A new beginning

I'm finally getting around to update my blog. I know I said last year that it would be the year I blogged more regularly but obviously that didn't happen. I think I know why now. I have said previously that I didn't value my opinions and I didn't think what I had to say was important and this was one of the reasons why I didn't blog more. I have only now realised that that was only part of the issue. As an introvert my mind can't think of things quickly, I need time to think and reflect, however I haven't really been allowing myself the time needed to do that, which is why I thought I didn't have anything of value to say. Now that I have realised this, I am going to make the time I need. By the way, I came to this realisation while lying in bed trying to get to sleep and wondering why my mind get going over and over things of a wide, variety of sometimes really odd things. If only I could blog at that time I'd be right.

So it is only fitting that a new beginning to the year, starts with a reflection of last year. It was after all a momentous year for me.

January - went to Information Online 2009 in Sydney, I was quite disappointed with the quality of the conference papers and presentations, there were some good ones, but the majority were lacking basic presentation skills. I am no great public speaker but I know what to do to try and create a good presentation. The networking on the other hand was great. I caught up with a lot of friends I have made in the past, and met some great new people as well.

February - Aaron proposed on my birthday. While I went to work, he slaved to change our lounge room into a French bistro, complete with a delicious five course meal and Bolinger champagne. I of course said yes (yes, yes). I had a feeling that he was going to propose sometime in the near future but I didn't want to get my hopes up so every time I thought about it I flicked my self in the arm. Even without the proposal that night was very special as nobody as ever gone to that much effort for me before in my life.

February was also the month of the Aurora Leadership Institute at Thredbo for which I won the ALIA Aurora Scholarship to attend. The five days was such a life changing event for me in so many ways. I couldn't give it justice here in a few sentences.

March was busy at work at the beginning of the month as my manager was away but after that it kind of became quite dull. I can't really remember what else I did that month.

In April I became more disillusioned at work. As my job is quite project oriented, without any projects to keep me occupied I can get quite bored.

May saw the return of my depression which I documented in my last post so I won't go into it again. We also selected a venue and date for the wedding, May 15 2010 at Walkabout Creek.

In June my grandmother died just before her 90th birthday. Again my last post goes into more detail. This was also when I realised that I do not think I have ever seen my mother cry. Even at her own mother's funeral I didn't see her cry. Is that a good thing or a bad thing I wonder? What I do know is I certainly make up for her in the crying stakes, I can cry at the drop of a hat.

July was another month where I can't remember what happened. I hope there was nothing memorable. Oh I just remembered, I finally went to Gold Class for the first time to see that latest Harry Potter movie. That just made me want reclining lounge chairs at home even more.

In August, Aaron and I went to Townsville for a week and half to stay with friends who live there. It was a good opportunity to show Aaron things from my childhood as we lived there for 2 1/2 years when I was in primary school. The trip also made me realise that I could never do a major house renovation. I love watching it on TV, and don't mind doing a little bit of painting etc but not major renovations ourselves. Our friends were finishing the renovations on one house to rent out before they started working on their new house which needs a lot, and I mean a lot of work done to it. For one thing, the upstairs toilet is by itself in the corner of the second bedroom, no door to it nothing, just this one large bedroom with a toilet in the corner. Plus they were doing almost all of the work themselves. Maybe for some, just not me, and thankfully not Aaron either. As it was Aaron's birthday we spent a few days relaxing on Magnetic Island which was lovely.

September turned out to be quite busy. I attended (some of) the ICML medical librarianship conference in Brisbane. The standard of these presentations were much higher than at Information Online which was good. I was also able to catch up with some of my friends from Aurora who came up for the conference. In particular I spent a lovely evening catching up with Katrina and getting to her know a bit better.

In September I also started to exercise more. Firstly I did a boot camp organised by my local Fernwood gym. For 8 weeks or so I attended 2 x 1 hourly group sessions of which some were held outside. Apart from the amount of running involved (I am not a runner) I did enjoy it and it has helped me to meet new people at the gym. Previously I kept mostly to myself and only really chatted to the staff. Now I have others to chat to.

Aaron and I also decided to try out a tandem bike to see if it would work for us (they involve a fair amount of trust and communication to ride successfully). Anyway we borrowed a friends tandem and did several decent length rides on it, eg Corinda to Chermside, Chermisde to Scarborough and back, and decided we liked it enough to buy our own (thanks to my decent tax refund). Unfortunately since we bought our own we have only ridden it a few times as I am a weather wuss and am put off by the hot weather. I'm sure though when it cools down again, a rides will pick up again.

