Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comic Sans Criminals - help is available

If my faithful reader has font-related issues, particularly the overuse of Comic Sans font, they could do worse with their time than pop over to the Comic Sans Criminal website. If you've wondered when you should - or perhaps should not - use that popular font, a ready reference guide is available.

The site promises other resources, such as other 'comic' fonts, and 'dislexia fonts', but as I didn't check those out, I can't rightly say if they're easy to download, install, use 'n' such. But you're bright folk; I have every confidence in your ability to check it out ... and if necessary send me a stern (but hopefully gently) missive of 5,000 words or less.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advertising and Librarian Image

Once again, the advertising on Facebook has proven more diverting than some of the "apps". It's interesting to see this offering from 3M's advertising division, showing happy - but very professional - information and literary gurus in a modern brightly lit setting. Now I'm wondering if what our profession actually needs is not demonstration of the value we add to society, commerce, government, and education, but perhaps an actual advertising campaign of the Madison Avenue variety.

Goodness knows, we've been providing proof of both the pudding and research types, for (literally) millenia. And we're still fighting the same battles with the same result ... because we're using the same methods. Someone famous (you look it up, I'm on holidays) once said something along the lines of if you want a different result, you have to do it differently.

But of course, it always comes back to who is going to do the "organisation" (produce the tender document, vet the submissions, oversee the campaign, etc), plus who/how is going to finance the strategy ... not to mention how the success will be measured.

Are we there yet?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stumper: The fowls of the heavens?

Serendipitous discovery landed me on the page Spiritual Meaning of Birds, Fowl, where I was surprised to read that at least Biblically "birds signify things rational and intellectual"; OK, owls I can accept - from at least the literary point of view - but the average garden-variety chicken?

Which then made me wonder where/how the acceptance of "bird-brained" (as in silly, of limited attention span, etc) came about, as opposed to the intellectual quality of your basic fowl. Of course, like all good cliff-hangers, I'm not going to reveal the specifics of which particular "bird-brainism" was engaging me at the time.

Nevertheless, for my own protection, I must point out the reference to "AC" on the above-mentioned hyperlink is not me. I did not put the reference there. I do now know who did. I have not gained any monetary or other benefit from the "AC" link on the Bible Meanings page.

Curses!!! I didn't mean to wreck the cliff-hanging experience for my reader. Sorry about that ...

Anyways, as an aside - it being the holidays 'n' all - this is an image of Keuleman's Laughing Owl, courtesy of Wikipedia. It is reproduced here under Creative Commons licence.

"This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years."

So if you're resident in another country that possibly does not apply the Rule of The Shorter Term, I guess the answer is to not look at the image?

However, a really fascinating fact about the Laughing Owl is that it hasn't been seen since 1914. Which I guess is about the last time anyone heard someone whistling a tune for no apparent reason. Now that's going to be a really hard one to research! Good luck with that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And so it continues ...

Yesterday finished up the stock take of Classics; not a huge collection, but with more than half of the books requiring catalogue corrections, the "clean up" took more time than the actual inventory process.

Today was Professional Development day; ditto for tomorrow. Then it's 5 weeks annual holiday, where I plan to once again to bring order to the chaos currently known as the Home Office. Do notice particularly the word "plan".

I'm at the stage where I'm almost prepared to "do a deal" with a Teacher Librarian Colleague whereby I will go do their stock take for them at their library, in return for them coming and doing a heavy "weed" of the Home Office.

Only problem is, of course, that they're likely to throw away all my useless little treasures, souvenirs, miscellaneous documents ... and all that realia that is currently clogging up a whole room. Wait a minute! If I didn't have that stuff, I wouldn't have the problem. Hmmm ...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stock take and Other Duties ...

Finished inventory on Fiction last week, today it was the Reference collection, Visual Texts and the "Quick Reads". No library work tomorrow, it's the school's "Big Day Out", where I'm going to be supervising students walking from the school to the railway station, on the train, then to the theatre for three hours of Harry Potter, then to the Food Court for Lunch, then back to the station, another train, then the walk back to school. Heavy rain is forecast for the day.

And I actually volunteered for this. I did have the option of skipping "Big Day Out" and continuing stock take.

So all those folk who claim I'm crazy can use this as evidence ...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Nice Letter, but too little, too late ...

Dear Webmaster,

While browsing the web I noticed that you maintain a list of Library Skills resources here:

LessonCorner has organized a collection of Library Skills lesson plans and worksheets.
If you would like to link to them please use the following url:

Library Skills Lesson Plans -

In recognition for your work helping teachers find online resources, we would like to offer
you a free lifetime premium membership to LessonCorner. To enjoy this offer simply sign
up for a free membership -
Then reply to this email with the username you chose and I will
activate your lifetime premium membership.

About Us: At LessonCorner our goal is not only to create the best
collection of worksheets and lesson plans on the web, but also to make it free.
Our freemium business model allows all users to access many of the site's features.
In addition, users can receive a free 1 year premium membership by sharing
their lessons and worksheets with the community.

Thank you for your time,
Kathy Johnson

Yes, it's another website ...

Visually pretty good, nice design and easy editing ... but let's see what unfolds at

Library Laughs

I read today of the Zen Librarian, who searched the Internet for nothing and got 20 million hits on Google.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Currency parity and your home library

Yep, my AUD$50 worth of books arrived from Amazon yesterday. The AUD$48 freight I had to pay meant that I would have actually been ahead if I'd bought the books here. The only advantage is that I only had to wait 3 weeks instead of the 8 weeks if I'd ordered them through my local bookstore.

But then again, I'd have been able to buy twice as many. Hmmm ... there's a moral in there somewhere.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A landmark day!

Today, as far as I know, I didn't get into trouble. Of course, I may well find out differently tomorrow. Sometimes I don't find out for several months, which I guess illustrates that old saying about ill winds and blowing no good. Or maybe it's the silver cloud thing? Although at times ...

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. " Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

Although London and Sydney are half a world apart, I guess wind is wind. Excuse me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How important is the truth?

From the diary of SAM (Sydney [University] Alumni Magazine) is January 14 2011: Festival Cafe ... a glass of wine, a bite to eat and an animated discussion on a recurring them of the (Sydney) Festival theme: When we tell a story, how important is the truth?

Tickets from usual agents. Over 18s only. (It doesn't say why .... too much cheese? Or too much animation?)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Worst Librarian Ad Ever?

Facebook can be interesting from a wide range of angles, including the auto-feed advertisements. These are "tailored" to each individual log-in and supposedly "smart" from the perspective of AI. The ads are selected on the basis of keywords that a user ... ummm ... uses.

So my log-in produces a side bar of ads for items such as shoes (who'd have thought?), books (duh!), hugely expensive holidays in exotic places (a girl's gotta have dreams, right?), and now, through the power of Artificial Intelligence, programming algorithms, and probably a splash of witchcraft - I'm now getting fed ads on becoming a librarian.

