30 June 2010
I gave a talk to staff of the Australian Museum about our Wallwisher feedback board today. On the way back I took the opportunity to take a few images with my new camera. I'm still learning about its use and all of its features. The morning wasn't too cold but it was really still and clear. The sky was a vivid blue and made a perfect background. I'm enjoying just being in Sydney with all it has to offer and my work at UTS Library.
29 June 2010
- Saw the film Animal Kingdom.
- Visited Vivid a couple of times with friends.
- Bought and played with a new camera (Canon EOS 7D).
- Bought a new lens (Canon 50mm f1.4).
- Run to and from work.
- Rode my bike to and from work.
- Walked to the light rail and taken a tram to work.
- Eaten a lot of Max Brenner's plain (dark) chocolate.
- Visited my parents and spent some time with my late brother's widow, my niece & nephew.
- Spent a lot of time with old and close friends.
- Laughed a lot at work and at home.
- Eaten out in Newtown a few times.
- Settled my ex-partner who is now my best friend into my spare room.
- Cooked beef lasagne.
- Eaten a lot of Ken's cooking at home.
- Talked and thought a lot about my late brother Murray.
- Was given an orchid for my front balcony.
- Bought another orchid for my front balcony.
- Endured a leak in my spare bedroom (from the bloody neighbours!) that ruined all the carpet.
- Had all the carpet replaced in my spare bedroom.
- Started and nearly finished reading Will Davies' Beneath Hill 60 (Ken was in the film).
- Went to the 17th Biennale of Sydney at the MCA (but was disappointed).
- Visited the One Hundred exhibition at the State Library of NSW (and was impressed).
- Saw some films at the Sydney Film festival.
- Laughed out loud during all episodes of Modern Family.
- Progressed our ASRS tender (with a lot of help).
- Started the 10,000 step Challenge with some friends at work.
- Eaten Yum Cha for lunch with my friends Fides at work.
- Coached some swim sessions.
- Ridden my indoor trainer a lot at home (I hate cold & wet weather riding!).
And another thing! I knew there was something that I forgot to say in yesterday's non-post.
The orientation gallery was smaller and was finished first, but it provided a much more contemporary and enticing entry than the previous dark and cluttered space. A massive glass showcase was designed and built by a glass artists (now deceased) from Queanbeyan and the Director pushed the positioning of one of only two Gallipoli landing boats in that foyer as the main feature "statement". The showcase contained items from all parts of the collection giving people a taste of what followed in the main galleries: all without any textual interpretation. When it opened, people knew they were entering a special place designed to assist them to understand the Australian experience of war. There is something for everyone. Visitors are greeted and tours meet in that gallery. Since then many museums have followed suit and now the National Gallery of Australia is finishing off a completely redesigned entrance along the same lines.
28 June 2010
I'm exhausted of ideas and I'm coming down with a head cold despite taking every natural immune system booster known in Western civilisation. Part of the reason I'm exhausted is because today I had to present most of our future library concepts to students in our UTS Designing Out Crime (DOC) Research Centre. I used a presentation of our key ideas around some illustrative images, but as it is a bit of a rehearsal for a short presentation that I'm to give later this year at the ILI conference in London, I don't think I should share it just yet.
By 2016 the UTS Library will be relocated to the building next the the big UTS tower on Broadway, one of the main avenues taking people into the city of Sydney. Having a more prominent location both within the University and within that area of Sydney will present its own challenges and we hope to get some decent ideas from the DOC students.
It isn't as if we are expecting a future series of Underbelly to be written about the crime in the UTS Library. We are just hoping for some proposals primarily to do with regulating or discouraging behaviours like theft, vandalism, consumption of inappropriate food and beverages, noise, etc. We are also looking for their ideas to assist us in presenting the key library resources and services as exclusive for UTS members (i.e not accessible by the general community). I spent a couple of hours with them making my presentation and then answering some really stimulating questions that gave me much food for thought.
