The Setup: what tools I use to get shit done. #A blogjune post


Inspired by reading some #blogjune literature earlier in the week, and snail’s encouragement to participate in this particular thread proposed by Paul Hagon.

What tools do you use to get your job done?

  1. Who are you, and what do you do?

2. What hardware do you use?

3. And what software?

4. What would be your dream setup?

Well, here goes.

Ko Hana Whaanga ahau. No Alicetown Playcentre whare tākaro ahau. Mess

  1. I am a stay-at-home Mum and have been for the past five years. I am a relationship manager; domestic engineer; project manager; micro-manager; problem-solver; counsellor; mediator; nurse; motivational speaker; leaning post; child development coach; teacher; connector; educator; librarian; chef. I do it all. Or at the very least, try.
  2. Definition of hardware from Merriam-Webster,

  major items of equipment or their components used for a particular purpose

LunchboxesThe kitchen – tap, sink, microwave, oven, running warm water, bibs, face cloths, plates, bowls, cups and utensils –> to feed and fuel the children

The laundry – washing machine, washing powder, soap, tap sink, nappy buckets, washing basket, laundry baskets –> to keep us in relatively presentable clothes.

The bathroom – wharepaku, tap, sink, Washing basket DIYface cloths, bath, face cloths –> to keep us clean and presentable to the outside world

Bedroom – bed (sheets, brolly sheets, pillow, blue cat, tigey, duvet etc) –> so we can rest and sleep comfortably between day shifts

Other miscelaneous hardware – heaters, to provide warmth. A few more I can’t think of right now.

The van –> for transportation of important beings from A to B and Buggy and scooterssometimes C and D. (and occasionally E, F, G, H, I and J, and K and once or twice a year, L)

Buggy and two scooters.

3. Definition of software from Merriam-Webster,

something used or associated with and usually contrasted with hardware

But you can’t use the antonym in the definition… gah.

Ok, I can’t keep up the sarcasm. Software you ask? What software do I use to do my job? My children. Can they be classed as software. They are a real contrast to the hardware. They are as malliable as they come. They are the most un-hardware (software??)-like creatures you can get. And when you list all the hardware required for the role (required is a strong word, lets just say, all this hardware makes this role easier in the western world). It just makes sense that the essential software addition in the equation is children. You make up a joke about what software I use.

4. And what would be my dream setup?

I am happy with my current setup thank you



Literature searching: Refreshing my tired brain

EditI have found some friends who are interested in this broad research area as well, Meg Cordes and Sarah Gallagher. If you’d like to join us on this exploration of the literature and holistic approach to researching,  and finding a hypothesis through discussion and reading, we welcome your input.

Yesterday evening I spent a couple of hours online with Meg, searching Victoria University’s databases. We tried Waharoa, the search discovery layer (covers physical items in the collection, and subscribed resources and their subsets), and a small handful of databases. Emerald turned out to yield the best results – focused (on our subject) and a good number of results.

Meg and I used google hangouts, her suggestion – I hadn’t used it before. As a regular user of FaceTime and Skype, it’s good. Feature-rich and I put it and Meg to the test when I asked if she could share her screen with me – the searches that she was doing whilst talking to me.

I sat back on my bed, tired from the continuous conversations with my kids all day, and watched Meg do some preliminary literature searches on our broad research topic – librarianship and parenthood.

We started with a table or concept grid, to list the range of search terms we had already thought of, and synonyms and related terms.

As Meg scrolled, we both saw the same articles of interest, she would check and add them to a saved list (later e-mailed to herself), and I would comment and interject with suggestions for adjusting the search. As we scrolled through scanning the titles and reading abstracts of ones that caught our interest, we added search terms to our concept grid in a shared google doc, open in another window.

Once a Librarian, always a Librarian.

I still had the knack. Meg said so. Boolean searching, truncation, wildcards, brackets, all that. It was like going back 8 years. I swear I have not done Boolean searching in a librarian-client relationship in quite some time.

T’was fun.

And so the fun of researching begins. Stay tuned to follow our progress.

Returning to writing professionally. It must be time

I’ve been sitting on this, and sitting on this, and sitting on this.
This thought, that it would be valuable to speak up about my experience in New Zealand, of navigating the transition from librarianship to motherhood. Of professional registration while on maternity leave. Of Librarian to Unemployed. Of the transition between professionalism in one arena, to trying my best in another.

The aspiring librarian’s career trajectory in New Zealand

What prompted me in writing this post, is reading about Christine Busby contending to be the next President-Elect for LIANZA. I have met Christine a number of times, mainly at social occasions back when she was with SLIS and living in Wellington. Christine’s career progression (and many others in my pre-kids Rolodex) reminds me of all the things I mean to get around to. Librarian position (tick), managing staff, speaking at a conference, LIANZA committee chair, Councilor, then naturally on to President-Elect.

I used to rub shoulders with Laurinda, now I rub shoulders with this one.

Photo of A and I
A and I

Watching how these women progress in their careers, I see the chasm between their career progression and mine. The movement in theirs, and the movement of mine along another trajectory. These are some harsh words to read.

I know that I’ve never learned so much and so quickly, in all my life, as I have in the past four years. I am learning so much from that inspiring little girl there. And her sister. And her brother.

I’ve learned so much about the human spirit, about empathy, emotion, love, compassion, the meaning of whānau. And of acceptance. I never ever would have learned this, without doing it. Without putting myself into the thick of it. Three children under four years old.

Women in the library profession, at some point – if all things are aligned how they want them to be – consider the question of when. When is the right time to start a family?

When is the right time to start a family?

The answer is different for everyone.

If I can help you with finding your own answer to this question, by sharing my experience of librarianship to parenthood, then I’ll feel even better for being here. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now.