GLAM Blog Club – February 2019

As always, we love reading your blogs reflecting on the theme ‘What I learned last year and/or what I want to learn this year’. Thank you for blogging, and sharing some very personal insights about conquering fear, overcoming challenges and, as always, demonstrating that failure is ok, and that we all struggle with fulfilling new year’s resolutions.

What I Learned Last Year: Libraries & the UN SDGs, Jane writes that in July 2018 ALIA held the Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit on the Gold Coast, Queensland, which Jane attended, but feels libraries could do more to build momentum in contributing case studies to meet the SDGs.

Nikki states that: “Sometimes, the thing you really need to learn is a thing you thought you already knew” – What I’ve learned (or re-learned) and will continue learning.  Nikki list lessons that she continues to work on each year as part of her lifelong learning.

Rebecca has landed her dream job, wishes for a year of stability ahead, and reflects on her favourite museum and heritage site visits of 2018 – GLAM Blog Club: What I Learned in 2018 & What I Want to Learn in 2019… 

With a new job and fewer working hours, Hugh achieved a goal from last year to immerse himself in long texts. Hugh has some important life-long projects including “Australian First Nations cultural awareness – not exactly a small project, as I get older I realise how much I don’t know and how much I was lied to as a child” – Learning how much I have to learn.

Fallon has enrolled in a Bachelor of Information Studies (Librarianship) at Charles Sturt University, and gives great advice not to “let fear take hold, take a leap and chase your dreams!” – Reflecting back and leaping forward!

A career change from writer’s festivals to public libraries, Lisa has discovered a lot about public libraries. One of the most important statements in Lisa’s blog: “Despite their democratic ideals and community focus, libraries (as with many cultural institutions) still have a ways to go in terms of inclusivity. Inclusion is not just about who comes to the library but who works there, who is invited to speak/present, who is represented in the collections, who is making decisions etc. With an “access for all” ethos, libraries don’t just have have the ability to lead change, but the responsibility to do so. Nathan “Mudyi” Sentance has put it beautifully: Challenging oppressive structures is what we need to do to assist positive social change” – What I learned in a year of working for a public library.

What Did I Learn Last year?, Andrew K achieved and learned a lot in 2018, and has also “managed to stabilise and maintain a robust public library system including public and staff networks, hardware, and LMS.” Not having to put out spot fires has allowed Andrew to “stay the course and enjoy the smooth sailing.”

Learning, learning, always learning  Andrew has managed a library for 6 months and learned that you “can’t assume anything during a library system migration”.

2019. Bring it on! (gently this time) – Thesis Whisperer writes that after being treated for vertigo in the emergency room twice at the end of last year from overwork and stress, this year’s theme (“theme is easier than a resolution”) is care. I hope this is a theme that you keep.

Starting a new job mid-year can be frustrating with budgets and PDs, as Clare P puts it: “This is exacerbated a little by the fact that, although I love my job, I have all these skills that I do not get to use. And I really want to use them, in case I loose them” – 2019: Show Me the PD.

2019: a year of knowing, more naturally – Alissa spent 2 weeks offline in Tasmania, and came to the realisation: “I hope to come to know nature more deeply than what books can teach me.” “How might I know a tree? I look forward to finding out.”

What I want to learn – 2019 – Bonnie states “I’d hope that, for me at least, there is no linear ‘then’ and ‘now’ but more of a continuum of learning/implementation of learned goodness.” Bonnie hopes to contribute to the open social scholarship movement, be more radical, and write more (GLAM Blog Club too).

Money vs Happiness: What I learnt in 2018 – Happier Librarian has posted a video about what she learned in 2018, because: “It’s Glam Vlog Club because something I want to learn in 2019 is how to feel more comfortable in video.”

Our theme for February is ‘Donate’. If it’s funds your GLAM workplace needs, or the specimens, books and objects donated to your location, or the time and skills volunteers donate in the GLAM sector, what does this theme mean to you? We look forward to reading your blogs. Please tag ‘GLAM Blog Club’ in your blog publishing system, and #GLAMBlogClub on social media. Make sure to register your blog, if you haven’t already, so we don’t miss your blog.

And speaking of donations, you will see us posting this month under the hashtag #LoveYourCardi about donating to keep newCardigan financially sustainable and afloat. Please visit our donation page and contribute what you can so that we can continue to bring your cardiParties, cardiCast and GLAM Blog Club.


GLAM Blog Club – November 2018

Beginning was our GLAM Blog Club theme for October, and a big thank you to everyone who wrote on the theme… Beginning a new blog post is not always easy.