I think we are really fortunate to have such a program at UTS and I love that we are giving UTS students the chance to contribute to the planning of the new Library in such a practical way (even though it is still very early in the planning stage).
The image is UTS tower from my place.
27 June 2010
26 June 2010
A few days ago I managed to install the ios4 operating system and Sophie told me how to put everything in folders. My folders seemed to pick up labels based on what application went in first, but Sophie has since told me that I can change their labels.
I'm very fortunate that my iPhone is provided by my employer. Before I was given this phone early in 2009, I had a Palm Treo. I liked the Treo but found the plan I was on very unreliable and once I had used the iPhone for about a day I realised that the Treo was really a very clumsy device. The early Palm PDAs worked really well and I never went to a meeting at work without them. Then they changed to a Windows mobile operating system and everything went pear-shaped. One of the attractions of the iPhone is that "you already know how to use it" (as Apple says about its iPad). It is a very intuitive device. And, as I work in a university, if there is something I cannot figure out, I just step out into the Library and ask a student.
So by now you've probably realised that I don't have that many applications on my home screen. There are a few things I never or hardly ever use, like some iTunes U sites I was looking at, Stocks, iTunes (but I use that on my laptop), Shazam, RunKeeper, Ping, Evernote, Contacts, ShapeWriter, Dropbox, YouTube & Safari (I really don't browse the internets much on my phone) and BlockChalk.
I do use most of the following things on a regular basis:
Phone & Messages - of course
Mail - to check both work email and Gmail. I find it very reliable. I've got "Fetch" switched off because it was really expensive on data when I was overseas. I found that it is just as easy to download email when I want to check it. The Maps app is also data hungry, especially when you are moving.
iPod - I LOVE my iPod. This is my fourth iPod and it is a bit problematic as they all have different libraries now. This one is nearly full, but I listen to the music whenever I can. I think I have about 3-4 sets of earphones that I use regularly while walking, o the light rail and in bed sometimes when reading. I think iPod has been directly responsible for me buying much more music over the last 5-6 years.
Rage - I use the Rage app almost every weekend to see what is on and to set up my music video recordings on ABC TV. It is brilliant app that allows you to browse all clips broadcast each night and it has a great little fave feature for both songs and artists that collects your list for you. I also use Unearthed (a Triple J app that allows you to download and fave new music).
I get app upgrades from and sometimes search the App Store.
I've used Bump occasionally, but wish I could remember to use it more to swap contact details as it seems an awful lot more sensible than swapping business cards these days.
I sometimes use the Facebook and IMDb apps when I feel I need to, but they're not top of the charts.
I look at Weather quite often (to help me decide whether to run, ride or catch the light rail to work), but it isn't reliable nor very informative, so if I really want to know what might happen I usually look up the Sydney BOM forecast on Safari.
The Westpac app is excellent and I do use it occasionally. So too is Google and I've used the voice search feature very accurately when trying to find a bike shop with grubby hands after running out of spare tubes after a flat on my pushy.
Probably my most used apps are TweetDeck and Echofon, both for Twitter. They now live in the Social folder along with Facebook. And no, that isn't Grindr there with them. Well it might be, but only because Stephen Fry talked about it on Top Gear one night. I only read the articles.
24 June 2010
Using only song names from one artist (anyone you like), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title.
My life according to The Cure
Are you a male or female: M
Describe yourself: I'm a Cult Hero
How do you feel: Boys Don't Cry
Describe where you currently live: A Forest (Tree Mix)
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? In Between Days (Shiver Mix)
Your favourite form of transportation: The Walk (Everything Mix)
Your hobby: Let's Go To Bed
Your best friend? Close to Me (Closer Mix)
You and your best friends are: The Love Cats
What’s the weather like: Going Nowhere
Favourite time of day: A Night Like This
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Sleep When I'm Dead
What is life to you: Hot Hot Hot!!! (Extended Mix)
Your relationship: Fascination Street (Extended Mix)
Your fear: Killing an Arab or Sinking
What is the best advice you have to give: Trust
Thought for the Day: To Wish Impossible Things
My soul’s present condition: A Reflection
My motto: Play for Today
One thing I've learnt from my brother's recent death is the power and importance of real friends and the support they provide when you really need them. Family are very important, but they're not enough. I have witnessed the love of my mother's friends, my sister's friends, my brother's friends, my sister-in-law's friends and benefited from that of my own. I doubt I would have survived as well in one piece without them.
