Professional development – the audit

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So i got the email…

Every year as part of the ALIA Professional Development Scheme validation a random 10% sample of PD Scheme members are assessed for compliance with the ALIA PD Scheme requirements.

The audit list of participants for the ALIA PD Scheme Year 2015-2016 has been generated and you are among those to have been selected.

To satisfy the audit please notify us of your continuing professional development activities undertaken between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, including your Reflections (reflective learning outcome).

You must report on a minimum 30 ALIA PD points worth of activities complying with the range of categories as determined by the Summary of Activity Types table. (The audit process does not require you to report on more than the minimum 30 points.) To validate a PD activity you will need to include approximately 50 words for each Reflection. If you are completing an ALIA PD Scheme Specialisation you will need to specify within your reflections the core competencies the activity aligns to.

Now I know this shouldn’t worry me (but why does the word audit cause such terror?) –  after all I have more that completed the required number of activities/points. Some I have even blogged about. Some are in random draft blogpost form that just needs to be polished and published. Some are in (really bad) handwriting that just needs to be interpreted/translated and then published.

I think I can also state with a fair amount of certainty that I will be blogging like a mad, bloggy thing the day before the deadline to ensure that my portfolio (which is not this blog btw) is up to date and ready for validation.

As I said last time I was audited for the ALIA PD scheme – “From now on my e-portfolio is going to be a thing of organised and up-to-date beauty and reflection”

Yeah right!

Third rule of Code Club

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screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-6-59-28-pm So my 3rd code club type experience came yesterday at the River of Opportunities conference.

Deanne Verity from Geelong Library talked about their experiences with Code Clubs.

Started out as a partnership between the libraries and an external organisation. Didn’t work out exactly how they had hoped so Geelong is now ‘going it alone’.

They are registered with Code Club Australia & follow their ‘lesson plans’ using the library owned laptops.

Terms 1 & 2 is programming  using Scratch.

Term 3 is programming using CSS & HTML.

Term 4 is programming using Python.

They also have a code club volunteer (ICT teacher from a local school). It seems there is a good take up rate among library staff @ Geelong with internal ‘train the trainer’ style intro to scratch classes being held for staff with a view (my interpretation) to adding to the number of staff facilitating the groups.

(I could be projecting here – a number of staff at MPOW have asked me if I’ll teach them some basic coding in their own time – which I am going to organise as, hopefully, a PD opportunity, ie: with freddo frogs as rewards)

Anyhoo it seems Geelong have had some positive experiences  and learnt from the not so positive.

Interesting that the term 3 topics were not as successful as the term 1 & 2. I guess CSS and HTML are more for building websites and don’t have the ‘immediacy’ that writing a game in, say, Scratch provides.

It is too early in Term 4 to get a feel for how Python is going.

More food for thought…



Rivers of Opportunities…and rain

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So I spent the weekend in beautiful Ballarat being alternately inspired by speakers at the ALIA River of Opportunities seminar, and trying not to drown as the skies threw large amounts of rain at me.

(At the moment I am feeling pretty wretched so I think the rain may be claiming victory)

Saturday morning the conference proper kicked off at the Ballarat Hospital Education Resources Unit.

Fortified by an excellent coffee from CBD (coffee by design) just  down the block from the hospital I headed to the registration desk. The first person I saw was a borrower from ‘my‘ library; a regular booktalk attendee and a mad keen crime reader like myself.

She would be speaking later in the day on ‘life after libraries’ about her experiences in retirement (and podcasting).

It was also Royal South Street Eisteddfod time  (calisthenics) –  so many throwback memories to my childhood spent in Ballarat with hair in impossible curls, heavily made up, legtanned, in club uniform wandering round Ballarat.

Second rule of Code Club

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So tonight I attended a meetup organised by CodeClub Australia to talk about codeclub and volunteering and all things coding for kids.

The guest speaker – Sophiya – works for Telstra and is a code club volunteer at Docklands Library.

Their code club setup works a little differently from the norm. It is less a ‘course’ over x number of weeks but more a booked ‘drop in’ on a Saturday morning once a fortnight.

Basically the library is responsible for booking in the kids; providing the space and the PCs, organising the publicity, printing off the worksheets etc.

