Monday, November 3, 2008

tango in black

tango in black
Originally uploaded by zabara_tango

Attenti al gatto!

Here at last, made it despite the derision of collegues who managed to speed through the 'things' in record time - you know who you are.
Anticipation / frustration / paranoia / sleepless nights
accompanied by demented tango music...
Where is this going?
Thanks to those who helped me brave the unknown. I have learned a lot and hope to carry on, maybe delving a little bit deeper into that other world.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Socialising with Librarians

After much reading and talking and thinking about whether libraries should have a presence on social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook etc., I find myself agreeing with many others: yes it probably is a good idea as a way of engaging potential library users, and not necessarily only teenagers. The real test would be whether it actually worked in the long term. Do our young people, for example , want a librarian intruding on their social space?
Maybe this would be a great opportunity to show the community what libraries and the people who work in them are really capable of ! (we don't all wear cardigans and sensible shoes ,or do we?)
It's pretty obvious that simply having a presence is just the start. Success would depend on the way it was managed and made interesting and relevant.
Of course our library is a community library not an academic one and our 'patrons' are far more diverse: babies to seniors, many different cultures and many different expectations of what we can and should be offering them. Sure, most people can get all the information they need and more from the Web. We can offer them what? Real people, real conversations, the pleasure of books, the pleasure of just 'browsing', access to technology, our experience and care and a safe place to just be yourself.

The Silhouette Cat
Originally uploaded by HiggySTFC

Authenticity / Ambiguity / Anonymity

I admit I have an aversion to social networking. I had a look around Bebo, Myspace and Facebook and obviously it is very popular, but I just can't go there. I like to see my friends and family in person and if they're far away I enjoy talking on the phone! I like to see the colour of peoples' eyes and hearing the sound of their voice.
The part that I have trouble with is the need for a persona to protect one's true identity. (Trying to stay 'in character' for the purposes of 23 Things has been amusing but I wouldn't want to do it long term)
The other disturbing aspect is that you can't just cancel your membership or erase your profile, it appears you are there forever. No thanks.

Puss in Boots

Is this a classic? Google Book Search lead me to the author Charles Perrault and the story of Puss in Boots in French and English. Then I went to Project Gutenberg and found his collection of stories in French available to be downloaded in several formats. It was very quick and easy to find. Also the 'audiobook' was available in 'human-voice' (as opposed to cat-voice?!)
Reading about ebooks in general, yes it seems a wonderful thing. (You don't need to pack all those heavy books into your bag when travelling?)Interesting that publishers are using the ebook thing to gauge how much interest there is in a new manuscript before actually publishing it.
'But what about the book as object ?', said my one friend.
for some reason this made me think about collections of letters, my own past correspondence as well as published collections and what the ebook version of these could be? Convenience comes at a cost. Discovering a bundle of love letters or inheriting Nonna's handwritten recipe book is something you just can't 'digitize '. Would you want to?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

pasta con le sarde a mare

The only way I can explain podcast is a radio show that you can listen to anytime you like. Podcastpickle or whatever it is called is doing my furry little head in. Ditto Podnova which is unable to find anything I click on. I heard about this podcast elsewhere so am including it for sentimental reasons:
I like the idea of anyone being able to create and broadcast their own 'show', and being able to listen to interesting things while out and about. Maybe I should replace the rather uninteresting feeds I have subscribed to with podcasts!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Where have I been? I love this! I have been wallowing in YouTube. If you don't get around much anymore this is great. I even found my favorite tango from 'Moulin Rouge', and of course this one featuring the inimitable 'Gatto con gli Stivali'. No wonder this site is so popular, but on the subject of libraries having a presence on this site... well, how can you compete with Banderas?Mmmm.

Unexpected pleasures


At last, I actually recognised some names of sites! As I already have accounts with several of them I decided to save myself for later and just browse some that were strange to me. The travel sites appealed: easy to use and fun to plan a virtual world tour. Also lots of hotel recommendations and potential comments from fellow travellers if you sign up.
Having some fun discussing the pros and cons of wikis, blogs, ebooks etc. with non-library friends (something we hardly ever mentioned before!) Don't feel quite so lost, feel like this tango is actually coming together now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

while you were gone

Originally uploaded by RaeColeman


I tried to write this post using Zoho Writer but it froze when I tried to 'insert emotions', not a good sign... otherwise it seems like a useful facility for some. I have to keep moving on so maybe it will be one of those sites to revisit later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sleep is the new Black

Rollyo was easy to understand and to use. I didn't look at anyone else's searchrolls but no doubt that would be ? Why would I want anyone to look at mine, I'm already paranoid about the wiki thing, and the Library thing etc. Can this all be deleted when we're finished? Apparently not. So here it is: I suppose it would be a time saver at work as one could avoid having to sift through lots of irrelevant stuff. I read in the paper some time ago that people who work with computers spend up to a third of their working day looking at non-work related websites.(Everyone else just stays up all night?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Black Cat
Originally uploaded by DenisBouchard
I have found Blackle which is the new energy saving Google according to Vogue magazine. It seems that having a black screen saves more energy than white.So what it doesn't have all the features of Google, it just looks so much better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Library Thing

Another site that I hope to spend some time on when I find some. Very easy to use and I'm sure very appealing to most compulsive readers (like me).
My list is at:
(It was good to find books in their original language as well as in translation.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

"I Wanna Be Sedated"

As I already have a mob name, I was thrilled to be given a Ramones name, you guessed it: Cicci Ramone!

