17 December, 2007

Reading and public libraries

Mark Twain famously declared that rumours of his death were greatly exaggerated. It's a bit like that with books and reading - while participation in the online / digital world is revolutionising the way that people access information and entertainment, there are still many people who enjoy reading books for information and pleasure.

On Saturday I was delighted by a recitation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre. Dickens' novels and short stories have stayed enduringly popular and have always been in print. As was the usual format of the Victorian age, Dickens published serialised novels, and each new part of his stories was eagerly anticipated by the reading public. A Christmas Carol was written in 1843, and remains as engaging and entertaining today as it would have been when it was first published.

Two contemporary authors who use a similar style are Alexander Smith, the Scottish author who writes a serial novel in daily episodes through the pages of The Scotsman newspaper entitled '44, Scotland Street'; and Helen Fielding, whose Bridget Jones books had their origins in a column published in The Independent and The Daily Telegraph in 1997 and 1998.

Over the summer holidays we are running two programs - one for children and another one for adults - that promote the love of reading. The Summer Reading Program for primary aged children is themed Superheroes read and there are plenty of activities and ideas for reading.

The Summer Read is a program for adults and features Victorian authors. We are thrilled that Barry Heard, author of Well done those men which is one of the feature books on the Reading Victoria list for this summer, will be visiting Ivanhoe library on Thursday 17 January at 6.30pm - 7.30pm. Barry has had a very interesting life story; his experiences during the Vietnam War have shaped his life in unexpected ways. We are launching our reading wiki at Barry's talk and he has agreed to be our first author of the month. More on wikis soon!
Earlier in the year we developed a Strategic Framework for Reading - where we have outlined our goals in reading and literacy development for the next 5 years. Our main focus is to ensure the collection is matching needs and wants, providing programs and activities that encourage reading and literacy, and develop online tools and social spaces where people can share their reading experiences. We are providing increased support for book clubs and now have dedicated book club collections. Ask at your branch for more details if you are interested in accessing them.

Are you reading as much as you used to? Do you think younger people are? I am interested in your feedback and thoughts.

10 December, 2007

Disability Action Plan

The primary role of a public library is to provide free access to information, and our strategic plan has as its aim informed, connected and inclusive communities. We are very conscious of the need to be accessible and we are also aware of the important role that our libraries play for many people with disabilities.

In order to respond to these concerns in a comprehensive and strategic way, we are developing a Disability Action Plan. We will be working in conjunction with our member Councils to ensure that our buildings, services and programs are as accessible as we can make them.

A recent example is that one of our borrowers is unable to access the genealogy resources at Ivanhoe Library, which is on the first floor of the library and so not accessible to people with mobility disabilities. What we are going to do is to load the CD Roms that are only available for use on one designated pc onto a laptop. This will mean that the resources can be taken to the person, rather than the person having to go to the resources. We will be working on this over January.

Another aspect of the library's role is to promote understanding and connectivity and the People and Icons photographic display was a celebration of International Day of People With Disabilities from December 3 - 10 at Mill Park Library.

We are eager to have community input into this plan and if you have any ideas or comments please post them here or email me at ceo@yprl.vic.gov.au.

03 December, 2007

Exciting new technology @ Rosanna library

This Wednesday morning at Rosanna library we are going live with our new RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) library system. This is a pilot and we want to ensure everything is working as it should before the other branches go live in the new year.
The main change for borrowers is that they will check their own materials out using express check machines. There are 3 units specially designed to make this task very easy. As well as checking out materials, library members can find out what is on their account and renew materials, even if they don't have the items with them.
The reason we have introduced this technology is to make circulation easy, quick and safe. Easy and quick for borrowers, and safer for staff who currently lend out 3.6 million items a year. By reducing the amount of manual handling by this amount our staff will be available to provide more assistance, whether that is running a computer class, finding answers to questions or suggesting a good book to read. Staff are not losing their jobs - but they will be working differently. And there will always be someone on hand to assist if there are any issues.
The way RFID works is that a chip is placed in each item that acts like a smart barcode. The smart part is that it doesn't need line of sight or contact to read - which means that 5 - 6 items can be checked out at the one time. There's no need to line up barcodes - just swipe your new borrower card, place the items on the designated spot and the items are lent out to you and the security bit is switched off. When the items are returned, the security bit gets switched on again. The gates are able to identify the particular item that hasn't been properly charged out.
Implementing RFID is an important step forward for the library service. Libraries are so much more than lending out books, and over the past few years there have been many more programs and activities run in libraries, more classes and more services. Library staff this year have been learning about the social networking technologies that are changing the way people interact on line and there are some very exciting developments in store for next year as we start incorporating these into our library offerings. And its not just about technology - we will foster more book clubs, have more time to implement programs that encourage the love of reading and provide more resources in readers advisory.
This new initiative is about improving our services and about freeing up staff to provide connections to people, information, resources, events and programs. I'll be interested to hear your feedback and comments on the new system.