23 June 2010
This post was inspired by Kathryn on Librarians Matter. I'm not telling a joke because I shared my best one ("pull my finger!") with @pinkfairiedust in my office this afternoon. She declined. So, instead of a joke I offer some poetry. I hate poetry. This is one of very few poems I can recite. It is by the Spike Milligna (the famous typing error) and is called Baboon.
There once was a baboon
Who one afternoon
Said: "I think I'll fly to the sun"
So with two great palms
Strapped to his arms
He started his take-off run
Mile after mile
He galloped with style
But never once left the ground
"You're travelling too slow"
Called a passing crow
"Try reaching the speed of sound"
So he put on a spurt
By gosh how it hurt!
The soles of his feet caught fire
There were great clouds of steam
As he raced through a stream
But he still didn't get any higher
Racing on through the night
Both his knees caught alight
And smoke billowed out from his rear
Quick to his aid
Came a fire brigade
That chased him for over a year
Many moons pass by
Did Baboon ever fly?
Did he ever make the Sun?
I've just heard today
That he's well on his way
He'll be passing through Neesden at One.
21 June 2010
Thanks to @fionaweb for this meme. It was a lot of fun.
Here are the destructions:
1. Open your library (iTunes, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool!
Opening Credits: Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
Waking Up: Our House - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
First Day At School: Flux (Live at the Enmore, Sydney) - Bloc Party
Falling In Love: Regret - New Order (geez, what is that saying for me!)
Fight Song: The Submarine - Whitley
Breaking Up: Procession - New Order (really?)
Prom: Road to Recovery - Midnight Juggernauts (but I don't do proms!)
Life: Babylon - David Gray (this is not even supposed to be on my iPhone!!!)
Mental Breakdown: Ruined in a Day - New Order (how appropriate)
Driving: Nothing in My Way - Keane (ditto)
Flashback: I Feel Better - Hot Chip (I'm so pleased that this was delivered)
Getting Back Together: Square One - Coldplay
Wedding: Slippage - Goldfrapp (not that I'm allowed to have a wedding anyway)
Birth of Child: Today Will Be Better, I Swear! - Stars
Final Battle: Parachutes - Coldplay
Death Scene: Liar - New Order (this can't be right)
Funeral Song: Perfect Kiss - New Order (so Shuffle is random, right?)
Remembrance Song: She's So High - Blur
End Credits: This is the Life - Two Door Cinema Club
The image I took with my iPhone while listening to music on my way home tonight. It was a really beautiful scene and the camera does it no justice.
There are some really good details on this bike. On a quick look it all seems to be mostly new components and probably a restored frame. I can't really tell what it is, perhaps an old Cervello (my brother would have been able to from this iPhone pic), but it was probably resprayed before being rebuilt as a fixie.
Maybe it was once a track bike. The narrow handlebars make it ideal for squeezing between a bus and a road train travelling in adjacent lanes. And they are set really low with the red head set spacers helping to keep it so low above the straight forks. (I use extra spacers to lift my handlebars up.) It would be a very agile and responsive bike. I love all the red details including the red rims on the Velocity wheels and the great looking seat post. Maybe a red chain would have been too over-the-top? I don't much like the chain rings and cranks. I don't know what they are, but they are certainly not Campagnolo.
17 June 2010
They say the initiative to plan travel for workplaces can result in substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and reduced traffic congestion for workplaces like university campuses, industrial parks, hospitals, office precincts and multi-residential developments. That, however, doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try to do something along the same lines in smaller institutions like libraries. We should certainly incorporate a green travel plan as a design consideration for our Library of the Future which is in its very early planning stages. Maybe we could also make a realistic contribution now just by setting an example for others to follow.
