#blogjune or not

I must say the lead up to this year’s blogjune seems to have lacked luster.  I’ve only seen a handful of announcements and less hype than ever than I have seen before.  Having religiously blogged each June for five years it’s an interesting and liberating feeling to sit back and without an inner feeling of pressure to just let it go by and realize that is fine.  Aligned with a similar feeling is my lesser drive for bike riding.  Having a quick look back to my first 2013 blogjune entries I was riding every Saturday morning riding beach road with a group and a regular 50/70 kms and a lesser distance ride on Sunday.  These weekends are currently taken up with a lesser 20/30 km solo local ride on a Saturday and only the occasional Sunday ride.  How times change.  Five years older and wiser and less fit.  This blogjune will be occassional, spontaneous, and will evolve over the month

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Last day #blogjune reflections and ERA



Continuing my theme of a picture on Friday I wanted to capture the large liquid amber tree in my front yard.  It has now lost most of its leaves and in the midst of a cold winter to capture a photo as I leave for work in the early dusk and come home in the dark.  The Tour De France about to start so late night tv viewing and following the #sbstdf steam will be fun.

The statistics for my site for #blogjune below.  Seems the most popular write was the 4 questions suggestion form Paul or Time Travel as some have labelled it.  I’ve blogged 24 out of 31 days not bad and on par with previous years where maybe I was a bit more dedicated to it.


My feeling and sense was that there were less bloggers than previous years.  It was still entertaining and encouraging to read and interact with the smaller crew over the month.

Quite all consuming in my work and section at the moment is the University’s research outputs used for Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) via the MyPublications interface. Though partnership with the University research office and specifically the Research performance team we have made a significant contribution.

Last year the Library Research Team won the Vice Chancellor’s “Be the Difference” Award through their collaboration with the Research Office to develop and deliver an improved, accurate and reliable process for collecting the University’s research outputs.

This award recognises the substantial contribution of the Library Research Team in managing the annual process of publication collection for the University in 2015-2016. The Team ensured that all La Trobe authored publications were captured and assessed in the “My Publications” system; resulting in 3,495 publication records and an increase of 1,017 publications from the previous year.  A concerted effort was made to contact all possible authors of research outputs, locally and internationally, to ensure their publications were affiliated, accounted for and nominated through the process. As a result, the University’s ranking position has improved dramatically in 2016.

In the lead up to ERA2018 we have been undertaking an extensive exercise to capture the research outputs of the University for the period 1st January 2011 to 31st December 2016.  It has led to certain amounts of stress over the whole team and at times dealing with messy data.  It often feels like we are reaching significant deadlines and goals but then as soon as one is reached another is put before us.  The goal post continuously change and the team is changed and diverted accordingly, as well as undertaking a wide range of other work duties.


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Kathryn’s 28th suggestion

So back on 17th June when Paul  @paulhagon  suggested a topic for the 21st Kathryn Greenhill @libsmatter
suggested a topic for 28th.  Thanks Kathryn.  In last days of #blogjune it is hard to fill up the page.
1. If you could go back and tell your 20 year old self one thing that was going to happen to you between then and today, what would that be?

Be prepared for life’s journey ahead.  Your resilience, humour, and social skills will connect you and get you through.

As a single 20 year old studying a Bachelor of Science at Deakin University and living at home in Geelong that had been the family town for at least two or three generations I had not found my life partner whom I married and had kids with.  I had not moved to Melbourne and made a life there.  I had not at that staged deferred my studies, worked in a bank, and then went back and completed my studies, worked in Science, got a taste for libraries, studied librarianship, scored a library job and had the majority of my future in academic libraries mostly as a science librarian.  Since my 20s I have maintained my Christian faith and church connection fostered by my upbringing but transferred membership through three different denominations.    In more recent times I had my first big overseas holiday only a few years ago that I blogjuned about last year.  As a 20 year old I had not developed my passion for cycling and biking advocacy only bike riding occasionally.
2. In 20 years time (presuming the world gets better, not worse) what do you think will be the biggest technological difference between your life now and your life then ?

