Monday 15 August 2011

ALIA Sydney Presents: Think Outside the Green

A sustainable library in Villanueva, Columbia as spotlighted at:
Do you hear the words climate change and wonder what you and your workplace can really do to help? Sustainability is about so much more than just recycling and turning off the lights! Join us for a lively night of discussion about what sustainability means for us, our libraries and our communities. Special guest speakers (to be announced) will share their experiences and help brainstorm practical things we can do now to make sure we create a sustainable future.

Numbers are limited so please RSVP to to ensure you don’t miss out.

Monday 19th  of September  2011 6:30-8:00pm (arrive from 6pm)
UTS Library, Level 4, Room 4G. Cnr Ultimo Rd and Quay St, Ultimo, 2007
Cost: $5 for ALIA Members / $7 for Non-ALIA Members (Pay at the Door)


Sunday 14 August 2011

On Sale - Shops & Shopping

On Friday I used my lunch break to check out the latest free exhibition at the State Library of New South Wales. Now anyone who knows me well can tell you I hate shopping, yet this is an exhibition all about shops and shopping and I thought it was great!

While I've been working at the Library I've catalogued some collections of news clippings and have always enjoyed seeing the advertisements for different products and clothing styles. These days a lot of them would be entirely politically incorrect, and no doubt some of the products are even illegal. I think it's an interesting way to explore elements of the social history of New South Wales and Australia.

On Sale is, for the most part, made up of items from the State Library's collections. There are paintings, letters, newspapers, ledger books, photographs, food stamps, scrapbooks, posters, booklets, boxes, shopping bags... anything you can think of really, documenting the history of shopping in Sydney and New South Wales from the early colony to the present day.

I particularly liked seeing the development of markets in Sydney and early histories of the department stores. Then there is the washing machine - because "every woman deserves a washing machine." It's alright, you could use your new washing machine for your smart girl, interlocking stitch, dull fabric underwear!

I thought the exhibition was great and the presentation of materials was fun. I know the library is running events to coincide with On Sale (e.g. Tuesday nights in the galleries) so I'd definitely like to go again and have the opportunity to have someone talk me through what's on show.

If you get the chance, definitely pop along to visit. There's more information on the State Library website, and the exhibition brochure is free as well. 

- Katrina
ALIA Sydney committee member & librarian at the SLNSW.

These views are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. I visited and wrote about On Sale from my own personal experience, not as a State Library employee.

Saturday 6 August 2011

Powerhouse Tour 2011 Wrap Up

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon as 20 or so lucky library and museum enthusiasts gathered outside the Powerhouse Museum waiting to be taken into through the Love Lace exhibition, the collection carefully housed in the basement, the research library and to sit down with Sebastian Chan, Head of Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse. 

 One of the many interesting experiences of the day was the chance to play with the QR (quick response) codes embedded in the Love Lace Exhibition. If you have  never tried one of these QR codes it is basically a graphic representation of a URL that can be experienced with a smart phone. By downloading the Powerhouse app or using a bar code reader and then taking a photo of the graphic, the user is directed to a web site related to the resource, in this case further information about the piece and the artist. 

We then ventured into the basement to see so many wonderful pieces held by the museum. Everything from toys to dresses to clocks to medical equipment. Every drawer revealed another treasure. The above shoes were originally created for adult women who practiced the custom of foot binding. 

After the basement we toured the Research library and discovered the wide range held in this bursting-at-the-seams library. The Research Library has recently started using Koha, the open source ILS out of New Zealand and have experienced great results. 

We ended our day sitting down the Seb ChanHe shared his insights into how the Powerhouse is using social media with the upcoming Harry Potter exhibition, the balance museums face trying to justify both the physical and virtual spaces and how an online presence can provide a follow up experience after a visitor leaves the Powerhouse. 

All in all it was a very inspiring afternoon, a big thank you goes out to the team at the Powerhouse for being so generous with their time and knowledge. If you missed out on this tour keep watching the ALIA Sydney blog for more opportunities. 

