GLAM Blog Club December – Lessen

And so this cursed year draws to a close, not with a bang but with a GLAM Blog Club theme. We drew December’s theme out of a random word generator so we’ll end the year on the theme Lessen. With two “e”s. Have you lessened your travel time this year with positive results? Has lessened social interaction been a boon or a tragedy? Have you done more with less, less with less, or less with more? Make of the topic what you will.

Remember to tag your blog post GLAM Blog Club and use the hashtag #GLAMBlogClub on social media. Registering on the Aus GLAM Blogs site makes it easier for everyone to find your blog!

In case you need inspiration, here’s some blog posts our community posted in November:

On the theme of Invalid

ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group offered 3 invalid excuses for not helping to save the world…

Transgressive Archivist told us Your Data Is Invalid: Collecting Data On Sex, Gender, And Sexuality

I pontificated about Empathy Daleks

Alissa reflected On Agency.

Freestyle posts

Ellen reviewed How to create a relevant public space by Aat Vos

Mal has been digitising magazines and newsletters from the Tattersall’s Club and is sharing what he’s found.

Inger shouted about WhisperFest.

Rebecca went to Sculpture by the River.

Transgressive Archivist’s guest blogger asked us not to judge a homeless book by its cover.

Lynda has been analysing AMaGA’s research on how COVID has affected the GLAM sector – she’s done so much there is both Part 1 and Part 2!

Snail likes to buy first editions on spec.I guess there are worse things to do with your disposable income.

We can’t wait to see what you write this month!


GLAM Blog Club November – Invalid

Our Blog Club topic for October may have been failure, but the cardi community didn’t fail to share some great blog posts.

Matt Finch appears to be on some kind of Kerouac-style writing bender, publishing a post nearly every day on an assortment of topics. Nicole started off the month with some great info about what to look out for if you want to wear your vintage 1920s fashion without a wardrobe malfunction. Edward Shaddow requested that we don’t make him tap the sign that says “Do no harm”, but I guess some institutions weren’t listening. Ellen encouraged us to be open about failure, whilst Avril gave us some tips on avoiding it. The Transgressive Archivist reflected on his own failures, and also reflected on reflecting on failure which was nice and meta. Jane shared some ideas about loneliness and libraries, Matthew shared his thoughts about the value of the global digital preservation community, and we learned all about Boyle Abbey from Ellen. Inger hates to fail, and wrote about how failure-avoidance can lead to imposter syndrome and burnout. Lynda shared a delightful story about her personal connection to PIPS potato chips and an oversized mechanical elephant. And in the middle of all of this, I shared some thoughts on what appears to be a complete failure of peer review at ITAL.

So what’s the theme for November, I hear you ask. This month we’ve got a topic you can read at least a couple of different ways: Invalid, You can write about being invalidated, being invalided, or neither of those at all. The theme, after all, is just to help get you started if you’re stuck for a topic – nothing you write will be invalid for inclusion in GLAM Blog Club.

Remember to tag your post GLAM Blog Club, use the hashtag #GLAMBlogClub when sharing on social media, and register your blog at glamblogs.newcardigan.org if you’ve not already done so. That’s also where you can find the latest and greatest blog posts from the Australasian GLAM community.

Now get writing!


GLAM Blog Club September: Discovery

Our theme for August GLAM Blog Club was Time, and I’m pleased to see that after a few months of slim pickings, a large number of cardies decided that it was time to blog!

The Thesis Whisperer wrote about making an academic living in COVID times, but this certainly wasn’t the only post to mention “COVID Time”. Jane advised on the Zoom trance and how to beat it, Clare has used their time to find hope and trans support, solidarity and liberation in the archives, and Alissa meditated on the temporal seasickness caused by both “COVID Time” and depression. Cassandra Smith picked up on this theme as well, writing about spiral time and deep time. Natalie, meanwhile, reckons her museum was more active when “closed” for COVID than before!

There were posts that were not specifically aligned with the theme, but seemed to emerge from a sense that they were perhaps …overdue. Lynda gave us a social media history lesson. Michelle wrote about the multiple dimensions of PD. Sally implored us to stop and ask “why?”, having thought deeply about what she learned at the ALIA Sydney Critical Librarianship Saturday School in 2018 and through other #critlib resources. Snail wrote about …shelf arrangment ?‍♂️.

Matt looked forwards in time, asking “Who are the Isley Brothers of Foresight?” A question I’m sure you regularly ask yourself – but have you ever tried to answer it by thinking about bath toys sailing the world’s oceans? Meanwhile, others were looking back. Nicole invited us to join her talk about Australian fashion designers from the 1960s to 1980s. Due to some temporal embarrassment, we’re unfortunately too late now to let you know about this talk, but you can check out a photo of a gorgeous 1970s wedding dress she posted with it. Andrew was also looking backwards, though in his case only a year …or is it 10 years? Nobody seems quite sure at the moment.