26 November, 2007

New federal government and public libraries

The election of the Rudd Labor Government will impact on public libraries in a number of ways.

There are over 1700 public libraries in Australia. While the Commonwealth government does not directly fund public libraries except the National Library of Australia, all Australians are provided with information through cooperative relationships between public, state and national libraries. There are 12 million registered users of these libraries, with 100 million visits to libraries each year. There are more public libraries than McDonalds restaurants.

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) asked the two major parties a number of questions prior to the election. The ALP responded to the question "What is your party's commitment to supporting Australians access to information through libraries, particularly public libraries?" by saying

Labor's platform indicates our belief that Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments should end the blame game and cooperate to ensure that regional and local libraries can provide effective and equitable access to literature and information, including through modern technology.
At a time when media and information technology is undergoing a process of major change, driven by digitisation, convergence of technology and the globalisation of broadcasting, communications and information technologies, Labor remains strongly committed to longstanding national and public interest objectives, including:

genuine diversity of sources of information, opinion, education and entertainment;
greater choice and accessibility for consumers; and
the development of, and equitable access to, new technologies

The way that people are accessing information and using the internet is changing fundamentally and Mr Rudd's commitment to commencing the work on building 21st-century infrastructure including high-speed broadband is welcome. As more and more people look to download content and move to streaming video we need this fundamental building block in place. Broadband needs to be like electricity, taken for granted.

Another area that will be impacted is internet censorship. Labor's ISP filtering policy will require Internet Service Providers to block access to websites that are listed by ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) as containing prohibited content such as child pornography, acts of extreme violence and X-rated material. ISP filtering under a Rudd Labor government will be applied to all households (unless they choose to opt-out), schools and public internet points accessible by children, such as libraries.

Ensuring free public access to government information, particularly government publications and e-government services is another area that is impacted by federal government policy. We welcome the commitment to making government documents more accessible online.

As ALIA has pointed out, public libraries in Australia have faced significant reductions in resources with the decrease of revenue during the drought and the pressure of growing costs. They are a vital community resources supporting developments in human capital that will complement work on broadband to truly provide a more successful, literate and informed nation. We need to continue to advocate for federal support for public libraries.

Do you have views on any of the above? Please feel free to let us know what you think.

19 November, 2007

Web 2.0 and the library

Web 2.0 is a new way of using available and emerging technology to connect people. It makes online interactions personal, participative and interactive. One example is this blog, and the other blogs that Yarra Plenty has, for genealogy, local history and reading. Our reading blog offers staff reviews on new books, and the genealogy and local history blogs have a wealth of information on resources in the library and activities and programs in our area.

The library is working on several projects that will be ready in the new year. One of these is our Yarrabook wiki, which will provide news and views on reading, highlight new books and enable people to add their own reviews. Another is Wikinorthia, which aims to capture the history of people, places and events in the north of Melbourne - how we live now and how we lived in the past. The third thing we are doing is setting up a Facebook account to build personal connections with people and enable them to search the catalogue straight from Facebook.

Next year we will be offering more training and classes for people who want to learn more about this new way of interacting online. We will also be holding workshops to add content to Wikinorthia so that the history of people and places is captured and available.

LibraryThing is now the second biggest library in the world! It is a library of books that people have in their own homes. It allows you to catalogue your books, share them with other people, and tag them with subjects. We have integrated LibraryThing in our catalogue, so that when you are looking at an item record you will see all the tags that people have given that book and also books like it. You can then just click on those titles or tags to navigate around the catalogue! It really is quite addictive and opens up lots of possibilities of books you might not have known about before.

If you have any ideas on how you would like to see the library using these new technologies please add your comments. We'd love to hear from you.

