Women leading change

The Wake Up Project provided an event at the Melbourne Convention Centre: Women Leading Change that I was fortunate to attend with a friend.

We joined 500 women who listened to some remarkable and inspiring women talk about change. Seane Corn; Janine Shepherd; Tara Moss; Lucy Perry; Clare Bowditch; and Tami Simon were each introduced by Jo Wagstaff.

Seane Corn is a yoga teacher and activist who created the movement, Off the Mat and Into the World. She began the day talking about “Beauty, Bravery, & Living Your Truth”. She shared her personal story explaining how that has led her to where she is today. Advising us all to accept our “shadow” as well as our “light”, she explained that only then could we be truly authentic with others and ourselves.

Our wounds become our wisdom.” ~ Seane Corn

Janine Shepherd followed to talk about “The Power of Acceptance”. She is living proof of this as someone who was hit by a truck while cycling in the Blue Mountains, almost dying, being told she would never walk again or have children; and yet there she stood and walked unaided, vibrant, mother of three adult children, and a commercial pilot. You can hear her story in her TED Talk.

“Life is not about having it all. Life is about loving it all.” ~ Janine Shepherd

The gorgeous Tara Moss followed to talk “On Courage, Self-Care, and Why Women’s Voices Matter”. She says that first you must prioritise your own health before you are in a position to help others. She provided some interesting statistics to illustrate how women’s voices are not represented in government, business and organisations. Important decision making about women’s issues such as abortion, domestic violence, child care, etc are being discussed and decided by male voices, as they make up the significant majority of representatives present at the discussion tables.

Lucy Perry talked amusingly about “Fearless Living: How Fun, Forgiveness, and Fearlessness Can Change the World.” She says that ordinary women can do extraordinary things and she is proof of this through her work alongside Australian obstetrician Dr Catherine Hamlin as the former CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia in Australia.

Clare Bowditch entertained us after lunch with “Oh F**k, I Don’t Know What To Call This Talk”. She had 500 women singing in two-part harmony. And she talked about how we are not perfect, all of us are works-in-progress, and how we must “learn to sit in the uncomfortable now.” She says her most commonly asked question is “Why did Patrick have to die?

Tami Simon is the founder of Sounds True and she talked next about “Being True: Showing Up Fully in Your Work, Life and Love.” Her main principles are: individuality, being true, and heeding the call.

Her findings from her interviews “Insights At The Edge” are these:

  • The spiritual journey is a journey of subtraction. What can I let go of?
  • The disciplines of spiritual life are about the shedding process not self-improvement.
  • There is no end to the spiritual journey.
  • Every teacher is partial.
  • There is no escaping loss and sorrow.
  • Everything depends on how much you trust.
  • The most important thing is to know what the most important thing is to you. “Can I give myself to the love and connectedness of my life?

Seane Corn closed the day challenging us to find our voice and speak out. “Start Where You Are: It’s Time to Rise”. She says to celebrate an authentic human experience, be able to say ‘sorry’, self-care, own your ‘shadow’, and don’t be an arsehole.

Thank you to The Wake Up Project for organising this day. And thank you to Alana for inviting me to spend this special day with you, and being inspired by these amazing women.

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An afternoon with ALIA

I was fortunate to be able to attend the final afternoon session of this year’s ALIA Conference in Melbourne.

Here is my summary:

eSmart Libraries Sallyanne English presented an overview of the Esmart Libraries program. Hume Libraries have recently been accredited. The eSmart program offers a framework for libraries so they can work towards incorporating cyber-safety into policies, procedures, training and technology use by staff and customers.

The Big Projects – update From the successful National Year of Reading in 2012, the Love2Read brand continues as a nationwide marketing effort. The Reading Hour is a current effort they  promote. They invite stories and stats from Australian libraries to spread the message.

Return On Investment Demonstrating the value of libraries is an ongoing need and there are many reports and advocacy tools available on the ALIA and PLVN websites. Of note in Victoria are these reports: Libraries 2030Creative Communities Cultural Benefits: and Dollars and Sense. These reports can be found here. NSW libraries offer this report for future planning.

ALIA PD Scheme Judy Brookner talked about the value of becoming a certified professional through the ALIA PD scheme.

IFLA update Marian Morgan Minden talked about the Lyon Declaration which highlights the need for open access to ICT. IFLA invite people to nominate a must-see library to the list of 1001 libraries to see before you die.

Digital Capability An overview of digital capability of libraries was presented by Sarah Slade of the NSLA Digital Preservation Group. This project has allowed an shared understanding of the needs and capabilities of libraries to manage digital materials.

It was also great to catch with colleagues/friends from across the State.

eM-powering eFutures

VALA 2012  was held at Jeff’s Shed in Melbourne. (officially – The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre).  The promising title was eM-powering eFutures.

Jason Griffey kicked off the proceedings telling us about Libraries in the Post PC Era. He talked about how our customers are accessing our resources, the fast adoption of mobile technologies, and the need for better metrics in measuring this change in access. He went on to show us some examples of new technologies: flip scanning devices that will scan a book at a speed of 500 frames per second; the Samsung transparent window pc; Maker-bot 3D printing machine; and others.

Eric Miller of Zepheira talked about Linked data – weaving the web of libraries, museums and archives. This was my favourite presentation of the Conference.

Eibhlin Roche who is an archivist from The Guinness Storehouse in Ireland talked to us about her job and the Guinness Archive: unlocking the potential of an iconic global brand.  She stunned us with her statistics concerning dollars generated for Guinness directly from the Guinness archives.

Many other people presented talks and information in a variety of ways on topics ranging from gaming in libraries, to big data, staff training, library makeovers, and more. The papers and presentations can be found here. Further comments and notes can be found on Twitter by searching with the tag #VALA2012.

The main streams of content from the presentations were: planning for the future; up-skilling library staff to be able to assist with new technologies; library space redesign; data management; social media applications; and finding relevancy in the community in an era when library resources and competencies are available from other sources.

Wiki wacky

Wiki software allows any dummy to create a website. No need to know html code, nor be able to use intricate web creation software like MS FrontPage or Dreamweaver. No need for access to servers. It’s all free online.

Wikipedia provides this definition of wiki and tells us that it is derived from a Hawaiian word meaning “fast”.

As a person who knows html code, takes pride in my use of website creation software, and works diligently to create webpages that are well designed both graphically and informatively, I find the wiki tools to be extremely restrictive. The wiki people control the look and feel of the finished wiki. Attempts to push these constraints to the limits are frustratingly awkward and never provide the desired result.

My job as the eLibrarian in the school though means that I have been using wiki tools to create wikis for the staff and students. So far this year I have created 30 wikis. There is no doubt that wikis provide an online platform that is perfect for collaborative projects; and the web-wise students take up these tools with ease and enthusiasm. So I create the wiki skeleton, invite the participants, provide the access points on the library website and in the library catalogue, and provide any training and assistance as it is required.

This week I presented at the SLAV Conference in Melbourne on the topic of wikis. My session was a joint effort between myself and work colleague and Web 2.0 convert Jenny Luca.

Typically as a Librarian I am an introvert and not a confident public speaker, however I know my topic and this helped. I could sense that the audience was keen to hear the practical how-to steps into the Web 2.0 world, so I concentrated on delivering that content to them. As I spoke I could see them taking notes in earnest. I gave the URL’s for the instructional information I have placed online and hopefully this will help others to take up this tool in a thoughtful way. How to create a wiki and How to create a wiki using pbwiki2

The keynote speaker was Will Richardson and his opening address was thought-provoking, informative, and rich with knowledge from an obvious expert in this field.