What’s Your Dewey? 090 Hooked on Books – in whatever form.

Some may claim they do not read and therefore do not own a book – or, they may have a book or two floating around the house – but for lovers of books, for bibliophiles, there is simply no such thing as ‘a book or two’.

In Ex Libris: Confessions Of A Common Reader author Anne Fadiman shares her life-long passion for books in 18 essays that explore her inextricable connection to the written word. She talks about relations (she and her husband only married after they managed to combine book collections); explores the reader’s treatment of books (calling those that underline text, tear pages out or read books until they fall apart – carnal lovers);  and theorises about the scarcity of editions (first editions of Alice in Wonderland were eaten by children). A witty, insightful look at one person’s passion for books that spans an eclectic view of their history.

Since early times when humans learned to communicate with symbols , they have sought ways to preserve and disseminate the written word.

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In The Book : A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time,  Keith Houston follows the path of the 2,000 year old history of universal information technology. Houston looks at the book’s development from cuneiform tablets to today’s paperbacks, presenting a vibrant and rich history of civilisations. This sometimes surprising history is attractively packaged with full-colour illustrations.

Books about books come in many forms, from the text that will inspire the casual reader to academic titles designed for intense study.

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The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book edited by Leslie Howsam provides an extensive account of the book’s history and the way humans have viewed it over time. Taking a thematic and chronological approach, the first section of this title considers ‘book’ cultures from ancient inscriptions to e-books.  Part two, looks at the relationship of the physical book and it’s content, from early manuscript production to the globalization of publishing, and the introduction of e-books. Part three is largely academic and includes bibliographical, archival and pedagogical strategies for studying books. You can take a look here: Camdridge Companion to the history of the book

Despite the enormous number of books printed over time, there is the view that the history of books can be encapsulated in the choice a select few.

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The History of the Book in 100 Books by Roderick Cave & Sara Ayad is one such book. They look at 100 books they believe have played a critical role in the creation and expansion of books that have brought literacy, numeracy, knowledge, and ultimately liberation to many in the world. Themes discussed include ancient times in the East and the West; the Medieval world; print technology and the Information explosion led by Public Libraries. The size of the book may be prohibitive to some (a coffee-table book) and the beginning of the book is far stronger than the end, but the abundant photographs and inclusion of some lesser known titles make it interesting nonetheless.

 There are many claims that the e-book has all but destroyed the popularity of the printed book, and that book publishing in Australia is all but dead.

Publishing Means Business: Australian Perspectives

Publishing Means Business: Australian Perspectives by Aaron Mannion, Millicent Weber & Katherine Day shows us how in fact the ‘Australian publishing industry has transformed itself from a colonial outpost of British publishing to a central node in a truly global publishing industry’ (readings.com). The book examines the current state of an unpredictable industry that has seen government cuts, the rise of boutique and e-publishing houses and the flood of international titles into the Australian market. It questions the broader role of publishing in Australia and looks to its future. It includes contributions from academics, writers, publishers and economists, and can be considered an authoritative book on the topic.

Of course if you are the sort of bibliophile I tend to be, the whole point of books is to read them, enjoy them and most likely own them. If book collecting is your thing, there are many websites and many books, devoted to the topic. Rather than go through an apparently, inexhaustible list of guides on the topic, I thought I would leave with a picture – or two…

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How Does That Work? Life Cycle of a Library Book.

Have you ever wondered how your favourite book gets to you when you borrow it from the library? Clearly, public libraries are seldom involved in the creation of the books you find on the shelf – so how do they get there?

Welcome to this ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Life Cycle of a Library Book.

The first step is knowing what to order and library staff across the state must keep abreast with what is available, what is recently published, what is topical and what you, the reader, might choose to take home. To do this staff use review journals, blogs, webpages and magazines; monitor what is being borrowed across the state, take reader suggestions and access online publisher websites. Of course in this state, we have the advantage of belonging to the OneCard Network which means staff from 130 public libraries across the state are working toward building a great state-wide collection.

Books are ordered centrally and online through BlueCloud, the OneCard Network’s Acquisitions module. Publishers and Library suppliers populate the Acquisitions database with a range of titles across many categories of books; fiction and non-fiction, adult, teen and children’s titles – books in standard print, large print, graphic and audio formats.
As there are many titles to choose from in the various categories, a monthly list for each category is created and made available to libraries. Once available, selectors across the state go into BlueCloud and choose the titles they would like to see in their library, according to their local budget and preferences.

Selected titles are delivered by suppliers to libraries across the state. Once they have arrived at their home library, they are ‘Received-in’ to the BlueCloud Aquisitions module and assigned to the library, which is the first step to it appearing on our catalogue.

Each item received into the library is processed. Physical processing includes Library ID stamping, Date stickers, Barcodes, Security tags and book covering.

All items received into the library are assigned an RFID tag. RFID tags (or Radio Frequency Identification tags) are small tracking devices that allow libraries to use secure, library user self check-out and return systems.

At the end of the physical processing, items are put through the library circulation system to make them available for borrowing. At this point items can be viewed and reserved from our library catalogue.

New items are put out on display in their general collection area for people to borrow. Some items are directly shelved into their relevant collection – not all new items are displayed. This year’s new item sticker is red with New 2018 written on it.

The first loan of any new item in the library is easy and exciting! A picture book, for example, seldom sits longer than a day or two on the New Books stand and can be out on loan again as soon as it is returned. Some titles never seem to make it back to the shelves and can be out several times per month, on reserve even before they hit the returns chute.

Books can’t last forever and those that have been dearly loved will fall into disrepair. While staff will do minor repairs on popular items, there is always a time in any book’s life that we must remove it from the collection. Old items that are damaged or outdated may end up on our Friends of Library sale trolley, or donated to nursing homes and community facilities. Many of the library’s pre-loved children’s books are often available at Pop-up Library events for children to take home. While it is sometimes sad to farewell a favourite title, the good news is, we can often re-order it through BlueCloud and if not, replace it with an equally great new read.


Tech Savvy: A-Z of Apps Series – Yesterday & beyond (5/7)

We’re tantalisingly close to the end of our A-Z of Apps series.  Reaching the end of something inevitably makes people more inclined to look back.  So that’s what we are doing with the letter Y.  Looking back to yesterday and beyond to see what apps are available to discover more about our history and the world around us.

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Photo by Monoar Rahman on Pexels.com


Google Arts & Culture app is a great way to get to know the arts & culture from around the world.  Available on Android and iOS platforms for FREE it is split into many different categories.  You can choose from Natural History, Cultural Heritage, Hidden Histories, Fashion in Focus Surprising Facts and more. There are places to visit, interactive videos and visual delights collated from institutions, galleries and repositories all over the world.  Use the ‘Virtual Explorer’ to get 360° view on selected pieces, artists and their works. Are you interested in Millinery?  Then have a look through the article about the German Hat Museum which gives you all there is to know about the museum, it’s collection and the part of the world it’s from.  There’s also a fun way to learn more by using the ‘Search with your Selfie’ function. This gives you the opportunity to find out what artwork most looks like you.



Today in History is an app which tells you ‘Yesterday’s news today!’.  It’s available on iOS and Android platforms for FREE but with the option of in-app purchases to enhance your experience.  Ever wondered what was so special about today?  This app goes through history to give you the insignificant and the sometimes very significant events that occurred on each day of the year. You never know what might crop up and pique your interest in learning more about the event or person described. The app is split into five different areas; Headlines, Events, Births, Deaths and Holidays.  There is also the date selector so you can flip forward or backwards through the year to see what events shaped dates that are significant to you. Like today 5th July it is the anniversary of the formation of the Salvation Army in 1865 in the East End of London, England and on this day in 1811 Venezuela declared independence from Spain.

Today in History app


Wikipedia is synonymous with information. So it stands to reason that it forms part of this list. There is a wealth of information about the past collated from resources all over the world contained within this app on literally every subject and in almost every language.  They have an ‘On this day’ functionality where you can browse through the events that shaped this day through history.  Have a look through the places around you to see what historical events have occurred near you or to read more about the history and heritage from your town, local area or city.  Be adventurous and click on the random article to learn more about anything from the Wikipedia database.  Easy to navigate and read this is a good resource for anyone looking to learn more history.

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Civilisations AR has just been released by the BBC to coincide with their new series on BBC2 which will highlight over 5000 pieces from over 31 countries. This app gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with a virtual collection of select treasures held in cultural centres all around the UK.  A FREE app available on Android and iOS devices. This app uses Augmented Reality technology so it will require a newer device to function properly.  This is a new collaboration by all these cultural centres with the BBC to use this new technology that will give greater access to these treasures for people all over the world.  The creators are looking for feedback on this venture and are keen for people to leave their rating and review after using the app.

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SLSA Walks is an app created by the State Library of South Australia that gives the user maps, stories and information about historic elements of Adelaide to be used during a self-guided tour.  There are eight walks to choose from that will showcase different parts of the city and it’s important buildings & statues. The time for each walk is clearly shown with a map for reference. You can download each walk using WiFi before you set out saving you data costs on your mobile device.  It is available for FREE for Android and iOS devices.

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So there’s just a few apps that we like for history buffs and interested newbies alike.  Are there any apps on history or heritage that you find useful or interesting?  Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.