Ellen, as usual, gave us a history lesson – though in this case it was about the history of time-keeping. The Transgressive Archivist explored how time is not just malleable as Alissa reminded us, but also that different experiences of time affect how we relate to each other:

Whenever we interact with another person, we’re subtly translating how we understand and perceive time. Sometimes that translation means we keep someone waiting or we rush someone when we didn’t mean to. Sometimes it means we schedule an event on someone else’s holy day. Sometimes it means the software we use converts an ISO 8601 date format into a different date format and confusion results.

Translating Time

Bonus point for the ISO 8601 reference – it’s my favourite international standard, so it should hardly be a surprise that I blogged about Internet Time. If you still have some time left after reading all of that, Ellen has some suggestions for how to fill it.


We don’t have a guest blogger this month (if you’d like to volunteer for a future guest blog post, shoot us an email). So you can get cracking straight away on your Blog Club post for September on the theme of Discovery.

Remember to tag your blog post GLAM Blog Club and use the hashtag #GLAMBlogClub on social media. Registering on the Aus GLAM Blogs site makes it easier for everyone to find your blog!


Five reflections on five years: we’re just getting started

newCardigan is five years old this month. If we were a human, we’d be “going” to school over Zoom by now! Normally we like to have a little birthday cardiParty in June, but things are weird this year. Instead, every day this week one of the ‘cardiCore’ will be sharing their personal reflections on the first five years of newCardigan. Please share your own reflections with us on your favourite social media, your blog, as a video or audio recording, an email, or via ye olde postal service. We can’t wait to read, hear and watch them.


In June 2015, scheming with friends at a bar between the Yarra River and Flinders Street Station, we thought it would be fun to invite other GLAM workers to a regular catchup over drinks. Little did I know that five years later we would have formed a community of hundreds of GLAM workers across the whole of Australia and New Zealand, run dozens of in-person events, established a podcast, and been invited to tour some of the most amazing GLAM venues in Melbourne, Perth, and beyond. It’s been a wild ride, and yet it still feels like we’re just getting started.

newCardigan has been evolving the entire time, but one thing has always stayed the same. The ‘new’ in newCardigan was always about challenging ourselves and our professions to think, act, and interact in new ways. To be of our communities, not just for our communities. To be public institutions, not just institutions for the public. And our semi-official motto – “Just fucking do it” (JFDI) – was aimed at the typically ponderous and timid approach we believed our official GLAM institutions and professional associations were taking in their interactions with the world.

Incendium Radical Library, February 2019

Last year’s cardiParty at Melbourne’s Incendium Radical Library (IRL) has really stuck with me – I think about it every week, because it exemplifies what I want from newCardigan and from GLAM. Our hosts were gracious and welcoming, despite having never heard of us before I cold-emailed them. IRL’s very existence challenges typical public library operating models and assumptions about what should be in library collections, and why. And more than anything, in the midst of culture warriors screaming about freedom of speech, and demanding ‘neutrality’, IRL shows us how to enact an uncompromising harm-minimisation approach to the operation of GLAM institutions. Like all the best cardiParties, it ‘complicated’ things I thought were familiar to me, and opened up a whole new world of possibility.

I can’t wait to see what the next five years of newCardigan bring.


Reset reading group

The Commons Social Change Library has launched the Reset Reading Group project:

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted business as usual in ways that are still unfolding and we are still coming to understand. This disruption opens up different possible futures: in one direction deepening inequality, injustice and climate impacts, in the other the chance to recover from this crisis and build worlds based on social and ecological justice.

Everything is being Reset… How things unfold from here is up to us. This reading group is a chance to take the time to develop shared ideas and visions for a just future, together.

At newCardigan, we love this idea, and we’ll be hosting a GLAM-flavoured discussion group. Every second Wednesday from 13 May we will discuss the material in that fortnight’s reading list provided by The Commons – what does it mean for us as GLAM workers, and as humans? What ideas and visions of the future does it speak to? And what do we intend to do about it?

To join newCardigan’s ‘local’ Reset reading group, simply email us at hello@newcardigan.org and let us know you’re interested! We know that many of you are spending far more time than you want to in videoconferences at the moment, so unlike the ‘main’ Reset groups we will not be using Zoom for these discussions. Instead, participants will come together each fortnight at ausglam.space for a group discussion much like a Twitter chat – you’ll get more details on how this will work and how to register, when you join.

The first readings will arrive on Monday 4 May but you can join at any time.


Quarantinis with Justini Episode 2

Welcome to Episode 2 of Quarantinis with Justini – where you share your favourite drink, and Justine Hanna pairs it with the perfect book.

Today Dan Kaufman shares his favourite Old Fashioned – made just the way he likes it, and damn the tradition.

To star in your own episode, make a short (less than 2 minute) video of you making, drinking, and/or describing your favourite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, and upload it at the magic Quarantinis link. Justine will add a reading suggestion, and we’ll add the credits and background music.

We can’t wait to see what you’re responsibly drinking while you’re stuck at home.