Voracious Vs Vulnerable

A few months into blogging and my unpublished list grows and grows. I get a feeling for a blog, then an idea fills in the spaces and I start tap tap tapping away enthusiastically. It flows and flows, from my brain to my fingers to the page. Baring my soul. Revealing my life away from cyberspace. Stripping away layers and layers of me, for once you peel away the surface, it’s the inner bits that hold all the passion. The passion gets me writing.

And then I stop. Reread what’s written. Wonder just who reads this blog amongst the millions out there. Ponder on how much of ‘me’ the virtual world needs put out there, among the dotsam and netsom. The blush rising up my cheeks is usually a good indicator I’ve gone one layer or more too deep. Too too much. It happens in real life too, but it’s teary eyes that indicate my vulnerability then, much to my horror.

Once again, my voracious need to communicate, in whatever medium suits, comes into direct conflict with my urge to lurk in the shadows. To “not let the bastards see your pain”. Though who these bastards are and why them seeing my pain would be so awful remains a mystery to me. Somedays I think this is paranoia, other days it feels utterly sensible. Nurture versus nature? Hormonal rushes? Or good old common sense?

I’ve always thought (hoped!) there’s a book to be written hiding inside of me. In my brain sits a tiny 1950’s style stenographer, taking notes and organising the information flowing in and out, taking details of my phone calls, sorting the wheat from the chaff, all the while managing to look as fabulous at the end of the day as she did in the morning (like I can never manage). What a huge job! If there is ever a book, she’ll get thanked first.

If only the battle between voracious versus vulnerable within ends with a white flag swung by both sides.

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Doing the Dewey

So the next Very Important Thing I have on my list, besides feeding the family, doing the school run, making sure they all have clean clothes…oh gawds I’m putting myself to sleep… feeding the pups and doing my actual homework, ya know, the usual, mundane but no less worthy than the extraordinary, realities of life as I know it, is – memorising the Dewey Decimal Classifications. I’ve gotta tell y’all, I am ridiculously excited about this!

Excited enough that I raced home from class and printed off a list of the Dewey Decimal System (by tens) from http:/library.mtsu.edu/dewey/dewey.htm and popped it on our kitchen table, which seems to be the hub of our home (for me, the rest of the family merely park there for food or to place notes from school requesting money). Thus I had no choice but to notice the Dewey list. Genius idea! Every time I walked past it (about a hundred times in one afternoon/evening), I’d work on a mnemonic to help me memorise the tens.

As a long time book and information lover slash library lingerer, I figured I’d have this all important for Librarians-to-be list stored to memory quicksticks. From the very first moment I stepped into a library I’ve been drawn to the 100’s – Metaphysics, Epistemology, Paranormal, Philosophical, Logic, Ethics, Ancient, Medieval, Oriental and Modern Western Philosophy’s. The 460’s take my fancy every time I decide I really should learn Spanish (that’s once every five years or so, so far, ugh, ¿por qué hago esto a mí mismo?!?).

Ever since my brood discovered Masterchef et al, I’ve been hanging out in the 640’s, desperately searching for something that will “plate well” and be loaded with hidden healthfulness, for a family cannot live on croquembouche and macarons alone, no matter what the kids say! Then there are the 700’s – for me, the kids and my sanity. Ooh, it’s school holidays for the next six weeks? Let’s go borrow some craft books from the library to keep us entertained. And sane. Did I mention that?

And don’t get me started on the fiction stacks, or as I call them, “My Idea of Heaven”.

I thought it would be a cinch to pop the Dewey Decimal Classification’s in my memory. But of course it isn’t; I wouldn’t be studying Library and Information Services at all if it was that simple. But my brain loves mnemonics so I’m sure it won’t take long before it will be selected and ordered in my brain. Then it will be acquired, accessioned, catalogued, end processed and shelved in, you guessed it, my brain. Perhaps also in the 020’s, 160’s, 370’s, 410’s and perhaps the 650’s (I’ll look into that).
I absolutely love big-thinking-able-to-make-mnemonics-and-memorise-things brains, they are THE coolest thing about being a human being.

In case you’re wondering, here’s where I’m at on my mnemonic Dewey Decimal tens – “General Phil Chology is Religious about Social Sciences and Language”. Which translates out of my brain into the world as – Generalities – 000; Philosophy and Psychology – 100; Religion – 200; Social Sciences – 300; Language – 400.

Only six more to go…

Inspired #1

“What a week!”, our heroine exclaims early Tuesday morning.