In September I also ordered my wedding dress. I had found it back in July but needed sometime to think about it, mainly just to confirm that just because it ticked all my boxes, it was 'the one'. I took my future mother-in-law with me when I ordered it and she gave me her seal of approval, "I could marry her son in that dress". I also rang my Mum while trying it on to include her in the occasion.

October was another big month. I went to my first Information Architecture conference in Sydney, OZIA 2009. I have now completed 2 years of my Masters in Information Architecture and had been looking at other IA conferences earlier in the year but I didn't know if I was át the right point' in my career transition to attend a conference. But when the opportunity came up to apply for a free registration for IA students I jumped at the chance, even though it did mean paying for last minute flights and accommodation. It was worth it. The conference gave me the affirmation I needed to know that I was heading into the right new career path. Plus I forced myself to attend a pre-conference social event to meet people, which I did and I then had people to hang out with throughout the 2 days of the conference. These are just as nice as librarians and I keep in touch though the wonders of Twitter.

In October I also started driving lessons. I thought I had better start soon, or else my goal to get my license before I am 35 would slip away just like the goal to get it before my 30th. My driving instructor is a nice patient man. I have had about 12 lessons so far and still no crashes. He has had to grab the steering wheel a couple of times though. I think I will leave the details to a separate post.

A new lady started at work in October which was great as I had been covering her part-time position since the previous person had left months before. That in itself was great, but more than that is the amount of stuff we have in common. She lived in Murgon for a while, where my parents are and where I finished high school, she also lived in Townsville, knows about scrapbooking stuff, loves similar books to me especially Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, the Babysitters Club (all my faves growing up) and Freya North (my fave chick lit author). But what I like most is that I am no longer the youngest at work. After being the youngest by approx. 15 years for over 3 years, it is great to have another young person to work with. It is a pity she only works part-time.

November was mostly spent studying. I was doing an IT subject Systems Analysis, which initially I had lowered my mark expectations for (as I do with my IT subjects as I tend not to do as well at those as I do the library subjects). This semester, however we had podcasts of the lectures (as it was run internally as well as for distance students) which I believe made a lot of difference in the way I studied and why I got a HD for the subject. For a start you get the extra information from the lecturer like hits and tips for assignments and exams that you do not normally get as a distance student, but what I think really helped, was the repetition of the subject material. At the beginning of each of the lectures, the lecturer would go over what was covered last week, and also explained more how all of the topic fitted together. It is this that I miss most as a distance student. Hopefully I will get more podcasts of lectures in the future.

In December I was quite busy at work again as I have 3 projects on the go (now 4). I was glad for our compulsory closure between Christmas and New Year but still didn't feel as relaxed and refreshed as I'd hoped back at work.

I was going to reflect on my Christmas but I have just realised the time (nearly 11pm) so I think it is off to bed for me and that will have to be a new post sometime soon.

Good Intentions

Yes well my plan of completing the SLQ Licence 2 Test Drive learning program didn't fair so well. In fact is was quite dismal. I think I only got up to Week 2. I had planned to do the program at home but the last few months have been quite a rollercoaster of emotions for me.
Firstly, at the beginning of May I suffered from another bout of depression. It is something I have struggled with over the last decade or so and I thought I had in under control. I guess I have to listen to my body and mind a bit more closely. I did get help early which was good and meant I was feeling better quite quickly.

Also, last month my grandmother, my mother's mother, my only remaining grandparent died, just 2 weeks shy of her 90th birthday. It was a bit of a shock as she wasn't specifically ill or anything but she had deteriorated over the last 7 months or so and had given up the will to live. She wasn't eating well and spent most of her time in her nursing home room. She was a wonderful woman who gave the most warm cuddles. She was also very stubborn and so when she set in her mind that she didn't want to live to 90 she achieved it.

But it hasn't all been doom and gloom for me over the last few months. I became an Aunt for the 3rd time when Aaron's sister Zoe had her 3rd son and the end of May. She now has 3 boys under 6. I do not know how she copes. 1 child will be all that I will have I think. It has been nice being an Aunty and getting to know babies and children. Before I met Aaron I had very little to do with babies and young children. I am the youngest child, the youngest grandchild on both sides of my family and even then I didn't grow up near my cousins anyway. All of my friends from school that have had children do not live in Brisbane, and none of my city friends had had children before then. Anyway, needless to say I was very nervous around the boys at first but now I have no trouble. It is still good to give them back at the end of the day though.

