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 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 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.

GLAM Blog Club April 2020

Hello cardiFriends

Yes, we know it’s hard to believe, but March has in fact ended. We didn’t see a lot of blog posts specifically addressing our GLAM Blog Club theme of partnerships, but some cardies found time to blog nonetheless.

Glenn Harper provided a few days of updates on what ‘Corona closure’ looked like in a public library. Niamh Quigley is helping us to #FeelConnected, and Matt Finch ..well, he wrote a lot this month! Danielle Johanesen spoke up, even though her voice shook, and Rebecca Lush continues to supply some great Museum reviews. Ellen gave us some top notch castle content, whilst Miss Koko educated us about IGTV. Fallon Spangler shared her experience of the Compass leadership program, whilst the mysterious Edward Shaddow shared his experience on work placement at ARDC (JEALOUS, MUCH???).

We also had some great COVID-19 related content. Historical Ragbag gave us a great quiz to pass the time, and told us about Hygienic Libraries. Sayraphim Lothian provided insights on online videos and the relationship between Pandemic TV and YouTubers, and the aforementioned Glenn Harper series was All COVID-19 All The Time. Topping and tailing the month were Nikki Anderson with 10 lessons from Brené Brown, and yours truly with an exciting (for me) update on the new software running Aus GLAM Blogs. Incidentally, the new “last month” search feature made this post a lot easier!

For April, you all have “free square” to write about whatever you want. In this week’s newCardigan newsletter we called for volunteers to be guest bloggers right here on each month. If you’re interested, please email us at Hopefully you’ll see a  new voice to inspire you at the beginning of May – in the meantime, we look forward to reading your blog posts written from your home offices!

Don’t forget you can register your blog with Aus GLAM Blogs, and if you use the tag GLAM Blog Club if will use the hashtag #GLAMBlogClub when tweeting (and now tooting) your post to the world.

cardiParty 2020.3 Melbourne

Queering the GLAM sector - teach in

 Registration is closed for this event
Is your Knowledge Industry in Need of Queering (KINQ)? Have you done something to help make your spaces, collections, and/or services more LGBTIQ+ inclusive recently? Wondering how you would say no if a trans exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) group requested to use a meeting room at your library? Or maybe you want to put on some queer glasses and take a look around your GLAM and see what’s missing?

It would, in my view, be a wonderful day when museums and queer communities could collaborate to combine their unique strengths, requiring museums to take more cues from communities. The case of the Olver panel, however, showed that the duty of care of museums to its collections could be at odds with how communities use the same objects. More than a case of mutual misunderstanding, the case shows that museums often approach community engagements from a position of power. In pointing out these asymmetric relationships, I walk a fine line—at once personal, political and professional—in wanting to recognize the difficulties my museum colleagues have in re-orienting their organizations towards communities, at the same time as honoring the communities that sustain me.

Tuan Nguyen (2018)

In the spirit of ACT UP, newCardigan are hosting a teach in related to queerying the GLAM sector. Come and learn from a range of workers in our sector about their experiences and share your own experiences and resources or just listen.

Yarra Libraries have been doing great work with local trans and gender diverse communities recently and Fitzroy Library is near the Courage statue dedicated to the legacy of Ralph McLean (1957–2010), Australia’s first openly gay elected official (City of Fitzroy, 1982) and Mayor (1984).

We'll continue the conversation over dinner or drinks afterwards.

We'd love you to start sharing questions, ideas, experiences and resources online in this document before we meet.

Getting There

Tram: routes 11, 86, 96

Bus: routes 200, 207


Fitzroy Library is wheelchair accessible however after-hours access may be limited.

Continue the conversation

The Rainbow Hotel
27 St David's Street

March 13th, 2020 6:30 PM through  7:30 PM
128 Moor Street
Fitzroy Library
Meeting Room 1
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
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