Perhaps it is too late in an existing institution to incorporate much that involves substantial investment in facilities or even additional construction, but there might be other steps we can take that could make a realistic, if small scale contribution. We could for example:
- raise awareness among our staff and encourage the use of alternative forms of transport that are more environmentally friendly (public transport, cycling and walking where feasible);
- encourage and perhaps facilitate car sharing or pooling arrangements;
- lobby for cycling or public transport subsidies instead of salary packaging for cars;
- improve and encourage the use of end-of-trip cycling and running amenities like showers and lockers;
- seek funds and/or equipment to improve video or online-conferencing facilities in our workplaces (vice long-distance air travel);
- arrange bike maintenance classes for staff and provide basic shared repair facilities at work;
- look more closely at flexible work arrangements that encourage working from home where appropriate or travel during non-peak periods;
- highlight and profile those of our colleagues who make the effort to use more sustainable forms of transport as examples for others to follow;
- run and celebrate regular voluntary Car Free days; and
- try some schemes that offer incentives to car poolers, bikers, runners, walkers or public transport users.
The image is one of my bikes in my office at work.
16 June 2010
15 June 2010
We are dealing with a couple of complaints from students (I suspect because the library is very busy at present) who say that our library staff are not doing enough to manage selfish, anti-social or even noisy behaviour by other students in areas of the library designated as quite or silent zones. We’ve also had to remove a computer mouse that was super-glued to a desk top recently and that will necessitate a lot of expensive repair work to the long desk top that was damaged in the removal process.
We do have our reshelvers and security staff talk to students if they notice anything inappropriate and we can also deploy our student rovers against such behaviour, but I suspect the more that we react, the more students will either counter-react or find another way around it. Last year I talked with many US academic librarians who told me that students mostly self-manage behaviour in their library “commons” and group study spaces. We seek to gently encourage the same thing here, but we don’t want to go as far as encouraging student vigilantes and we don’t want to be too “precious” about the space.
So, I would be interested in reading about any successful initiatives you may have tried recently to encourage more cooperative, tolerant and appropriate behaviour by students in THEIR library.
The image above is the University of Nevada Las Vegas Lied Library learning commons.
14 June 2010
Thanks to Bonito Club for this meme.
Two names you go by:
2) Malcolm (but I hate it!)
Two things you are wearing right now:
1) Old Nike Free shoes
2) G-Star jeans
Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship:
2) Decent sex
Two things you like to do:
1) Excercise (swim, ride, run)
2) Visual arts
Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1) The leak to be fixed in my house & all damage repaired
2) The new camera I purchased online ages ago to finally arrive!
Two things you did last night:
1) Watched Animal Kingdom
2) Ate Turkish food for dinner
Two things you ate today:
1) Cheese & spinach roulade with salad
Two people you last talked to:
1) Gary (a close friend from Melbin)
2) My Mum
Two things you’re doing tomorrow:
1) Breakfast with Gary
Two Favorite Holidays
Two favourite beverages
1) Piccolo Latte (espresso)
Two things about me you may not have known.
1) I hate hot spicy food (like chilli)
2) I barrack for Hawthorn in the AFL
Two jobs I have had in my life:
1) Army officer
2) Intelligence analyst
Two movies I would watch over and over:
2) Big Wednesday
Two places I have lived:
Two of my favourite foods:
2) Even more choklit
Two places I’d rather be right now:
1) New York City ('cos I've never been)
2) Milan, Italy (ditto)
Oh. the image is a decent-looking fixie I saw after the Melbin Midsumma parade earlier this year. Go figure.
