September’s Marvellous, Electrical newsletter tells the story of Jay, who found himself running the sole pub in a country town of twenty thousand during a year of renovations.
The brilliant Janeese Henaway of Townsville Libraries has just co-written an academic paper with researcher Maggie Nolan.
The paper, ‘Decolonising reading: the Murri book club‘, explores the project to create and support an Indigenous book club in a regional Australian city, led by Janeese in her capacity as Indigenous Library Resources Officer.
If book clubs are an overwhelmingly white phenomenon, through which members ‘maintain their currency as literate citizens through group discussion’, what does it mean for Indigenous people to create and run their own book club? How does it differ from other clubs and activities? What are the tensions, concerns, opportunities, and expectations when Indigenous people reshape the book club format for their own purposes?
Janeese and Maggie explore decolonization of the book club as a social, cultural, and political institution. They ask how this project might address white ignorance and explore empathy across ethnic groups, and they consider the tension between oral and written traditions for Indigenous people living in the Australia of 2017.
“We look to Los Angeles
For the language we use
London is dead, London is dead…”
I never really listened to a lot of Morrissey, thinking about it. I mean, I had a bit of a Smiths phase at university and I put ‘Last of the International Playboys‘ on the mixtape for a stag do once — that’s about it.
Then Ziba Zehdar-Gazdecki, a cool librarian from Los Angeles, shared photos from a book event on social media.
Mozlandia? I had to find out more.
Last time in this series we talked with Jerome Rivera of New Zealand about the messy realities confronted by frontline staff in libraries around the world. You can see some of that ongoing discussion via the #CodeBrown hashtag on Twitter.
What does an appreciation for messiness and uncertainty mean for the design of future experiences in libraries and their sister institutions? How can we best meet the information needs of the communities we serve?
Joining me this time is Dr. Kate Davis, my colleague at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Kate is a social scientist based in USQ’s Digital Life Lab, carrying out research into social media and the qualitative analysis of information experiences.
Kate, I’ve heard of UX – user experience – but never IX. What is “information experience” all about?
IX is about understanding how people engage with information. It’s relational – focussed on the contexts in which people need, seek, manage, give, and use information. Read more
Today I’m joined by Amy Walduck, Queensland State Manager for the Australian library association ALIA.
Amy’s a government research librarian, musician, social media maven, and culture professional extraordinaire. She’s also creator of the @QLDLibraries Twitter account celebrating library achievements across Australia’s Sunshine State.
Amy was my partner in crime on various initiatives at the State Library of Queensland, including baking cakes for occupational therapists at Griffith University. She’s a natural networker, enthusiastic, innovative, and determined: great qualities in an ever-changing sector like Libraryland.
Pinned to the top of Amy’s Twitter timeline for most of 2017 has been this statement:
I started our chat by asking Amy: Why did you make this your 2017 life goal? Read more
We’re revisiting two previous instalments of Marvellous, Electrical in a new form this month.
My partner Marta Cabral reads “The Dough“, about Brisbane’s baker of Portuguese pastries, in a bilingual version here:
Portuguese speakers can also enjoy Marta reading “Foolaru”, my Australia Day piece from 2017, here:
Marvellous, Electrical is a two-year project in the form of an email newsletter from across Queensland, Australia and beyond.
My University of Southern Queensland colleague Kate Davis and I have won the tender to review the strategic vision for public libraries in Queensland, Australia.
We’ll be drafting a successor to the existing VISION 2017 document after a season of consultation, workshops, surveys, and interviews with library staff, managers, and key stakeholders from across the state.
Blame it on Jerome; it started with him.
Jerome Rivera, aka @jeromical, is Community Library Manager at Ranui in Auckland, New Zealand. He’s smart and thoughtful and highly accomplished, and one of the sharpest dressers I’ve ever seen. Jerome and his wife Rachael form something of a library power couple: she manages Auckland’s central city library and her teams have been responsible for amazing projects such as specialised services for homeless people and bespoke one-to-one encounters with Kiwi musicians for NZ Music Month. But I’ll have to get to the full story of Rachael’s greatness another time, because today is about Code Brown, and Code Brown starts with Jerome.
You see, being a librarian today is about all kinds of things. Access to information. Bringing communities together and giving them the opportunity to share their skills and stories, or create new knowledge. Offering new technologies and the skills to explore those technologies.
But, as Jerome pointed out on Twitter, when you work in a space like a library which is open and welcoming to all members of the public, sooner or later, you end up dealing with a Code Brown. Read more
The team behind this year’s NLS8 conference have released notes from my Battle for Library Island workshop in PDF, PPT, and Keynote formats.
You can see some of the activities we used as warm-ups for this creative approach to organisational strategy and vision, plus enjoy video from the raucous, dramatic session itself.
There’ll be more Library Island at LIANZA 17 in Christchurch, New Zealand, this September.
I’ll be back in Canberra on 28th September to give the opening keynote of the music librarians’ conference, IAML Australia 2017.
“Sing Me A Library” will explore managing knowledge through sound, and outline some future directions for music-led information science.
Coming hot on the heels of my trip to New Zealand, you can expect something a little lively and a little bit different – raising the stakes from last year’s journey into TV themes, cultural history, and heavy metal.