Friday, December 2, 2011

Yes, we have no bananas?

I don't know what the library funding situation is in real-world Banana Republics, but it sure is thin on the ground over here in this part of the world. Particularly school libraries.

Our wonderful public libraries seem to be provisioned by very proficient bean-counters, or possibly very dedicated and scary Friends of the Library folk.

Media coverage of what appears to be completely unrelated events does help shine a feeble light on the matter though.

On November 29, the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald announces Federal budget cuts, complete with a table of figures to lend it that patina of gravitas. Then on December 1, we learn from Page 1 of the Sydney Telegraph that our politicians have been given a huge pay rise - by an independent tribunal, of course. So the Australian prime minister will earn more than the American president.

Of course, the purists will say that these are federal matters, and school funding is a state one. To which the answer is of course 'pffft', particularly given the official Government Response to School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in the 21st Century Enquiry.

Yep, things are grim. Nope, you ain't gettin' any money to fix it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Best 'Book Competition of the Day'?

What would be a better prize, a years' supply of books, or a trip to New York?

That'd be easier to answer if the second option was four trips for one person?

What the heck! I'm happy to take either. Mind you, I'm not giving you the URLs for either one, coz there's this little tiny core of evil people waiting to make yet more assumptions and subsequent complaints to do with my being in the pocket of mega-multinational corporations and somehow making a squillion dollars. Which would of course explain why I am still in an entry level position - with a commensurate salary - in a school library.

What need to do now is find out how to phonetically represent that sound you make when you're drinking and laughing simultaneously, and the drink comes out of your nose.

eBooks: Still a long way to go

So, the retail store that was bankrupt into closing and has now re-opened as an online store sure has a whole truckload of items on offer, including eBooks. Time to load up the olde eBook reader for the holidays. Hmmm ... what to buy when mere cents are required?

Lets try the old 'humor' search and see what's on offer. And just who is this author?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How cheap can cheap books get?

Monday's drive out to Penrith in the stinking heat in a non-air conditioned vehicle was the pits; but well worth the trip to participate in the Western Sydney Region Teacher Librarians' 2012 National Year of Reading Think Tank, hosted by Penrith Public Library. Great ideas getting tossed around there.

As an extra special bonus, I got to visit the cheap book place everyone is talking about, in the adjacent Penrith Plaza. Sure does have a heap of quality books for the minuscule amount of five bucks. Good luck to my colleagues who are authorised to take advantage of these retail outlets. I'm still trying to figure out why that select group school principals, who control the working conditions as well as the budgets of school library folk would object to getting a little more bang for their buck.

Anyways, having traversed the shopping mall to get to the library, just outside the library were paperback spinners stacked with library culls selling for 20 cents each. Oh boy!

But in today's email came what has to be the cheapest of the cheap books. A company called Free eBooks wrote to tell me that they currently have a 50% off sale ....