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“Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.” – Bertolt Brecht

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It is now the end of the semester. And there are probable some of you wondering why my profiles pictures are of a creepy guy with glasses. This person is Bertolt Brecht, arguably one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century. I say arguably, because oddly enough, I can’t stand Brecht. This probably seems weird to you, because he is my profile pic, and I’ve even quoted him on my banner. I share a love/hate relationship with Brecht. I’ll come back to this at the end of this post.

This course has been interesting, fun and stimulating. I share a love/hate relationship it too. There are aspect of which I love, and those which I didn’t love so much. I’ll start with what I didn’t like, as to leave on a good note.

I’m not a blogger. I love to read blogs, I hate to write them. I tried a couple of times. I find blogs work best when you are passionate about the topic. Even when I tried to write on my passion, I still struggled writing a blog. As a non-blog writer, I found this course insanely tedious and challenging. However, I got through it. I’m here writing the final post. And I admit it could have been worse. The content has been interesting. And I certainly enjoyed the program and service reviews. I can’t really complain, I got to experience LittleBits, which without this course, I would have not be let in (thank you IFN614!). But it has not changed my opinion about blogs. Still love to read them, hate to write them.

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What I loved about this course however, was the assignments (said no one ever right?!). I really enjoyed the EOI and the Grant Application. I work in the world of theatre as a Production Designer, and I’m given a budget where I have produce a design that can be brought to life. This money doesn’t appear out of thin air (though that would be very theatrical), instead it is the hard work of general managers. They are constantly applying for grants in order to produce new pieces. I’ve never been directly responsible for a grant application, but I was aware of the process. No thanks to this course I have experienced that process, though I am slightly relieved knowing that it can’t be rejected. This course has provided me with an experience, I never thought I’d be able to do until the time was doomed upon me. Again thank you IFN614.

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And to Kate, you have been a wonderful teacher. I have enjoyed all your lectures, there is not one I haven’t enjoyed listening to on catch up, you have become part of my weekly routine. To all other teaching staff, you too have been great. The expectations for this course have been clear since the start. I have valued all your feedback. And lastly to my fellow student, I hope to see you (digitally of course) in 2017.

But what about Brecht! I hear you say. Brecht is like Shakespeare, if you strip back the work you find the beauty within it. When you add the man under the title, you get a collective sigh. I have met many people who love Brecht, but can never define why. In my mind they love the idea of Brecht, not Brecht. Therefore I hate Brecht, because I hate the idea of Brecht, but I love every aspect of his work.

I leave you with the quote:

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are

The information world is ever changing. This blog is here now, and will be for several weeks, but eventually, it will be gone, lost in a sea of data, only to be found in some distant time space continuum. This blog is the way it is now, it will not stay the way it is.

Quiet in the Library. I said QUIET!

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Back, several weeks ago, many people did First 5 Forever as program review. For this post I am also going to do a First 5 Forever program review, from a slightly different standpoint.

I happened to be in my local library, in the Junior section, looking for material for this post, when it was announced that “First 5 Forever Story Time will begin in the children’s area in a few minutes.” I looked around and realised that the Junior (children’s) area was very close to the public access terminals and the Non-fiction section, where study desks were. Now my local has rooms that can be booked out, and I assumed that First 5 Forever was done in them. How I was wrong.

I asked the librarian if I could observe the session and she said that I could join in if I wanted. I declined this offer. I positioned myself in view of the public access terminals and the study area, so I could get a good look at peoples reactions (my Anthropology major finally paying off).

The session started with classic songs like, 5 Little Ducks and Garlump Went the Little Green Frog. I looked around, no one seemed to be phased by the noise coming from the area. It was then I realised that most people had headphones in, and probably couldn’t hear what was going on anyway. A story was then read, it was called I Want My Hat Back. I found myself following along, enjoying myself. It had been a long time since I read a picture book.

