Posts tagged ‘Australia’


National Simultaneous Storytime – some videos and ideas from 2011

The Australian Library and Information Association is holding the National Simultaneous Storytime Wednesday, at 11am, 23rd May, 2012.

This year’s book is The very cranky bear, by Nick Bland. Last years was Feathers for Phoebe, by Rod Clement.

Helpful blogs and discussions, as well as video of the NSS from years past, are available on the net, and following are some of the videos I found. Its interesting to see the different ways libraries presented the story depending on the audience they had – very small groups, were different to large groups; and older kids were shown the powerpoint, while younger kids were presented with a picture board which developed images from the story.


Staff at Mount Gambier Library taped their dramatic rendition of Feathers for Phoebe.


The Burnside Library had a very young audience, and a picture of Phoebe was developed on a board to emphasise what was happening and capture the kids attention. There was interaction with the

read more »


Roseanne Barr interviewed by Ramona Koval, ABC RN’s The Book Show, 08.07.2011

A few weeks ago I heard Ramona Koval interview Roseanne Barr on ABC Radio National’s The Book Show (Friday 08.07.2011), and judging from the comments section of the website for this show, I wasn’t the only person who found it a great interview.  Roseanne has a new memoir Roseannearchy : dispatches from the nut farm, and the interview covered feminism, class, living your life in public, personal criticism of Roseanne by pretty much anyone who wrote a column anywhere, and about being from “the tribe of librarians.”

I think there are allot of fans of Roseanne Barr out there (a look around her blog will tell you as much), and they are not heard as much as the critics – it is very easy to write derogatory things about a woman who created a show about working class life in America in the 1980’s when everyone was supposed to be aspiring to be more than working class, but when most people lived a working class life.  It’s easy because it’s easy to belittle people if they can’t be seen, heard or acknowledged, and working class people aren’t ever heard or seen in the mass media – do you see tradesmen reporting the news, nurses hosting TV shows, or truck drivers winning awards?  Although they work five or more days a week every week of their lives, quietly keeping the world on track, working class people rarely get a real voice.  I am not suggesting bricklayers start reporting the news, only that if there isn’t a forum to hear something, nothing is going to be heard, and as a result, invisibility makes it appear as if certain people, their ideas, and the issues they deal with, don’t exist.

I remember from the 1980’s that people would often talk about the Roseanne show, in school, in the home, it really did have an effect much greater than it is given credit for by the people who have seven day attention spans in the media.  An article from the New York Times about the end of the Roseanne series finishes with an insightful comment about how the world of mass media and the real world barely relate to one another.  In an episode of the show, a TV producer comes to turn Roseanne’s life into a TV sitcom, but he doesn’t want anyone like Roseanne in it.

”You’re blue collar. Middle America is blue collar. Americans want to see themselves on television.” Of course, he didn’t think it was a bad idea to cast Melanie Griffith as Roseanne. ”Nobody in their right mind is going to want to look at you,” he tells her.  Proving guys like that wrong for nine years may have been Roseanne’s sweetest revenge. It was a revenge that Middle America could share.

‘Roseanne’ and the risks of upward mobility / Caryn James, New York Times,  18.05.1997, viewed 24.08.2011,

I can’t bare to watch reality TV, and until I read that passage above I couldn’t articulate why.  Now I can – so look out, here comes a rant!  It’s because reality TV has taken working class people – ordinary people out there minding there own

read more »


A mystery for the indexers out there? The Taman Shud case

Have you ever heard of the mystery of the ‘Taman Shud case’?  I remember being told about it from an early age by my Dad.  A man found dead on the Adelaide beach, South Australia, in 1948, and one of the only pieces of evidence relating to the case was a torn piece of the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam which said ‘Tamam Shud’ – roughly translated, ‘Tamam Shud’ means ‘It is ended.’

After over 60 years, the case remains a mystery – who was the man, how did he die, was he killed, and what is the significance of some of the more unusual clues relating to the case?  A recent article in the Smithsonian Magazine titled ‘The body on Somerton Beach’ by Mike Dash (12.08.2011) is a fine introduction for anyone interested in the case.  It led me to look up a few links about the case, including the website article titled ‘Dry cleaning or laundry marks could be the key to solving decades old murder mystery’ (date unknown), from John Ruffles.  That article in turn led to an interesting Popular Science magazine article from June 1940 titled ‘Laundry-mark detective solves mysterious crimes’ by Edwin Teale  (pg 60-63), about Lt. Adam Yulch of the Nassau County Police, USA, who had indexed laundromat markings – the article said he had a card catalogue of up to 75,000 of them to help identify the marks left on the clothing (made when clothes were professionally laundered) of victims of crime (NB: an article from the New York Times indicates that Adam Yulch died in 1950, and had by then indexed up to 100,000 laundry marks – 03.07.1950, pg 10).