13 November, 2007

Collection Development Policy

The Library's Collection Development Policy is now available in draft for comment and feedback from our borrowers and community. We encourage you to reply via this blog or email (to ceo@yprl.vic.gov.au) on any aspects of our collection.

The aim of the Collection Development Policy is to articulate the principles that are used in building and maintaining the library collection. While the principles of such policies are enduring, it is necessary to revisit the CDP to ensure that it remains relevant, especially given the big changes that are occurring in people's information seeking behaviours. Where once children came regularly to the library to get materials for their school projects, now they go online and access databases, online encyclopedias and other digital information.

There are four principles of selection that the policy is based on:
  1. We will purchase items that our borrowers want
  2. We will provide a collection which reflects the spectrum of community view points
  3. Parents and caregivers are responsible for their children’s use of the library
  4. We provide informational, recreational and cultural materials in the media of the day

Last year the library adopted a Strategic Asset Plan for the collection, and these two documents form the basis of our collecting and disposal of library materials. The CDP will be presented to the Library Board at the February meeting to be adopted, so we request your feedback by January 31st.

05 November, 2007

From the CEO - new blog direction

from Christine Mackenzie...

Some of you may have read the article in the Heidelberg and Diamond Valley Times a few weeks ago - the one with the belly dancer on the front - that talked about how our libraries are changing. One of the things that we would like to do at Yarra Plenty is have a dialogue with our users, and so we are opening up the blog to be more of a discussion point and less of a "what's on" type communication.

So please feel free to comment on any posts - we'd love to hear from you.

The main task in the libraries for the next 2 - 3 months is completing the tagging of all our collections with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags. This will allow people to easily check out their own materials, freeing up staff to run more events and programs in the library and offering you a quicker service in checking out materials. Each branch will have 3 self check units and there will always be a staff member on hand to help anyone who needs it. The first site to go live with the new system is Rosanna at the end of November.

Are you watching "The Librarians" on ABC on Wednesday nights? Of course we all are, with baited breath, and some trepidations! We thought the first episode had some very insightful moments and has avoided the worst of the stereotypes. If you missed it you can watch it online
In the next week we will be posting our new Collection Development Policy for comment. This document is a guide to what we do and don't add to the collection. We will look forward to your feedback.

18 October, 2007

What's on at Yarra Plenty October 22- October 28

Many exiting activities are on offer to the community at Yarra Plenty Library

In addition to our weekly scheduled Storytimes for the young, we have the following special events next week

Monday 22 Octopber

Computer class - Introduction to MS Word
Mill Park Library

Tuesday 23 October

Seniors Week - Dance for life
11.00am -12.00noon
Rosanna Library

Wednesday 24 October
Confident Living
Presented by Victoria Police Crime Prevention Department
11.00am -12.00noon
Thomastown Library

Friday 26 October

Friday Focus : Poetry for all
10.30am - 11.30am
Eltham Library

Sunday 28 October

Backyard poultry
Information onSelecting a breed & how to keep them

2.00pm - 3.00pm
Diamond Valley

04 October, 2007

Seniors Week at Yarra Plenty

Seniors week runs from the 7 October to the 14 October 2007 and there are plenty of activities to attend at Yarra Plenty Library.

Monday 8 October

Water and Gardening
Presented by City of Whittlesea
1.00pm - 2.00pm
Mill Park Library

Alzheimer's Awareness Month.
Presented by Alzheimer's Australia
Trivia & Games afternoon.

Win fantastic prizes
Afternoon tea provided
1.00pm - 3.00pm
Thomastown Library

Wednesday 10 October
Feng shui for life with special guest Sally Fischmann
Fact and fiction of Fengshui
1.00pm -2.00pm
Mill Park Library

Friday 12 October

Golden Oldies
Mime, magic and Morning tea with "Charlie Chaplin"
10.00am - 12.00pm
Ivanhoe Library

Saturday 13 October

What is it worth?
Dawn Davis from Eaglemont Antiques shares her
knowledge and expertise
2.30pm - 3.30pm
Mill Park Library

17 September, 2007

Spring gardening events @ Yarra Plenty Library

The Beauty of Orchids

A talk by George Dimech from the Orchid Society on care
and cultivation of these beautiful plants
Thursday 20 September
11.00am - 12.00pm
Watsonia Library
Ibbottson Street, Watsonia
Ph: 9435 2397