OK, we can all do with professional developing, and there's always new fields opening up in cataloguing (yep, that's a pun). But I'd be hesitant to rush off and sign up for anything as a result of this particular ad. I did check into the identity of the advertisers, and was more than a touch surprised. You'd have thought They could have done a little better in the PR department.

Just a thought.

Column 8, Strike 3?

From Sydney Morning Herald of 24th November 2010

From Sydney Morning Herald of 23rd October 2010

From Sydney Morning Herald of 24th August 2010

That's three times in four months (twice as the lead); is this a record? Will they offer me my own regular column? The great Erma Bombeck started with the obits ...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A news clipping for Jay ...

Back in the day, they used to say "4 out of 10"; so what's going on? Less adherence to the MHA? Less tolerance? Better diagnosis? Worse employment outcomes due to poor corporate administration - by folk who are even more nutso?

Color me surprised ...

Recognise anyone here? (Click image for larger version)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Information Literacy and Real Life

I've been spending a fair bit of time developing a new set of lessons around the topic of "research", now that is has become "problematic" to use the existing set of online, interactive, self-paced lessons. For the next two weeks, in which our 'graduating juniors' prepare to move into Senior mode, they'll be revisiting a number of topics such as sources of information, assessing quality of information, you-know-the-rest.

It's lunchtime now, but I'm just having a quick cruise through news sites to see what current items I could work into the presentation and accompanying worksheets.

There still seems some debate as to whether or not restricting research to a single source was responsible for our Australian (southern hemisphere, big island-y thing on maps between the Asian sub-continent and Antarctica) prime minister being represented wearing an Austrian (central Europe, landlocked country near Switzerland) milk-maid outfit.

When I originally heard the breaking story this morning - yeah, OK, things are a little slow down here at this time of the year - my first thought was that the confusion of Austrian and Australia was due to geographical illiteracy. Maybe we'll never know.

Still, it's a nice example of what can happen when aren't sufficiently information literate. With the Internet (and yes, I still capitalise it as the proper noun that it is), now the whole world can squirm along with you when you achieve a Fail at this level.

Photograph above by Ray Strange.

Friday, November 5, 2010

When the pen is as mighty as the sword

Here's something else for my very long list of things I didn't know. According to a reasonably reliable website, but not citing any references, I read that "Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and his associates, using sharp shorthand styluses meant to be used with wax tablets."

I guess that would make the 'pens' as mighty, not mightier, than the swords? Although they had to use pens because if they'd taken swords their plot would have been foiled. (B'hahahahha. If you don't get the pun, go look up 'foil'.)

Me bad. Apparently.
Image sourced from

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This is what they mean by "me time"?

I'm at home for a few days, following some minor-ish surgery whereby a large chunk of 'meat' was removed from my personage; 8 stitches were involved. It's all covered up with tape etc, which is sort of a shame in a morbid sort of way. How in the name of all that is self-serving can one get any sympathy unless there is visible evidence of bodily damage? It's not like I've got anything in stiff plaster or slings, or crutches or anything. Still, I suppose that's why we have blogs, isn't it? When ya just gotta get the message out there!!!

So anyway, now I'm home with instructions not to do anything that might tear the stitches open. I'm not doing the website any more, so there's several days worth of entertainment down the drain; even watching the TV is limited by how long I can 'lounge' before needing to turn over - without twisting anything. Shopping is "out", which from a financial perspective is probably a good thing. Needless to say, anything in the way of housekeeping, cleaning up, etc is completely out of the question. Some would say "luckily". Back to the Good Doctor tomorrow for a change of dressing and an update of stuff.

Thanks heaps to all those that enquired if I was dead. Obviously, not quite yet.

Image above from

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cinemagraphic Bacchanalia

Watched Balibo last night on the TV (remember that piece of technology?!) and just returned from seeing Social Network - which cost the exorbitant price of 20 bucks (because, I am told, it was on the iMax screen) ... in a nearly empty cinema.

Yep, both good movies, although Balibo with its heavy political theme it sort of Missed The Boat in not mentioning the government cover-ups etc. Social Network was a quite different story (no pun intended) in exposing a few ugly underlying truths.

Interestingly (at least for me, and since this is my blog, this may possibly be the last place on earth - or in cyberspace - where my opinions actually matter) were the trailers. Coming soon the next Nania, Harries Potter, plus sci-fi Skyline.

Walking through the foyer, one couldn't help but not Harry Connick Junior's upcoming Date Due. Wow! At last a library flick? Sadly not ... the time frame referenced relates to child-birth.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Too much information?

Take a deep breath before checking out the image here. Those of delicate sensibilities should probably do something else. I thought it was amusing, but to each their own. But you have been warned ...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where's the Old Site?

It would seem that despite the efforts of the Powers That Be, Warrior Librarian is not quite as dead as some folks might wish.

A colleague is in the process of composing an article on the topic of the Image of Librarians, past, present and future for Access, the journal of the Australian School Library Association.

Said colleague was looking for the World-Famous Online Satirical Journal for Librarians, with its own ISSN and everything; yep, at the time of writing this, Warrior Librarian is still accessible at the old URL - Unfortunately as a Read-Only version.

Seems like a lot of folk miss that small piece of information at the bottom of the index.html page.

That very same customisability is one of the things I miss most about hand-cut html coding. But for now, at least this particular e-format allows folk to maintain the rage, as it were, without undue (and I guess ultimately unnecessary) Net Distress. This is a term I have just coined to describe what many folk have expressed in long outbursts of uncontrollable angst regarding the frustrations of hand-cutting code. If you've been there, you've done that. There isn't a t-shirt, as far as I know.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A theatrical experience ...

OK, I've spent four days sourcing, sorting, storing and moving boxes. I guess if truth be told, I played more of a 'facilitating' role than an actual physical contributor - but By Golly! Had it not been for the gnashing of teeth and the wringing of hands etc, not much would have actually happened. But this way, we Reclaimed the Site with regard to the spare bedroom, the space under the stairs, and what was laughingly referred to as The Homework Room.

So really it was without any guilt that I trotted off to our local cinema for a few hours comedy relief. What did I think of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps? Given that I'm apparently not allowed to publish any book reviews (in case I somehow make some sort of gain as "secondary employment"!) , and I still haven't been informed as to whether or not there's a prohibition on other types of reviews, I'm a little hesitant to say very much at this stage.

I can reveal - I believe without risk to myself (although notably I have been wrong in the past) that this movie did not actually run from 6:30pm to 9:30 pm, as shown on the ticket. Sure, the doors opened at 6:30pm, and shortly thereafter the mobile Candy Bar arrived. There were even gaps between the ads and the trailers. They turn the lights off for a reason - so you can't see the time when that movie actually starts. I'm not sure what the reason was for also turning off the air conditioning. But I guess as long as they could still power-up the projector, things were probably largely in our favour.

