26 November, 2009

D*P*C #15 mobile phone information service

They say that young people don't email, don't twitter, don't blog, but they do IM and text. And for those of us who do twitter and blog we can text from our phones directly to our online sites. And with 22 million mobiles in Australia (*ABS) there is a huge potential audience for mobile phone information services (in some libraries, the service has been there for years).

Council's new TELL_TCC text service already includes the library - if people want to ask basic questions like 'when does Flinders library close?' or 'how many books can i borrow?'
More detailed texts requiring a response, like 'can you renew my books?' will be referred onto library staff to action. Text services are present in academic libraries around Australia, see
James Cook University (overdue & recall notices sent), and in Brisbane libraries (a huge service of 33 branches). you can text Brisbane Square and the Hub libraries. And QUT.

One I'd like to see? Embed IM on the library front page for information services. A timely article from Nina today is 'How-to: working with campus marketing classes to improve reference service visibility'. Duke and MacDonald** note in their paper that 'the marketing students strongly advocated starting an instant messaging (IM) reference service... ultimately chose Meebo because of its ability to work with Yahoo, Google Talk and MSN chat software. ... the Meebo widget could be embedded into library webpages.. high visibility...' This occurred at The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University, which then developed a stategy for promoting the IM service.
Of course, having the ability to access e-books, podcasts, etc will be amazing too.
As Bonnie said, Shan is already sending SMSs out to people who have booked in to events to confirm bookings.

* Australian Bureau of Statistics. Population Clock: (sourced via Warren at

** Duke, L.M. & MacDonald, J. B. (n.d.). How-to: Working with campus marketing classes to improve reference service visibility. Information Today Inc. Accessed online at

another image from oppersephone's fanpop gallery, just because.

Robert Pattinson

24 November, 2009

twiharder - audience par-tic-i-pation

Robert Pattinson
orppersephone's photo on fanpop

i came to the twilight series later than most after seeing long lists of people reserving each book from the libraries. usually i don't care for popular fiction, but sometimes i make exceptions, and sometimes i'm pleasantly surprised.
i loved the first book, and steph should have stopped just there - leaving readers wanting more, but she had to go on and the fourth had me laughing out loud. most especially when Bella has the baby and names her Renesmee Carlie after both their mothers and fathers - how soap opera is that?
You know the old soap trick where characters name their child after themselves or the grandparents so the audience can keep track of whose kid it is a year later when it's fifteen and creating havoc? like Brooke + Ridge = Bridget.
i'm not even going to get into the whole argument that's raging everywhere about what a waste Bella is as a female character. there have been stronger, that's for sure.

had a classic information service encounter a month ago - a middle-aged lady came in and plonked twilight down saying she wanted to return it and cancel her reservation for the rest because they were atrocious! she started reading parts aloud and expressed distaste at the whole vampire thing. usually when someone does that they expect the person they're talking to to agree with them, but i couldn't of course.

i laughed with her, and said that while i appreciate that they're not to everyone's taste, i enjoyed them. she saw the funny side. i hope i steered her towards books more to her liking.
okay, enough negative vibes.
i read all of them, and loved every part where edward was written in.
team edward declaration.

so i watched twilight on dvd and was disappointed when it finished. not because it was a great film - if i hadn't read the books i'm sure i wouldn't have followed some of the film. so of course when new moon came out i had to see it along with the rest of the female population of townsville/the world, and it is better than twilight.
it was so like going to a Rocky Horror Audience Participation screening! The funniest was at the last when edward says 'marry me bella' and the screen faded because that was THE END of the movie!! and the whole audience said 'ooooh', as in 'no! don't end now!'. classic.

if you liked the twilight series you may also enjoy other vampire fiction, or the more subtle literary age-old storylines suggested like romeo and juliet or any of its derivatives. send a list!
you could start with the smouldering Heathcliffe in Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
edward cullen, you're a champion of readers everywhere. god bless your soul :)


cmis focus on fiction

yesterday I received the fullsome Focus on Fiction journal by post from the awesome peeps at cmis because I've signed on as a reviewer. Good reading ahead. They have a LibraryThing page set up for reviewers to choose titles from. What about that for our top titles? Until we get LibraryThing on the LMS in an upgrade.

23 November, 2009

online databases = unsung resources D*P*C #14 & citations

This discovery has been up for six weeks and this is the first time I get to it? October/November have been full on.