Gardening during the Spring and Summer months

A gardening expert from Bunnings talks about
how to be water wise and still maintain a great garden

Friday 28 September
10.30am -11.30am
Eltham Library
Panther Place, Eltham
ph: 9439 9266

13 August, 2007

Science Week @Yarra Plenty Libraries

It's Science week from 20 August -to- 27 August and Yarra Plenty is celebrating with some science activities

For adults
Stormchasing presentation at Mill Park Library
Monday 20 August
6.30pm -8.00pm

John Allen from Melbourne University will put you in the seat of a stormchaser.
Come along and discover the wonders of storms, how they are formed, who are those daring stormchasers and what methods they use in chasing these “freaks of nature”
Refreshments provided.

Weather forecasting presentation at Mill Park Library
Wednesday 22 August
6.30pm – 7.30pm

David Morrison from the Bureau of Meteorology will show you how weather is watched, studied and forecasted. Learn about how climate change will affect our lives today and into the future
Refreshments provided.

For kids
Science Online
Did you know what science information is available on line?Come along and join in the fun when we search on line for simple experiments and check out sites that may help you with your homework.

Thomastown Library
Monday 20 August
4.00pm – 5.00pm

Lalor Library
Thursday 23 August
4.00pm – 5.00pm

12 July, 2007

Bookmobile in Mernda

The Mobile Library Service is being extended to Mernda with a weekly 2 hour stop.
The Bookmobile will stop in Schotters Rd, near Brendan St. Mernda, outside the children's playground, on Monday 2-4pm.

The new Mernda stop begins on 16th July.

This is in addition to stops in Lime St, Whittlesea on Monday, 10.30-1pm and Friday 6.30-8.15pm.

The Mobile Library is stocked with Books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and has Internet access.

10 July, 2007

Enjoy Winter indoors at Your Library

Family History July- September 2007: Past - Present - Future.
National Family History Week 6-12 August has a host of activities.
Some highlights include:

Surfing for your ancestors at Mill Park Library, 10.30-11.30am, Monday 6th August.
Family history for beginners at Ivanhoe Library, 10.30-11.30am, Wednesday 8th August.
Introduction to the Ancestry Database at Mill Park Library, 10.30-11.30am, Monday 13th August.
Pick up a brochure at your Local Branch Library.

Whittlesea July Events include:
Mill Park Library's 5th Birthday celebrations.
Acting and performance workshops for Youth, Mill Park library, Wednesday 11th July, 1.30-3pm.

Melbourne BT (Before Television) Thomastown Library, Wednesday 11th July, 2-3pm.
Hip Hop Dancing workshop for Youth at Mill Park Library, Friday 13th July, 1-2pm.

.........and so much more!!

Pick up a brochure at your Local Branch Library.
Nillumbik Events include:
Basic PC Computer classes at Diamond Valley Library, Friday 20th July, 1-11am.
Introduction to the Ancestry Database, Diamond Valley Library, Wednesday, 18th July, 1.30-2.30pm.
BOOKS ALIVE launch and author talk with it's ambassador Peter FitzSimons.
Eltham Community Reception Centre, 801 M
ain Rd, Eltham, music and refreshments, $3 cover charge. Tuesday July 31st, 6.30-9pm.

..................and so much more!!
Pick up a brochure at your Local Branch Library.
Banyule Events include:
Scrabble night at Rosanna Library, 6.45-9.
30pm Thursday 12th July.
Wedding Fashions and customs, 1850-1980, Tuesday July 17th, 7-8pm at Watsonia Library.
The mystique of belly dance, Watsonia Library, Tuesday 24th July, 11-11.45am.

......and so much more!!
Pick up a brochure at your Local Branch Library.

28 June, 2007

Price It - Antiques & collectables database

Got something you think is of value?

Price It
new Antique and collectables evaluation database

Thousands of evaluations of collectables around the world

Now available to access in the library or at home from the databases link

04 June, 2007

Library Elf and Snazzy Search Engines

Library Elf, whats That?

Library ELF, is a free third-party service to receive email notices for due, coming due, holds, and overdue materials. You can also consolidate all family library cards on one handy email notice. Have your Library barcode and pin number ready and sign up today! Library Elf is a FREE service not affiliated with Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service.


A clean search engine that gives a nice snapshot of each page in your search results. Video and image searching!

Zuula Search

Another new kid on the block, also has the clean interface.
Image, Blog and Meta searching.