And no, there hasn't been much change in status to the Home Office Cleanup Project. But thanks for asking.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Will four days enough?

Today's proactivity was to hire storage space for a 'number' of boxes which can't be tucked into any more corners, under anything, above anything, or anywhere else. Everything that can be trashed has gone - more or less. And quite a few things uncovered that will one day make a fine display in a yard sale.

But just as "you can't clean anything without getting something dirty", a flurry of activity has erupted in other areas of the house (and household). The spare bedroom is going to become a sewing room. Apparently. The former "homework room", once the cobwebs have been removed and the archaeologists have finished their dig in there, will become a sort of shared "Kraft Korner". I am told (by my teenage daughters) I will be allowed to make an appropriate sign saying just that. "Kraft Korner". I am to spell it that way, and not use apostrophes. Is there no end to this cruelty?

Our Home Office will also become semi-devoid of assorted boxes, which will also go into storage. Which I figure is sort of a shame, considering how much time and tape I devoted to giving them that professional archival appearance. On the bright side, after four more days of this level of disruption, it won't be quite so traumatic to go back to the Day Job. Will it?

You'll have to excuse me now for a while. I'm off to check out Neat for inspirational ideas on being ...errr... neat. Which is way better than actually lugging around heavy boxes of stuff.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can productivity = fun?

personalized greetings

Made using Image Chef (, with whom I have no financial or any other relationship. Geez, I don't even know who does their brilliant coding, but by golly! it sure is a lot of fun over there.

When technology meets culture

Maybe it's because it's the end of the footy season here, or the influx of immigrant folk from places where body art has significance in the native culture, but there does seem to be a huge increase in tattooing at the moment. Not that I'm suggesting in any way, shape, or form that there is anything intrinsically wrong with a 'tat', mind you. There used to be a tattooed librarians website.

I'm all in favour of people expressing themselves in any manner that does not impact on anyone else; that said, my kids have been told the consequences of getting tattooed. They will be disinherited; other worthy recipients will be identified and have have our accumulated debts bequeathed to them. Possibly someone in Nigeria with several million dollars that they have to dispose of quickly.

But back to the issue of tattooing. I couldn't work out why The Other Half's jaw dropped when I told him I was popping out "to get some ink". And the visible relief when I returned with a twin pack of printer cartridges.

Is truth stranger than fiction?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Upgrading overdue notices?

I was looking for a novel way to present overdue notices; but could only produce a novella. (It's OK to laugh here ... I did.)

Anyways, it occurred to me that one problem with the effectiveness of such reminders is that being generally small and flat, they tend to get lost. OK, they get thrown away in many cases, particularly by recurrent recalcitrants. Making them bigger would only lead to the backs being used for shopping lists, or plot outlines - dependent of course on the identity of the defaulter.

That left only the option to change the shape - but into something that might be considered "fun" for the sender as well as the recipient. I have not patented this idea, nor do I intend to do so. You have my blessing to use as-is, adapt, modify or otherwise alter in any way to suit your purpose.

However, given the recent past history of my more creative innovations, it may be best to check with the NSW government to see if they want to claim copyright on this, me being an employee and all ...

You can find one set of instructions for making a Creative Overdue Teller here, but please note I have no affiliation with that website and do not receive any pecuniary rewards from same. It was the first one to come up on a Google search for "fold fortune teller".

Disclaimer: I am not cognisant of my employer's relationship with the above linked website, although I am given to understand there is a financial relationship between them and Google.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

I've been busy ...

I ought to feel thoroughly ashamed of myself for being so slack in the blogging department, but I do have a good excuse. I've been busy. I have just completed my seventh morning schedule of these holidays. It's been a gruelling program of events each day, commencing with the struggle to disentangle myself from the doona, and throw myself into the herculean (Herculean?) task of getting to the kitchen to make coffee. On each and every one of these days, I've managed to fulfil these two particular tasks before lunchtime - although on a couple of occasions, it needed a redefinition of the time frame of "lunchtime".

Nevertheless, I'd like to argue with anyone who says that the body does not need downtime to regenerate not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. Mind you, I'm free to take on anyone who would have the temerity to disagree with me on any topic. Unless they're awful to me, or shout or something.

Having thus reached a stage where I can at least attempt to communicate with my faithful fan, I thought it might be amusing to show the world how much progress has been made in the Home Office Cleanup Project. But to save myself yet more embarrassment, here's a picture of my cat up a tree. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So everyone now wants my copyright?

Still being in "discussion" with the NSW Department of Education and Training regarding "ownership" of educational material hosted on Warrior Librarian (and written by me), it seems now that the Victorian Department of Education is also claiming copyright ... not just of the Information Literacy Online resource, but apparently the whole Warrior Librarian website!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Investigation Reflections ...

My good friend Ashleigh Brilliant (OK, we had lunch together once a few years back, when he and his good wife were in Sydney) once wrote: "I hope one day to be important enough to be investigated by a government department'.

It's amazing to think that even if you *aren't* important you can still get investigated. At tax payer expense. And nothing more 'criminal' found than you didn't ask yourself permission to give your own work away.

An added irony is the fact that said government department also wants to claim copyright on a body of writing that basically demonstrates that same department's incompetence in comprehending copyright.

As one of Australia's most famous criminals also once said "Such is life". Mind you, they hanged him just after he said it. Which in itself is a valuable lesson, I guess.

Smellchuck corrections?

Haven't stopped smiling since seeing the student essay on the political influence of "socialites like Karl Marx" and the revolutionary changes in Russia. I now have an unshakable mental picture of ladies Of A Certain Age swanning around in evening gowns and diamonds, being photographed at posh soirees and complaining about the food and the service ... and having chefs and sommeliers sent to Siberia ... with maitre d's being downgraded to maitre E's or F's.

Seems like the upcoming vacation break could be just in time?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Can I have a note?"

"Miss, Miss ... can I go to the ...." toilets, office, clinic, canteen, Deputy, here, there, everywhere. "Can I have a note?" "Can I?" "A note, Miss, please". "Can I have a note?" A what? "A note!"

So I gave him a high-C. At least, that's what I attempted. Sounded pretty good too, at least to me :-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Great Picture Book Lesson ...

... is on tomorrow with Year 7. The MS PowerPoint is ready to go, as is the trolley ("cart" to many) full of exemplar tomes. I'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself, after working out a great segue from "types" of visual texts to the visual elements of the same.

I'd intended to speak briefly about the history of Beowulf; show a scan of one page of very dense text from a verrrry old edition; view a short - as in nine seconds - clip from the movie where the dragon comes over the parapet, then sprint into the graphic novel cover and talk about the use of colour, line, etc in depicting the dragon. Sounds all pretty engaging, huh?

