Saturday, December 29, 2012

Social media at Inverell Library

This is great as it tells people using Inverell Library what social media the library is using. It is a way of starting a conversation with library clients.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Census data

Shops by ellen forsyth
Shops, a photo by ellen forsyth on Flickr.

This shows the census data for the Bobonaro district on a notice board in front of shops in Maliana

Maliana Community Library

Yesterday I was able to visit Maliana Community Library.  I had helped set it up in 2002, and it was great to have the opportunity to see how it was doing. I did not have contact details for anyone at the library, so I thought I would be going there and looking in from the outside.  I was fine with this as I really just want to see it, and I know that communication here can be challenging.

Maliana Community Library
After I had walked around the outside of the library, looking in and taking photographs, two women asked me if I would like to see inside.  It was one of the staff and her friend.  They were going to work in the library in the afternoon.  This was brilliant and it allowed me to see inside the library much better than I could by peering through the windows.  It was more exciting that I could have imagined to be able to be inside this library again.  I really can't convey how special this was for me.

The library and whole town have 24 hour electricity.  Where I was there before the electricity ran from 6.00pm until midnight.  The library has two computers with internet access which is brilliant.  It also has two treadle sewing machines which are used for sewing school bags and some other things.  The staff member wanted more information about libraries so I will be emailing her some online resources to help the local university students.

The library shelves were the same, although there was some additional furniture now.  One of the posters on the wall I had brought with me in 2002 as it was an alphabet in Tetum with local images to illustrate the letters.

Outside the library there were cattle grazing, this is a good use of the grass, and cattle graze wherever they can.

You can see more photographs of the library here
You can see photographs from 2002 in the slideshow below


In the rest of Maliana there were a lot of new buildings, including a new hospital, school and building for government administration. More of the shops were open, and the markets were bigger. It was amazing to be able to visit Maliana and see what had happened.

It was also really different driving there as there were no military road blocks where there had been a lot.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Do people cosplay at your library?

This is a question which struck me recently.  Do people cosplay at your library and I mean adults?   I don't mean the children who come to the library dressed up for storytimes.

San Diego Comic-Con 2012 HUMAN BEING COMIC BOOK
Seeing adults cosplaying at EBgames expo prompted me with this idea.  There were a lot of people using cosplay to show their love of different games characters.  Some seemed dressed in celebration of games and other things they loved, others, especially buffed and shirtless males showed off. There were Jedi in the mix as well. Looking at this made me think about where you see cosplay, and I have not seen it in libraries.

It made me think, do people come to author talks or other library events, cosplaying as characters? Why not?  They do this at lots of cons.

I would be very interested to hear of instances of spontaneous cosplay at libraries.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a public library in Baucau

local studies in a public library in Baucau
I can't be more precise than that, as there are two libraries it could be, but there is no sign on the library to narrow it down, and both the libraries have the same address which does not include a street name.

The good things about the library were daily news papers and a collection of publications about Timor Leste. It was good to see this local studies collection which could be used in the library and not borrowed.

The not so good areas include a 1973 copy of Popular Science encyclopedia - and it was not the only title of that age.

Computer and music classes are run for children most afternoons.

Another plus about the library was that it was open on Saturday - most aren't. However, without any sign saying it was a library, and being back off a main road, would make it much harder to find.
You can see more photographs of it here

Monday, December 10, 2012

Library for the Parliament in Dili, Timor Leste.

This is the sign which directs people to the library of the Parliament in Dili, Timor LEste

Parliamentary Library, Dili, Timor Leste
This is the Parliamentary Library, Dili, Timor Leste.  It has received funding from USAID, The Asia Foundation and the government of Portugal.  It uses the same library management system as the Parliamentary Library in Portugal. It relies heavily on donations for the collection.  It was a nice library to visit, and well used.  Anyone can come and use the library.  Mostly it is staff and researchers who are connected to the library and do research for parliamentarians.  Some university students use it as the Parliament is across the road from a university.  It appears to be an active, well used library, which is unusual in Timor Leste.

It is also unusual here because the library staff are either qualified or experienced.

You can see more photographs of this library in the slideshow below

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Venilale Library

Venilale Library by ellen forsyth
Venilale Library, a photo by ellen forsyth on Flickr.

This library was closed, but I wandered around looking in through the windows. The colours in the exterior were lovely

Venilale Library

Venilale Library by ellen forsyth
Venilale Library, a photo by ellen forsyth on Flickr.

This library closed, but it was interesting to walk around and look in.

Reporting on census data for Manututu

Nice way to report on local data - especially with limited access to online versions of the census data

Monday, December 3, 2012

Biblioteka Haburas Moris, NGO Roman Luan, Atauro Island

Biblioteka Haburas Moris was set up by the NGO Roman Luan.  This NGO is local to Atauro Island, just north of Dili.
 Biblioteka Haburas Moris, NGO Roman Luan, Atauro Island
 The library was set up in 2003. There is a mobile library (boat) when funds are available, to rotate book stock between the primary schools on the island. Two villages on the island are connected by a road, the others are either accessible by walking or by boat. The library collection is mainly books for children.

If given a donation of money they would like to select some appropriate titles for adults in English and Indonesian, mainly at a basic level of reading. It is is really important that staff are able to choose the material for their library themselves. The locals have made books in Tetun because limited materials are available in this language.  The books were lovely, featuring things local children would see as part of their daily lives.
 Biblioteka Haburas Moris, NGO Roman Luan, Atauro Island
The library does not have electricity, but it is very light because of the lattice instead of windows. Biblioteka Haburas Moris, NGO Roman Luan, Atauro Island
The roof is unlined. The library is half a block from the sea, and there are some breezes.

There was a nice space in the library with a table and about a dozen stackable plastic chairs.  The library was being used for information sessions for different sections within the community. 

The library had a really nice feel, and it was great to see local materials used in part of the building.  This would have save significantly on building costs.

You can see some more photographs of the library and books in Tetun in the slideshow below

 If you would like to give money to help this library, contact Libraries for Timor Leste. They have been responsible for funding the mobile (boat) library.  The people I spoke to about the library were very positive about the involvement of Libraries for Timor Leste.

While visiting this library I saw some donations of new books which should never have made it to this island as their subject matter and reading level did not suit the community they were intended for - this is why giving money is a much better option.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

...from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of sucess

Failure as a learning experience, and failure as a critical growth agent (ashes feeding the roses) I have been doing a lot of thinking about failure lately, and this song is helping my thinking. Influences come from a lot of places. Watch for future posts about failure.