Thursday, April 30, 2015

my review of Heiroglyph - great work by @imaginationASU

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better FutureHieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future by Ed Finn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is amazing. It is a series of short stories (some quite long, others quite short) exploring science and ideas for the future. It is a collaboration between fiction authors and scientists, and comes out of Project Hieroglyph at the Arizona State University and their Centre for Science and the imagination.

I realise I may not be making this sound exciting yet. I wanted to read this book because Neal Stephenson was behind it, and I am a fan of his work. There are many wonderful stories in this volume. Not all of them are equally wonderful, but I am sure some people really loved ones I did not. At the end of each story there are story notes to show where the idea came from, sometimes there is a forum discussion you can look at to see the science explained (and it may be something which is not possible to do yet, but it has possibilities). Sometimes the writer was linked to a scientist so they could check the scientific accuracy of what they wrote about, other times they connected to research.

This book explores ideas, using accurate or potentially possible science. It also has great, amazing and wonderful stories in it. One of the things I noticed reading it was that many of the stories were joyful. There may have been tough things going on, but there was an undercurrent of joy and hope. This was lovely and a contrast to what I have been watching and reading lately. That joy and hope were strong is a great fit for planning a hopeful and positive future in a way which cares for people, and is inclusive an imaginative.

Some choice stories for me were Atmosphaera incognita by Neal Stephenson, The man who sold the moon by Cory Doctorow (this is a very joyful, hopeful story), A hotel in Antartica by Geoffrey A Landis, By the time we get to Arizona by Kathleen Ann Goonan, Elephant angels by Brenda Cooper, Entanglement by Vandana Singh, and Degrees of freedom by Karl Schroeder (exploring different governance structures). There are some wonderful reads not included, but it was starting to seem like I was including too many to be described as a selection.

This is going to be a tough one to place in a library because some people will read it for the science, and others for the ideas. Good cataloguing is essential (actually it always is essential). You can see how it is catalogued on Trove and the summary provides helpful keywords (but a lot of libraries don't add fiction to Trove and so miss out on this). I would have liked a more science oriented subject heading added as well.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

current music as part of the local studies collection

Denver Public Library has a local music site (you can listen to samples if you don't have a library card from them) as do Madison Public Library, Johnson County Library and others.

Music is important, and it has been harder to collect local content in this area.  These libraries have found a solution and it also makes it easy for people to listen to local musicians. This has many excellent local studies possibilities as well as current content.

I found out about these examples because I follow the Library as incubator project blog.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My review of The readers' advisory guide to genre blends by @megmcardle

The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre BlendsThe Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends by Megan M. McArdle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another in the excellent ALA Reader's advisory series. This book highlights overlaps in genres, and how each genre can often have ties to another one bringing crime and science fiction, romance and science fiction, horror and science fiction, for example together. There is a very good breadth of coverage, and some great ideas and practical advice about readers advisory skills and techniques, including when to suggest genre blends to people.

This book shows a great depth and breadth of knowledge, and there are helpful resources. As well whole of collection advisory is included bringing film and graphic novels. There is a useful (and short) bibliography.

Collecting, display and promotion are also covered. This is an excellent readers' advisory publication, and is well worth reading. You will may find your 'to read' list grow as a result of reading it, plus you may find a large number of genre blends already in the mix

View all my reviews

Monday, April 27, 2015

Winged Victory, story telling and local studies

This was in a flier which was distributed by the council
from Marrickville remembers - flier
as was this
  from Marrickville remembers - flier
This article appeared in the local paper
from Inner West Courier Inner City April 14, 2015
You can read more about the Winged Victory ale here, hereand here, and more about the Winged Victory here, and the Marrickville ANZAC march here.

It struck me, that what I find most interesting in this is the story telling.  It is local history, connected to an international event, but through the new storytelling, interesting people in the past in a way they can connect to.

There is a lot of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War which is not good, but this, because it is connecting to the local war memorial seems to work.  It is a very different depiction to that given in this very impressive and moving, then and now photograph series in the Guardian

but it still works.

You can see a Storify here showing how Winged Victory was depicted as part of Marrickville remembers.
The beermat
and the growler

Thursday, April 23, 2015

RA for All: Keeping the Shelves In Order (reblogged with comment) via @raforall

RA for All: Keeping the Shelves In Order:   Every other week I volunteer at my daughter's elementary school library. Although I am often consulted on larger issues pertaining to ...


I am reblogging this from a 2010 post from Becky Spratford because it raises ideas which people still need to think about, and take action on.  It highlights the importance of knowing the collection, presenting it well, and roving to provide services. These are all still really important.  Yes, you need to know the tools to use, whether for reference, reader's advisory or however you are helping the client (and Becky has done lots of great work in other blog posts to highlight some readers' advisory tools), but you need to be in your library space to help clients.