The first nine seconds of this clip was going to be the introduction to the "artistic elements":

But the movie has a M rating; the policy being that M-rated multimedia cannot be used with under 15 years of age. So instead, the kiddies will get 9 seconds of Jurassic Park with the T-Rex shredding real live "familiar" stuff in a contemporary setting. But it's OK, Jurassic Park is rated PG.

So there you go! Sigh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How many billion bucks?

Some $65.5 billion was spent on the Australian government's Building a Better Future program; more than $16.2 billion on the national Building the Education Revolution (BER) program. "More than" $287 million was to be invested in the state of New South Wales public school's National School Pride (NSP) program - with "up to" $200,000 per school. Figures to make your head swim, no?

So, one high school built in the 1960's - for which the planned purpose-built library was never built - uses with three classrooms with the walls knocked out as a library. They had this:

Costing out at less than 500 bucks - including signage - they asked for this (image generated using the Arcsoft graphics program):

Read that top bit again, will you? This is what this library got after about $50,000 had been spent on painting "selected bits" the school

image coming soon ....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election Joke (Australian)

This is a true story - not even the names have been changed, as there are no Innocent parties. If you're not Australian, or you're under 40 years of age, you're not going to see the humour. Sorry.

Walking into the Polling Venue, and being greeted by a Polling Official, charged with making sure every one was in the right line): "Are you voting for Chifley?" My reply: "I didn't know he was standing."


Yes, I made myself laugh, and the elderly couple behind me.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -
A feeble attempt to explain the humour for those who won't be able to get to sleep unless they 'get it" ... Chifley is the name of a Federal electorate, named after Australia's 16th Prime Minister .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

65 years since the end of WWII

Seems like a lot of folk let this anniversary pass without much thought. Perhaps "65" is not sufficiently MileStone in nature to merit commemoration? Having watched Inglourious Basterds [sic] (again) last night, I can now forgive at least the spelling of the film title.

On another, although related note, I much admire the work of Quentin Tarantino, in this case for the film's originality and non-linear narrative - a Tarantino trademark. Given that I am currently under prohibition (yeah, another one) in regard to writing any book reviews - in case I might somehow make financial gain - I'm guessing I might still be OK to comment on The Cinema. Ah well, I'll find out on Monday if I have again broken a conduct regulation ... which might not yet actually be in existence. Not that that's any excuse. Apparently.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am unreliably informed that Friday is "POETS Day" (P--- Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday), and yet here it is, 5 minutes after the final bell for the day - and indeed week - and I'm still here. And I'll still be here for at least another 25 minutes, and possibly much longer. The staff car park is just about empty; the cleaners are here.

The significance of the fact that the janitorial staff all drive cars several decades younger than mine is not lost on me, particularly as my 'ride' could not be classed as a "Classic" for at least several more decades. If it doesn't fall apart before then. Like me.

So now I'm off to clear my filing backlog, open this morning's mail (hopefully nothing important), and attend to similar tasks that could probably wait until Monday. Now there's an idea ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our future in their hands ...

Latest update on the outcome of The Determination, following the submission of The Response to The Allegations ... the decision has been made, but won't be advised until next week.

So much for Article 5 (degrading punishment) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Similarly for Article 10 (fair and public hearing), Article 11 (presumption of innocence), Article 12 (attacks on reputation), Article 18 (freedom of thought), Article 19 (freedom of expression) etc etc. Not to mention copyright violation - using resources I created without firstly getting my own consent.

Go figure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

At least Guyana is listening to me ...

Still no word on the pending Determination ... and apparently They have "a three month period" (plus any extensions They believe are warranted - or if they get Very Busy or something) before They are required to tell anyone anything. Talk about "cruel and unusual punishment"!

But at least they're listening over in Guyana; or to be strictly accurate the Guyana Chronicle Online published an
editorial extensively quoting the excellent article Ataxia in the Republic of Letters. Thanks, folks. Nice to know someone listens, even if it is on the other side of the planet.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Reference Interview

So, today in the library ...

Patron: Do you have a pack of cards?

Librarian: We have books on playing cards, we have books on card rules, we have books on people who play cards, we have books on other indoor games, we have books on gambling and gambling addiction; I can direct you to websites where you can play online card games from home - not here though because they are blocked by the filters; I can give you cardboard and colouring media so you can make your own pack of cards.

Patron: Do you have any games?

Librarian: We have books on many types of games; we have fiction with stories about people playing games; we have access to the websites for organisations that control games; have you ever thought of making up your own game?

Patron: Do you know anywhere here (at the school) where I could get a game?

Librarian: Sigh. Try the games room.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So true ...

It occurred to me that my speech or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Damned if you do, damned if you don't ...

At a school of my acquaintance, a teacher librarian of my acquaintance got hauled over the coals on Monday (for sending out letters for overdue books, including the statement "may be subject to an administration fee", and not signed by the CEO). Threatened with disciplinary action.

On Wednesday, hauled over the coals again, falsely accused of releasing students from sports detention class (yes, we're still talking the same Teacher Librarian) before 'finishing time' and not following a procedure - that hadn't yet been written. Threatened with disciplinary action.

Not to mention being in the wrong room - the one instructed by the CEO, rather than the one instructed by the sports organiser. Or maybe it was the other way around? It seemed that there was a lot of uncertainty on all three sides on that one. But somehow it was all the Teacher Librarian's fault.

Apparently though - and this is a good 'rule of thumb' for others in a similar situation, although that might change with circumstances, context, phases of the moon, etc (check your local chicken entrails before making any assumptions) - is that a written instruction from a Sports Organiser trumps a verbal instruction from a principal.

Gee, and its only Wednesday!

See Also:
Damned if I do, damned if I don't ... "you are not authorised to do this-that-the-other; you need my consent first; it wasn't you decision to make" as opposed to "why didn't you use your initiative?" Now, what play is that from???

On a lighter note (butane, I think), I am still awaiting the Determination. So life continues on pretty much as before, except I'm now one wisdom tooth lighter than when the week started. And still two days to go.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Human Rights and Civil Liberties

There's been a few television shows on introducing some 'kultchya' into the lives of what may be most kindly described as "rough girls". Our grandmothers' generation may have called them "trollops", but they weren't talking about Anthony.

Indeed, a number of charitable institutions have adopted this same cause. Even in some of our educational institutions, there are significant
attempts (OK, a few half-hearted policy documents and a bit of lip service for the sake of PR) to be proactive in this area.

But I say we should let zygones be zygones.


Speaking of which, the Response to the Allegations has been submitted. A response to the Response has not yet been forthcoming. As usual, it will probably be necessary to respond to the Response to the Response, particularly as I wasn't really satisfied with the way I addressed one of the issues.

In my own defense though, I'm completely at a loss to understand how to respond to the charge that I neglected to ask myself permission to use my own work. Maybe there's a pro-forma somewhere that I didn't complete - and submit to myself. To follow the usual protocols, I guess I'm going to have to discipline myself, but you know what? I'm not that much into the whole SM thing ...

