‘Cultural Weeding’ Workshop

A few months back, I attended a full day workshop through the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). It was called ‘Cultural Weeding’ and was run by Kevin Hennah, who also authored the book ‘Rethink’.

Kevin is a consultant, originally from the retail field, who works with libraries to rethink and upgrade their layout and culture for the 21st Century. His workshop “showcases forward thinking and innovative initiatives. A collection of ideas that…need to be embraced or at least considered in order to keep libraries relevant for many years to come.” While I focus mainly on the school library, these ideas are also easily applicable to public and other libraries.

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A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates

The American Library Association – Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has published this interesting article in their eNewsletter ‘Library Worklife’ (October 2015 issue), titled ‘A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates’.

It is of especial interest to students and new graduates, and while written by an American organisation, is very relevant to us here in Australia as well.

I’m glad to see that the knowledge and advice I have written about in my previous blog posts for students and new grads touches on very similar strategies.

The job readiness strategy in this article focuses on two pillars: first, building experience through “temporary” positions. Temporary positions are defined in this strategy as jobs that are short term and help develop a career. These jobs should increment the knowledge and skills needed for a particular type of professional librarian position. The second pillar is to form a network. As a person works through these temporary positions a professional network begins to take shape; hence, creating new opportunities for collaboration and professional development.

Have a read of the full article and good luck with your developing career!

Michelle De Aizpurua

Library of the Future Blog – Libraries Transform

A blog to bookmark!

Run by the American Library Association (ALA) the blog looks at all sorts of trends and tech for libraries in the modern age.

Especially topical with yesterday (October 21st 2015) being the day Marty McFly travels to in ‘Back to the Future II’! Yesterday was the future – mind blown! 😉

Source: Library of the Future Blog – Libraries Transform



My Youth Programs & Ideas (Engaging Youth in Libraries Part 2)

One of my favourite things about working in a high school library is using my creativity to engage the students to come in and enjoy our collections and events. I want them to view the library as a safe haven, and a fun place to spend their time. I want them to know they can come to the library whenever they want to relax, read, play, or need help with school stuff. This post will discuss the programs I have run, and some ideas I have for the future to continue to engage youth in the library.

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Digital Amnesia

In addition to the issue of ‘bit rot’ (see previous post), there is also the very interesting issue of ‘digital amnesia’:

[where] people are ready to forget important information in the belief that it can be immediately retrieved from a digital device.

BBC News recently discussed a European study which found “[a]n over-reliance on using computers and search engines is weakening people’s memories”.

You can read the full article here.

I have often wondered about how our brains are affected by our ability, and propensity, to constantly seek answers without thought or contemplation – the ‘just Google it’ phenomena. Rather than considering how to solve a problem or trying to recall something we may know about, we automatically turn to the Internet for a quick answer. According to this study, this type of information is much more easily forgotten, and this has a long-term impact in the development of our memories.Read More »

Bit Rot: Digitisation vs Digital Preservation

This is a topic I find incredibly interesting, as well as something quite urgent to consider and deal with.

“I am really worried right now about the possibility of saving ‘bits’ but losing their meaning and ending up with bit-rot. This means you have a bag of bits that you saved for a thousand years but you don’t know what they mean, because the software that was needed to interpret them is no longer available, or it’s no longer executable, or you just don’t have a platform that will run it. This is a serious, serious problem and we have to solve that.” Vint Cerf – Chief Evangelist, Google

This is a real issue that sometimes gets overlooked, or wilfully ignored. Yes, we may be able to save ‘bits’ but without context the meaning is lost. This also links back to the discussion in the 2015 Whyte Memorial Lecture (see previous blog post) on how librarians need to ‘think like archivists’ when digitising materials, to ensure their long term preservation, as well as how important context is!

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The Happy Birthday Song & Copyright

If you all haven’t heard, a really interesting decision on copyright has recently been made in the USA!

If you ever wondered why you got sung some weird version of ‘Happy Birthday’ at TGI Fridays, or why movies and advertisements rarely contained the commonplace and beloved song – it was because of the exorbitant royalties companies charged for its use. But now – “[n]one of the companies that have collected royalties on the “Happy Birthday” song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday.” The song is now considered a public work and is free for everyone to use! Hooray! 🙂

You can read the full story from the Los Angeles Times here.

It will be interesting to see how many people now try and claim their money back!

Keep an ear out and see if you notice the use of the song more widely now. I think its a spectacular move forward – freedom of song all the way!

Many happy returns,

Michelle De Aizpurua


GLAMR New Professionals Meetup

Last week I attended a GLAMR New Professionals meetup at ‘Fall from Grace’ in Melbourne CBD.

You can visit the GLAMR New Professionals Twitter and Facebook page to see some great photos of the night, and join the group!

The meetup was another fantastic opportunity to meet like minded individuals from all across the GLAMR sector. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to chat to some ladies who work in a variety of Museum and Gallery areas. Their work sounds so interesting I wish I had more time to pick their brains! One woman I spoke to was working for Museums Australia with developing their standards for accreditation, and another worked for the Shrine of Remembrance with their exhibitions. I was enthralled, I really know so little about theses areas and it was a great opportunity to chat.

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