01 June, 2007

Meet the Author - Judy Horacek

ELTHAM bookshop
Yarra Plenty Regional Library

invite you to meet author/illustrator
Judy Horacek
“The Story of Growl”

Date: Sunday 3 June
Time: 3.00pm - 4.30pm

Venue: Diamond Valley Library
Civic Drive
Diamond Valley

Cost: $2 refreshments included.
Families welcome

Phone: 9439 8700

17 May, 2007

What is RSS?

RSS is a handy way to keep up to date with all that is out there on the Web these days.
It saves your time visiting several favourite sites only to find nothing new has been added.

This simple video from blip.tv will give you a basic introduction to RSS which stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication.

Watch the video and tell us what you think, maybe even subscribe (FREE) to this Blog?

During Library Week 21-27th May come to a special internet class on Library Thing and catalogue your home library online at Rosanna Library Monday 21st May, 7-8pm. Bookings essential.

Discover your 'Second Life' and explore a virtual community Online at Diamond Valley Library, 6.30-8pm. Basic computer skills, useful.

What type of Online classes would you like to see the Library offering? Let's hear from YOU!

Use the comment box below.

07 May, 2007

May @ Your Library

Call into your local Branch library and pickup a Brochure for this months events, including Library Week which is part of Information Awareness Month.

The Theme for Library Week is 'Linking people with ideas @ your Library'.

Monday 21st May.
  • Australia's Biggest Morning Tea to support Cancer research at Thomastown Library, 10.30-12 noon.
  • Starting your Family history, Mill Park Library, 11-12 noon.
  • Your Health and wellbeing, naturally, Mill Park Library, 1-2.30pm.
  • Virtual Communities on the Internet, Diamond Valley Library, 6.30-8pm. Find out about 'Second Life'
  • Create your own Library Online at Rosanna Library, 7-8pm Bookings essential.

Tuesday 22nd May.

  • Break Dance Demonstration, Thomastown Library, 4-5pm. Win a Free Lesson.
  • Learn to juggle, Ivanhoe Library, 5-6pm.
  • Poetry : connect through language, Watsonia Library, 7-8pm. Bring your poems and hear Melbourne performance poet Myron Lysenko who will read a selection of his haiku poetry.
Wednesday 23rd May.

  • Teddy Bears picnic, Rosanna Library, 10.30-11.30am. An extended Tiny Tots session. Bring your teddy.
  • CSI Mill Park Library : Criminologist presentation, 6.30-7.30pm. What does go on in the mind of a criminal? Refreshments provided.
  • Brain Gym : a workout for the mind, Diamond Valley Library, 7-8pm.

Thursday 24th May.
  • Australia's biggest morning tea, Ivanhoe Library, 10-12 noon.
  • Mill Park Library 10-12 noon
  • Book Discussion, Rosanna Library, 1.30-3pm.
  • Mystery Cooking Demonstration, Eltham Library 2-4pm. Ingredients from a mystery bag of groceries.
  • Wee Willie Bedtime storytime, Rosanna Library 6.30-7.30pm, Dress up as a book character, stories, songs and an activity.

  • Paul Mealing, Thomastown Library, Monday 21st May, 6.30-7.30pm. Meet the author of Elvene: the Kiri myth of Ocean Woman, a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

  • Tony Harrington, Eltham Library, Wednesday 23rd May, 7-8pm. Discussing his recent book 'You can do anything'.

Coming up in June:

Shane Maloney @ Diamond Valley in partnership with the Eltham Bookshop. Shane will discuss his new book 'Sucked in'. A perfect night out for crime buffs.
Tuesday 12th June, 7-8pm.
$4 entry (wine and supper included)

Law Week
also occurs in May, with a host of FREE EVENTS.

Diamond Valley Library will be holding an Internet class on Finding legal Information on the Internet. Friday 18th May, 10-11am.

Bookings are essential for most program see your branch for details.

17 April, 2007

FREE Magazine and Newspaper Databases

Yarra Plenty Library provides FREE access to an extensive range of newspapers, magazines and journals through our major Databases.
Many of the articles are available in Full Text and .pdf which include high quality pictures and diagrams.