The hindrance with technology now I feel is the requirement to be connected to systems and pay for the privilege.  I would like to think that in 20 years time there will not be a requirement to pay for the wifi, to pay for the subscription, to pay for the licence, to have to pay the time and effort to learn the software.  All will be seamless, straightforward and free.

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Access to the Research Commons

Access to the Research Commons should be automatically granted on swiping staff/student cards to staff, researchers and to HDR graduate students.  However the reality has been a bit awkward.  The definition of HDR graduate students should be Masters by research and PhDs.  And with staff the issue has been the access for some that might be professional staff but in a research support mode.  There is sometimes a time delay from HR with new enrolments to our database to allow for access.  We have tried to address the issue with signage that if access doesn’t happen to email or tell us and we can intervene to make it happen within 24 hours.

What we have found too is that there might be one or two legitimate students that have access that open up access to others be they undergraduate, honours students, or even friends from other Universities.  A security sweep of the area moves a certain amount of those that are not meant to be there but it is a problem.

Generally the use of the area is okay but when there is a group, particularly of unauthorized users that have gained access,  there has been feedback of making legitimate users feel uncomfortable and not want to come back to use the area if subjected to loud or inappropriate misuse.

When a seminar or day event has booked out the complete Research Commons and Viz Lab the policing of blocking access to those not part of the seminar can be an issue.  If those in charge of the event staff the main entrance door all is well.  Some however just staff the door at start of event and then leave the door propped open which again leads to unauthorized access.

From the outset we have had a first come first served regarding the breakout rooms. within the Research Commons.  What we have found though is the reality of some taking possession of the room and staying there all day and/or taking ownership of the room by leaving their belongings there when they go out of the area.

We are reviewing all the above with signage and asking security to do more sweeps of the area but it is not perfect.  Does anyone have experience with maintaining post graduate areas as post graduate areas?  Or in this case a mixed post graduate and staff only area?

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Sermon reflections

Continuing theme of listening to God, today was listening via Holy Spirit. We started off with a briefing of the what and who the Holy Spirit is as part of the trinity and essence of God.  Then a briefing on the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit.  Then ways in which we might become more attune to hearing the Holy Spirt.  And although there are various ways one of the prime ways is via the voice of others.

Concluding remarks were to desire to know God and hear God.  To slow down, pay attention and be still.  To write down what God says in a journal for later reflection and ultimately to do what God says.

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Coffee ride to Essendon

Today was again a winter’s day when the sun was out but there was a chill in the air.  Also there had been rain overnight so the roads were wet and potentially slippery so I was overly slow and cautious particularly on the rough paths and footpaths that had tree debris on them.   Heading out of Keilor towards Essendon requires riding up some significant hills. There is no way around it.  Once past these there was a new short path near the cemetery.  Interestingly seemed to be a funeral in progress on a Saturday.  We then travelled on some backroads and bike paths ending up near Strathmore and then heading to a known café for coffee and treats.  Near the café was a park pictures below.


It was amusing to see this cockatoo looking very dirty and ruffled but still having a drink and wash in the puddle


The ride home was more or less retracing our steps from before.  Always interesting to note how the traffic gets heavier and angrier around lunchtime on a Saturday.  STRAVA result


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The bonus of the NVIVO training was that the location was in the city of Melbourne and close to Southbank.  So popping out at lunchtime in the winter sun was a treat.


We were quite stretched to learn the functionalities and possibilities of the NVIVO software.  Finding out the linkages and possibilities of connection with Twitter was surprising.  I’ve started on a project to explore the functionalities and to come to grips with the nodes and coding.  There are also quite a range of data visualisation and mind map and chart possibilities of displaying data.  This youtube might be helpful to look at Librarians and NVivo – supporting your campus researchers 

The training venue had an interesting sculpture in the entrance



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