There are  many, many more images in the ALIA Sydney Flickr photo stream

Amy Barker, ALIA committee member tweets @unlikelylibrary 


Thursday 4 August 2011

Tales from a Professional Placement

It's with great pleasure that I introduce an ALIA Sydney guest blogger for today's blog post, Kristine Boardman. Kristine has just started doing her professional placement as a librarian with me, and I'm enthusiastic about showing her all of the aspects of my job, as an academic librarian. I'm also excited about all of the things that Kristine will be able to teach me along the way, and the things that I will learn being a professional placement supervisor. So without further ado, I introduce Kristine:


As part of the Librarian degree through Charles Sturt University I have commenced my Professional Placement at The University of Sydney’s SciTech and Badham libraries this week. As I am employed as a Library Technician, the opportunity to see the difference in the roles is something I am really looking forward to.
After the first few busy days the main difference I have noticed is the amount of teaching and training done by the Faculty Liaison Librarians (FLLs), especially early in semester. I have sat in on two classes and the focus on Information Literacy skills for students commencing their research is a major part of these training sessions. The FLLs have demonstrated their depth of knowledge in database searching, evaluating sources and the use of reference management software, Endnote.
The opportunity to gain knowledge about this role and an understanding of the responsibilities that go with a position such as this will be very beneficial when applying for jobs at this level. There is a lot I still don’t know about the finer details of FLL role and some things which I particularly want to explore include:
·         How to develop effective working relationships with academics, research and teaching staff
·         Managing the collection and gaining a more specialised knowledge of the subject area and resources
·         Planning, marketing and promotion of services and activities for clients
I am very fortunate to have an extremely enthusiastic staff member who volunteered to be my Placement Supervisor and this has a great bearing on the opportunities I will be able to participate in, in my time here. Already the amount of help and goodwill from all the staff and time they have set aside for consultations is wonderful. As the University of Sydney Library is such a large organisation there is so much to learn about and people to meet. The extent to which the library serves its clients will become clearer to me over the next couple of weeks and I am privileged to be able to do this placement in such a dynamic library.
Kristine Boardman is a Library Technician at the Univeristy of Sydney Library and she is currently studying towards her library degree at Charles Sturt University.

Crystal Choi is an academic librarian and a member of the ALIA Sydney committee. She tweets @crystalibrary.

Disclaimer: I didn't in any way put Kristine up to the lovely comments in her blog post!!!

Wednesday 3 August 2011

An afternoon behind the scenes at the Powerhouse Museum

We're so excited about our peek into the inner workings of the Powerhouse Museum.  Whilst numbers were strictly limited so many of our community had to miss out, our lovely committee member Amy Barker will be documenting the day so we will be sharing some of the fun. So to get everyone in the mood, I wanted to share the exciting program our kind hosts have put together for us. 

Firstly, we will be taken by curators Erika Taylor and Geoff Barker on a tour of the basement of the museum and I am curious to see what gems they choose to show us. The Powerhouse does offer public basement tours from time to time but usually with a focus on a particular collection, I love the mystery element of this tour.  

Then they are taking us upstairs to the have a look at the latest Powerhouse exhibition Love Lace, which only opened 5 days ago, to have a look at the App they developed especially for this collection, to enable visitors to connect to more information through QR codes. "This App works as a companion exhibition catalogue in your pocket." They've asked those of us with iphones to download the app before we come so they can show us what it can do. 

We will then be delivered to the Powerhouse Research Library where the librarians will be discussing and demonstrating their new Koha open source library catalogue. 

Finally, we will be having rest and a chat with Seb Chan, head of Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies, and his team. For those of you unfamiliar with their fabulous work, have a look at their blog Fresh + New(er) but their team does a lot of different things including building their fabulous apps and spearheading their data and digitisation efforts.  They are making huge strides towards digitising their vast collections and as a thank you ALIA Sydney will be donating a portion of our ticket price to the their digitisation project. If you think they are doing great work have a think about making a tax deductible donation as well. 

So I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings...