Tag Archives: libraries

Puke Ariki

I’m away on holiday with random access to the internets.

Whenever I am away – whether on holiday or for work, I always do my best to check out the library and/or heritage establishment/museum. An occupational hazard I suspect, as I know plenty librarians, or other GLAM sector workers who do the same thing.

Partly, it’s probably due to our passion for our sector – partly it’s probably due to our natural curiosity that seems to be an inherent part of our personalities.

In 2010 I was lucky enough to win a LIANZA scholarship to attend the National Digital Forum where I had dinner one night with a bunch of lovely people from Puke Ariki. I’ve really longed to visit Puke Ariki ever since!

I finally got my chance to during this holiday, as we’d opted to overnight in New Plymouth to break our trip up on our way down to our holiday on the Kapiti Coast.

We had also planned to spend part of the time we were there on the beach – however, New Plymouth turned on some particularly foul unseasonal weather for us, so we got to spend much more time having a leisurely look around.

We took a tour of the whole library. I really loved the basement – where the teens area and children’s section was. The teens area was a lovely laid back area, with a couple of seats for reading, in front of a flatscreen TV playing music. The only thing missing from the area to complete the relaxed feel, was maybe a couple of bean bags!

The children’s area was bright and colourful with fake palm trees with colourful birds. There were a couple of teens chilling in this area, as well as a parent with a couple of littlies.

Taranaki Research Centre was naturally a place of interest for me – I enjoyed browsing through the local history collection for the Taranaki region. I spotted a couple of avid genealogists looking through birth, death and marriage fiche. I almost walked up to ask them if they needed any help (force of habit).

puke ariki children's area

Bright and colourful and welcoming,
the Puke Ariki children’s area

We went across airbridge to the Museum, and all had a ball. We each had a favourite part of the museum that we enjoyed. We all thought the Te Takapou Whaariki o Taranaki gallery was awesome – it was my husband’s favourite part of the museum. Taranaki Life was my favourite, and the girls thought the Surf gallery was dead cool.

I hadn’t had the forethought to let Twitter peeps from Puke Ariki know that I was coming, but I did walk around trying to see if I could recognise anyone from the memories I had of various avatars! Poor planning on my part because it’s always awesome meeting up with Tweeps IRL!



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“Library dystopian” type- blogs

I sometimes read “library dystopian” blogs. That is, people who blog about the end of librarianism (books, reference work, libraries etc), and I get really cross.

I came late to Librarianship. I had a career in design and print for 26 years before I needed a change, and chose librarianship.

I get cross on so many levels, when I read blogs/articles about the death of libraries. Yes, its happening to a large proportion of UK and US libraries. How can people be so stupid? I get indignant – why did those in the profession not stop it – did they not see the warning signs?

I have lots of family in the UK. A cousin tells me that they cut the acquisitions budget for Southend, Essex, Libraries for a number of years. As they weren’t renewing stock, books on shelves got older, customers stopped visiting. Then “they” chose the falling numbers of customers, to defend closing half of Southend’s Libraries.

How sad. This is a similar tale throughout the UK. Reducing budget leads to less footfall which leads to library closures.

Did my UK colleagues not protest quick enough? How can business people not realise that lack of investment leads to reduced usefulness of a service?

I don’t believe that libraries competition is technology (e-books, the internet etc) – history demonstrates that librarians and libraries are extremely good at adapting to customers needs. I think it is budget-creators who think that we can continually make do with less that are responsible.

I’m passionate about what I do. My family and I have also made huge commitments and sacrifice so I can study (personal back-story here), and also work in this industry. Selfishly, I’m concerned our sacrifice means nothing.

I worry that we may follow overseas trends – but really hope that New Zealand will learn from the mistakes that the UK and US have already made. After all, what will they do when the libraries have gone?

Inconceivable to me.




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Blogging #23mobilethings

I decided to join Australian and New Zealand librarians and other members of the library community to take part in the 23mobilethings challenge, so I have signed up with ANZ 23 mobile things.

Already an avid user of social media, I am hoping to explore how to use my cellphone (an iPhone 4) to use mobile apps that I don’t already use, or to learn different tips on the ones I use already.

The 23 mobile things are:

  1. Twitter
  2. Taking a photo with a mobile device: Instagram / Flickr app / Snapchat
  3. eMail on the move
  4. Maps and checking in
  5. Photos + Maps + Apps: Historypin / What was there / Sepia Town
  6. Video: YouTube and screencasts
  7. Communicate: Skype / Google Hangout
  8. Calendar
  9. QR codes
  10. Social reading: RSS / Flipboard / Feedly / Goodreads / Pocket
  11. Augmented reality: Layar
  12. Games: Angry Birds / Wordfeud
  13. Online identity: FaceBook and LinkedIn
  14. Curating: Pinterest / Scoop.it / Tumblr
  15. Adobe ID
  16. eBooks and eBook apps: Project Gutenberg / Kindle / Overdrive / Bluefire / Kobo, etc.
  17. Evernote and Zotero
  18. Productivity tools: Doodle / Remember the Milk / Hackpad / any.do / 30/30
  19. File sharing: Dropbox
  20. Music: last.fm / Spotify
  21. Voice interaction and recording
  22. eResources vendor apps
  23. Digital storytelling

I did start earlier with Twitter, but fell behind due to general busyness – so now I have some catching up to do – I think my library friends and colleagues are about 5 “things” ahead of me!

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Filed under #blogjune, ANZ23mthings, Professional development