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living in New South Wales, Australia, working in a library in Canberra, interested in legal and business research
Recent Activity
One of the most important things I read in 2021 was Adam Grant’s article in the New York Times, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing.” I listened to numerous discussions of it in various podcasts... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2022 at
I never announced the most recent hiatus, it just kind of happened. Work was busy in the second half of 2019 and it became increasingly difficult to find a space for work-related blogging. The "Black Summer" bushfires of the Australian... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2021 at
Last week, Kathryn Greenhill asked, “Where have all the bloggers gone?” It was a short but compelling post. It also got me thinking about this issue. To start with, we (readers and writers of the Biblioblogosphere) shouldn’t feel that the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2019 at
I don't think it would be controversial if I were to say that many politicians, regardless of party or policy, have developed a reputation of being less than truthful in their public statements. This is especially when campaigning for office.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2019 at
This has been a difficult post to write. Even now I'm not quite sure if it's a wise thing for me to post. If it's a mistake, then I think it's a mistake which I need to make. I think... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at
This post is about special libraries. It's the library sector where I am currently working. For this reason, it is dear to my heart. Like any type of job, it has its good points and bad points, but I think... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2018 at
I like the month of June. I like that some library-type bloggers are doing #blogjune The one time I tried blogjune, I found it very rewarding- the increased connection with my peers, being challenged to do more. On the other... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at
*waves back* It's great to be back. Kudos to you for helping to keep the flame alive during the lean years.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2018 on New blogging, new rules at
1 reply
I've recently been thinking about Standards. Standards, also known Standards Documents or Technical Standards. Those documents designated with strange codes such ISO, BS, AS, NZS, ASTM, EN, UL and so many other word combinations. This post is going to be... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at
One of the other things which contributed to the end of my blogging last time was a stifling self-censorship. It was a continual monkey on my back and made me second guess everything I wrote. I've been thinking about how... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at
I've just updated my blog design and have changed a few elements, such as adding a new blog roll. It seems like years since I've ever heard this word said or written, but I want to experiment with bringing it... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at
I'm back working in libraries again. It wasn't something which I expected, but an unexpected conjunction of events happened, and here I am! Absence has made the heart grow fonder. I'm very happy about this change. In the years before... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at
Today the explodedlibrary celebrates an anniversary – it is eleven years and one month old. It reminds me of eleventy-one, one of my favourite fictional numbers. I also think it’s a good day to call it quits. This blog has... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2013 at
It's an understatement to say that Google is a rich and powerful company on the internet. Google is reputed to be a very smart company. Scrapping the Google Reader seems to be a public declaration that the days of blogging... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2013 at
[Photo credit: tfangel on flickr, Creative Commons License] One of my hobbies outside of blogging is gaming. It goes way back for me, from ancient computer games like Wizardry and Ultima III to online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2013 at
There was a period of time when I was quite the Apple fan boy. I have bought Apple computers exclusively since 2001. I have grown up with Apple computers, starting with an Apple 2+ and then the first Macintosh computers.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at
A year ago, I was at the heart of Australian law librarianship when I assisted with the 2011 national conference in Canberra. This year, not only didn’t I attend for the first time in four years, but I didn’t even... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2012 at
Thank you :) You make some very cogent points. I also think that it's not just about the technology but how it's used. For example, eBook readers. They could be used to disjoin novels due to our shortening attention span, but I find myself reading a good number of long 19th century novels on them.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2012 on ten years ago at
1 reply
Thank you! It's lovely to hear from you. I'd really like to visit the US again, but can't see it happening until 2014.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2012 on ten years ago at
1 reply
Handwritten version of this post It's been ten years since I started blogging. It wasn't this blog and I didn't call it blogging at first, but that's what it was. I was writing directly online, where anyone could read my... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2012 at
really reading One of the most annoying annoying thing anyone can say to a librarian is this: “Oh, so you work in a library? That’s great, it must be really nice to be able to spend your whole day reading.”... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2012 at
really reading One of the most annoying annoying thing anyone can say to a librarian is this: “Oh, so you work in a library? That’s great, it must be really nice to be able to spend your whole day reading.”... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2012 at
Hi Fran, thanks for the link to AIIP! The name of this association rings a vague bell, but it's really good to be reminded about it. Now about this: "what can a librarian do that someone with a Masters or more in an area can't?" It's a very interesting question. I've seen a trend happening in Canberra where some government departments are having a hard time filling vacant library positions with experienced librarians, and so they broaden the required qualification so that law graduates or people with a Masters can apply. Whether this is a good or idea really depends on the people who they select. But I do think, and maybe this is just my library-land bias, that somebody with a Masters may know an amazing amount about the area they specialize in, but they could really struggle with some of the left-field questions which people bring to their libraries. I think that strong generalist research skills is what good librarians bring to the table.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2012 on the path not taken at
1 reply
Thank you for both of these comments. I should emphasize that this is not necessarily a permanent change, and it’s still not definitely happening yet :) Cindy: My perspective as someone working in government libraries is that we may be protected from the outsourcing of library services in the short term, but we are not immune. After all, in the large government agency where I’m currently working, many HR and IT functions have been outsourced (resulting in poorer service - from my perspective). Because of this I look at the outsourcing developments in overseas firms with some trepidation. It’s only a matter of time before a major Australian firm tries this. I worry that it could be one of those penny-wise and pound-foolish decisions. If there is a proposal to reduce a firm’s research costs by x% - this may result in poorer research, with less local jurisdictional knowledge and changing to a purely transactional model (as opposed to developing a strong relationship with our clients so we will know that they need before they even ask us). But how can these drawbacks can quantified into dollars? Also, outsourcing is going against another trend I’ve seen lately in government where librarians get a seat at the table in major research projects. It seems more efficient to have us involved at the outset, than to bring us in at the last minute. On the other hand, I must confess I have daydreamed about providing research and current awareness services on a freelance basis. But I couldn’t imagine that working without accommodating online licensing from the 3 main legal publishers - and I can’t see them being very accommodating to sole traders or small operations. The publishers may be willing to make a deal with the larger international players - which is the face of outsourcing which is most threatening to me. I am worried that it’s in the interests of the larger players to commodify the work of librarians, marginalizing less quantifiable things such as local jurisdictional knowledge, quality, and strengthening ongoing relationships with our clients.
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2011 on the path not taken at
1 reply
I’ve been fortunate to work as a librarian in libraries for most of my career. There have been three exceptions, and they corresponded with particular transitional moments in my life. [If you’re curious about the three exceptions] Now I’m seriously... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2011 at