Monthly Archives: September 2013

Who’s the enemy here?

Originally published by me at The Room of Infinite Diligence; tweaked and posted on Wellingtonista. 5/9/2013

The Room of Infinite Diligence

I received an email from LIANZA last week saying that I might be interested in a event. It was being organised by a coalition of library supporters concerned about budget cuts to Wellington Libraries. So far – fantastic! A group from the community who “coordinate efforts against the steady deterioration of library services in Wellington, advocates for users and staff of public libraries and brings together groups” (who also support libraries). The teams looked like an interesting mix of people with a variety of experiences. They looked like they would be very entertaining.  Brilliant.

Then it all went horribly wrong.

The moot was “Are libraries worth saving?

I was unequivocal about my reaction on Twitter.

No. I am not interested in a debate on “Are Libraries Worth Saving?” Thanks though. #FarCough

— librarykris (@librarykris) August 27, 2013

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t send…

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Graphic novel groove

Comics

Way back in July I asked @feddabonn to suggest some graphic novel titles for me. He was, erm, ‘watching’ someone’s Twitter in order to suggest some titles for them. Of course I couldn’t let that go past without trying to get a piece of the action as well. I used to read graphic novels all the time when I was working in a public library. Probably because they were easily accessible and I could get them in series order. The library was also just starting its collection which meant that it got a whole bunch of titles in at the same time. (An indicator of just how long ago that was is my use of ‘graphic novel’. I think ‘comics’ is the word now. #SoBehindTheTimes Another indicator is that I’d forgotten they came in series order! #RookieMistake)

He asked me a couple of questions then called me a ‘prosumer’ because I’d read the well-regarded/famous titles. (This apparently was a good thing.) His two suggestions were: Transmetropolitan for “…the combination of an insane lead, dystopian setting and insights into the nature of cities.“; and Doom Patrol – with a suggestion for the Rachel Pollack over Grant Morrison. (My public library only holds the Morrison so it’s a moot point.) @kebabette weighed in the suggestion of The Manhattan Projects. (Unfortunately I managed to mix up authors/titles so I haven’t tried that one yet. The correct details are now on the list…)

I’d forgotten how much I like the comic format. The combination of tiny pictures and (mostly) dialogue really appeals. It’s a different kind of literacy to reading a block of text. I like the juxtaposition of ideas that can be shown in a single image. I like that I can sit with that for a while if I want/need to. I like that I can read them quickly if I want to or, in the case of Watchmen, (re)read them slowly.

Thanks Baruk, your suggestions were spot on.

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Provide a hands on activity

I’ve had a bit of a play with Twine. Wrote a few scenarios, looked at the instructions, clocked how it worked, wrote a few more scenarios, suffered crushing despair when I realised it was all coming out a bit librarian-y. Totally unsuitable. It was supposed to be FUN. Slept on it. Agonised over it. Thought about it. Realised that the two groups of students had two different sets of learning outcomes based on previous orientation sessions. Therefore the Twine story (with a bit of tinkering) would work for the Entertainment students but I should go a different route for the Design students.

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The long game on Twitter

I like playing what I’m calling ‘the long game’ on Twitter. It’s a narrative that, due to the nature of Twitter, has an arc that is only obvious to me. I’d like to think others notice it as well but that would require some serious time and effort. Essentially, the long game is a series of tweets that tell a story.

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It’s so spring

Purchased some daffodils to cheer myself up. #damnyoutonsils

It’s the first day of September which means it’s the first official day of spring in New Zealand. Spring the season has already started. The van is covered in pollen from the pine trees. The birds are all chatty with each other. There are daffodils massed in buckets at the supermarket. The sun is shining. The ground smells warm. Every so often the sky pitches a fit and chucks down some rain. Spring is when I start to feel the inner me uncurl. Welcome back te rā.

In honour of Spring, here’s my very favourite blog featuring a daffodil. Technically it’s a post about summer but the daffodil plays a key role. (If you have time I recommend the three Dark Night Bromance posts as well.) I think the daffodil blog appeals to me for a few reasons. 1. I’m a Romantic and I like to see grand gestures rewarded (glad you’re not dead, Matt!); 2. It’s like a sort of fairytale complete with happy ending; and 3. I like the mad brevity of the txt. (For more on fairytales see this interview with Philip Pullman where he talks about “stories in general, and why the reading and the telling of them is so extraordinarily important for children and their families.” Which, incidentally, I found via @james_blue_cat who is also a good storyteller.)

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