Web 2.0 tools and NZ public libraries

by tosca on Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm looking at the Hastings District Library for this post. I have family in Hastings - so hello to both the Bruce and the Waerea families! And greetings from a misplaced-Wellingtonian-Jafa ;0) And yes, I know that's got nothing to do with the subject matter at hand but it'd be rude not to say anything heh. It's been so long since I looked at a public library for this exercise that I've forgotten exactly what it is that I actually do. Huh! So, where to from here? I have found the Hastings District Libraries 'Library News Update' blog which I have enjoyed reading. And I'm impressed with the turnout for the Flaxmere magic show! They've limited their posts to display 3 at a time, which I think is great because there's nothing worse than scrolling forever to find something on a site. Nice, very visual and uncluttered. They have an 'Ask a librarian' service and they also promote the 'Any Questions' online homework service. Niiiiiice =)

One Book - One Lincoln programme - Was looking around online to see the various ways in which libraries who use NextReads (which by the way is a fantastic readers' advisory tool) promote it, and came across the above programme. 'One Book - One Lincoln is a community reading program co-sponsored by Lincoln City Libraries and the Lincoln Journal Star. The program encourages all adults in Lincoln and Lancaster County to read and discuss the same book at the same time. The goal of the program is to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community wide reading and discussion experience.' Allof this, and more, you can view/read on their site - but what a fantastic idea! I absolutely love it and would like to see something like this here in Manukau. One day. Maybe. I've requested the book 'The thirteenth tale' that they're reading this year. I'm with them in spirit heh. (Image taken from 'One Book One Lincoln' website).

Newseum - found in an article from Huffington Post that came through my Bloglines account and oohh err it's basically the current day's newspaper front pages from around America and some of the rest of the world. Today's lot features an alert across the top: Please be patient with the site, we are experiencing a high volume of traffic today. And if you couldn't guess the reason, then check out the screen shot beside this pagraph *eyes right* ;-) But I think I'm prob going to visit this site daily, even if only for a quick image check each morning of the world at a glance. Have also highlighted this in the 'History and Current Events November 2008' NextReads newsletter links section (this newsletter is due out this week and is produced by the ever-helpful Natz2-D2 YAY).

I subscribe to rss updates for 'Random House library services' and their movie-tie-ins-page has a piece about John Boyne's 'The boy in striped pyjamas' film. Unsure if any of you read the book but it was a tear jerker. It's a young adult/junior fiction novel that's written from a child's perspective. For the first part of the book you have no idea where it's set or even why the story is important - you just know it is. Soon, though, you notice that the story is peppered with small but significant clues (like the dinner guest Bruno's parents refer to as the Fury) and when you start to put it together it's spine-chilling. The ending is inevitable, you could see the novel moving toward that conclusion - I'm not sure that logically there was any other way it could've gone - but that doesn't stop it from being any less desperately sad. And Boyne's ending paragraph, I don't remember it spot on, but it's something to the effect that it's all just a story, and how everybody knows that stories aren't true. Probably made me cry harder because it did happen and the horror of it is beyond words. Have read a few reviews of the book that were pretty harsh and it made me wonder, when did we lose our ability to just appreciate a book, good, (semi) bad or otherwise? Why do we have to rip it to shit and publicly condemn it? I usually find that my opinion runs against the common thread - if the critics thought it was great I detested it, and if they thought it was crap I liked it. Now, I give up. If I like it I tell everyone, and if I detested it I wince and move on to another one. Needless to say I told umpteen people about Boyne's book. (Image taken from RandomHouse).

I started this post a day or so after completing my previous one and, since then, three major events have happend, two internationally, the other national. The events: first is that Senator Barack Obama was voted in as President of the United States of America - a history making moment; second is that Proposition 8 - a California State Ballot proposition aiming to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman - received a YES vote of 52.5%, showing that Americans would rather give farming animals rights before legally allowing (I hate that term 'allowing') same-sex couples to marry - where is the love, people? (yes animals need to be protected but ahead of human rights?); and third is that National have come into power, making John Key the Prime Minister of New Zealand. To the first, HELL YES, it's long overdue (although what does it say that Americans want a brown President before a woman, and would the decision for Clinton/Obama have been different if it was a different woman in question?); what the hell to the second - oh, by all means, let's restrict marriage as an instituion for, say, teens who get knocked up, drop out of college and keep alive the idea of the shotgun-wedding, hey, that's a holy union all right; and omg to the third - what was NZ thinking of? I hesitate to make the comparison with President Bush, but I'm not far off it. I can't help but feel slightly thankful that President Obama is commited to ending the war in Iraq because I wonder if our troops may have ended up there under a new government. National has never had a great track record in working with Maori and I don't have great hopes now. Is it a huge issue? Yeah, Labour aren't fantastic but better the devil you know. The proof of the pudding is in the eating...Will he get rid of the Treaty of Waitangi? I hope to Christ he doesn't. I heard a comment recently that Maori would be no better off than they are right now if the Treaty were taken away - and, while in some part I agree, I'm reluctant to have it removed. It gives Maori and the government something to work towards - a blueprint, if you will. I think Maori might be effed royally without it! (Image taken from National Party's offical website). So for now I play the waiting game...bah humbug.

On This Day: 10th November, 1969 - Sesame Street screened for the very first time! Since its inception, well over 74 million people have watched the show. Today, an estimated 8 million people in the US watch the show. And YES I was a Sesame Street baby =)

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