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Showing posts from 2018

Using librarian skills to uncover a network of dodgy shopping sites!

In all my posts over the years I'm not sure if I ever mentioned I am an avid steampunker.  Like many of my quirky fellow librarians, I love a good dress up and recently found myself searching for a great pair of boots to go with the Steampunk Aviator Superhero costume I'm assembling (trust me, it will work!).

One evening whilst idly thumbing through Pinterest I found a picture of these undeniably AWESOME combat-boot style boots.  I followed the link to the website ( and although it didn't look dodgy and offered PayPal, I am a cautious online shopper and always check the customer reviews first.  They were 1000% abysmal.  Like the kind of reviews that say SCAM, THEFT and CAN I LEAVE 0 STARS.  So despite loving the shoes, I was definitely not parting with my money on this occasion.

Fast forward a couple of months and I see an ad for Victorian-style cosplay boots in my Insta feed.  Did I mention that I am an avid steampunker?  Because seriously, these shoes…

The Trials of Youthful Exuberance

Attracting youth to the library is such a THING.

Endlessly discussed across the ages, we as librarians want to connect positively with this elusive subset of the population - draw them in with our smiles and our warmth, instill in them a lifelong love of reading and be that “third place” that everyone was waxing lyrical about a wee while back. If only we could get them to start talking to us, if only we could get them to read a book or two, if only we could get them to see that we’re actually really cool! (and that my friends, is the problem right there 😆).
Our library's youth space was about as inspiring as cold, one day old oatmeal, so we recently underwent a total revamp.  We now have funky chairs and bookend art, traditional games, gaming consoles and colouring stations - all these things have merged to create a much better vibe in that area, but has it attracted youth? Well yeah, but it's sort of attracting everyone at the moment because it's such a nice area to hang…

It only takes a second (ment)

What the hell is a secondment?
Some people I have chatted to have no idea what I'm talking about (and I also discovered that some spell-check utilities don't even recognise the word) so I thought I would clear the confusion by ripping a definition straight from Merriam-Webster:
Definition of secondmentplural-s

: the detachment of a person (such as a military officer) from his or her regular organization for temporary assignment elsewhere.

So if you just substitute "library services officer" for "military officer" you have an explanation of my situation!

Being a qualified Librarian can take you in so many different directions. One of the reasons I chose the tag "Ambidextrous Librarian" was because I honestly had no idea which direction my career would go. I have worked in school libraries and the kids and teachers are absolutely fantastic, but the pay, conditions and options for career development aren't all that varied. I tri…

A Somewhat Risky Business

Working in a public library means I am surrounded all day by books (duh).  Books are such pretty things - there is a reason why publishers spend big bucks on cover design, and that's because we pretty much ignore the old "don't judge a book by its cover" and happily judegy-judge away.  We can't help it, bright and shiny things attract us!

So as I was standing at the circ desk the other day having a bit of a rest between patrons, I found my eyes drawn yet again to a book that was on display.  I had been gazing at it on and off all day, and I couldn't really make out the title but it was the dress that caught me, and the shiny peach converse trainers, and the pose, and the luxurious hair.  I decided that the universe was telling me I had to borrow it, even if I had absolutely no idea what it was about.  I took it home without even reading the blurb.

The book was titled "This is just my face; try not to stare" by Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who starr…

My Life as a Hashtag (Gabrielle Williams)

I’ve been reading so much more these last few months (as I have consciously moved away from social media - much to the improvement of my mental health and attention span!) but it’s been a while since I have picked up a YA novel. I’m not even sure what drew me to this title - I might have spotted it in the Readings catalogue? Anyhoo, long story short it’s also been ages since I have finished reading a book in a day. Like, I had to set my watch timer to 15 minute intervals so I didn’t just sit for hours reading. I could get away with that when I was younger, but now I have to complete adult-esque things in my day!
The ingredients of this book throw toegether a bunch of close teenage friends, a boy, a secret Tumblr blog, and a viral post. Nothing too extraordinary, and to be honest the story itself is a fairly unsubtle warning about being careful what you post to social media, but you know what? I didn’t care about the ordinary or the unsubtle. I found the narrator - MC - to be q…