Well, I didn't expect all that to flow out when I started this post but that's okay. This blog is meant to be an outlet for my stream of consciousness anyway.
This photo is of me in Aunty mode.

Blog Updated

I have just imported the content from my old blog, Rachel's Ramblings into this blog so it is now all in the one place. Rachel's Ramblings was predominantly created for our overseas trip in 2007 so if you feel like reading about our travel adventures you can now do so in Library Junkie.

Technical Difficulties

The photos didn't load properly in my last post so here they are now.

The mosaic is of some of the libraries I visited on my overseas trip in 2007. As a library junkie I couldn't help myself.

Online Photo Sharing

I have just finished week 2 of the Licence 2 Test Drive program. I am already familiar with Flickr and have had a pro account for almost a year now. I started using Flickr about the New Librarians Sysmposium 3 in Sydney in 2006 to share my photos with the other participants. A friend of mine in Sydney introduced me to Flickr after she had a baby a couple of years ago. It has been a great way to see the way her son has grown up as we don't get to catch up in person that often. I am also in the process of adding photos from the overseas trip Aaron & I took in 2007. We took over 10,500 photos which I have culled down to about 630 which I am putting on Flickr. I am about 1/3 of the way there. I will finish it one day.

I love photos and photography so it was great to check out some of the other sites mentioned, Photobucket, Smugmug and Snapfish. I had been to Snapfish before when I was planning to create a calendar for someone as a christmas present. However time ran out and I never did create it. I will go back and do it sometime.

One of the things I love about photos online nowadays is all of the things you can do with them. I love Big Huge Labs and the fact that it is linked to Flickr is great. I created the following 2 images from their in a matter of minutes. I could spend some much time at that site if I had the time and creativeness to do so.

Why I am a library junkie?

I thought I would explain the meaning of my blog name. I am a library junkie. I have loved libraries all of my life. I can still remember the libraries I went to as a child at Blaxland, Aitkenvale, Richmond and Wondai. I love books and I love information. I always used to, and still do to some extent, give articles etc to my friends and family about things they were interested in. Now I suppose it is more just forwarding on URLs but it is the same principle of sharing information. That is the reason I became I librarian to share information.

I also love library paraphenalia, books, pens, other vendor stuff, movies about librarians, I love it all. I have old info science textbooks and even a copy of the 10th abridged edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification that I picked up from a Lifeline Bookfest. I have t-shirts, caps and even a golf umbrella from vendors. I have had the golf umbrella for a few years sitting in a box at work, (which I had moved with me from my previous library) and I had forgotten all about it until this week. It was very handy going home from work yesterday in the pouring rain.

In my first paid library job, the first time I answered a reference question on my own, I was so excited I went to the back of the library in the staff area and jumped up and down with joy. I was so excited and I knew that I was in the right profession.

New Beginnings

This is the first post of my new blog, Library Junkie. I have wanted to blog more for awhile but there has been a few things stopping me. When I saw I had the opportunity to take part in SLQ's Licence 2 Test Drive I thought it was the perfect opportunity to begin my new blogging adventure.

I am a huge advocate of the library profession learning about Web 2.0. A colleague and I even created our own Web 2.0 program (Web 2.0: what health libraries need to know) for our library staff last year which you can read all about in the paper we presented at last years New Librarians Symposium. So you may wonder why then I am doing SLQ's Licence 2 Test Drive if I have already created my own Learning 2.0 program. Firstly, as I mentioned above, I want to start blogging more and see this as a great way to get me going; secondly, the 2 programs are different, although both are based on the original Learning 2.0 program created by the wonderful Helene Blowers the program my colleague Amanda and I created was specifically health-focused and looked at different tools; and thirdly, creating a program and particpating in one are totally different things. Although we had to try most of our activities when we created our step-by-step instructions, time restrictions meant we didn't have too much to actually play with the tools, and that is what I am really looking forward to now. My favourite quote regarding learning about Web 2.0 and technology in general is by Meredith Farkas. She says ‘people need to learn how to learn about new technologies without having to ask other people for help all the time’. I think this is one of the main stumbling blocks when it comes to Web 2.0 in libraries. Some people just don't see playing as learning.