Here are a selection of titles found on the ANZ Reference Centre

The Age - 1999+
The Herald Sun - 2000+
Choice Magazine - 1994+
Runners World 1984+ -
Sunday Times _ 2000+
The Australian - 2000+
Geelong Advertiser - 2003+
Wheels - 2002+
Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - 2000+

Have you ever wondered about that 'article' you saw in Sept. 2006 on Learning to crochet in the Australian Women's Weekly?
Find it Online
What about the Reader Recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cakes?
Find it Online

or try ANZ Newstand for:
7.30 Report transcripts - 2003+
Harpers Bazaar - 1999+
National Geographic - 2001+ (currently delayed 3mths)
Lancet - 1990+ (currently delayed 2mths)
Libary Journal - 1996+
and many many more...........

Find out more about our Databases purchased via the Gulliver Consortium
See the list of Victorian Libraries who participate.

Ask your friendly Branch staff to show you the Databases or access them from your home computer.

02 April, 2007

April at Yarra Plenty Library

What a wonderful time of the year Autumn is, watching the leaves change colour as the weather cools and the humidity starts to leave Melbourne.

Australia's native deciduous Beech trees are found in Tasmania and the Otway Ranges in Victoria.

Visit the
Gardens of Melbourne
during the School Holidays and Easter or check out what's on!

Easter Closed Days at Yarra Plenty Library.

Yarra Plenty Libraries Events for April include:

National Healthy Bones Week Programs:
Dr Vivian Lim, Sports Chiropractor and Dr Raphael Lim, Doctor of Chinese Medicine will demonstrate techniques and assess some common health problems, including posture alignment and chronic back pain. Learn about 'Thought Field Therapy'. FREE five minute massages.
Thomastown Library, Monday 2nd April 1-2pm
Lalor Library, Wednesday, 4th April, 1-2pm

Lonely Planet - Travelling on a small planet.
Watsonia Library, Monday 2nd April, 7-8pm.

Smokin' Gun: Come and speak to our 2 resident crime fiction enthusiasts, wine, cheese and chat
Rosanna Library, Wednesday 11th April, 7-8pm.

Digital Photography
Watsonia Library, Tuesday 17th April, 7-8pm. Hear John Spry from the Diamond Valley Photographic Society talk about getting started.

Freaky Friday
Rosanna Library, Friday 23th, 10-11.30am.
Dare to leave the house and browse our selection of new titles. Black cats are under curfew!

Winter worms!
Prepare the garden for winter at Rosanna library, Thursday 19th April 1.30-3pm.

E3A = Entertainment for the Third Age.
Ivanhoe library, Friday 20th April, 10-12noon. Golden oldies, travel hints and tips, morning tea provided.

Easter Egg Raffle and New Book Display
Diamond Valley Library, Wednesday 4th April, 11am.

Keys Please, interactive forum for learner and pre-learner drivers and their parents.]
Diamond Valley Library, Monday 16th April, 6.30-8pm

Buying on E-bay
Eltham Library, Wednesday 18th April 7-8.30pm. Beginners session.

Ride to the Library Day.
Eltham Library, Saturday 21st April, 10am-2pm.
Ride in and hear the NillumBUG's bike maintenance talk. Secure bike parking provided.

World Heritage Day, Wednesday 18th April.
Eltham Library Display. Explore Eltham's rich cultural heritage with displays on Montsalvat and local historical attractions.
Ivanhoe Library, 10-30am-11.30am. Find your family history with online resources. Morning tea included.


28 March, 2007

Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts can save quite a bit of time when we are using the Web.

If you are a Yahoo search user they have developed a neat system to access popular sites. You can even create your own (set up a shortcut to the weather?)
eg. !wiki takes you to straight to Wikipedia

Google does have a its own version of shortcuts:

One of the best ones to use here is the Dictionary: Type the word define: before a word and Google will give you the meaning eg. define: colour

Try some keyboard shortcuts in your Browser:
Internet Explorer
Try these:
  1. CTRL + F opens a 'Find' box to pinpoint a word in a web page.
  2. CTRL + N opens a new Window.
  3. CTRL + Enter added to a single name in the address bar fills in the rest of the URL eg. Just type in yahoo, ebay, imdb, reuters etc. and CTRL + enter (doesn't work so well with sites requiring .au, although sites like ninemsn can be accessed either way)

05 March, 2007

March into March at Yarra Plenty

Celebrate Cultural Diversity Week 17th - 23rd March.

Pick up a brochure full of Events to be held throughout our branch libraries. Be entertained by dance groups, bilingual story times, peace boxes, new CDs and DVDs.....and much more!!

