I'm so delighted when I get comments that it also encourages me...
Would you agree that blogging has improved your professional practice? Yes - though my change to the public libraian life has had an effect on the nature of this. While at the Big Academic Library, I tended to tap into more technologically oriented postings & blogs, and there was a wealth of information out there to tap into. Now that I'm a public librarian, I find there are less bloggers in the field
I'd love to see some other Australian Public Librarians blogging out there. The only one I see regularly REAL PUBLIC LIBRARIAN which is pretty good, but like me she posts intermittently.

22 February 2006

Probation over

Well it's now been three months in the new job, and up till now I've technically been on probation. It feels as if the time has flown by, and in other ways I feel as if I've worked there for so much longer. I had the probation interview yesterday, talked some stuff with the boss - she seems happy with how I've been doing, so signed on the dotted line and so now I'm soon to be a permanent employee....yay!! (Feel that little bit more secure now)

I feel as if I've got a handle on 50% of the what I do, however the nature of the job is pretty fragmented, with a lot of smaller duties that I have yet to discover...

Luckily, I'm soon to be going on some short courses to bring me up to speed with the library's automated systems, which I'm looking forward to - I still sometimes feel like the "dumb new kid" in comparison to the others...and any cataloguing speak still sounds like Swahili to me.....so I'm glad that there are many things that I have left to learn.

21 February 2006

One Book Events

Last night was the second of our One Book events - a "meet the writer" event. The previous Friday we had storytelling with cellist accompanying - a small intimate group of about 30 people.

Our author talk had an audience of over 100 people. The boss left me to be the MC - my co-workers seem to have a fear of public speaking, but I think my experiences of addressing lecture theatres full of bored students on orientation days, regaling them with the benefits of using the library have stood me in good stead.

However, this event was about the
author - she was very warm, unaffected, and entertaining with her anecdotes of her experiences that helped her write the book.

One thing brought home to me was the importance of promotion and how to angle the advertising for our events. We'd hoped for a larger audience for Friday's function. On the poster I'd put "for ages from 12 upwards", which probably made people think that it was aimed at teenagers, which it wasn't. Also, the word "storytelling", really didn't do justice to the reader's rendition of the book, which made the characters come alive, and gave them voices, accents, intonations and insinuations that were defintitely not aimed at a young audience.

Note to self: keep this in mind for next time.

11 February 2006

Starting over again

I really am interested in blogging as a personal practice, and I need to jumpstart myself into continuing with this blog. I've turned into a lurker, reading other people's entries, and serendipitously wandering from blog to blog, finding all sorts of gems. I rarely leave a comment, which again reeks of taking and not contributing.

However, when I started, I thought that I could use this as a way to comment on issues or happenings, and to organise my thoughts. I like the way that there is a community of bloggers, who comment and commmunicate with each other. So, in the hope of launching myself back into the blogosphere, I'm starting again.....

I had a change of jobs last November - went from academic to public librarianship, which should provide me with lots of fodder for comment. They're two very different environments and both speres have their good and bad points. I've heard that the direction I've taken is usually the opposite to the norm - most librarians would move from public to academic.

So what have I been doing lately?? Well, I've been covering for my boss who's on leave for the last 7 weeks, which means I've had a quick and dirty introduction to the realm of financial management. Luckily she's come back in time to handle the budget! I've learnt a little about our local museum, and had to manage my first book launch.
I've also had to deal with disgruntled members of the public who've been billed for damaging books. Not my favorite part of the job, but it gives an interesting perspective on the different ways that humans act.

So now I'm back to my regular job which seems to be divided into two parts. One is to handle the staffing, associated rosters, timesheets, etc. (erk)

The other is to coordinate a couple of awards (for young writers and artists). I'm currently overseeing the mailouts for these, which involves stuffing 700 large envelopes, and sending them off to schools and libraries. Sounds simple, but last week, I'm sure I gained a few (more) grey hairs in the process. eg the courier who was supposed to pick them up and take them to a central mailing house, dropped them at the local post office, just across the road!!

The great thing about this job is that I seem to have the authority to make more decisions, than I could working in a larger, and hence more bureaucratic organisation. A lot of things seem to be left up to common sense, which I like. On the downside, the technology in the place is