Andrew F kicked off the month with a blog about going back to uni, a new beginning, and getting on track to begin a PhD sometime in the future. Hugh blogged about blogging with Eleventy, how he moved from Ghost, and the reasons he wanted to begin again with something different. Rosness argues that from the beginning, “Our emotional experiences in our first operating systems define how we react to everything that comes after”. I wrote about beginning to become a horror fan, by taking part in 31 days of horror. Clare P states that “beginning is the easy part”, it’s what happens as the project progresses, “you find out whether you sink or swim”.

It’s the first of the month, so you know what that means, we have a new theme! In the words of Bowie….Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, Turn and face the strange, Ch-ch-changes…. Do you thrive with change, or do you shy away from it? Do you think working in the GLAM sector means you must be willing to evolve as the sector changes? What changes are you ok with, and what changes are you not?

To make sure other GLAM Blog Club peeps can find your blog, make sure to tag ‘GLAM Blog Club’ on your blog, and share on social media with #GLAMBlogClub. Make sure to register your blog with Aus GLAM Blogs, and become part of the community. We look forward to finding and reading your blogs!



cardiParty 2018-08 at the Medical Museum

The Medical History Museum has the oldest and finest collection of its type associated with a medical school in Australia. Established in 1967 with support from the Wellcome Trust, London, the Museum now holds over 9000 items, including documents, photographs, ephemera, medical and scientific equipment and associated research material.

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GLAM Blog Club – June 2018

In May our theme was Passion.

“Editing Wikipedia articles is a great outlet for my passion for advocating for social justice and inclusion by facilitating access to knowledge/research and promoting the power of play in libraries” – Clare gives a guide to how to get into Wikipedia editing in ’Shut Up and Wiki’ about your passions and hone your passion for facilitating access to diverse knowledge.

Andrew is passionate about the death positivity movement. “Death is a significant part of our profession from record keeping to historical sites and human remains, we need to (if we’re not already) become death positive. Death positivity enables us to reflect on how we handle death in our collections and exhibitions. Do we shy away from stories of death or do we embrace them?” – The GLAMR of Death.

The Specialist’s Passion rubbed off on Clare working with a botany and horticulture collection. “I wonder how many Librarians have assimilated their passions to the collections they are working with, or even the other way around. I mean, surely we all gravitate to the things we love/are passionate about?”

Anne shares her “tips for finding purpose through your passions” in Purpose is passion to a happier librarian.

Alissa is passionate about librarianship above everything else, but acknowledges, “…I owe it to those who’ve helped me get this far to not burn out in a fit of passion” – Sometimes you’ve got to take the hardest line.

Passion guides me, Nathan states that “…the main reason I believe I can work across GLAM is because of my passion and goals”. Nathan shares a vision statement he wrote three years ago which guides him in his work in the GLAM sector.

Lydia’s Some brief reflections on #ICHORA8 / #GLAMblogclub shares her passion for her profession and professional development through her thoughts about the 8th International Conference on the History of Records and Archives.

Hugh is passionate “…about cataloguing, and the consequences of devaluing and unseeing the labour of cataloguers and other metadata experts” in Breaking Things.

Library Snoozer in GLAM Blog Club – Passion shares the passion, perhaps obsession, of “a pre-teen boy and his gaming”.

Sarah’s Passion: a slow burn, or a fiery inferno?: “I see many displays of GLAMourous passion, in people doing amazing things for and with their communities and colleagues, as well as in the active blogging and Twittering communities. Yet a conversation on Twitter this week prompted me to consider the underlying of risk of burnout because the passion was overwhelming, becoming a fiery inferno that destroyed the house instead of being a slow burn keeping the hearth cosy. As an industry if we expect passion, we should only accept a sustainable amount of it.”

Ragamouf’s First, play this song loudly. It’s best in your office explores the author’s past and passion for Gary Wright’s ‘DreamWeaver’ and libraries and learning things.

Clare wrote a second blog about passion this month, Passion and creativity in librarianship and beyond: “It’s been a busy couple of weeks full of passion and creativity, and I’ve been starting to feel more optimistic about librarianship and life, so I thought I’d quickly sneak in another GLAM blog club given the topic this month is passion.”

Thank you for your blogs this month, and sharing your passions.

Many GLAM workers are creative at work, and outside of work. Our theme for June is Create. We look forward to reading your blogs!

Please don’t forget to use the tag GLAM Blog Club in your post, and #GLAMBlogClub for any social media posts linking to it. If you haven’t done so yet, remember to register your blog at Aus GLAM Blogs. Happy blogging!


GLAM Blog Club – May 2018

Andrew kicked off on the theme of control with Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control. Play the track and read on… And she gave away the secrets of her past… Andrew argues for and against copyright in the case of researchers accessing special collections. Control measures by some libraries are put in place preventing digital copies of donor material being made without donor permission. Should libraries take a risk, like some do, and place the onus or control back in the hands of the user to do the right thing, making digital copies for reference but trusting users not to break copyright?