Divider graphic used with permission of
Steve R. Morris of U.Florida

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Found on the floor near the (computer) printer at the end of a busy and wet lunchtime ... a print out of instructions on Being Organised. Obviously still a bit of a gap there in planning, collating, and storage ...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Return of the Three-Letter-Acronym

My little "reward" for having stopped smoking (cigarettes that is - the steam still comes out of my ears at times of high stress) was a nice flat-panel LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TV ... at six times the size of the last computer monitor I bought, and maybe even more significantly half the price of the monitor. No wonder our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is in such a state.

Anyway, now I have access to an EPG! Golly gee whiz! I even looked it up, and found that this was an electronic program guide - which we already had through our cable TV connection (CTV). Pffft, thought I (onomatopoeic, not an acronym), we've had that facility in libraries for decades with our OPACs (which is four letters, and therefore obviously a much higher class of acronym - although not quite as trendy).

I can't see much use for the PLS (Parental Lock System), given that our at-home children are far more technologically advanced than we are - and to attempt to engage the PLS can only provoke acts of retaliation which would ultimately render us not only humiliated, but locked out of viewing anything at all.

I'm still pondering the relative merits - or indeed the existence of any difference between - a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) in comparison to a DVR (Digital Video Recorder), but I guess as the glossary lists both without any See Also reference, there has to be at least a modicum of difference, regardless of how vague and tenuous.

At least now we don't need a STB (Set Top Box) given the OEA (Outrageously Expensive Aerial) we had installed. The last TLA (Three Letter Acronym) doesn't actually appear in the glossary in the current edition, but I'm going to suggest it to the manufacturers for their next revision.

Of course, this is all diversionary self-delusion (DSD) whilst still awaiting more important information (MII) on that other matter (TOM) which is hanging like the Sword of Damocles (SoD). WTF, do I hear you ask ... but no, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (WTF) have not yet been fruitful to date. But then again, Monday is only 18 hours away.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fictional prescience?

Still awaiting more details of exactly what I am apparently guilty of - now two weeks since I asked for more details. However, an extension of the deadline has been granted; deadline hopefully not synonymous with "flat line" ...

In the mean time, consider:

"... do you think it stops with me? If that were so, the world would still be ruled by all the other cowards who tried to murder the truth - the Nazis, the Communists, the dictators - and wound up on the trash heap of history." Patterson, Richard North: No Safe Place p295. Random House ISBN 009175320

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Whistleblower teacher threatened with dismissal

The teacher behind the resurgence of the DET's coverup on unflued gas heaters in schools is under threat of dismissal. Internal 'police' unit EPAC claims the teacher had placed a link on a government owned website to another site selling products made by the teacher.

With a 14 day period to respond, EPAC has not provided sufficient details of the allegation to prepare an adequate defence. The request for an extension of time has gone unanswered, as has the query for more specific information.

The teacher, a paying member of the NSW Teachers Federation for 25 years, approached the union for assistance. At the time of writing, the extent of that support was limited to an offer of 'editing' any response written by the teacher.

Union support to date has been limited to an offer to 'edit' the teacher's own response to the charges, and an instruction to limit contact to a Federation Officer currently on leave.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

... and thanks for all the fish?

Many thanks to those colleagues who have shared their own (similar) experiences, the expressions of support, and advice. Isn't it strange that in a supposed democracy such as Australia, there is still an automatic assumption of guilt - requiring the "accused" to prove innocence? But this is not the case in "common law" - only those in the employment of government services, who make the laws. Go figure.

This needs to be brought to the attention of Someone Who Cares. In the location of such a personage or organisation lies the first of many hurdles. What a shame my friend Steve Price
moved to Melbourne ...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hope you're sitting down ...

... today I was officially presented with a formal letter from my employer's Stazi Unit; I am charged with making money from Warrior Librarian, and providing resources for free to my colleagues. I kid you not. Oh, and I breached copyright because I wrote stuff related to my work - so "technically" it belongs to my employer, even though I did it in my own time and on my own equipment - that I then gave away.

When you've finished laughing yourself sick (I vomited myself, but I can't say I was laughing at the time), you might be interested to know that I was told that my employer considers these allegations are as seriously as those levelled against child molesting teachers.

But perhaps what rankles the most is the fact that the allegations were made by one of my "colleagues". But together with the automatic presumption of guilt, and the requirement that I prove my innocence, comes the provision of anonymity of my accuser. Sure, I've got a fair idea who it is most likely to be, but they won't be made to face me after I've shown the charges to be without substance, frivolous, and motivated by malice.

So much for 'natural justice', transparency, and good old fashioned fairness. Indeed, this situation is contrary to common law in this country, and violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I have 14 days to respond to the allegations. I could sum up the whole situation in just one word, but I think I'm expected to be more prolix and less expressive ...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Assessing the Effectiveness of Web 2.0

They say "everything old becomes new again", and so it would appear to also be true in the matter of Online information dissemination. I've lost track of the number of hugely successfully authors (critically acclaimed as well as commercially viable) who stated their work is read because there's "something there to offend everyone" - or words to that effect.

And what better way to assess the effectiveness of Web 2.0 communication than to collate data as to what and why "advice" is given regarding the restriction of "certain information".

Whilst still contemplating the implications of the very recent verbal instruction that a certain person "did not expect to see their name mentioned" by me on "any website or listserv", and the confidential classification of The Meeting, and a prohibition on revealing the nature of the discussion, and the expectation of that none of the identities of the other parties would be revealed ... it occurs to me that perhaps I may have been the only one present that sees the true nature of the instruction.

We're not talking anti-terrorism strategies, national security policies, or even daytime television programming. This was a conflict resolution meeting regarding different perspectives on library management.

Can't tell you any more at this stage without appropriate clearances re identities, agenda, outcomes, determinations, etc. I'm already in trouble with the Fashion Compliance Unit, The Diet Council, and the Grammar Police. However, I'm reasonably sure that there isn't yet a prohibition on my "reflecting" or inviting comment on my reflections.

So pretty much it came down to an experienced, qualified and practicing Library Manager disagreeing with the principle of "non-accountability", unqualified, and precedent-reliant line managers determining policies which negatively impact on resource security, OHS issues, and pure and simple Human Rights.

Not to mention MLTU - the misinformed leading the uninformed ... to the exclusion of the only informed perspective. Such is the way of the world. Apparently.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A very small victory for order ...

You remember I had that box of bookmarks? And you remember I had that floppy disk storage box? And you remember how I threw out the floppy disks? Which left me an empty floppy disk box and no idea what to do with it?

Solved that one! Once I found that the bookmarks are exactly the right size to store in the floppy disk box (or maybe it was the other way around), the answer came to me in a flash.

Put the bookmarks in the floppy disk box.

