Anirban’s work experience at Tea Tree Gully Library

 

Anirban recently completed a two-week work experience placement at Tea Tree Gully Library. Here is his account of his time:

I am a people person. I enjoy talking with patrons and I enjoy dealing with a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. I enjoy giving direct support to senior management, colleagues and co-workers in a way that really makes a noticeable difference. I enjoy challenges, responsibilities, methodical as well as precise approach.

My placement at Tea Tree Gully Library has provided me with an excellent opportunity to develop professional networks with colleagues and library staff members. Over the past two weeks, staff have become familiar with my professional ability, punctuality, reliability, team skills and work ethics. I believe these connections will provide strong references in the future when the time comes to gain meaningful and sustainable employment in the library industry.

Working at the Library has given me a chance to observe how other employees operate and behave in various circumstances. For instance, verbal and non-verbal communication, writing clear business correspondence, observing office etiquette and behaviour patterns, answering telephone calls, dealing with difficult and aggressive patrons and resolving conflicts.

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This placement has been an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge I have learned at TAFE in a professional environment. Applying skills practically has helped me to identify my biggest strengths and areas I can improve in the future. My workplace supervisors have given me the necessary training and induction during my placement. Customer service attendants and other specialist library staff have helped me to complete my work placement through various on-the-job training.

For instance, a WHS representative Stephen Radlett gave me the necessary training for manual handling. The Digital Hub coordinator, Julian Smith, explained vividly how to use various electronic devices for placing a hold, searching the library catalogue and how to use social media platforms for collaboration, communication and effective engagement with peers, colleagues and patrons. Overall, the preparation was insightful and equally comprehensive.

My placement has allowed me to work in different areas in the Library to see what environment suits me most. For example, dealing with children, computers and systems, collections, adult programs and community history. It is practically impossible to know where I will best fit without trying a variety of responsibilities. Moreover, the library has a wide range of patrons and staff from different cultures, ethnicities and educational backgrounds. That has made the internship even more vibrant, stimulating and insightful.

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Placements usually award me with some kind of compensation such as course credit or a professional recommendation. With the Tea Tree Gully Library, I have greatly admired their support, constant cooperation and desire for professional growth in their employees. I was privileged to be able to take advantage of in-house training and flexible scheduling to complete my Certificate IV in Library and Information Services.

The entire purpose of a placement is to gain new skills and apply them to real tasks. For example, during the placement I have learnt the different uses and functionalities of the SirsiDynix Library Management system, how to display an educational event and project management techniques. A placement is like a crash course of working in the real world. I am learning from hands-on experience instead of a classroom-based lesson. Whether it learning big things or little things, I have been learning constantly. In the real world of employment, learning never stops, so it has been great to start adding to my skill set while undertaking my placement as a trainee library assistant.

It is difficult to find a placement in the library industry under the current economic and political climate, especially in South Australia. Placements are all about gaining experience, making professional connections and learning new skills. They involve a lot of work, learning, observation, and involvement.  Whether it is the work I am doing or the people that surround me, there are so many different things to love about my placements.

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The successful completion of a college certificate does not necessarily provide direct entry into a career. I think of placements as career experiments to accomplish long-term educational and career objectives. I have enjoyed my placement and wish to work in the Library industry upon graduation.

Doing something I love and thoroughly enjoy is vitally important because it resembles what I want to do in the future. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I got my approval letter to complete a placement at the Tea Tree Gully Library. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

A placement may often be perceived as an audition for a full-time job either with the same organisation or with a different organisation. My advice for future work experience students is to apply yourself to a placement as if it is a permanent engagement, or if it might turn into one. Libraries are always looking for dedicated, passionate, dynamic, and creative individuals. It is worth remembering that hard work always pays off!

Dyslexia Friendly Collection

The more you read, the easier it becomes. But for those who struggle with words, reading is not always fun, and it’s easy to lose heart and stop trying.

Tea Tree Gully Library has recently made it easier to find dyslexia-friendly books and audiobooks by putting them in their own space  in the children’s and teen areas. They now have signage and coloured labels so they are easy to find.

To search for dyslexia friendly books, type in ‘dyslexia’ in the catalogue, just like below, and from there you can select the ‘dyslexia’ boxes on the left-hand side.

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Dyslexia primarily affects the ability to learn, read and spell. Sometimes maths is affected as well.  It’s important to remember that having dyslexia is not related to someone’s general intelligence. It comes from a difficulty in dealing with the sounds of words. People with dyslexia often find it hard to remember lists of things they have heard, or to remember names or facts quickly, although they often have strengths in reasoning, visual and creative fields.

Features of Dyslexia Friendly Books:

  • A font style and size that is clear to read.
  • Off-white paper that is kinder to the eyes as it reduces glare from the high contrast of black against white.
  • Spacing between letters, lines and paragraphs
  • Age appropriate content and story lines but with less text to a page and more pictures
  • Shorter chapters to give the eyes natural ‘rest’ breaks

Where are they located?

Children’s Area: Find them in the area near the book series boxes.

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Book stickers on Dyslexia Friendly Collection (DXF-C) in the children’s area of Tea Tree Gully Library

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You can find dyslexia friendly books and audio books among the Children’s book series boxes in the Children’s Area.

Teens Area: You can find them on the last shelf facing the public computers.

Stickers on the Dyslexia Friendly Books in the Teen Area

Stickers on the Dyslexia Friendly Books in the Teen Area

Find the DXF-T books in the shelf that faces the computers (in the Teen Area).

Find the DXF-T books in the shelf that faces the computers (in the Teen Area).

We hope our new collections appeal to children and young people who have dyslexia or who are reluctant to read. May they inspire a new love of reading!