This also involves being in the online space - how do you offer assistance there?  Does your website have a pop up inviting clients to chat with you?

How can you provide the same depth and breadth of services online as in library (it is possible, but it requires thought and action). Enough of my rant, I encourage you to read Becky's post.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

my review of Hoopla

Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected EmbroideryHoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery by Leanne Prain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an excellent book exploring how many different people use embroidery in their lives, and the great storytelling potential there is in this.

I was interested in the diversity of the embroiderers. I am going to use that term despite some of the people in the book preferring to use the term 'manbroidery" as it is all embroidery, regardless of who has the needle in their hands.

There are stories of people and stories of place. Some people took it up as a way to pass time in gaol, and there are some wonderful project associated with this, and with providing income after gaol. (The British Library work of art for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta has been partly embroidered by prisoners.). Some of the examples in the book are by individuals, and others are collaborations.

There is also background information for getting started in embroidery and some projects you could consider. Embroidery has a lot of potential for linking to local studies in public libraries, and there would seem to be some great possibilities for collaborative work. I really enjoyed reading this book, and am considering trying some embroidery.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A lovely case of mistaken identity

This tweet
came through my twitter stream, as an alert. It is lovely. They look a great group of people to work with, but it was not me who was visiting.  I am really sympathetic to typos in twitter handles as every conference or so (and it used to be very conference), I would make a typo in someone's twitter handle.  Seeing this photograph, was a lovely lift to my day as it joyful, and I really like that people are being trained to create cartoons (lots more comics).

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Hunt Library video wall experience on Storify

This library looks amazing. I keep seeing different photographs of this library and I really like the #myhuntlibrary images. Here are some more great photographs and stories from this library.

Friday, April 17, 2015

storify of selected tweets from 2+3D photography – practice and prophecies

I followed this on twitter, so a big thanks to those who tweeted. Much to think about for libraries and local studies in here, as well as looking at some wonderful, amazing work.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kathryn Clark: foreclosure series - local studies potential

K A T H R Y N C L A R K: foreclosure series: From 1999 to 2004, I worked for a private urban planning firm designing New Urbanist neighborhoods throughout the US. In 2007, as f...


I came across this via Betsy Greer's craftivism board on Pinterest. I was struck by the potential for local studies, as I often am when looking at many amazing things which are made. These quilts tell the story of land, in different local areas.  They are much more complex than this too, as art works, and as art works calling for action.  You can read a bit more about the quilts here.

Storify of Sree Sreenivasan on social media best practices

You can watch the video
and read the Storify. It is great the way this can be shared online, for those of us who could not be there.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

happy about photograph credit

Library to host Cornell Exhibit - Ithaca Times : News and How to research like a journalist when the internet doesn't deliver both have photographs taken by me in them.  I like seeing photographs I have made available via Creative Commons being used. I really like that I found out by accident (Google alert on my name in case someone says something scary about me).  This is how it should work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Public markets and their potential for local studies

I follow Project for Public Spaces through various social media, which is where I saw this Storify.  I follow Project for Public Spaces because libraries are public spaces (depending on location and legislation), and I think there are some great ideas which libraries can use. I think libraries should always be public spaces - but sometimes need a bit of help to be effective public spaces.

When I saw this Storify I thought of local studies.  Of photographing local markets, and doing oral history recordings.  Also of of collecting stories and images from markets which no longer exist or have changed.  Current stories and collecting is important, because of the snapshot in time perspective.

Terry Pratchett on the value of libraries and librarians...

From the January/February 2010 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

Not long ago I was invited to a librarians’ event by a lady who cheerfully told me, “We like to think of ourselves as ‘information providers.’” I was appalled by this want of ambition; I made my excuses and didn’t go. After all, if you have a choice, why not call yourselves “Shining Acolytes of the Sacred Flame of Literacy in a Dark and Encroaching Universe”? I admit this is hard to put on a button, so why not abbreviate it to “librarians”?

As I am sure some of you know, I boast of the fact that for a couple of years I was a volunteer librarian, working weekends for no more reward than a cup of tea, a sweet biscuit, and a blind eye to the enormous number of books that I was taking home.

It seemed to me, even in those days, that librarians and their ilk were not mere “providers.” Information sleets down on us like confetti; we are knee deep in the stuff. I saw my fellow librarians as subtle guides and givers of context, a view that must have taken root when, one day, one of them pushed across the counter three books bound together with string. He said, “We think you might like this.” It was The Lord of the Rings. Now that’s what I call real librarianship.

Thanks to Stuart Yeates and the NZ email list for this 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 from @pewinternet

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 very interesting to see the results of this survey. It is US data, but implications for library services in Australia too.