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Archive for May, 2010


It’s a bittersweet day for me. The work blog is 1000+ posts old, we are 1000+ photos on Flickr, our Twitter account is going great, (our FB account less so)…and the man who inspired it all, Paul Reynolds, is being farewelled today.
My first memory of Paul is attending a Hikuwai session at Auckland Library. It was titled something like “Paul Reynolds presents Web 2.0”. He stood up and  he said  ‘I’m not going to talk about Web 2.0.  You’re librarians, you can work it out. What I am going to talk to you about is free public internet in Libraries.‘ Then he talked about the difference that the People’s Network had made to individual lives in the UK.  (This was right at the beginning of development of APNK.)   I also attended a session at an NDF conference where he covered Creative Commons.  He was firmly of the belief that the GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) should promote the alternative to copyright.  It was quite amusing watching him wrestle with his laptop and throw ideas around.  He wanted us to engage with the idea…unfortunately it was so new that most of the attendees needed him to explain how it worked.  LOL 

He seemed to turn up everywhere – at library conferences, at digital conferences, at cultural events.  It just won’t be the same without him there.

Thanks Paul for all your inspiration and pushing to make us better, faster, stronger, more relevant.  You weren’t afraid to give your opinion or to test ours.  Your words have directed the way I approach my professional development – ‘don’t wait for someone to teach you.  Get on and explore. You can’t break it.’

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In case you missed it there was an interesting segment on Nine to Noon this morning.

Are the days of free public libraries coming to an end?

With Rick Curach – Tauranga City Councillor and Bob McKee – the Chief Executive of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) of the UK. (duration: 20′15″)

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It may be that I am indeed barking up the wrong tree, but it seems to me that a 150-word profile on the ballet papers may give you the briefest amount of information about candidates for elections, but it is not enough information to make an informed vote.

As promised, here is a fuller post detailing information about me for the purposes of informing the voting members of LIANZA about whom they may be voting for in the President-Elect election.

There is of course a judgement call to be made about how much information to put out there, but in essence, I see this as a C.V. / covering letter for my nomination.

I started working in libraries at the Karori branch of Wellington City Libraries.  I had finished my undergraduate degree, a B.A. majoring in Classics, and it was my first “real” job.  Much to my chagrin now, I applied under the belief that as I liked reading, working in libraries would be great. How little did I know. I soon learnt that working in libraries was more than just reading books, with the occasional moment where you might issues, return or shelve. There was a lot more going on, and I really enjoyed the work. I very quickly decided that working in libraries was where I wanted to be, so I enrolled in the MLIS, taking a year off work to complete.

When I finished my professional qualification, I continued to work at Wellington City Libraries, both in a number of branches and as part of the circulation team at Central. I then went to work at The Alexander Turnbull Library with, what I considered at the time, the lofty title of Assistant Acquisitions Librarian.  This exposed me to a more specialised library environment, and gave me the first taste of real collection development work and heritage preservation.  During this time I had not had a permanent contract, as both organisations had been undergoing restructuring.

I then went to work as the Sole Charge librarian for the C.I.T., at their Terrace campus. Working sole charge really opened my eyes to a number of issues facing smaller libraries, and I have a lot of respect for those who do that year in, year out. For myself I rapidly realised that I was not suited for such a solitary existence.  I wasn’t there too long, as just after I joined, it was decided that the CIT would merge with the WP to form WelTech. Also the hours were cut from full time, so I was made redundant.

Over the next four odd years I had a break from libraries, and worked as a stay at home dad. This was one of the most personally rewarding periods of my life. When I re-entered the paid work force I became I found myself having a greater awareness and interest in gender issues. Especially as a male in a female dominated profession.

I returned to work being employed firstly as the Technical Services librarian for the Open Polytechnic, and then as a Reference Librarian. I then was appointed to the position of College Liaison Librarian, Business, at Massey University. At that time I became more involved in LIANZA and attended my first conference. I joined the Ikaroa committee and then stood for chairman.

My family had moved to Dannevirke, and I eventually became the Technical Services Librarian here. Over the years then I have worked in large libraries and small, I have worked in Public, Academic and Special libraries. I have worked in customer service roles and in technical services roles.

That’s my history, so what about what I believe in.

I have developed in recent times a passion for Library 2.0 technologies, being on Twitter, and blogging institutionally, professionally and personally. I have also presented last year at LIANZA09 on the challenges of blogging in small rural Public Libraries.

I believe that Internet is both the biggest opportunity for libraries and it’s biggest threat.

I believe in that access to free information via your public library is a fundamental right within a functioning democracy. I also think that funding such a service is going to become more of an issue in the future years.

I am philosophically opposed to any form of censorship, but recognise that in practical terms, especially with the Internet, that some form may be inevitable. I am yet to be convinced that filters don’t work, and I am grateful we have them on the APNK, as I know that without them our job would be a hundred times more difficult.

I think that over the last few years the council has done a tremendous job behind the scenes in advocating for libraries, and if there is one failing is in that LIANZA has not been open enough nor communicated enough with the membership.  What I would wish to achieve in being President-elect is a more open and forthright communication strategy. I think that while LIANZA has been effective in it’s lobbying it has not seen to be effective.

I also believe that LIANZA has missed the boat in it’s implementation of Web2.0 technologies for communicating with membership.  This post should be on the LIANZA website. The candidates should have been  invited to give both a 150 word profile for the voting papers and also a longer more detailed post for the Blog.

I hope that gives you a better idea of who I am and what I stand for. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section and I will answer as soon as I can.

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Last year on the 18th of May we launched The Room of Infinite Diligence upon the unsuspecting world..

Since then we have had 550 comments on 193 Posts. 🙂

It has been quite an interesting year, I look forward to another one.

So Happy Anniversary to us 🙂

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I was saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Reynolds on the weekend. I imagine that there will be a great many words written on the Internet as a memorial to him. This will be fitting considering his abiding passion for the Internet, and for communities being created using Social Media.  It was most fitting that his passing was announced using Twitter and Facebook.

Already there are a number of posts honouring his work, such as this one over at PublicAddress. And here at InternetNX. And also here at the National Digital Forum Ning.

All I can say is that he will be missed within the library fraternity for his support, and to acknowledge that it was attending a APNK seminar run by him and Paul Sutherland that gave me the push to start blogging in earnest.

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Earlier this year I decided to run for council. As there is a vacancy for the Ikaroa Regional councillor, I pondered whether to stand for that position, or to stand for President- Elect, as I was attracted to both positions. It had been pointed out to me that it might be wiser to stand simply for councillor, so as to get experience in the workings of the LIANZA council. I did consider standing for both. In the end I have decided to stand for President-Elect.

Even though nominations haven’t closed yet, (they do on the 20th) I have been told that there are multiple nominations for President-Elect and I need to supply a 150 word biography/statement to be included.  This is great as I don’t remember when we had an election for the President / Vice President / President-Elect positions. Below is what I have submitted:

Michael Parry: Who am I? For those of you I haven’t met, I am currently the Technical Services Librarian for Tararua District Libraries. I also have the privilege of being the chair of the Ikaroa committee.  My experiences in libraries have encompassed public libraries and academic, front desk and back room.  I am passionate about libraries as centres of communities and about social media being a revolutionary tool to connect those communities.

I wish to contribute to the excellent work the council is doing in bringing council business to the members, and making LIANZA membership desirable.

I am writing on the library blog The Room of Infinite Diligence under the moniker dannevirkelibrarian. You will find out a lot more about what I think and believe there. If you want to ask me questions drop by and do so. I will have an election post up just for that purpose.

I am really happy there are multiple nominations for the position of President-Elect. Personally I would rather lose an election than be win un-opposed. Why? Because the membership deserves to have a say in who represents them at a national level. The LIANZA community should know where their elected representatives come from and what they stand for. I think this comes from my commitment and belief in democracy.

That being said, I am unsure as to whether a 150 word bio on the voting form is enough to inform the membership about who is standing for the positions. It might be, but I am unconvinced.  Running a campaign for a volunteer position could be a costly exercise, but with social media technologies, it doesn’t need to be.

I therefore, will be running a campaign, mostly from here.

I will also be posting up a longer statement later in the week after the nominations have been announced.  I will also be inviting the other nominees to post up a longer statement here as well. I think the comments feature of the blog should give an ample opportunity for questions to be asked.  I am hoping that LIANZA will be using the new blog feature on the new site to do the same.

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Just a bit of fun.  As part of New Zealand Music Month there have been some performers giving the library a bit of boom boom.

Kiri & the Acid Band

Kiri & the Acid Band perform at the Waitakere Central Library as part of NZ Music Month

Dancing in the library

Getting groovy

I think there should be more dancing in libraries.

Today some of our students from the Diploma of Contemporary Music performed some of their own compositions – a sonic poem, a blues number and an edgy, freedom fighter piece.  Which included bagpipes.

Diploma of Contemporary Music students

Diploma of Contemporary Music students perform their sonic poem

Contemporary Piper

More information about the gigs going down this month in the library can be found on the website.

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