Street Craft – the next step from Street Art

STREET-CRAFT-EDP-8631910This cute book is soon to join the collection. Street Craft, by Rikka Kuittinen is a collection of art works, including street sculpture, yarn bombing, ‘urban crochet’, light installation and more, which are transforming tiny corners of cities around the world.

28 artists are featured, each providing a short bio and then what inspires them, followed by some glorious photographs of their works. Works range from the dark to bright and cheerful and are all emotive.

Street Craft

Street Craft is becoming a cultural phenomena, you’d be hard pressed to find a populated area that doesn’t feature some ‘guerrilla art‘ – not always legal, sometimes unappreciated, but always making a comment.

This and other street art books are available at the Library.

Christmas cards that you may not want to receive…

Christmas in Victorian times conjures up visions such as a  happy family gathered around a brightly lit Christmas trees,  plump Christmas puddings, an old fashioned Santa surrounded by laughing children awaiting their gifts and scenes from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. However, there was a darker side to the Victorian Christmas experience, which to our modern sensibilities seems macabre and very strange.

Christmas Curiosiites

In Christmas curiosities: Old, dark and forgotten Christmas author John Grossman draws on an extensive collection of antique greeting cards, postcards, advertising material and other ephemera to explore a different world of 19th century Christmas celebrations.

 

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dead bird

Grossman shows us two Christmas cards from the 1880s which feature beautifully drawn images of dead birds and which wish their recipients “May yours be a Joyful Christmas” and “A Loving Christmas Greeting”. He says that a picture of a dead robin or wren (both bird species were beloved and considered sacred in British folklore) were “bound to elicit Victorian sympathy and may reference common stories of poor children freezing to death at Christmas”. Was this a genuine attempt to raise awareness of social injustice and change society or would the person who received such a card really just smugly consider themselves better off than a homeless orphan?

Devil

Continental children were not spared the horror of Christmas. When Santa Claus comes to town we sing that he is going to “find out who’s naughty and nice”. In Europe during throughout the 19th and early 20th century, the holy St. Nicholas enlisted the devil to help with his deliveries. St. Nicholas gave out treats to well-behaved children, while the devil, who appeared in many guises, kidnapped the bad kids and beat them with a stick! Perhaps “Grub vom Krampus” (Greetings from Krampus) in Germanic Christmas tradition, served as a warning akin to “You better watch out!”

Quirky or just plain scary? Why not decide for yourself by putting a hold on Christmas curiosities: Old, dark and forgotten Christmas, or check out any of our thousands of Christmas related resources through the library catalogue.

Star Wars Costumes – the original trilogy

StarWarsCostumesThere’s no denying the popularity of Star Wars is still climbing. Now with Disney at the helm, a new film on the way, a new TV show recently launched, and a company that is no stranger to merchandising , there’s been a steady trickle of high quality, new Star Wars books coming into the Library.

 

 

 

A AJcket that caused years of controversy for fans. It looked blue in many scenes on screen, but was actually brown.

A jacket that caused years of controversy for fans. It looked blue in many scenes on screen, but was actually brown.

The latest to cross my desk is this one; Star Wars Costumes – the original trilogy. No doubt designed to re-capture the delight of the original fan, who is well into middle age by now, in preparation for the big things coming in 2015. The book contains many never before seen photos of costumes from the original trilogy, up close and personal with some parts and you can really see the details, or lack of detail in some parts and many of the background character outfits.

 

 

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Did you know there was so many different pilot helmets?

With Episode Seven due out in December next year, I think we’re just seeing the beginning of a new wave of SW non-fiction, stories, graphic novels and all sorts coming into the library. You can check out on our catalogue the huge range of Star Wars stuff we already keep!

Broccoli is good for you

Driving along on my way to work I listened to the dreamy psychedelic sounds of Queensland band, The Babe Rainbow, singing Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest. The song brought to mind an amazing book we have in our collection entitled Carl Warner’s Foodscapes.

English photographic artist Carl Warner has created a series of surreal landscapes composed entirely of different foods.

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Including of course, the Broccoli Forest, featuring mountains made of bread loaves and cauliflower clouds in the background. Carl can take up to five days to put together the elements for one of his fantastic Foodscapes, perfect and photograph it.

Viewing Carl’s work you will also be intrigued many other scenes such as the Spaghetti Western, the Great Wall of Pineapple, the London Skyline made of food, a White Chocolate Castle and a Candy Cottage – watch out Hansel and Gretal!

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Carl has also published a second book for children called A World of Food. A World of Food features scenes composed of food of predominantly one colour, accompanied by poems that help readers discover the ingredients for themselves in the images. The aim of the book is to alter children’s perceptions of food and encourage healthy eating.

You can find both Carl Warner’s Foodscapes and A World of Food at the Library. Enter the world of Carl Warner at http://www.carlwarner.com

eBooks are here!

Great news for our borrowers – you can now access eBooks through our catalogue!

South Australian libraries have joined forces to purchase a collection of eBooks and Audiobooks via a provider called Overdrive. Logging in with your library card you can download books onto your eBook reader, tablet PC, iPad or smartphone (or music player, in the case of Audiobooks). You can borrow them for up to 21 days and they are automatically returned from your device, so you won’t get any late fees.

And the best part? It’s all free.

To get started, just go to our website or catalogue and look for the eBooks link. Browse or search for a title you’re interested in, click Borrow, and transfer it to your device to get reading.

Please note that due to a rights management issue with Amazon we can’t currently offer this service to Kindle users in Australia.

For more information on the world of eBooks, see this brochure from the Public Libraries SA website.