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Then it was back to the songs. Only this time things got crazy! It all started with the Grand Old Duke of York. The kids all stood up and started singing and doing the actions. Then Heads and Shoulder Knees and Toes. This was done three times, slow medium and fast. This was where the real problems started, most children translated fast into loud. I looked around at the study space and computer area. Most people still weren’t batting an eyelid. A few, however had realised the noise. There was the one guy who noticed it, but was trying to ignore it. The older lady glaring at the children’s area with frustration and contempt and the one person who did complain (I found this out afterwards). Oh and don’t forget the song Dingle Dangle Scarecrow; “up jumped the scarecrow and shouted very loud.” to cap it all off.

Then it was back to a story. In all the craziness and people watching, I’ve forgotten what it was called. This was followed by a few more songs, Incy Wincy, Twinkle Twinkle. Theses were a lot more quieter and mellow. The session ended with Open Shut Them and the kids and parents all dispersed afterwards.

I approached the librarian and asked her about noise complaints. She replied by saying that complaints happen, but a library is a community space and noise is a factor of community engagement. I personally agree with her. First 5 Forever is about literacy at the community level, and any noise it does make is a benefit to the children participating. She assured me that the session I had just witnessed was uncharacteristically crazy, the kids are not normally that hyperactive. I smiled and asked if I could borrow I Want My Hat Back. I’ve read it a couple of times already. The art is fantastic.

Service Review – Fryer Library Reading Room

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Ah the Fryer Library. As a former UQ student it was the place that only post-grads visited.

The Fryer Library is located on Level 4 of the Duhig Tower at the St Lucia Campus. The journey there is magical, as you go up in a lift and the doors open on the other side of the elevator (I get a small thrill every time I see this, its like magic). The first thing you notice is that it is very quiet. And it is very noticeably quiet, possibly because you have just left the bustling area that is the coffee shop. It is like you have been teleported to another time and place.

Now I have described the atmosphere to you and maybe your thinking, great I’ll check this out myself. I forgot to mention that you can’t just rock up and say, “I’m here to read stuff.” You must complete a request form before you go, so that your item that you want to look at is there when you get there. This requires you to know what you want to look at. You need to provide you name, email and phone number, the day you plan to visit and as much of the bibliographic detail of item you can provide.

My item was an autobiography by theatre practitioner  Oscar Ache and I provided the following details:

  • Title:
    Oscar Asche : his life / by himself.
  • Author:Asche, Oscar 1871-1936.
  • Subjects:Asche, Oscar, 1871-1936
  • Publisher:London : Hurst & Blackett
  • Creation Date:1929
  • Format:256p : ill ; 24cm..
  • Language:English
  • LC Call Number:PN2598.A825 A3 1929

After filling out the request form I received an email with confirmation of my item being available on the day I requested. I had asked a week in advanced, I’m not sure what the smallest time frame would be, it would depend on the item and where it was being stored at the time. Which brings me back round to the doubled door elevator.

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I approach the counter, walking past a lady with a giant box of loose papers, clearly intent on finding the right one. At the counter I inform the librarian of my name and the item that I here to see or read (I wasn’t sure which was correct) and smiled and went out the “back” to grab it for me. She showed me the item and handed me a form to fill out, with contact details and other minor questions. I was then given a locker key and told that I could not have any beverages, including water near the book. And if I was taking notes, to use pencil, and absolutely do not write on the book! I was asked to put my bag in the locker, I could have my phone on me, as long as it was on silent. She exchanged the form and my student card for the key and told me to come back once everything was in the locker.

So I went an put everything in the locker, pulled my phone out an put it in my pocket. When I got back to the open area of the reading room, the librarian had brought the book over and placed it on one of large wood and leather desks (very fancy). I was now free to read for as long as I wished (or until 15 minutes until closing, which happened to be 6 hours away). So I read for a little. It was very peaceful. The librarian also let me take a few pictures of the item’s pages. The items was very worn.

Most items in the Fryer Library are old, or specialty items. It certainly a fantastic place to go if you are after a specific item, or if your a post-grad student. Its not a place you would casually pop into on a Wednesday afternoon for a light read. I would highly recommend to anyone that if they see an item that is only available at the Fryer, do not hesitate in going and taking a look at it.

In contrast to the LittleBits session in my last post, the Fryer is certainly a library where the old customs are kept in tack.

 

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