As Summer leaves us and people start to return indoors again, consider visiting your local Branch library? they have a host of activities to entice you for the Month of March.

Nillumbik Branches:

Diamond Valley Library:
Blogging Class, Friday 9th March, 10-11am, What's a Blog? Would you like to find out how to set up your own web presence? (some basic computer skills required) Bookings essential.
Basic computer skills for Italian speakers, Friday 16th March, 10-11am, no experience necessary with out Italian speaking tutor, Booking essential.
Advanced 'Google' class, Friday 23rd March, 101-11am, tips for using the Google search engine (basic internet skills required), Booking essential.
Websites for an active retirement, Friday 30th March, 10-11am, Get more out of your retirement with this fun and informative class, Bookings essential.

Eltham Library:
Twilight storytime, Tuesday 20th March, 6.30-7.15pm, stories, songs, rhymes and an art activity for children 3 years and over, Teddy Bears welcome. Bookings 94399266.
Yourtutor Session, Tuesday 27th March 4-5pm, Come along and see how FREE online tutoring works.

Banyule Branches

Ivanhoe Library:
Acting for Kids 6-12yrs, Fridays 2, 9, 16, 23, 30th, 4-5pm. Vita Catalano star of Neighbours and Blue Heelers, presents a FREE 6 week acting program, parent welcome, limited places, Bookings essential.
Water wise plants for your garden, Tuesday 6th March, 2-3pm, presented by the Warringal Conservation Society, includes afternoon tea, Bookings essential.
Meet Local author, Diane Simonelli, Friday 30th March 10am-12 noon. Learn about the craft of writing and how Diane started, includes morning tea, Booking essential.

Watsonia Library:
E-Bay for beginners, Monday 5th March, 7-8.30pm.
Relatively speaking : starting your Family History, Tuesday 13th March, 7-8pm. Our Local History Librarian, Liz Pidgeon will explain how to get started.
Help your child with reading, Tuesday 20th March, 7-8pm. Find out how the library can help and support your child's reading.
Hypnotherapy for Health, Thursday 29th March, 7-8pm, Give up smoking? Lose weight? Ian Hayward, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Naturapath explains the history and uses of this powerful technique.

Rosanna Library:
Basic Word Class, Monday 19th March, 7-8pm. Use your basic computer skills and learn the Word Program, Booking essential.
Bi-lingual storytime, Chinese/English, Wednesday 14th March, 4-5pm, Enjoy stories and songs.
Basic email class, Saturday 24th March, 8.45am-9.45am, Basic computer skills required, Bookings essential.

Whittlesea Branches

Thomastown Library:

Senior's Day - Introduction to our reminiscence program, Monday 5th March, 1.30-2.30pm.
Bagged Promotions (Back by popular demand), Monday 26th March, 12.30-2pm. Come along and sample new products, taste simple and easy to prepare meal ideas. Bookings ESSENTIAL!
Lalor Library: Bagged Promotions (Back by popular demand), Tuesday 6th March, 12.30-2pm,
Come along and sample new products, taste simple and easy to prepare meal ideas. Bookings ESSENTIAL!
International Women's Day at Lalor Library, Thursday 8th March, 10-30-11.30am, Guest speaker, Anne Sgro. Morning tea provided.
Senior's Day - Introduction to our reminiscence program, Tuesday 27th March, 1.30-2.30pm.

08 February, 2007

Leaping into 2007

Pop into your Branch library for the February Events Brochures from ALL our regions.

Storytelling resumes for 2007!

Baby storytime, Eltham and Lalor Libraries, suitable for babies up to 12 months, no bookings required, pickup a bookmark with dates.

Tinytots storytime , Diamond Valley, Eltham, Mill Park, Rosanna, Thomastown and Watsonia Libraries, suitable for children aged 0-5 years, no bookings required, pickup a bookmark with the dates.
Preschool storytime at all libraries suitable for ages 3-5 years, no bookings required, pickup a bookmark with the dates.

Toddler time at Lalor Library on Wednesdays, 11-30-12pm, pickup bookmark with dates.
Bookaroo for parents and newborns, Diamond Valley, Eltham, Ivanhoe, Mill Park, Rosanna and Watsonia libraries. Pick up a bookmark with the dates.

