Commence festivitization sequence…

The State Library of Queensland has a staff Christmas video competition – as I found out when I returned from my regional travels to be told I’d “volunteered” to shoot an entry for my new colleagues at the Regional Partnerships team…

Half an hour running around with a camera, and a bit of editing time later, Rogue One RAPL was born. It’s good for a laugh, and features some of the great people I’ll be teaming up with in the new year:

Of course, this is only the second best Star Wars related activity I’ve ever been involved with.

A hongi with the Rebel Alliance
A hongi with the Rebel Alliance

Or maybe even the third.

SWITCH 2016, New South Wales

I’m in the coastal town of Ulladulla to talk libraries with people from across the state of New South Wales at the SWITCH 2016 conference.

You can catch up with my keynote “Science Fiction Double Feature” from lunchtime (AEDT) Wednesday – try the #switch2016 hashtag on Twitter.

The paper will be up on the SWITCH website shortly after the event.

Crawford Awards, South Australia

On Friday, I was guest speaker at South Australia’s Crawford Awards for Library Innovation.

It was a chance to explore how Aussie libraries ensure that they create services for and with their communities – and acknowledge the specific colonial history of this land.

It was also an opportunity to celebrate many of the friends and colleagues I’ve worked with during my residency at the State Library of Queensland.

The Award was given to the rural South Australian city of Murray Bridge for a project working with local Aboriginal elders, introducing the Ngarrindjeri language to a new generation through stories and song.

Congratulations to Tim Law, Georgina Trevorrow, and all at Murray Bridge who are working to acknowledge the traditional owners of the Murraylands and support their community.

Crawford Award, Adelaide

I’m honoured to be guest speaker at the ceremony for the annual Crawford Award (no, not that one – the one for library innovation in South Australia). It takes place in Adelaide this Friday.

I’ve never been to Adelaide, and I’m doubly excited because it’s the home of one of the greatest Aussie television shows, Danger 5.

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I’m sure that’s exactly what the Crawford Award show is going to be like.

Extended Play: 2017 Creative in Residence at State Library of Queensland

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I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be continuing my residency with the State Library of Queensland through to the beginning of April 2017.

In the new year, I’ll be working with the library’s Regional Access and Partnerships team to deliver programs, partnerships, and events for rural and regional areas in Australia’s Sunshine State.

Watch this space for the latest news!

The Kinder Way To Enjoy Hacking

This morning I gave the opening address at the annual conference of ALIA Queensland. The theme this year was “Library Hacks”.

Hacking’s such a funny term, still threatening and techy and futuristic, and yet also so familiar; the stuff of cheesy mid-90s techno-thrillers as much as today’s headlines about Wikileaks and massive DNS attacks.

The New Yorker tells us that the word originates in the house slang of MIT, way back in the 1950s:

The minutes of an April, 1955, meeting of the Tech Model Railroad Club state that “Mr. Eccles requests that anyone working or hacking on the electrical system turn the power off to avoid fuse blowing.”

Taking “hack” to mean tinkering with machines and procedures, not following the manual, I wanted to both hack the keynote and offer attendees an opportunity that wouldn’t exist at M.I.T.

So, we gave them craft materials, tinfoil and paperclips, food decorating kits, a basic electronics set…

…and Kinder Surprise Eggs.

Read more

Revenge of the Model Railway Club

I’ll be speaking at ALIA Queensland‘s mini-conference “Library Hacks” in a couple of weeks.

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American-style model railway. Photo by Graham Causer, used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 Licence

My keynote’s called Revenge of the Model Railway Club and it takes the form of a hands-on workshop. It should be fun – if you’re in the area, you should come!

Library Hacks runs 9am to 5pm at Brisbane Square Library on Wednesday 26th October.

You Have Been Upgraded

The British Library has bumped me up from a “project worker” to Creative/Researcher at British Library Labs.

Just words but it’s always nice to have a punctuation mark in your job title. You can take it out and use it to defend yourself in single combat if need be. Especially as it turns out the “/” mark is called a Solidus.

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Read about my dual role over at the British Library Labs blog.

Queensland Fun Palaces 1-2 October

The long-awaited Fun Palaces weekend has arrived.

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After months of planning and preparation, communities across Queensland are gearing up to celebrate the arts and sciences in all their forms, partnered with a range of libraries and other institutions.

From the islands of the Torres Strait to the cotton fields of the Darling Downs, plus every library in the city of Brisbane, and of course our own State Library on the city’s South Bank, the first weekend in October will see a swathe of venues open their doors for community-led events celebrating the Fun Palace motto “everyone an artist, everyone a scientist.”

We’ve come along way since Parkes Library hosted Australia’s first ever Fun Palace back in 2014.

I’ll be with the State Library team on Saturday, supporting events including our Scrub Turkey Sessions devised with urban ecologist Professor Darryl Jones of Griffith University.

Wherever you are in the world, check the Fun Palaces website for your nearest event, or join in online with the Comic Maker built for Fun Palaces by the State Library. (We’ve also put the code behind the site online, if you feel like a bit of digital tinkering).