13 June 2010
Today I spent wandering around the 17th Biennale of Sydney with three of my best friends. Frankly, most of the contemporary visual art that we saw (mostly at MCA) was pretty lame, especially the junk masquerading as "video art". Apart from Bill Viola's work at the MCA, it really is self-indulgent, second or third rate rubbish in my opinion. What we saw at MCA is from all over the place and not just Australian, so in saying that it is mostly rubbish I guess the problem stems from poor curatorial selection because it isn't indicative of the state of Australian contemporary art practice. I have better contemporary art hanging on my walls at home. The Biennale selections just don't rate for me, nor did they compare with the quality of work still on display at the State Library of NSW in their One Hundred exhibition. In that exhibition there is something for everyone from Banks' HMB Endeavour journal to a really beautiful illustrated letter from Brett Whiteley to his mother. I'm so glad that I didn't miss this great exhibition.
Later on we went to see the brilliant Australian film Animal Kingdom (see image & link to the film website). It deserves all of the rave reviews it is getting and Jackie Weaver deserves some big acting award for her portrayal of the convincingly disturbing crime matriarch, Janine "Smurf" Cody. She is seriously creepy. It is a big leap above the recent spate of TV crime dramas that are based on real events in both Melbourne and Sydney. It is more relaxed in the way it portrays the story and it looks so much better. The acting is better, the direction and writing is superb and the film just works so well.
It is easily the best Australian film I can remember seeing for a long time. The violence in the film is both direct or inferred and you never quite know when it is going to happen, or not. There is a lot in its title and they manage to stay true to that right up to the final scene. I also liked the way they frankly portrayed the lives destroyed by crime and the fact that at some stage most criminals make a big mistake or come undone. They are not all brain surgeons or lucky for their entire lifetime. Don't miss it and see it in a cinema, not on DVD.
12 June 2010
How many films do you see a year at the cinema?
Probably around 30 or so. (I've joined the Dendy now I live so close to Newtown, so intend to see more from now on.)
What’s your favourite film(s)?
Breakfast at Tiffany's, Jesus' Son, Magnolia, The Dreamers, Downfall, Without Limits, The Good Shepherd, Wings of Desire, Mou Gaan Dou 1 2 & 3, The Ignorant Fairies, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Lawrence of Arabia, Big Wednesday, Donnie Darko, Fargo, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Latter Days, Lords of Dogtown, An Englishman Abroad, and A Single Man.
Who is your favourite director?
Don't really have one, but I liked what Tom Ford did recently with A Single Man and have a lot of respect for David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia & many others).
How do see most movies (eg tv, cinema, download, dvd)?
Cinema and DVD.
Do you think 3D movies will be a fad…again?
What film do you hate the most?
Avatar. Absolute rubbish.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Porn & the films of Ashton Kutcher.
Who is your favourite film reviewer?
I suppose I like the reviews of Margaret Pomeranz & David Stratton because they usually give you different perspectives. There is also Paul Byrnes in the SMH and I read his reviews most Saturdays.
How many times have you seen The Sound of Music?
Several & enough.
Name a film, or films, you’ve seen multiple times?
The Sound of Music, The Great Escape, Star Wars, Gallipoli, Field of Dreams, Magnolia, Lawrence of Arabia, On Golden Pond, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Big Wednesday, & probably several others, but I cannot remember them all.
Have you ever yelled comments at the screen in a cinema? (…did people laugh?)
Not since uni and I cannot remember.
11 June 2010
10 June 2010
In one of those Team Management Index things I was described a couple of times as a "creator-innovator", but I don't think it was at all accurate. I'm easily bored which is consistent with the full description (from memory), but I'm just not that original and I'm probably more of an "explorer-promoter". Our "teams" in libraries need their share of true creator-innovators like Sophie because they inspire all of us and make our life at work more interesting and enjoyable. I can still hear her saying to me at VALA earlier this year: "Be a joiner-in Mal!". It made me laugh and I did join in.
The crappy image above is Sophie on stage at the Oxford Art Factory in Griffith Goat Boy. All I had was my iPhone.
Have some fun. Put yourself out into the spaces we all talk about: YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, blogs, etc. But beware: someone will eventually pull the cat's bum face on you.