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Two trips, booked and paid for!

SO I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have two pieces of amazing news.

 First, I have booked my tickets to Adelaide!

The Pinnacle Foundation granted me $750 to go to Adelaide in May for the CBCA Biannual. Among the presenters are some of my favourite authors, include Isobelle Carmody, Eoin Colfer, and Mem Fox!


But that is not all….

My most fantastic news is this. Last week I booked my flights to Europe!!!!! I fly out of Australia on the 29th of July, and arrive back in Australia about 12.30am on the 21st of August. That is a full three weeks, the first in Amsterdam, and the other two in Belgium.

I have also decided on where I intend to stay, although it will be a couple of weeks before I can afford to pay for my accommodation.

Work has been hard, and I almost always have to take some pain meds top get through a shift. It has been taking its toll, which is evident in that I had done almost no walking today, but still my right hip is REALLY bad right now.

But still, I need the work. And just because I now have a job, doesn’t mean that I am going to give up looking for a library job.


Two Things…

Alright, so two pretty major things happened today.

One, I found out that Twitter friend, and fellow Curtin student, Clare, has donated $100 to my Get-Suzie-to-Amsterdam-Fund. Should my paper get accepted, then The Pinnacle Foundation will match it!!


The other major thing was I made my first purchase relating to the trip. On one hand, I feel somewhat accomplished, in that I have started actually spending money on this trip. On the other hand, I feel somewhat embarrassed about what the purchase was.


Okay, any traveller should know that there are far more important things to purchase six months prior to departure. But I knew I needed new cabin luggage, and this wheeled bag was on sale when I noticed it on the way to the post office (Happy Birthday Dad!). So I placed it on layby with an $8 deposit.

$8 down, $3,992 to go


In other news, the other night I started the online application process for a new passport. As my old one is a child’s passport (I was 16 at the time), I need to start from scratch to get a new one, not just renew. So that will cost me AUD$230.

In addition my Fund ballance is now at $706.81. Not bad.





Going to conferences, both interstate and international

This was written in the early hours of Thursday, 12th of January. At the time I had no internet connection.

It has been a while since I have blogged, but a lot has happened, and right now there is so much running through my head that I can’t sleep, which is why I am typing at a campsite picnic table in East Geelong, at 1am. Right now, it is freezing (I would say about 15*C), and has been spitting with rain all day.

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Date a girl who reads…

Just read this at My soppy romantic side was sighing the whole way through.

Please note this is not my work. Oh! And by the way? I’m single 😉

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Destroying 5,500 books does nothing but make people angry.

What a day….

It was about 2pm yesterday when I was watching a pirated copy of J.A.G (Season 2!), that the Occupy Wall Street Library Twitter feed was going nuts. Zuccotti Square was under attack.

I have been following their blog for sometime, and knew from past meeting minutes that they had an Emergency Contingency Plan (first save the movement’s archives and self-publications, then the electronics, then start on the crates of books), but that didn’t soften the blow as I watched in horror as one of the OWS librarians tweet pictures of the 5,554 books and other materials being destroyed and tossed into dump trucks.

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Why I love my PLN

I meant to post this last week, but I was distracted by assignments. Ah well.
I started establishing my Personal Learning Network (PLN) via Twitter about a year ago, at LibraryCamp Perth, in 2010. The week before, I had done an assignment at uni that required me to use Twitter for a week (thank you @libsmatter!!!). I had intended to close my account after that, but seeing the way they used Twitter at LibraryCamp (particularly having the LiveStream projected behind the presenter), convinced me of how useful Twitter can be. As a result, that day I began to connect with other librarians, beginning my PLN.

Warning labels on children’s book

It recently came to my attention that a children’s picture book, King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, had a warning label on the front stating “Readers should be aware that this book is concerned with same sex relationships”. This was entirely inappropriate, so I got on Twitter and made a bit of a fuss.

While the content of King and King, and it’s sequel King and King and Family is considered controversial due to an image of two men kissing, it is a significant piece of children’s literature. While little fuss has been made about the original book, Koning en Koning (its original is in Dutch), the English version has often been challenged, particular in the US.

The State Library of WA was made aware of the label, and a response was given on Flickr at the time. In addition, letters were sent to the Margaret Allen (CEO of SLWA), Ruth Faulkner Library in Belmont (where the book was held), the Hon. John Day (Minister for Planning: Culture and Arts), and Stuart Cole, (CEO of the City of Belmont). You can download a copy of th letter sent in PDF format here:


Of the four letters sent, two responses were received. One from SLWA, the other from the Hon. John Day. Both letters can be read in this PDF file:


It should be noted that when Ms Allen from SLWA cited their anti-discrimination policy, sexuality was listed as ‘lifestyle choice’. For those who are unaware, your sexuality is NOT a choice (after all, with all the s**t society puts us through, who would choose to be gay?). Also, being gay is not a ‘lifestyle’, it is who your are. Just like being heterosexual is not a lifestyle.

In addition, Perth’s local gay rag, Out in Perth ran this article by Benn Dorrington on page 5 of their August issue.

Article from Out in Perth

So yeah. The label has been removed, and other copies in the SLWA system have been checked. It could have been a staff member (possibly a library assistant who has not partaken in formal TAFE or uni training), or even a member of the public. We may never know. At any rate, the label is gone. Thank goodness for that.

Just plain wrong