I've used online databases extensively while researching for university assignments. For some I found information within, for others using the database was the assignment.
While working here I've had the wonderful opportunity to participate in and lead webinar training offered by the State Library of Queensland where we have explored NoveList, Library PressDisplay and Oxford Reference Online from the comfort of our own Learning Space with Smartboard.
Hooking into alerts from various databases is invaluable for professional development - select some from SLQ (or other state/national libraries), your local public library, and ALIA if you're a member.
I really like recommending database use to school students, and their parents, because it opens up a whole new world of information access. And some databases generate citations for each article, making a student's work easier.

I used the visual search feature on History Reference Centre and found this article in full text, with citation examples (this one APA style). Chosen because the MTQ is an amazing place for exploration, and they offer free entry to locals.

Menghetti, D. (2002). Museum of Tropical Queensland. Australian Historical Studies, 33(119), 194. Retrieved from History Reference Center database.

If you're a school student you should check out Your Tutor, but through your public library site.

I've just logged in to ProQuest through SLQ using my e-services card and searched on 'townsville'. Quite a few articles came up, including these:

Ocean Research; Research on ocean research published by scientists at James Cook UniversityAnonymous. Ecology, Environment & Conservation. Atlanta: Nov 27, 2009. p. 198
Biodiversity; Scientists at James Cook University target biodiversityAnonymous. Ecology, Environment & Conservation Business. Atlanta: Nov 21, 2009. p. 392

I used the 'create a web page' feature and emailed the selections to myself and James (what will he be thinking tomorrow morning?) - Visit Townsville CityLibraries online databases page to find some information for your needs.

A secondary school loving databases:
and our favourite alma mater, CSU:
Join ALIA and receive access to the ProQuest journal package:

Don't let online databases hide - show them to your community!

Why all this gathering of information and correct citing? To learn from others, to form your own understanding, and to create new information and knowledge. And producing a perfect reference list will get you good marks in university (and should be highlighted through intensive information literacy education in schools) - today's Courier Mail had an article about plagiarism in Queensland universities (see citation below).
The article stated that 'plagiarism was rife and most cases were a result of students not understanding attribution and referencing conventions'. (Wenham, 2009, p.3).

Wenham, M. Cheats on the rise at our unis: checks detect 2000. The Courier Mail. 23 November, 2009. p. 3.

A classic post on a discussion list earlier in the year reported a conversation between a parent and a TL where a senior student had obviously used a large chunk of someone's else's work without attribution. I've seen it happen in school myself where the teacher merely googled the student's phrases and found the ripped articles right at the top of the results list. Anyway, the indignant parent said to the TL that (paraphrasing) 'everyone knows that you're allowed to plagiarise up to 25% at university'. ??
There are so many things wrong with that statement that it really is not so amusing. As the article reports, plagiarism cases can be dealt with by marking down, 'receiving a zero mark, being stripped of all credit, or being suspended' (Wenham, 2009, p.3). You only have to visit any university's website to see warnings about plagiarism, and visit the library websites to see helpful articles on how to write essays, critical reviews, etc and compile reference lists according to whichever style, and many will also allow access to EndNote or ProCite to make the student's job easier.

So gather information, process it, acknowledge sources, create your own understandings and get your information out there. And then find yourself out there on Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text..

Lee, Robin. "Why you need an MBA." inCite 28, no. 1/2 (January 2007): 14. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed November 23, 2009).

Uthmann, Sharon. "Libraries are for everyone." inCite 29, no. 11 (November 2008): 13. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed November 23, 2009).

Love writing

all the cool people are living up north

Glenys will be moving to Cairns!!

19 November, 2009

airport poetry

poem composed on the train yesterday, using visual stimuli (julie beveridge's suggestion), and then drafted and rewritten at the airport. at gate 46.

poem composed after attendance at a city workshop, not instead of networking you will note, comrade harps! :)

fabulous to catch up with corinne hills who i haven't seen since we shared a dorm at CSU res. school back in '03. she influenced my decision to move to townsville - something i wrote about for InCite. best wishes for your Masters, corinne!

met great librarians from ipswich (home of the infocoach), nerang (check background image on my twitter), gold coast, federal court, drug arm, etc.