I don’t bother to point out that Tuesday will never be the end of any week. Tuesday can sometimes be a start. It can, maybe, be the beginning of a week, after a public holiday, but not ever is it anywhere close to the end of a week.
You do this for people you love, you hold your thought. You listen and wait for the words to unfold.

“So many endings and beginnings!”
Everything said with an exclamation at the end.
I wait to hear some more.

“It’s all so exciting! And a little sad!”
I wait again. Anything I have to say can wait too.

“I can’t wait for it to begin!”
I hesitate. And then wait some more. I love a good story, a happy beginning, the excitement and newness of it all. So I remain, waiting.

And I’m thinking, while waiting, happy endings are never a guarantee my love. No life can be assured of the grand finale we dream of before it occurs.

Happy beginnings? Well, who wouldn’t want to start any adventure, or any day, like that?

I wait. And I listen.

Where It’s At – Reflecting on Social Media and Libraries

Cartoon by Tom Gauld @ myjetpack.tumblr.com/

Cartoon by Tom Gauld @ myjetpack.tumblr.com/

Reflecting on our Social Media unit and how libraries are embracing the phenomena across so many platforms ~ to sum it up in a word; interesting. It’s one of my favourite words, even the way the word rolls off the tongue is, well, interesting! I love being interested. I’d like ‘Always interested’ to be the thing I am remembered for, the words engraved onto my headstone, the final word on me and from me. I can think of no higher honour to bestow upon a human, an event, a situation, a thing, a life, than to think it interesting. There is just so much to be interested in in this world. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed our journey through Social Media and how it can be utilised by libraries to reach new patrons. Growing up in Australia – such a large and, except for the coastlines, a mostly desolate country, way down the bottom of the world – every now and again a story would appear on TV or in the paper about children living far from the rest of us, on cattle stations, or huge farms, 100’s of kilometres from their neighbours, 1000’s of kilometres from me. I was always a little heartbroken for these outback kids who couldn’t get to libraries, though the thought of school being held in your own house, over a CB radio was something I envied. But to not ever be able to get to a library? How awful for those kids! The sensitive (and perhaps overly empathetic) child I once was need not have worried and fretted quite so much. Since my childhood,  the big old world wide web has brought us all a little closer. It has brought libraries closer. Books and information are but a few clicks away for a substantial amount of us, here in our lucky country.

The many different social medias that libraries use to connect with users did not really surprise me. The fact that I hadn’t thought to find them, however, astounded me! I’m a book lover, a library lingerer, an information junkie. I have, and frequently use, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’ve used YouTube for years, I’ve looked at a gazillion cake photos on Flickr…why had I never thought to add or search for libraries on any of these sites until this year? It’s a ponder-full question, one that will bug me until life gives me a heap of new ‘whys’ to consider and wrack my mind over. My brain likes a good hard think. This unit certainly provided that, in abundance.

I found Facebook and Twitter to be my favourite social media platforms to connect with libraries, perhaps because I am familiar (and then some!) with them both? Instagram is currently my favourite way to connect with the social media world, though that could change in a heartbeat. I’m a flitter-er like that, depending on how busy my Mum-ing, working, studying life is at any given moment; Instagram is ideal for now, for a quick squizz, a small chat, a double tap to show you like what you see and thankyaverymuch, that’s all folks. I delve in and out of Facebook, deactivating often because it is waay too easy for me to spend every spare moment I have lurking catching up with what’s happening to my fb friends, and then wasting time wondering why I’m not having quite as much fun as my online friends are, rather than being present and living my own life, right now. There is even a name for this 21st century affliction – FOMO, as in, fear of missing out. And everyone’s life looks fabulous on Facebook, it really is a modern day album of all our best moments. Adding libraries to your newsfeed is a sure fire way to ease some of that FOMO, fo’ sure.

YouTube was fun, I didn’t really expect it to be, having used it for years as merely a music source and nothing more. My sons LOVE YouTube, they would quite happily spend all of their weekends on the site if I let them. After researching libraries and YouTube though, I’d happily spend all weekend on there too, if I could. But I can’t. So I won’t. Parents setting good examples to kids and all that stuff…I’ve bookmarked a huge amount of pages though, for that rainy day in the future when time is mine again, yaknow…retirement.

All in all, social media is a way for libraries to connect with current patrons, possible patrons and future patrons, in ways that have never been available to us before. I believe it is a necessary channel of communication if libraries are to maintain their relevance in this century. Libraries are information centres. The way forward for libraries is to embrace the information highway. Social media is the guaranteed way to ensure maximum publicity for minimum cost. And what’s not to like about that?