The result is astounding. This strategy means that I've managed to throw out one small box (that used to have bookmarks in it). A small step for man, a giant step for feng shui. Ok, maybe more like a shuffle ...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Yet more repurposing?

Another imponderable ... now that I have thrown away all the old floppy disks (except one for archival purposes), what to do with the purpose built floppy disk box?

Not strictly speaking only a home-office/library problem ... there's a build up of these containers at the DJ Library as well. But at least there the many cupboards provide some storage space.

Here's a few ideas to be going on with: they're the ideal size for a small animal coffin, although being basically "open casket" in function, not suitable for road-kill; a lockable pen caddy for really treasured memento-type stationery; those cute mini-CDs fit in there nicely - but as they're mainly advertising, do we really want to keep them?; for families with dysfunctional oral hygiene, the containers could be used for overnight storage of multiple dentures; or what about miniature glass houses for growing designer herbs?

OK, maybe not the best of options, but perhaps someone out there has other ideas?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

See and See also:

Another Home Library Dilema

Another day, another Box of Bits to assess, review and amend as necessary. OK let's be honest, it's just more of a decade's accumulation of stuff I really didn't need, but got because it was free and you never know when it might come in handy (BIWFAYNKWIMCIH - which is possibly the world's longest and most meaningless acronym - but remember you saw it here first, if it becomes popular or gets used by someone else in a publication where the attribution is missing) ... geez, now what was I saying?

Ah yes, the box of bookmarks; collected from book sellers, conferences, random mailings, journal inserts, and so forth. With only four readers in the household (not counting the cat, who only thinks she can read) even I am prepared to concede that we may have slightly more than we need.

The question is, what ones - if any - should I keep? The remainder can go to the Day Job Library, where no doubt they will end up strewn around the playground minutes after distribution. Which is really sad, because they're really bright and colorful, and represent a decade's worth of targeted BIWFAYNKWIMCIH ...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ad H.O.C. Irony?

How's the "Value Added" Home Office Clean-up going? Slowly, but thanks for asking anyway. But possibly of more significance are the treasures that are coming to light. Sort of more like an archaeological dig than a library cull.

The latest dusty tome to emerge is "Getting Organised" (ISBN 0826467709; Continuum Publishing 2004). What a find! Unfortunately it got lost again with the hour, but at least it got photographed before it slunk back into the chaos ...

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Short Treatice on the Nature of Human Uniqueness ...

Excessively wet and dismal weather certainly encourages the Muse; it is indeed tempting to create some half-witted pun revolving around "reflecting" and the size of the puddles. Just this once I might refrain. But no promises, mind.

So, when pondering the generic advice to "avoid negative people", it occurs to me - from the subatomic perspective at least - that if the whole of any society was "positive', this would create an unstable environment. Speaking ionically rather than ironically, all that positive charge would generate a force that would blow itself apart. And there are some who would say that this is already happening as we observe global unrest and daytime television programming.

My good friend Spike Milligan once said "blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light". Not that I know Mr Milligan personally or anything, but I've got quite a few of his books. At the time of writing I don't know if Mr Milligan has mine.

However, given that someone now (!) needs change for the photocopier, I will terminate this brief but mildly ponderous (couldn't resist, sorry) task and attend to the minutae of everyday library life ...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Library Blog Awards

That publishing company who write to Yours Generally to advise that Warrior Librarian was nominated for their Library Blog Awards has now announced the winners.

There were 5 categories; academic, general interest, public library, school library and "quirky".

In keeping with our fine tradition of fouling up just about everything, we didn't score a place. Although the award information states that the 'judging criteria' are available, and does indeed name the judges for four of the five categories, there is no information regarding "quirky" library blogs. And probably just as well, as we also have a fine tradition of naming names ... which is a whole other story.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Always read the small print ...

Here's a neat little trick ...

To apply for "seed money" for a schools-community partnership, Schools First puts the terms and conditions of the grant application into Latin. And then requires applicants to sign that they have read and understood the requirements.

I guess that's one way of making sure that the money goes to those schools who incorporate Classical (if somewhat dead) languages.

But we're all techno-savy and information-literate, right? So why not use an online translator? Geez, I wish you hadn't asked that. "Phasellus annoyance large not is bibendum not venenatis if not transitory ..."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And today's controversy is ....

... is buying books a core function of a one-person library Librarian? And if so, should it be done during work hours? And if a 35% discount is available for purchases made "in person", should that purchasing be done during work hours if the preferred supplier is off-site and does not provide an online purchasing facility?

Until the last few weeks I would have said yes to all the above. Yes, book buying is a core function. Yes, it should be conducted in work hours. Yes, a 35% discount is well worth the "transfer of duties" to the off-site supplier.

Anyways, seems that a particular "site manager" does not completely agree. "Adequate notice" must be given. What is "adequate"? 24 hours? 48 hours? 3 weeks? This particular - and seemingly quite reasonable - question is not able to be answered without yet another meeting.

Oh, and the library in question being a school library, let's not forget that the daily routine can change from day to day. Which leaves the question of "how much notice" is "adequate" a somewhat moot point. Factors such as weather, excursions, exams, etc mean that a suitable opportunity may unexpectedly occur at little or no notice for book reviewing, purchasing, customer/reader input, publishing advisory services, etc.

But what would a multi-certified professional librarian know? Right?


Monday, May 24, 2010

Just "Duties as Directed"?

Tuesday at the Day Job Library school is sports day, where all staff cheerfully tootle off to various sporting activities. Sure I've got a pommie tan, but check that jaunty angle of the cap, and the lanyard with a whistle!

Mind you, the day before I wore my batgirl t-shirt - but that doesn't mean I can fly.

But what a terrific display of "how-to" books on drawing; manga, fantasy, trees, cartoons, boats, kangaroos, more (but different) manga, a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Displays are such fun ... not to mention how they can help highlight gaps in the collection. I did find out that we didn't have anything on drawing breath, water, or the short straw ...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weirdness and Home-made Bookmarks

I guess no-one can work in any library without removing all sorts of 'inserts' when books are returned. I've heard of some pretty strange ones, as well as the humdrum bus or train tickets, fruit skins, and odd bits of unidentified things.

Today at the Day Job Library returned a senior math text book (2004 edition) containing - and I swear this is true - the business card of a very, very prior "ex" who I haven't seen for over 15 years.

How's that for weird!!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Hallmark Holiday?

It's Mother's Day. I got breakfast, not exactly "in" bed, but at least while still in PJs. At 10.30am; as with many mothers, I'd been awake for hours, stomach growling, patiently awaiting some form of sustenance, happy to accept cold coffee and burnt toast, had it been offered. But at least with the (eventual) Mother's Day Breakfast came a particularly rare treat, a verbal exchange with the teenage children.