17 November, 2009

julie beveridge rocks townsville!


my first full creative day in ages - saturday in townsville with julie beveridge for a poetry workshop - five star day.

julie is director of queensland poetry festival, marketing coordinator at queensland writers centre and author of Rock'n'Roll Tuxedo and Home is Where the Heartache is (two poetry chapbooks, the latter of haibun).

and 'specially nice to be with a group of other writers for the day too

and we did an open mic. which i've done before in the gallery at HB, but my first time here.

and then i got a long email from glenys who is writing a novel - fully into the creative phase of character and scene development - and who owes me some pages!

i have to update some details on wordbox on the weekend - check it out next week.

You will write a haiku by the end of the month

13 November, 2009

top writer blogs no. 122!

some days are diamond. the-storyspace is a runner up at no. 122 on Jonathan Crossfield's The Top 50 Australian Blogs for Writers.
Angela Mayer and Justine Larbalestier's blogs came out on top, but the-storyspace is in there amongst some amazing Australian writers: Kirsty Murray, Catherine Bateson and Julia Lawrinson. Our first blog award! *Just a bit excited here*

I will have to invest a little more time here at the-storyspace so it can rise in the ranks. More reviews, guest bloggers, etc. Reaching out to young readers and those who work with them.

Thanks Jonathan !

08 November, 2009

what does 'reading' really mean?

Interesting discussion over at OZ_TL regarding visual literacy, techno-literacy, reading books vs. reading text on screens.

to READ –verb (used with object)
to look at carefully so as to understand the meaning of (something written, printed, etc.): to read a book; to read music.
read. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved November 08, 2009, from website:

The discussion began with an observation that 'skills for reading from print (on paper) are different to those for reading from a screen and we need to teach both. Research is telling us that kids need really good traditional literacy skills before they can read well from a screen' (Barbara Combes, Edith Cowan University, Perth).
Then a young teacher from outside Australia responded with a bit of a dismissal that prompted many learned teachers to respond.

He suggested that his generation had no problems reading and interpreting text from a screen - he has several screens open on his desktop, and he constantly flicks between them. He said that he doesn't read everything on the page, but that's what his generation is about. I'd say already he has a problem understanding what the act of reading means. To read means to look at something printed, displayed, etc in our language system carefully so as to form an understanding of its meaning. If the writer didn't want the reader to read so much he or she would have uploaded less words. Each word counts towards the reader's comprehension of the writer's intent, or to the formation of the reader's own interpretation. If you view less than the whole you cannot gain full understanding.

Many teachers responded to his argument using sound pedagogical examples, including that TLs need to invest a lot of time into teaching techno-literacy because so many students believe everything they view online. That is, they view it and accept it instead of reading and applying judgement. If a website or other online medium has not been created according to W3C standards, then the viewer already has a barrier to comprehension if he or she is flicking between screens because they won't readily see the important information.

So I responded from a writer's viewpoint, and yes, a few teachers responded to my response with cheers. I like technology applications rather a lot, but I would never suggest that the container is more important than the content.

My response: The thing is, if 'your' generation is about not reading everything on the page, you are going to miss out on some incredibly creative use of language - which is the difference between stories/poetry and a business report. If you skim you may get the gist of a story, but not its nuances and subtle pleasures. And if you are a teacher and endeavouring to teach children how to write creatively - there's a problem. Similarly, by skimming readers may miss important textual clues which would aid comprehension and support their development of further knowledge (as in the fake websites examples). Certainly students need to be educated to be capable of one day understanding business reports, as important decisions are made on the strength of them. You can use all the tools to create a digital story, present it with visuals, use stop animation, tell all your mates about it on Facebook or twitter, but the actual story should have substance. I don't believe all stories/poems have to be in book form. The story matters to me - whether that's projected on the side of a building, written in chalk on the footpath or downloaded on a kindle. The technology needs to be used effectively to support the content. I wouldn't say 'I'm going to write a story for a mobile phone screen'. I'd think about the story I wanted to write, then consider the best medium for presentation. And as the technology container affects how/where the content is communicated, then TLs are well placed to educate students in understanding this.

01 November, 2009

pendragon shoes

these shoes absolutely surpass any other shoe i have ever seen - wearable wordart. delightful!

Cello and Ancient Mariner with their ancient script detail, and Pendragon Shoes' workshop is in Maroochydore! Want.

coffee dominion beats us to it

page 36 townsville bulletin, saturday october 31, 2009

'baristas on call as text service grinds down coffee wait time' by Ryan Matheson.

Manager Jia Brooks said that 'we're always looking to find a better way to deliver our customers coffee on time'.

Over at the library, we're always looking for better ways to deliver information and resources to our customers on time - I'm going to bring this up at our customer services meeting tomorrow morning.