Final day of blogjune 2022

Final day of blogjune.  Most popular posting closely followed by the next day posting  outlining about my redundancy and included some international visitors. I blogged 25 out of the 30 days which is not bad.  I covered most of what I outlined on day one I would cover. Tour de France will be starting tomorrow so I will probably be joining the couch peleton via twitter to enjoy the comradely of watching and bantering whilst enjoying the atmosphere and visually spectacular yearly cycle race mostly around France.  At this stage I have a holiday booked in September to go to Halls Gap for a few days with friends.  We have some house renovations planned.  Will be helping out our daughter with a new car purchase after her classic SAAB died.  And for now happy to continue in my casual role with the City of Kingston.  With all the new appointments It will be interesting to see if I maintain my three or four days a week of shifts.  As the year progresses I may re investigate casual work in some of my more local Councils now I have experience in working in the Public Library Sector.  For now the long commute is okay and offset by listening to podcasts.  My favourite podcasts are the You Project by Craig Harper and the Imperfects podcast by the Resilience Project of Ryan Shelton, Hugh and Josh van Cuylenburg  As well as listening to Life Matters on Radio National if timing allows, and mostly 96.3 Christian radio station as reception allows. 

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Creswick holiday

The weekend before starting at the City of Kingston in mid March we went away with friends to stay in Creswick. Our friends have family in Ballarat and suggested Creswick instead of our usual Daylesford as a holiday option. Part of my farewell gift from La Trobe library was an AirBnB voucher. We utilized this voucher to offset the cost of renting this nice three-bedroom place to accommodate us. Creswick is a lovely town with three lakes to explore. It also has a woollen mill one of the last in Australia still producing goods. It has a fantastic French café and other good food outlets including a supermarket. Bike riding around the town and area was a little challenging with hills but overall great. It has a small library. Some good OpShops. And a small campus of the University of Melbourne. What was fun to find was that there is a little township called Kingston nearby which seemed like a lovely premonition of where I was about to start work. We were fortunate to experience good weather for lots of walks, bike rides, exploring and eating.

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Working at Highett branch

I worked yesterday at the Highett branch with a new staff member.  Feels funny to be the more senior and experienced staff member.  This is a small branch in a nice little community currently a bit divided by a railway line crossing that holds up the traffic flow on the main street that goes through the community with all the shops and the library connected to Nepean Highway.  Think it is on the cards to get a skyrail through the area at some point which, like Parkdale, will be pushed back by the community no doubt as being undesirable.  It is a small branch and just two staff with someone coming in for lunch relief, and opening hours are a bit less than some branches. I have worked at this branch before for lunch relief and then gone onto another branch for the rest of the shift.   

The library was built and opened in 1969.  It is on the site of a former community hall that was proposed in 1924 as a  “commodious hall in which to conduct amusements and entertainments” and was opened in 1926.  It served as a dance hall, a cinema, and a meeting place.  It was bought by the former City of Moorabbin who demolished the derelict and vandalised hall in 1966.   The City of Kingston have a fantastic local history website that has articles entered into it where I obtained the information about the former hall.

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Today’s sermon

Today’s sermon by our pastor finished off a five-part series about Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Sheppards, and Teachers in the church. 

An example our pastor suggested to remember the various roles these people play in a scenario was;

An apostle would say: We need to climb that mountain.

A Prophet might say: It needs to be that mountain.

An Evangelist mights say: Let’s all climb that mountain together

A Sheppard might say: Let’s get everyone up there safely.

A Teacher might say: Do we all know what we’re doing? 

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Clarinda branch

Today I worked at the Clarinda branch.  I’ve worked at this branch a number of times.  It is attached at a community centre.  On some shifts that I have worked there have been activities happening in the community centre such as cooking and dancing focusing on different ethnicities.  The Clarinda branch has some Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, and Chinese language books and DVDs.  It has a supermarket, a petrol station and a few shops and food outlets and a large carpark right next to it.  It has an extended Saturday opening time historically based on a former South Oakleigh branch based in Warrigal Road closure and an arrangement to service the hours that the former branch had been open.   

There is a certain feeling of nostalgia traveling and working at this branch as my late father-in-law spend most of his working life traveling a long distance each day by public transport to the former Philips Electrics factory on Clarinda Road from Pascoe Vale.  The factory closed in the 1990s and is now owned by a food distribution company.  It is still recognizable with the same frontage it had when Philips closed.  On my father in law’s retirement my wife and I traveled over to see the factory and have a brief tour on one of his last days.    

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And with casual work there is flexibility

On the other hand the flexibility of working casually means that like today, I can make myself unavailable to work, and go into the city to catch up for lunch with a friend. No pay or leave, just a day off. And that is okay and important as this, for me, was part of my transition and plan. Part of my thinking was that I would be retired and just living off my redundancy payout and savings until I could access my superannuation. Working casually has allowed me to still earn enough to pay the bills, not really touch my savings much, and maintain a life work balance. And whilst in the city I got a call for work for tomorrow.

The retired librarian friend I met with was made redundant in 2014 at a time when he was gearing up for retirement. We were good friends working at the same place of work and since his retirement we have continued to maintain contact and semi-regular get togethers. He has also made a sea change with home relocation. With COVID and lockdown disruptions we have been meaning to get together for a bike ride along the Peninsula Link trail for some time. The plan was to do it today however the weather was forecast as inclement, so we got together for lunch, a walk, and a coffee in the city.

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Casual, flexible, adaptable but not perfect.

