15 October, 2010


You and Robert Smith and the Lovecats
      echoes of then
     we told ourselves lies.

Six years with you and a backing track
     gone somewhere, somewhen

     future look in your eyes.

My friend Brenden used to have the most amazing footwear. He grew into the mid-80s swampie subculture with black Windsor Smith pointed shoes and delicious black
Dr Marten boots.

I've only ever seen Docs boots, and always loved their personality! but something sparked in me when I saw Jo's Docs heels. And then I found a Docs store in Townsville...

117 Charters Towers Road

For you, Brenden. I know this would make you smile.

28 September, 2010

#followalibrary @townsvillelib october 1

Love your library? Love libraries? Follow a library on twitter on October 1 (that's Friday: three days away)

Join twitter and tweet on Friday about your favorite twittering library Use the hashtag #followalibrary in your tweet along with the library's twittername.
Tweeting libraries: encourage users to follow your news and tweets

Choose one or all:
@TownsvilleLib, @mosmanlibrary, @slqld, @nlagovau... just check out the list here:


Website will be live next week! Great widgets for participants, and posters for libraries to display to encourage writers  
I'll have to print a few out.
Also: NaNo Young Writers Program: with workbooks to get your creativity on.
You will write a few words, and then write some more

22 September, 2010

it's all greek to me

Information Service Questions of the Day

Late this afternoon I received a phone call from a lady requesting books in other languages.
I began to explain to her that we have books in other languages in each of our branches (Community Languages collection), and was there a particular language she was interested in? She said that she was after books in Greek, and did we have a printed catalogue?
I had a sudden visual memory surge of timber draws with metal handles filled with hole punched index cards in the library of my childhood, but I moved on.

I asked if she had internet access at home so she could look at our online catalogue, but she did not.
I said that I would be happy to show her our catalogue when next she is in the library. ('I' being the collective Information Services team because I move across branches with no set routine, so I was suggesting that anyone on our team will be happy to show her).
It is then that she said that she would like the books for her elderly husband, and that she would like a printout to show him the titles as he is unable to come in.

I had searched on 'Greek' and collection: Community Languages by this time and found 7 titles.
Our Community Languages collection is sourced from SLQ.
I said that we could certainly print out a list of seven titles. As I mentioned our source, my customer asked if she could have a printout of their titles. I thought that might be a different thing entirely, especially in its entirety.
She wanted printouts to show her husband at home. She was particulary keen to see if the titles were in English as well as Greek because she does not speak Greek. She did not want to have to keep coming back asking if we had this title or that title.

After contacting Heather (assistant cataloguer who liaises with SLQ for commlang supplies) I got back to the customer with the relevant information in front of me. A quick search on SLQ's commlang collection found 1604 titles in modern Greek fiction and nonfiction.
I suggested she come in to the library so information services staff could show her the search, she could select a range and we could print out a list.
Of course not all of those from the search are available, but we can sift through to discover which of these we can request for our customer.
Generally our library service has a changeover of languages six monthly, but SLQ is open to requests as necessary.
Our customer was pleased and said that she would visit on Friday. She asked if I would be there. Unfortunately not, but I advised her who would be available that day and have sent that staff member details of our search today.
A bit of a heads up too, because we do not at the moment have printer access from that information services point. Our hard drive was just returned after a ritual cleansing, and the KM guy just said we would be able to find the printer name and add - unfortunately no.
I'd checked everything else with him when he was there. Spydus access, network access, email access, clone screening. Just not the printer *sigh*

Letting the customer know that we can provide her with access to a list of Greek books for her husband was a good result for her, and for us as enhancing the usage of our community language resources is one of our kpi targets. Needs to rise 15%.
Today I contributed to literacy satisfaction and percentages. Yay.

I recently worked with Heather to source nonfiction books in the Urdu language for a customer recently arrived from Pakistan. Our Customer Services team is working on providing a suite of information for our new members from Somalia.

Hey Dorothy, we are not in Maryborough anymore...

SLQ's LOTE collection languages:

* I also had an enquiry from a gentleman about Indigenous resources. I showed him our collection and mentioned similar collections in the other branches. He was very impressed with the range and how it was organised.
This time a nice memory of Kerry, our Indigenous Resources librarian, came to me. She would have been happy that the collection suited the gentleman.
He had a very cute daughter who wanted chapter books and cookery books. I showed her the way and asked what she liked to cook. "Cakes!" We looked through a few and I read out some mouthwatering cake names. She laughed.
Another good day at the office.

17 September, 2010

townsville stories and townsville authors

i am discovering more richly evocative townsville literature, thanks to library colleagues who have lived here for longer than I. and soon it will be time again for one title one townsville, which was such a success earlier this year with alex miller's journey to the stone country.

which book will be the one that all townsville reads?

i have most enjoyed estelle pinney's house on the hill because estelle portrayed the multiculturalism of townsville, and her characters covered the landscape well.
the story revolves mostly around a family of women, but the men are also strongly drawn, especially Nicos, the Greek cafe owner and Belle's sometimes lover.

a few weeks ago i smelled the luscious aroma of monsoon season that so beautifully conveys our northern summer mood. it was still autumn.
today i started kay donovan's bush oranges. kay writes the monsoon so beautifully.

For the first two months in Tully it rained every day, sheets of rain. Heavy, drenching rain you couldn't walk through.... The rainforest shaded the house and kept the inside cool and moist, even when the clouds cleared enough to let the tropical sun shine through. (Donovan, 2001, pp 38-39).

Set in the brooding, tempestuous climate of North Queensland from the 1920s to the 1990s... (from jacket blurb)

I love that NQ's climate is tempestuous and the landscape evocative. Not for us the ordinary adjectives like 'liveable' and 'friendly'.

Bush Oranges has multiple female narrators with many local landmarks making the cut: The Strand, Belgian Gardens, the Criterion Hotel, Magnetic Island and Tully. One of my grandmothers was born in Tully, and NQ remains her favourite place. She dreams about it from Brisbane.

With my cataloguing colleague, Anne, I plan to create a local authors/local stories page on the library website where we highlight some evocative Townsville literature from our collection. Although I have not yet read Thea Astley's The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow, I expect we will include that. Thea Astley taught school here and visited the city library here (not in its present location). And of course Janette Turner Hospital, who I understand taught at JCU some time ago.

This is going to be such fun.

05 September, 2010

be an information services librarian and make a difference

Darwin's advertising: Reference librarian job description, closes 13 September
Actively participate as a team member and provide outstanding customer service.

Effectively manage reference services and ensure a consistent standard of service delivery across Darwin City Council Libraries.

Fraser Coast's advertising: Information services librarian job description, closes 12 September
The position is responsible for the management and coordination of all functions within the Information & Reference Services section of the Regional libraries. The position is responsible for the organisation, direction and promotion of five (5) discrete operational areas: 1. Reference and information research, 2. Local history, Heritage and Genealogy programs, 3. Community and staff education programs, 4. Statistical monitoring, 5. Cataloguing of specific collections

* and if you're a newgrad or student, participate in the LIS education project survey before 14 September.