I wouldn't go as far to call it a "conversation" as that would imply an "equal time" situation. But neither was it grossly unpleasant, nor did it have the ultimate outcome of me handing over money (the usual outcome of any verbal exchange not involving grunts and shrugs). But most interestingly was a short insight into the current gestalt on the concept of "Mother's Day".

I hadn't heard the term "Hallmark Holiday" prior to this morning. Apparently it refers to any celebration that is intended only to benefit the retail industry through artificially creating an occasion for the spending of yet more money.

According to Wikipedia, Anna Javis trademarked the phrase in 1912 (I wonder if her estate is still collecting royalties?) and nominated the second Sunday in May. U.S. House Joint Resolution 263 was signed by President Wilson in 1914. President F.D. Roosevelt made Proclamation 2083 in 1936.

So read this and weep, all you cheapskate kids who didn't get your mom (or mum) even a small box of chocolates on the basis that it's only a "Hallmark Holiday"! It's not. It's the law.

Interestingly, this very short but pertinent piece of domestic research raises another issue. It would seem that no one in Australia is aware that Proclamation 2083 also states that the United States flag be flown on all public buildings on this particular day. Hopefully this disclosure won't effect international relations or anything. But remember that if this does occur, it was flagged here first. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.)

But here's an interesting thought ... why is Mother's Day on a Sunday? If folk were really serious about making mothers feel particularly special, and genuinely celebrating the whole concept of motherhood, would it not have made more sense to give them a weekday of 'work release'; or perhaps a whole month or something? After all, Part (c) of Proclamation 2083 refers to the "necessities" for mothers, which surely includes the obvious imperative to hang around in P.J.s all day, reading and eating chocolate ...

Just a thought.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Workplace Culture: "Fitting In"


"Having found myself intellectually incapable of thinking like a moron, in order to integrate with the culture of the workplace power brokers, today I attempted to at least dress like a moron - in the spirit of achieving parity and recognition, and with the hope of being more highly valued. It didn't work."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

National Enquiry into School Libraries in Australia

A few days have come and gone since the expert witnesses made their appearance for the New South Wales public hearing. A reasonable range of 'interests' appear, but notable by its absence is the lack of secondary school representation.

Whilst many of the primary (K-6) principals worked with their teacher librarian in making joint submission, at a School of My Acquaintance the principal was told by the line manager that there was not even enough time to give the principals more information.

Go figure.

Hopefully the non-government sectors may have discussed the issues that are unique to the secondary environment, or the regional associations. The transcript of the public hearing in Sydney should make it into Hansard in the next few days.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Predictive Librarianship?

Mere days after announcing the decision to trash the Warrior Librarian Central collection of floppy disks full of old useless cr@p, media services are announcing that Sony now intends to cease production of floppy disks.

Not that we are suggesting there's any correlation or causative relationship here, but it sort of does seem kind of spooky, doesn't it?

Monday, April 26, 2010

LibCat Jigsaw Puzzle

Click on image below to access puzzle; use the back arrow in the browser to return here. Puzzle opens at Jigzone in this same window.
ginger books Jigsaw PuzzleLibCat in Open Stack

Obsolete Format Archiving?

The Great Home Office Cleanup continues, with steady progress. I figure that if I put away one piece of paper a day (let's keep the goals realistic!) it will only take me about another 27 years to finish. Why don't I just trash the whole lot? Sit down - if you aren't already - I put the equivalent of about 3 filing cabinets worth through the shredder last week. We're talking a 30 year professional accumulation here, folks. Not just your average amateur OCD collection.

A pallet load of 'archival' material is being packed up for the National Library. If you know the books "Forgotten Children" (David Hill) and "Enemies of the State" (Tim Priest), you'll be able to work out pretty much what's going into secure holding.

But I have digressed, yet again. The current 'policy issue' is what to do with the old floppy disks. None of the computers here at Warrior Librarian Central even have a floppy drive. The NSW State Archives maintains a collection of obsolete hardware for accessing data from obsolete storage devices; maybe the National Archives could be getting a surprise bonus!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More than "Just Annoying"?

Today brought a new horror turn to the already bumpy ride ... being informed yet again that the the school executive have once more made an "executive decision" and come up with the 'policy' that all senior students will be able to access the library at all times during the day. Which is fine with me, but what about if I'm not there? At lunch? At a meeting elsewhere in the school? Down in the English faculty doing my "teachers' aide" scheduled periods?

The answer? "The expectation is that the students will be in the library whether there's a teacher there or not. We don't want them hanging around the playground".

No, there will not be any other teacher cover provided for supervision. No, there is no library assistant present except for a few periods a week ... and the clerical staff are not allowed to supervise students anyway. No, there is no security system at all - no tattle tape gate, no CCTV, Nada. Zip. Zilch.

The suggestion has been made many times over the last few years that an empty classroom (just desks and chairs) be made available for seniors without teachers or scheduled for a study period. This has always been rejected on the basis that the students - even senior ones - need to be supervised.

But apparently its now OK for them to be bundled into an unsupervised library ... coz the executive also decided that they would no longer call it a library; it's now a "learning centre". My query that isn't the whole school a "learning centre" was ignored. As were requests for a 'review' of the decision. At least to date.

Anyone want to throw open their library during any absences for unspecified numbers of teenagers to 'hang around' in?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Same old, same old ...

My FB friend Lilly Meyers wrote: "We have children going to bed without eating..... Elderly going without needed medicines..... Mentally ill without treatment..... Troops without proper equipment..... Yet we donate millions to other countries before helping our own first...... 99% of people won't have the guts to copy and repost this.!!!!!! WILL YOU?????"

Yep, I did.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Welcome to my nightmare?

So, here it is almost exactly half-way through the term break holidays. And what have I actually achieved? Well, in terms of time spent moving stuff, quite a bit. You can see that the Green Room - which we originally called the Homework Room in the hope that the name might drop a bit of a hint to the Household Teenagers - has had an enormous amount of 'rubbish' removed, the desking consolidated, and about 5 years worth of candy wrappers swept up.

The childhood experts will tell you that it's "beneficial" to give teenagers responsibility, but I don't' think they'd considered the hygiene perspective. Anyways, The Supervisor seems happy with the progress, although does point out that this part of the garden needs a little work.

Someone really wise (or possibly very good at hiding their source) once said "in order for something to become clean, something else has to become dirty". Which goes part way to explaining why the dining room now resembles something along the lines of a yard sale - but with less order and aesthetics.

There's absolutely no point in telling me that if I didn't try to keep every bit of junk under the pretense of 'archiving realia', I wouldn't be having this problem now. But the good news is that the Home Weeding Project has now build up a staggering tower of boxed culls. Conservative replacement value? Several million dollars. Yard sale value? Maybe ten bucks. Contribution to learning to read in third world school libraries? Priceless.

