My 2012

Inspired by Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity I offer you a review of my 2012.

It was a fruitful year at work. After three years in a leadership role I feel the library team are functioning happily and effectively. This is positive and noticed and commented upon by our customers.

On a National level the National Year of Reading and love2read campaign provided a brand and focus to work around. Our locally organised and funded events were successful and included: an entertaining talk by David Astle of SBS’s program Letters and Numbers; a Dr Suess Olympic Reading Relay Challenge; a visit and talk by author Kathryn Fox; a short story competition with the NYR theme for November “What makes you cry?”; book reviews; and competitions. It must be said that for our small rural region the NYR offered nothing except a logo. We provided everything all the planning, funding, organisation, seeking and paying for authors, staffing. We should have used our own logo!


On a State level Tomorrow’s Library and the Victorians Love Libraries campaign prompted passionate discussion. The Stage 1 Report has leapt to a ‘solution’ that needs quite a lot of detail IMHO. Hopefully Stage 2 will fill in the gaps, especially for small libraries on the remote fringes of the state.

The VALA Conference held in Melbourne in February was a professional highlight and I was particularly interested in the presentations by Jason Griffey, Eli Neiburger, Eric Miller, and Tim Sherratt.

The Local Government Rural Management Challenge was held in Renmark and I was part of the team. This experience was intense, challenging and worthwhile.

As a technology lover I enjoyed using my new devices to access information for work and play. I am adept at sourcing and reading eBooks, e-journals, and multimedia. I listen to a variety of podcasts from around the world on my iPod as I drive to and from work. I watch TV programs, podcasts and other videos on my iPad. I sync my devices to my work email and calendar to stay on track. Facebook is a horrid and deceitful form of communication that has lost its value since being infiltrated by advertisements, organisations, and payment for sharing. Twitter I ignore now that it has become too big and unwieldy. Free Apps are king. I read blogs via the Google Reader app and this is a very convenient way to spend down time. Pinterest and Goodreads are top of the tree in terms of social media I think.

I began a Master of Information Studies via distance education at Charles Sturt University. With just four subjects to complete, the first two subjects are Strategic Planning and Project Management. The reading of academic papers on these topics has been interesting and rewarding and I hope will assist me as I lead the library into the strategic planning process in 2013.

On a more personal level I have been meditating and practicing yoga and hope to increase my involvement in these.  Leadership for the disillusioned by Amanda Sinclair provided a useful model of mindful leadership that supports my own attitudes. I read her book then was lucky to attend a seminar at the SLV.

My eldest son was married earlier this year and my youngest son gets married early in 2013. My daughter was married some years ago now – can’t think how many! My mother continues to respond to all the cancer treatment they throw at her and my father does everything in his power to support her. My husband continues to cycle with the local cycling club, as well as working with the local Council.

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.