Leaving Library Land

After 24 years in the industry I have left the Land of Libraries. It has been a busy, interesting, and rewarding time that has passed by in the blink of an eye.

Back in 1996 when I began my first job in a public library there were still card catalogues about. The automated library system used DOS and I remember using the keyboard prompts to operate the green cursor on the black screen. The World Wide Web was just emerging and Hotmail soon became the wonder of communication. Mobile devices were still a long way off. Social Media and ebooks were not things yet.

Now Google is the place everyone goes to for information; not a book in a library. Amazon is where people go to buy books either in print or as an ebook. We all carry our computers in our pockets for 24 hour connection. We go to iTunes for music, Netflix for movies and TV, and news is sent to us.

I have done everything in libraries: helping customers, handling the books, system administration, website design, reports to local and state government, presenting to groups large and small, social media, photo setups, organizing events, author talks, book launches, trivia nights, school holiday activities, budget management, recruitment, staff management, moving large collections, cataloguing, buying shelving and furniture, making ads, videos, and promotions, and much more.

My career highlights have been:

  • Involvement with the IFLA Global Vision
  • Involvement with the Victoria’s Libraries 2030 strategies
  • Library Manager at a regional library service
  • Presenting at a School Libraries Association of Victoria Conference
  • Presenting at a Red Cross Conference
  • Being involved with the Public Libraries Victoria LibMark Special Interest Group and helping to organise and deliver the Annual Conference.

I have worked with some great people and excellent teams. I have also worked with some less than satisfactory people and poorly functioning teams. It has been a profound learning journey that has been satisfying intellectually and ethically. This work gives back to the local community and is appreciated every day.

For me it is the perfect time to step away. I feel the continuing decline of public libraries and wonder how long they will operate on goodwill. For me a “community hub” is a poor replacement for what was a Library. My soul feels the affront.

On my first day away from the industry I was surprised to feel that at heart I remain a Designer. This was my first love, first pursuit, and I have dabbled over the years as a hobbyist. But I also applied the design thinking, creativity, project management and problem solving skills to all that I did in my work in libraries.

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There is an app for that

Apps are revolutionising the way we all use the internet and the way we connect, are entertained and informed. I love my iPod and the things it does for me keeps expanding and enriching my days. When I bought it all I wanted was a device that could play my music choices and allow me to listen to my favourite radio programs when I could. Little did I know how much more this little device could do for me? And it’s not even an iPhone!

Here is a list of the “apps” I currently have on my iPod:

App name Description Internet required
1 iTunes Basic Apple function for iPods, iPhones, iPads yes
2 App Store Basic Apple location for Apps yes
3 Safari Internet Browser for Apple products yes
4 Mail Connects to your chosen email i.e. Gmail yes
5 Facebook Facebook functions via mobile device yes
6 Twitter Twitter functions via mobile device yes
7 Tweetdeck Twitter functions via mobile device yes
8 Google Earth Access to Google Earth yes
9 Wikipedia Access to Wikipedia yes
10 Skpye Face to Face chat – personal “phone” calls yes
11 YouTube YouTube videos yes
12 DrawCast Doodle and create pictures no
13 Solitaire Card game no
14 Mahjong Tile game no
15 Sodoku Number game no
16 Hipstamatic Photography with camera options and photo editing no
17 ClassicCam Photography with camera options and photo editing no
18 Art Guide Lists of art galleries, artists, exhibitions yes
19 Thousands Australian events guide by city yes
20 TED TED talks yes
21 At the Movies ABC At the Movies show yes
22 Dictionary Dictionary yes to refresh but not to find word
23 Translate Translation software with many language options with speech option yes
24 Dropbox File saving and transfer i.e. Word documents yes
25 Pages Document creation and file transfer Not to create and save documents but yes to transfer
26 RTM – Remember The Milk To Do Task list and organiser no
27 Mind Tools Leadership and Management tips no
28 LIndedin Professional Profile connections yes
29 Flashlight Handheld light no
30 Yoga Yoga postures and instructions no
31 Insight Timer Meditation timer and bell no
32 Nike + iPod Exercise walk and run workout program no
33 LYR – Log Your Run Exercise walk run cycle workout program no
34 MyNetDiary Calorie and nutrition counter no
35 21 Day Veg Kickstart Vegetarian diet and recipes no
36 Dalai Lama A brief overview of the life of the Dalai Lama no
37 Buddha Quotes Inspirational quotes yes
38 Amazon Search and purchase at Amazon.com yes
39 Kindle eBook purchasing, storing and reading Yes to purchase but not to read eBook
40 iBooks Apple eBook purchasing, storing and reading Yes to purchase but not to read eBook
41 Borders Borders eBook purchasing, storing and reading Yes to purchase but not to read eBook
42 State Library NSW NSW State Library Events and information yes
43 Library Anywhere Connection to Public Library catalogues yes
44 iSpydus Staff Library Catalogue connection for Library Staff yes
45 Podcasts Enormous amount of podcasts to choose from radio, TV, independent.
Find your favourite and subscribe for automatic updates when you have
internet access.
Yes to download but not to listen