As a result of looking at the work of Adam Yulch, and his index of laundry marks, it made me wonder if an indexer could have a look at this case, and possibly bring new evidence to light.  South Australian newspapers are digitised at Trove, currently including The Adelaide Advertiser, The Adelaide Morning Chronicle (1948/49 not yet digitised), and The MailPage 3 of The Advertiser, 2nd December, 1948 mentions the finding of the body for the first time, while The Mail carried the first story on page 32 on 4th December, 1948.  Here is a saved search for the word ‘Rubaiyat’ in Australian digitised newspapers at Trove between January 1948 and December 1950, and it reveals a few stories about the case.  Helpfully, a number of newspaper articles in Trove have been tagged with ‘Taman Shud’.  Considering the man appears to have arrived in Adelaide on 30.11.1948 by train (although there is the mysterious discovery of clothes on Somerton beach on 28.11.1948), a search of all Australian newspapers using keywords like “Keane OR Kean”, or Somerton, might be useful because the man may have come from another state.  If the answer is in code, could the eagle eyes of an indexer find something waiting to be found in these newspapers, from just before the body of the man was discovered on 1st December, 1948, or just afterwards?

Fishing around in the newspapers myself for something interesting to relate, I found the word ‘Omar’ in answer to a disproportionately large number of crossword questions in the Argus during 1948 – it turns up no less than 11 times (NB: the Argus was a Melbourne based newspaper).  In comparison, the word ‘Omar’ doesn’t appear to figure in newspaper crosswords anywhere else in Australia that year.  In 1949, the word continues to crop up regularly in Argus crosswords.  The last time the word appears before the man died was in answer to a question for 14 ACROSS ‘Persian poet’ in

read more »


Aussie Librarian Blogs worth following

Some Australian Librarian and related blogs worth following.

ADHD Librarian by the ADHD Librarian (twitter/ADHD_librarian)


Better than cheesecake by Susanne Newton


Bronwyn’s Library Blog by Bronwyn Ritchie


Bright Ideas – School Libraries Association of Victoria


ConnectingLibrarian by Michelle MacLean


Derek’s ALIA Blog by Derek Whitehead


Explodedlibrarian by Morgan Wilson


read more »


Library Disaster Recovery: 2009 Victorian bushfires

Bushfire / Michael Roper, 22.01.2005 (CCAttributionShareAlike2.0Licence) michaelroper/13786602/

The Australian state of Victoria suffered devastating bushfires in January and February 2009.  On 7th February, ‘Black Saturday’, 173 people were killed.

Below are some links which hopefully bring together some resources for a study on this disaster, how it effected library services, and how the services have been rebuilt.



ALIA – Disaster Recovery page, includes links to documents and websites relevant to the 2009 bushfires

Report : ALIA Disaster Recover Project / Jane Grace, ALIA & Yarra Plenty regional Library, July 2009,

An early Christmas gift to help rebuild with books / Sue McKerracher, INCITE Letters, pg 6, ALIA, December 2009,

Bushfire response / ALIA Schools Newsletter, ALIAnet, March/April 2009,

Rebuilding with books / Sue McKerracher (ALIA), Blue Shield, (from INSITE magazine, Museums Australia),

School Library Association of Victoria Blog –

Library industry unites for disaster recovery / Bookseller and Publisher, Thorpe-Bowker’s Australian Library News, Issue 362, February 2009,

ICT industry unites to provide bushfire victims with new PCs, services / Andrew Hendry, Australian Computer Society, 13.02.2009,

Blue Shield Australia

Looking for Blue Shield Australia? / Collections Council Australia –   –

read more »


Steampunk Custom Search Engine and some links

Steam Locomotive (detail) / by Richard Taylor (CCAttribution2.0License) 34094515@N00/5944843770

An interesting article about the steampunk scene in Melbourne appeared a few weeks ago in The Sydney Morning Herald – ‘Time travellers‘, by Liza Power (17.06.2011).   The article looks at the Circus Oz show based around steampunk themes called ‘Steam Powered‘ (the Circus Oz Facebook page has more).  This made me think about looking around for some info on Steampunk and putting together a list of interesting links.


One article I found about steampunk in Australia worth a read is ‘Steampunk‘ by Katherine Wilson and appeared in vol69 of Meanjin in 2010, and another by Katherine can be found at The Age, ‘A new steam of conciousness’ (21.05.2010).  John Klima has two articles on Steampunk novels to read at Library Journal – ‘Steampunk : 20 core titles’ (30.03.2010), and a follow-up,  ‘Steampunk : 13 titles to update your collections’ (16.06.2011).  Library Journal regularly covers new fiction, including Steampunk.



I put allot of the links I found together into a CSE at Google, ( and I hope it helps people find more information

read more »


Just a list of some interesting blogs or articles I’ve been reading lately…

%d bloggers like this: