Posted in Conference, library culture, Public Libraries, Service, tagged community, Dr Matt Finch, Emmet O'Cuana, Immersive play, Local, Podcast transcript, Sci-Fi and Squeam, VALA14 on February 4, 2014|
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Sci-Fi and Squeam is an Australian podcast that “brings the Queer geek listener and friends all the things happening in the geeksverse, from topics in Horror and Sci-Fi, comics and video games and fan culture, to interviews and reviews“. A couple of weeks ago they included an interview with Dr Matt Finch about his work with libraries around immersive play.
Matt is one of the keynote speakers at VALA14 this week. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the interview…
The idea is to do something beyond interaction with the screen, where you’re actually physically in this location, and you get to determine the outcome of the story in the way that the writer or the designer maybe didn’t predict. Taking down the boundary between the audience and the storyteller and making them work together to find a satisfying conclusion.
…Every neighbourhood has this magic building and its sole job is to give you access to all human knowledge and culture – it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or you’re poor or you’re young or you’re old or where you’re from, that’s what it’s there for. For you to step into whatever world the human race has thought of or described or dreamt of.
…actually the point is that you have these publically funded people who are guides to everything the human race has ever thought of or dreamt up.
Listen to Dr Matt’s dulcet tones (interview starts around 26:50] or read the transcript after the jump.
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Together, Sally Pewhairangi and Megan Ingle are Heroes Mingle! If that looks a little superhero-ish, well, that’s because I think they are. They are doing some excellent work collaborating with each other to facilitate their own professional development.
“Heroes Mingle is our collaborative name. It tells a story about two librarians who do more than dream big. Two librarians who want more from the profession than just turning up to work to do a good job. Two librarians who, just like many other heroic characters aren’t going to wait for someone else to solve our problems; who have the guts to say yes, take a leap of faith; and make something happen.”
Recently they gave a presentation ‘Creating the professional development opportunities you want’ at the Worldwide Virtual Library Conference 2.013. They’re also writing about it. Part one is by Sally, Part two is by Megan.
I watched them do this work from the sides (on Twitter) and was impressed at the momentum they created (facilitated?) in the people who were participating. It’s heartening to remember that there are people doing good work for the future of librarians in New Zealand.
Ngā mihi nui ki a kōrua.
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This is my reflection on Day 4 of LIANZA 13. It includes some of the specifics of the day and was originally published on my personal blog.
The last day of a conference is always interesting – how may people have gone home? How many people are still to wake up after the conference dinner fun the night before? How many people are here and mainlining coffee?
The first keynote was Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith from Waikato University. There was so much in her presentation that resonated with what I’m interested in.
- Maori staff (often) come into organisations with their iwi and hapu identities. For those staff, it’s a responsibility to serve the bigger community – to serve the language, serve the culture. Therefore they are often looked to as exponents of the Maori language and tikanga. This can be part of a hidden workload – service to the organisation in powhiri, karakia, waiata, poroporoake, tangihanga etc.
- Many of our institutions try to absorb Maori into existing structures. The challenge for institutions is to engage with difference on the inside (of people), to recognise and reward (not punish) for the hidden workload.
- For institutions that want to build Maori capacity – build a long term agenda and commitment to build transformation within. Requires leadership. There is implicit knowledge that’s at work in those environments so share the values of the organisation and the people in it. Build structures for discussion – talk about the issue, then address it if reasonable. Institutional culture change can occur within a very small unit of staff. Institutions must see this as a learning journey. Figure it out together. Needs leadership which doesn’t go into panic mode when there’s a minor crisis.
- Don’t put the pressure on one Maori to carry the whole Maori world and the Pakeha world at the same time. Individuals are individuals.
- The more that Maori shape our future, the more we can determine it. Our aspirations are to engage in positive ways.
This is one of her aims for her life.
- Live a life that builds something so that other people don’t have to fight society – try and make society better.
I like it. I think Libraries can be great contributors to that idea.
Professor Smith also showed me some of the things to do/watch out for as I go into discussions with LIANZA and Te Ropu Whakahau about focusing the kaupapa of LIANZA so we can be in the future with a uniquely NZ point of view. I appreciate (and am pleased by) the attitudes of people who I have already talked to, and their willingness to engage with the question.
Also speaking on Day 4 was Nat Torkington. He’s one of my favourite speakers – always entertaining, very smart and sharp on learning and information ideas. (Plus he’s not afraid to be a bit sweary.)
- When you see people who are doing things with tech, or their services “you don’t become like them by buying the artifacts. [there is] an ocean of possible artifacts and toys.“ What we don’t see is the pedagogy behind it which is how to understand how and why it’s being used. Laptops aren’t the answer. “The transformative power if that stuff is sweet fuck all, unless you change the thinking and attitudes of the teachers and students. Otherwise you only have a classroom with Macs in it.“
- To see something that you don’t understand and see it as a threat, that’s deadly.
- Teaching as inquiry – Hypothesis > Evidence> Research > Action > Evidence > Reflection > Hypothesis (repeat). This is a good model for a way to embrace learning for (and about) the future. (One school used an open Google doc for staff which included – this is the thing I’m doing, this is what I’ve learned. Public sharing of the individual learning which validates learning and experimentation. Staff only had to pick one thing to work on at a time.)
- Don’t make the mistake of doing the futuring TO something, do it WITH someone.
I haven’t been to a full LIANZA conference for a few years (small library, small staff) and this conference has convinced me more than ever of the importance of attending the full event. There are themes outside of the official conference theme which rise during the four days. There are so many people to continue building relationships with that it can’t all be done in a day or two days.
I’m finishing this reflection with something that Nat said. On the day I was so entertained by his presentation that I missed the care for learning, libraries, and librarians that permeated his words. I think this is simultaneously a challenge, and a hope for the future.
You can make your own damn future.
Open document with the notes from LIANZA13 Day 4. Please add your own notes!
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Here is the winning entry. You should watch it.
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For your Monday happiness or sadness you are presented with the Lego Librarian Minifig. When I first saw a link I was all Lego librarian happy, until I landed on the page. I may be being oversensitive but… Any way here it is with bio…
The Librarian “Shhh!”
Books are just about the Librarian’s most favorite thing in the entire world. Reading them can take you on exciting adventures in far-off lands, introduce you to new friends and cultures, and let you discover poetry, classic literature, science fiction and much more. If only everybody loved to read as much as she does, the world would be a better place…and quieter, too!
The Librarian feels that it’s extremely important to treat a book with the proper respect. You should always use a bookmark instead of folding down the corner of the page. Take good care of the dust jacket, and don’t scribble in the margins. And above all else, never – ever – return it to the library late!
UPDATE: Mr Library Dude had some fun with custom Librarian Minifigs: http://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2013/07/
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