SLV overhaul

Exciting times – the State Library of Victoria’s ‘Vision 2020’ project will see a huge refurbishment and the creation of new spaces, with a 40% increase in public space!

There’s a website dedicated to the project if you’re keen to learn more, and you can even donate (hey it’s going to cost an estimated $88.1 million to complete!) According to Broadsheet Melbourne:

To fund the library upgrade the State Government has pledged $60.4 million, contributing $2 for every $1 raised through philanthropy.

Donations to date have reached $21.8 million, with large contributions from Maria and Allan Myers, the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation and the Ian Potter Foundation.

The remaining $5.9million will be sought through a public fund raising campaign.

I can’t wait to see the final result!! 🙂

Writing for the Web

I recently attended a course which discussed the best way to write for the web. We were given examples of real websites that quite clearly lacked these techniques – and the difference in readability was quite evident.

So I present to you; a few tips for writing for the web! (Broken into the 5 sections the course reviewed)Read More »

Some library humour

One of my hobbies outside of the library world is to create art. I dabble in painting and all sorts of crafts, but by far one of my favourite things to do is draw comics and cartoons, especially ones involving word play. At one of the high schools I worked at, I was able to run a lunchtime library workshop with students on creating comics which was lots of fun.

So, since this cartoon intersects with my library world, I thought I would also share it here too 🙂

You can check out all my artwork on my other wordpress blog MissyCartoons.


© Michelle De Aizpurua and MissyCartoons 2016

Hack Library School blog

Need another blog to follow? Of course you do – you can never have enough to read!

Check out ‘Hack Library School’ :

a collaborative project begun in the Fall of 2010. It quickly grew from a Google Doc to a wiki to the rotating group of contributors that it is today. HLS was founded on the principle of students taking the future of librarianship into their own hands….Hack Library School is an invitation to participate in the redefinitions of library school using the web as a collaborative space outside of any specific university or organization….What will the information professions be next year if we define it for ourselves today? If we had a voice in the development of curriculum, what would that degree entail? This is our challenge to you; participate or come up with a better idea. How would you hack library school?

With a range of contributors and huge breadth of topics (from the informative and innovative to some quite funny posts) it’s definitely worth a look.

I was going to suggest a few ‘most interesting’ parts of the blog, but every time I clicked on another topic it was super interesting! I wish I had more time to read everything (but with new posts every day or two I don’t think I’ll ever manage to catch up with them haha).

Kudos to the creators and contributors.

Short Film – ‘The Library’

Happy New Year!!!

Why not start off 2016 by watching this wonderful short film entitled ‘The Library’ directed by Jason LaMotte:

The story told in The Library initially came from wanting to explore the relationship between memory and place. I have strong recollections of my neighbourhood library in Houston, Texas in the US. I can recall the layout, where certain sections of books were, the smells, and the sounds.And it still carries a magical feeling for me, this special kind of sanctuary full of knowledge, full of stories, all covered in a sense of quiet respect and revery.

(From The Guardian, read more from the director in their article)

I won’t spoil it by telling you anything about the plot 🙂


eBook Collections in Libraries

The RIPS Law Librarian Blog posted about the ‘Issue’s surrounding eBook collections in law libraries‘ in September 2015.

With the rise of all-digital ‘bookless’ libraries and constant revelations about eBooks, it’s a topic of interest to me, especially as their post referred specifically to the law library context (in which I am currently employed).

At first it seemed everyone was saying the eBook would mean the death of the printed book, and eventually become the primary mode for reading. (See news articles from 2010 – ‘The future of books is a real page-turner‘ and 2013 – ‘Popularity of ebooks spells the demise of printed versions‘). There was almost a mass hysteria predicting these doomsday scenarios for the poor printed book.

But now however, everyone’s changed their tune. Read More »

Embedding Information Research Skills with Dr Karey Harrison

At the university I have been working at, I was able to attend an inspiring peer learning seminar.

It’s focus was on embedding information research skills within courses and was presented by Dr Karey Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to think about how we can encourage students to develop their research skills, especially since I was recently a student doing this myself!

Read More »

Two Interesting Stories: Harvard Law & Pesky Stains

Here are two very interesting and LARGE projects being undertaking by two different libraries.

First, Harvard Law Library is digitising around 40 million pages to create a searchable and FREE database of American case law! Usually you have to pay a lot of money for subscriptions to databases that supply this information, so this is an exciting step in providing knowledge to the public as well as increasing access to justice. Entitled the ‘Free the Law’ project, I hope to see other institutions follow suit, as well as the incorporation of other legal information in addition to case law. As a law graduate and a librarian, it is worrisome to see how little the layman understands and can source information on their own rights within our society.  This leads to a lack of autonomy and power over ones life and choices, as well as fear due to lack of knowledge, which in the end means large corporations and governments have the ability to take advantage of the general public.

Of course, the thought of all those books spines being ‘chopped off’ to enable scanning is a little unsettling, but such is the price of progress! They do say all the spines are re-attached though thankfully. You can read about the project, due to be completed in 2017, in the New York Times article here.

Second, The National Library of Australia’s preservation team has managed to very cleverly remove stains from old adhesive/sticky-tape on many of their items in the display for their William Strutt exhibition, Heroes and Villains: Strutt’s Australia. Seeing the comparison photo’s makes it look like the team has waved a magic wand – I hadn’t realised it would be possible to so perfectly remove such stains without affecting the works in any way!

Reading the process is fascinating, the library must have had a team of scientists helping – I can barely even pronounce the chemical names let alone fully understand how it worked! You can read their blog post about how they achieved this feat and see some pictures.

These projects show the amount of care and patience librarians have for their collections and their work. We are a fabulous bunch aren’t we? 😉

Until next time,

Michelle De Aizpurua