OK, so what about the Home Office Makeover of the Century? Otherwise known as Yeah, Right ... it's getting less chaotic. Really. A few boxes-full (box-fulls?) of paper have been filed. Unfortunately though, a whole lot more new paper-based documentation has been arriving together with substantial relocation of stuff from the Green Room.

So I guess it would make sense to stop blogging here at this point, and go put some more stuff away - or throw it out. But I've just got to log into Facebook first; I've got stuff cooking in Cafe World, some OCD has probably beaten the cr@p out of me again in Mafia Wars, I'm pretty sure my crop of tomatoes is ready for harvesting over at my Karma Farm ...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Home Library Weeding

There's few things more spontaneous at Warrior Librarian Central than the sound of the scarpering footsteps of rapidly disappearing family members whenever I say "Hey! Let's move the ....". This of course is my own fault, having devoted years of Pavlovian-type training to conditioning these folk to associate the word "move" with many days of carting books between rooms.

This holiday period, the decision has been made that at least some of them have to go. Books, that is, not family members. And of course, the placement of storage/display furniture has to be rationalised. Luckily, with the Day Job Library (DJL) budget being just AUD$1,000 for the year (that's books, stationery, freight, hardware, software, everything), many of the near-pristine tomes will be donated to the DJL. Others will head off to third world country's school libraries, with the DJL weeds. Others will get some exposure via the Library Office.

Luckily for me, there's one family member who didn't abandon me. OK, their contribution was mainly supervisory, apart from the duality of their role - as a furry bookend.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Fools?

I should be ashamed of myself for the lack of attention I pay to my 'personal' email. The only defense I can offer is that writing and responding to professional email leaves me completely emailed-out. And I'm pretty busy playing games and stuff. But I did get around to checking my optusnet email this afternoon, and found this one written on April 1:

Congratulations. Your blog has been nominated for our Library Blog Awards. In fact, your blog was suggested more than once. We're in the process of assembling information about all those nominated and will be sending a short questionnaire, including the categories of awards and the judges involved. Would you please send me your email address so that I can send you the questionnaire? If your email
is on your blog, I couldn't locate it.

Thanks in advance,
Peter W Tobey

Nice one .... April 1st, is it? LOL. But just in case this isn't "April Fool's", I'm wondering why you would send me an email - which asks me for my email address?

Your in (Library) humor,
Amanda Credaro

I guess I'm going to look pretty silly if it's a genuine award thingy. Luckily, I'm pretty used to it (looking silly) ....

Monday, March 15, 2010


The Internet never ceases to surprise me. Who could really predict what particularly data, information and websites will be discovered by various search tools.

For instance, it was a complete surprise that searching specifically for virtual chemical laboratories and simulations at molecular level of particular reactions would turn up a blog featuring glorious home libraries ...

Cote de Texas: Living with Books

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Barcode Jigsaw Puzzle

Here's an old-fashioned game in a digital medium, a barcode jigsaw puzzle from JigZone. When you click on the image below, a new page will open in this window. Don't forget to come back here when you're done. Just use the 'back' button on your browser. Enjoy!
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, March 12, 2010

Parasites and other realia ....

It's basically an advertisement, but Japan's Weirdest Hotels sure has a lot of very useful information. Who knew that there was a museum of parasites "...many of them spilling out of organs and dead animals ...", let alone a catalogued collections on display of socks, another of laundry.

You can even buy a t-shirt with "raised tape worms that you can feel!", but not over the 'net. All purchases strictly in real time, real place.

Which of course opens up the floodgates for other off-beat museums. There's sure to be a stampede of the naive (I believe P.T. Barnum referred to them as "suckers") wanting to visit - and purchase from the gift shop - of a potential museum of Cell Ring Tones that Caused Madness, a Repository of Retrograde Reading Resources, the Parade of Paradoxical Policies, an Exhibition of Exotic Ephemera, perhaps a Panoply of Polynesian Paperbacks, or a Roving Rendition of Retributive Rants? More?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So how's this new gig going?

Pretty good, and thanks so much for asking! There's a lot less books, a lot more computers; less reading and much more writing. There's more break time, with less interruptions; but little opportunity to purchase low protein, high carbohydrate sustenance.

Thank goodness for the one solitary vending machine, even if my application to have it moved to next to my desk has not yet been answered. Nor, apparently is it likely to ... since I apparently left it on the printer for so long, someone thought it was a joke and threw it away.

So far, I've finished a suite of classroom resources on "stellar evolution" for Stage 5 to use with their Federally funded notebooks. Got an"energy transmission" collection up to penultimate draft, and have now made inroads in Chemistry. Also finished two sets of "Teacher Tips", but with only three weeks to go at this gig before returning to LibrarybLand, its not the ideal time to be starting any new topics.

Luckily I've had a very experienced and capable substitute stand in for me in the bLibrary. Which is just as well, as there could be some Interesting Times (in that Chinese curse context) about to develop. Ah well ...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Words of Wisdom, from Fiction

After having done (possibly) the wrong thing, but for the right reason ...

"Like a hunter, you feel an adrenaline surge of pleasure at having usurped the province of God. The person who says otherwise is lying. But the emotional attitude you form later varies greatly among individuals. Some will keep their remorse alive and feed it as they would a living gargoyle, to assure themselves of their own humanity; others will justify it in the name of a hundred causes; and they'll reach back in moments of their own inadequacy and failure and touch again those flaming shapes that somehow made their impoverished lives historically significant."

Heaven's Prisoners (Burke, James Lee). Random House. ISBN 0-09-941562-3

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Podiatric Epiphany

Now that I am temporarily a public transport commuter again, and have time to indulge in Shoe Envy, it's come to my attention that female library folk are once again going "against the flow"; no wonder the Fashion Police are holding a very long rap sheet on us.

Seen on every carriage, at every station, at every stop are stylishly dressed women wearing joggers, sneakers and various sports shoes - on their way to work. No doubt they are concealing about their person alternative footwear of a less comfortable kind to change into At The Office.

Now I know that this is not an issue that overly concerns the vast majority of my male library colleagues, but it did occur to me that many of my gender dress "stylishly" (within the limits of our measly pay packets) during the travel into our libraries ... wherein we slip on something devastatingly dowdy but hugely welcome. Are we the only profession that does this? And does anyone actually care, anyway ...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Internet Footprints?

You've seen/read/heard that well-distributed piece about footsteps in the sand, right? And you know that saying about lines drawn in the sand? Well, this has pretty much nothing to do with either of those. It's morning tea time, and I'm just about coffee'd out.

So I thought I'd sign up for a few things, as one does at times like this. First cab of the rank was a new "fan" page over at This will allow you to sign up to become a member of a very small, select - may I say even possibly elite - group, the Fans of Amanda Credaro. I don't know how long membership will be open for, but it IS free, which is really the most important thing, isn't it?

I signed up for something else too, but now that my loyal reader has rushed off to check out the possibilities at ning, I guess I'll save the other one for another day.