The reality of being casual is being flexible and adapting to the situation. When I first entered the world of redundancy it was an open canvas of flexibility. I could more or less do what I wanted whenever I wanted. Now being casually employed there is flexibility but an added uncertainty of having work, and having to change plans at short notice. Yesterday I was called up for a short shift at a small branch for this morning which I accepted. And with the reality of newly appointed staff there is an underlying feeling to accept any work that is forthcoming to demonstrate my flexibility and willingness to work when requested.

Mid shift I was reminded. via a text message, that I had made plans to meet up with a friend for lunch and had forgotten to cancel that arrangement. I felt terrible that I had forgotten this, and had not planned and given advance notice to my friend about the adjustment. With only an hour notice I had to apologize. I know I put them out. I usually pride myself on caring and thinking of others. I hope I can make it up to this friend and there will be forgiveness for my thoughtlessness.

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New AV system at church

A new AV system at church brought on memories of the Viz Lab and the Research Commons in my former workplace in 2017. A group of us were shown by the installer how to run the new system. However, on Sunday morning it became apparent that I did not know what buttons to press to make some things operational. It brought back memories of the VizLab. When I first set up all three microphones worked. However, during the service, we were reduced to one functioning microphone.

After church a group got into the AV box to deduce how things worked and what buttons to press to make things work. In retrospect the training on Friday should have included some much more basic information and some written instructions. After Sunday, and similar to the early days of the VizLab, I have undertaken to make a step-by-step user guide with photos to explain what to do and how to make things work.

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Central heating issues

We have lived in our house for over thirty years. It was built in the mid-1970s. Over all those years of ownership we have not had any issue with the originally installed gas central heating. Over the years we have noticed some rooms are warmer than others. Over the years I think at one point we had to have the turn on switch replaced. There has been the occasion over the years where I have had to clamber under the house and relight the pilot light. For the last few winters, I have nervously turned on the unit and waited with bated breath for old faithful heater to just start up without any issue. Over the years I have half heartly thought.. must get someone to look it over in Summer. Over the years we have collected junk mail of offers to come and clean the ducted vents. But no action.

This winter what developed was a growing awareness of an almighty bang when the heater was turned on. Even a neighbor commented on it as being not good and you should get that looked at. This then made me delve into the world of plumbers and the transition at present for additional certificates and qualifications to be a gas specialist. It has also thrust me into the world of considering alternative fuels and sustainable energy options. At this stage we do not have solar panels and currently also have gas stove hot plates and gas hot water system. To change over everything all at once is a substantial investment and major considerations. So far have had two quotes for replacement of the heater. The saving grace is a split system electric system we had installed in our lounge room seven years ago. So, we are spending a lot more time this winter in the lounge room until the central heating is fixed.

Update. A new gas central heater was installed yesterday (28/6) All is well. Farewell old heater. You have served us well over the years.

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Answering Kathryn Greenhill’s question 18 Did you decide that you wanted to be a librarian? When?  As well as introduction questions.

  1. What do you currently do for a living?

I work as a casual librarian for the City of Kingston   I have only worked here for three months.  I have been blogging about my transition to this role over #blogjune

  • What three words would you use to describe your role?

Diverse.  Flexible.  All-Encompassing.

  • What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Being resilient and overcoming – work and health traumas. 

  • Answer the question you signed up for.

Did you decide that you wanted to be a librarian? When?

I studied to be a scientist although could not see myself spending all my life in a laboratory.  My first big break was getting a job as a research assistant in 1989 at Deakin University, Geelong, which included some lab management, milking funnel web spiders, lots of photocopying, but most importantly, doing much of the article finding and current contents requests for the research team.  This utilized my recent undergraduate use of the new age CD-Roms in the library, liaising with the library about online searches, and interlibrary loan section, and undertaking article search and photocopying for the research team. 

As I grew up the two signs of library love was a well fostered library utilization as a child.  And in my teenage years undertaking a thorough indexing and card catalogue of my car magazines indexed for car road tests and car comparison tests. 

When the research assistant role ended due to funding, I tried to get library jobs.  I think at one point I actually got to an interview for a library assistant role in a public library and was more or less told… you need to go and get a librarian qualification…. as I had a science degree, and some experience, but not the proper qualification. 

I had met my life partner and our ambition was for me to get a job and relocate to Melbourne, then get engaged, and then get married.  With my changing focus to have to get a librarian qualification the decision was made to get married and then to study full time for my graduate diploma in librarianship.  My wife and I marred at the end of 1990 and I studied in 1991 doing some pizza delivery to get some income.  To increase my ability to get some experience I got some voluntary work at the Red Cross Library, and World Vision Library during my year of study.  I also sought out staff development opportunities attending ALIA functions.  Later in my studies I scored a short-term contract librarian job with a state government department.  I also scored a part time cataloguing job with a book sale and supply operation for libraries. 

As I qualified and look for opportunities, I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time when Victoria University opened up it’s Werribee campus and interviewed me for an entry level Science Librarian position and offered me the job.  I grew and developed my experience with a multitude of opportunities.  It was a time of internet access, the change over to database accessibility, the World Wide Web development, and the transition for librarians to gain teaching qualification and work more collaboratively with academics.  In later years, and with my transition from Victoria University to La Trobe, it was a time for libraries to become collaborative space and develop engagement with the community it serves. 

This photo was an Open Day at the new Victoria University of Technology, Werribee Campus, in 1993 with my colleague Crissy Freestone.  Back in the day in front of a dumb OPAC terminal, before the WWW when you used telnet and ftp and the new “internet”.   Before email was a big thing and you typed out a memo and sent it in the internal mail.  When you did a dialog online search and checked and double checked your search strategy so that when you went online you used the least amount of money.  

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