Cat Scratch Fever

That was easier than I thought, playing in the communal sandpit. Almost too easy and very tempting to subvert other participants' comments. I suppose that is why some wikis are closed down due to vandalism etc.Definitely not something enjoyable for controlling types as you never know what some other person is going to do with your precious contribution, but at the same time it could be a genuinely(?) collaborative experience in the true spirit of anarchism.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thinking in a hurry

Well, I've read as much as I could manage about Wikis in Libraries and watched the video, which was fun because it was mute.
Wikis are a great idea and I would love to see them used more in our Library, the obvious place to start would be with the 'young adults' who could have their own wiki with book reviews and homework tips and whatever else they're interested in.
As for the rest of us, the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dream Library

Reading these perspectives on the future of libraries (and librarians) was really encouraging and made me feel part of something potentially very interesting and rewarding. I especially enjoyed the article by Dr. Wendy Schultz.
The role of librarians is expanding rather than disappearing: they are no longer the gate keepers guarding information, but tour guides ,trainers and VR info coaches.
I love the idea of the 'knowledge spa', being pampered by ideas in a wonderfully quiet and comforting sanctuary.
After reading in a school leavers career information booklet that being a Librarian was not recommended-(as it was soon to be superceded by technology) and after being told that really I was not much more than a checkout operator (and paid accordingly!), it was absolute bliss to read a totally different view of the future.
I wonder if the designers of the new Birkenhead Library have taken care to Future Proof the building: offering plenty of computer access for those without facilities at home as well as a quiet space for those who need to escape the technohustle of modern life.

gatto tango

Tried to find something about Tango in New Zealand and came up with nothing but completely irrelevant information.Maybe Technorati isn't the place for us? Not really attractive, and when I looked for Library Web 2.0 Learning I found some very boring blogs. Ours look like works of art in comparison. Getting tired of all the American content. The most 'Popular Blogs' made me smile: Jennifer Garner? at number 5? What more can I say? Miaow.
(If I claim my blog does that prevent someone else claiming it?And is tagging one's posts with Technorati generally motivated by wanting to sell something?)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

mind sharing

'Peering into someone else's filing cabinet' , I suppose that might be fun? Possibly useful as a researching tool, but definitely useful as a personal organiser of interesting information. The social network aspect is intriguing, but also fatal to those of us with addictive personalities.
Is mind sharing related to the (Vulcan) mind meld? Maybe not.


Originally uploaded by Osvaldo


Originally uploaded by A30_Tsitika

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

" and I don't want to miss a thing..."

My search is over for the moment, I have subscribed to a feed that satisfies almost all of my passions.It's even in English and Spanish. All I need now is the soundtrack to go with it.
I am enjoying just browsing and subscribing to sites that look interesting or potentially useful, then when I have a spare hour or so, I can catch up with what is happening out there, somewhere.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

infobia / infolust

The fear of not having enough information or of having too much? Or the overwhelming desire for more information?
Creating a bloglines account and subscribing to lots of newsfeeds was easy. It was interesting to see what I ended up with. Quite a few advertisements masquerading as news. And obviously American content. (Mail-order dancing shoes was an unexpected bonus!)Now my mission is to narrow my search.
I must agree with our friend Lupi, there is something missing when accessing information like this, the feel of the paper, the pages turning, the glossy photographs, the perfume emanating from those expensive fashion magazines...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Playing Solitaire

I was intrigued to discover the same person who took the photos I used in the music mosaic visited NZ recently and photographed another of my 'secret' passions: Kariotahi Beach. I suppose this is one of the main attractions of sites where everyone shares their experiences, visual and otherwise.
One thing leads to another.
You start to feel connected .
It's hard not to become too personally 'involved' in this journey. To begin with I was infuriated with the jargon associated with anything Web-related (mashup? splogs? bleader? blook?)
I mean, who makes this stuff up?And I resented the time it took trying to navigate through the maze. Now I'm almost enjoying it. It's strangely pleasurable -are we all just voyeurs and exhibitionists? (But I do miss caterwauling on the rooftops with my mates.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

La Bella Figura

Flickr, I can't stop looking at you.
You entice me, you amuse me, you frustrate me.
And just when I think I have you all figured out, you slip effortlessly out of my grasp and

Saturday, August 2, 2008

tango in black
Originally uploaded by zabara_tango

tango lesson

I am dancing a very slow and difficult tango with a complete stranger. Completing each exercise is time-consuming and physically and mentally demanding. I know that in time we will understand all the convoluted steps , it just takes a lot of practice!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quiet Please

...and another thing I was wondering lately,

I've been reading about someone who took part in a 40 day silent retreat in South America where she had gone to study Spanish...her teacher advised her to try telepathy.
I'm feeling a bit like that at the moment.
Reading other blogs is reassuring, fascinating and sometimes a bit creepy. Are you really out there? Are you for real or are you making it all up? Will I be just another one to add to your list,
just another stitch in the knitting?