Did you get a Digital Camera for Christmas and want to learn the basics? Get advice on taking great photos with John Spry from the Diamond Valley Photographic Society.
Thomastown Library, Tuesday 27th Feb
ruary 6.30-8pm

Love is in the air!! on Valentines Day February 14thLalor Library celebrates Valentine's Week 13th - 18th February. Receive a chocolate when you select a specially paired book duo. Be surprised when you open your mystery parcel!
Watsonia Library celebrates with a morning tea of chocolates and words of romance, 11am-12pm. Poets @ Watsonia members will read classic love poems and their own work.
Diamond Valley invites you to have a blind date with a book, free chocolates for those who dare!
Eltham Library invites you to join Astrologer Michele Finey, 7-8pm to discover what the zodiac signs and planets reveal about our relationship patterns. Light supper provided, Bookings essential.

Celebrate The Year of the Pig and Chinese New Year at:

Ivanhoe Library, Monday 19th February, 10-11am, bilingual storytime, rhymes and craft. 4-5pm Chinese lantern making.
Thursday 22nd February 4-5pm, make a paper pig.

Friday 23rd February, 10am-12pm, enjoy moon cakes and chinese tea and browse the newest additions to our Chinese collection.
Monday 26th February, 4-5pm, make a Chinese New Year card using stencils, paint and paper.

Watsonia Library, Thursday 22nd February, 10-30am-12-30pm. Welcome the Year of the Pig with green tea and moon cakes, Chinese dancer Sabrina will tell stories and demonstrate traditional Chinese dances.

Mill Park Library celebrate on Saturday 17th February 1-3pm. Chinese calligraphy, Tai Chi demonstrations, Chinese sword dancing and Chinese orchestra. Food and refreshments provided, all welcome, no bookings required.

Lalor Library
, Thursday 15th February 6-7pm, plan the year ahead using the principals of Feng Shui, booking essential!

Thomastown Library, Tuesday 13th February, 6-7pm,
plan the year ahead using the principals of Feng Shui.

We invite comments on our Blog, say Hi and tell us about Yours!

08 January, 2007

Summer Reading and Digital Images!

Reading Victoria is a summer reading program initiated by the State Library of Victoria.
You are invited to explore a selection of 20 contemporary and classic novels set in Victoria.
Our wonderful state of Victoria has inspired some great stories over the years. Vote online for your favourite novel (you can even use SMS!)
Download the brochure and select your novel.
Eltham and Diamond Valley Libraries offer the chance to win a hamper for those participating in Reading Victoria.
Why not offer your comments or suggest another novel on the Blog.
Find out who the Celebrity Readers are!

Picture Australia our premier repository of Digital Images has 2 new Picture Trails to follow:
Cricket in Australia and Australians at Play.
Picture Australia invites you to become one of their Flickr contributors.

Have a play with Picture Australia, type in your family name, who knows you might unearth a piece of your own history.
Yarra Plenty Library has contributed many images to view. Do a search for Eltham Library!

Two Worldwide Digital libraries to visit:

The New York Public Library Named one of the 50 coolest sites of 2005.

The British Library, Turning the Pages Project, see priceless books online using amazing graphic technology (you will need Flash installed).

We are always looking for comments on our BLOG, lets hear from you.

04 January, 2007

Happy New Year

Yarra Plenty Library wishes all our Patrons and Bloggers a Happy New Year!!

Our January Calendar kicks off a year of exciting activities. Explore your Library and meet our fantastic staff who are always there to help you.

Join ONLINE and access our services from home, work or school.
Access a host of Databases from around the world including Encyclopedia Britannica Online (various levels) and Libraries Australia (find that elusive book somewhere in Australia!)

We have had a very enthusiastic response to our Summer Reading Program, see how many participants have signed up.
Ivanhoe 130
Rosanna 95
Watsonia 104
Diamond Valley 126
Eltham 110
Lalor 58
Mill Park 54
Thomastown 44

It's not too late to join. Borrow from a selection of 20 contemporary and classic novels set in Victoria. Vote for your favourite book via sms, online or using the form available in the branch.

Lalor Library Needs YOU!! Email your thoughts and ideas to assist us plan the year ahead.

Check out our Australia Day Celebrations on our January Events Calendar.

For more Australia Day information look HERE!
See what is happening in Melbourne for Australia Day
................Why not finally learn that 2nd Verse of the National Anthem !!