Phillipa, a PhD student, took time off from her PhD to care for her daughter who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphatic cancer. “I am outwardly an organised student, but library books were the last thing on my mind as I struggled to appear normal and in control”. The tale of 23 Overdue Books is about feeling out of control, receiving a $1000 library fine, and ultimately the compassion of a librarian who waived the fine.

Michelle’s blog Controlling your online data and privacy gives some fantastic tips about how to protect your privacy online. “You don’t need these companies to control all your data for you…”

Control your files, Niamh states: “Control over your files does take a little time to set up, but the benefits are that your information will be searchable, backed up, restorable and reusable.” “Try to leave your files in a state that the future version of you can use.” Walk the talk.

Hugh is the technical genius behind newCardigan’s systems. In his blog Building our own house Hugh describes the journey to setup systems protecting the privacy of our members and participants. “We’re not quite running our own servers in the spare room, but I’m pretty happy with how far we’ve managed to move towards running our own systems so we don’t force members and participants to hand over data to third parties just so they can socialise with other GLAM people. As much as possible, it’s newCardigan members, or at worst, newCardigan as an organisation, in control.”

Control those tabs, Kathryn gives a guide on how to setup preferences with Chrome for websites that you access daily.

Sam’s blog Getting to “good enough”: thoughts on perfectionism is an honest analysis and reflection on the negative aspects of perfectionism in the workplace.

Libraries becoming the new park, Melly argues for the need for librarians and library technicians to continue to manage public libraries, arguing against the trend in public libraries for using library spaces for other purposes and understaffing with the notion that customers can serve their own needs within the library. “If public parks cannot control human behaviour, what about libraries without staff?”

Amy challenges us to control our present, future, environment, thoughts, voice and relationships in her blog Taking control of the small things.

Want to be a happier librarian? You’re in control! Anne believes that happiness is something we control: “It doesn’t help to get upset or anxious about things you can’t control so focus on the things that you can.”

Sarah’s Control of GLAMR information … in my inbox is all about taking control of the subscriptions that overload us with information in our inbox, in this case GLAMR information! What is still relevant, and what is information Sarah receives in other ways.

GLAM Blog Club – Control Kara acknowledges that control of her career is difficult to attain, but perhaps it’s important to celebrate the small wins. I think most people often feel out of control of their career, but joining the conversation here is definitely a win! Thanks Kara.

My blog Democratisation in action, I argue that: “Although it’s important that archivists maintain control of the systems that ensure items are trackable and findable, it is also important that archivists enable access. Raising the profile of archival collections and awareness of the content available within collections provides more opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to interpret archival material in new and interesting ways. This is democratisation in action.”

Matthew’s Custodial Control of Digital Assets makes a compelling argument for case by case consideration in collecting born digital items: “…you cannot always control what you receive when it comes to digital collections. Standards are there for guidance and sometimes decisions need to be made on whether to allow something into the collection that does not meet them. The intrinsic value of the object, its uniqueness and rarity may very well trump the technical requirements for digital collecting. When dealing with born-digital photographs for example, where some institutions prefer a Camera Raw or uncompressed TIFF file format, a low resolution JPEG would also be accepted under the right circumstances.”

The terror and value of asking for feedback, Stacey gives advice that feedback is valuable, so it’s worth giving up control by: “Putting things out there and asking for feedback…”

Queerying the catalogue: Control, classification, chaos, curiosity, care and communities, Clare is “reflecting on the problematic histories of classification in librarianship and in psychology, particularly in relation to LGBTIQA+ communities, my complicated relationship with labels, and the power of play to help librarians become more comfortable with letting go of at least some of our control and authority, find courage in chaos, embrace fluidity, and change the system.”

Associate, collocate, disambiguate, infuriate, Alissa on her thoughts on “…relinquishing some of my control over the form and display of titles within a catalogue.”

GLAM Blog Club – Control, Rebecca questions: “So what happens when you put a control freak into the world of museums?” Weekly goal lists, problem solving skills and throwing yourself into the deep end, will help you no end.

Authority Control – Can I haz it? Clare on the world of cataloguing and control vocabs, putting theory into practice.

Thank you for your blogs on control, it proved to be a popular theme!

Have you ever walked into a gallery and cried at the sight of a painting? Felt waves of emotion reading a letter in the archives? Have you reacted passionately about something you care deeply about in a meeting at work?

Passion is our theme for GLAM Blog Club this month.

Some might argue that passion is the opposite of control. We anticipate a lovely contrast between last month and this month’s blogs.

Please don’t forget to use the tag GLAM Blog Club in your post, and #GLAMBlogClub for any social media posts linking to it. If you haven’t done so yet, remember to register your blog at Aus GLAM Blogs. Happy blogging!