The volunteers more or less just turn up and run the club – although there is a library staff member facilitating (or lurking) nearby.

They use a teamwork approach – two kids per pc – and the kids work together to make a game or whatever they choose.

Sophiya is always on the look out for more and different Scratch challenges for the kids who do book in regularly.

After Sophiya left the rest of us just stood around chatting and sharing experiences (though in my case i mainly listened avidly and noted down ideas that i liked the sound of).

One (primary) school has so many kids interested in lunch time and after school code clubs that they ended up asking the kids to write  an ‘expression of interest’ stating why they wanted to join code club.

Most of the people there were teachers (one was an IT consultant who helped out with code club at his kids’ school) so the discussion was mainly school based.

Nonetheless I came away with some ideas & thunks to help formulate our codeclub proposal.

Next coding activity for the week will be ALIA River of Opportunities seminar in Ballarat on Saturday.

Stay tuned…

Libraries – Strategic Plans and planning

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This is a spreadsheet of Canadian Libraries with links to their strategic plans. Given that there are close to one hundred plans listed it is going to take me a while to get through them all!

I am starting with the public libraries ones – newest first – I can see it being an interesting exercise to see how Canadian public libraries see their future.

The nerd librarian in me likes reading strategic plans (usually) it is a great way to look at how libraries do things and how and what they plan to do moving forward.

I will (hopefully) blog about them as I read them


or not.

Will Libraries Survive?

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and in what format?

This article came to mind recently when I was involved in two discussions (with different people) about the future of libraries.

One was when I heard someone talking about getting rid of 40% of a public library’s collections (they meant books) and I couldn’t help but wonder what the users of that library would think if 40% of the books they browsed or borrowed just weren’t there.

The second discussion came about when I was talking about ebooks with a borrower and she wanted to know if all the books that the library had in its collections were also available on ebook for her to borrow.

Good question. I started thinking about all my favourite books and/or authors – so many of them are not available in e format. Especially annoying when you want to read a whole series and some are e, some are paper, and some appear to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

We tossed this idea back and forth for a few minutes then she looked at me and said ” You know, until I can access every one of these books on my tablet, I will keep coming to the library and browsing for things i didn’t know I wanted to read until I saw them”

*Best library patron ever*


What happens when you return a library book?

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Love, love, love this idea.

What happens to my library books when I return them?

Already kids are fascinated by the returns sorters at our branches –  you can see them with their noses pressed agains the glass to see the books move along the conveyor belt at Camberwell Library for example.

Book Vending Machines

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I was a bit surprised that Singapore hadn’t had book vending machines before now.

I mean there have been book vending machines in Australia for quite a few years now. The hotel in Sydney (that I last stayed in nine years ago) had a book vending machine back then (and for several years before that) – my main issue with it was that the range of books was a bit vanilla (ie – not enough crime fiction!) but it did have adult fiction, junior fiction, picture books and business non fiction. It was basically a (very) mini airport bookstore in a machine.

The librarian is IN

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I would love to see us doing this sort of outreach at farmers markets, craft markets & community festivals (to name but a few opportunities).

We could do it as part of our ‘table’ at these events – and it well and truly addresses the oft asked question of ‘but what does it have to do with libraries; how does it link back to the library?”

I would volunteer to be  a part of it in a heartbeat.


Digital Citizenship. NSLA Wellington 13/11/2015.

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In NZ it begins with the citizen, not with the govt.

Removal of pain points

Where the online experience comes to a halt

Design services from the citizens point of view

Govt depts. Shifting thinking towards

  •  Citizen 1st, dept/agency 2nd
  • Business 1st, dept/agency 2nd.

SLV shared leaderships – toolkit preparation for egovernment

In Sth Aust known as ‘no wrong door’ state government. Whichever door you come through is the correct one.

Civics education for ethnic minorities – intro to Council.

Craig Thornton. (NSLA)

People don’t want a passport, they want a place to travel

People don’t want libraries, they want a place to access information and experts to help them find what they want.

Degrees of literacy – no longer a linear code.

Can be literate on fb but not on a mobile phone.

Look at ecitizenship in its complete form



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