Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Coming up for air

Have been off the air (blogging wise) for a few weeks - but I guess as this is a "web log" so I can legitimately record the following:
  • Finally found and employed new young adult librarian for YL (Yay!!). New grad all the way from Melbourne. Brave woman. Also refreshingly gung ho for libraries - just what we need.
  • Farewelled a valued staff member. Time to philosophize about the dynamics of a library team - comings and goings are inevitable, and are like small seismic shifts - it all settles down into a new pattern eventually - different, but still a beautiful thing.
  • In the upper echelons, lost our exec. manager. BIG seismic shift. Waiting for the dust to settle...
  • Looking forward to welcoming back other librarian from maternity leave. 3 librarians employed at same time (an historic event) plus fantastic team of library assistants - looking good for library services in near future.
  • On the boil - supporting 3 book groups, meet the teachers night at YL (tonight), adult event "Armchair Traveller" (also tonight), downhill run for YL e-zine project, recruiting a group of young people to undergo training in Dreamweaver and publish the zine, installing new "Stakka" units for CDs, preparing Library's case for Service Level Review, budget review. + working on circ, answering queries, troubleshooting computers etc etc

The many and varied duties of a real public librarian...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cutting up books! In the library! And it's OK!

1. N's altered book.

2. My altered book.

Most of the time the sound of scissors cutting paper is enough to send shivers of apprehension down the spines of library staff - so holding the "altered book" workshop in the library was a kind of pleasurable naughtiness for all concerned, especially me, the librarian, the preserver and keeper of books!

"Altered books" is a growing artform that sort of extended out of artists' books. The idea is that you take a book and alter it into something else - generally using arty tools like paint, collage etc. A great way to make a further use of those taxpayer-funded weeded ex-library books. Our teacher, Wolfie, actually managed to change a Mills and Boon romance into a fruit bat (inspired by the astonishing spectacle of thousands rising almost as one from the mangroves at dusk - a local attraction). My own effort was less ambitious but amazingly relaxing -I turned a children's story into a sort of inspirational piece of poetry by blacking out most of the words and just leaving a few enigmatic phrases on the page.

I thoroughly recommend it as a great extension activity for the library. It's a kind of devotional to books, honouring them and rebirthing them into something new.