Category Archives: Reading

What’s Your Dewey? The 020s All Things Library

There is much talk about the relevance of libraries in an age when the world’s information is readily accessible in digital form – but is it true that the sum total of the world’s knowledge can be had by all, on call?  Does Google give us a level playing field when it comes to access?

There are many texts on this topic and  BiblioTech : why libraries matter more than ever in the age of Google  by John Palfrey
is one example that argues ‘anyone seeking to participate in the 21st century needs to understand how to find and use the vast stores of information available online’ and libraries are best positioned to facilitate this within our communities.

Palfrey discusses the threats posed to libraries (and therefore society) through funding cuts and argues libraries must work toward digitising print material and ensuring all digital material is readily accessible. Contents include sections on how libraries are used; what defines library spaces; librarians as networks; education;  copyright and what’s at stake if we lose libraries. Although there is a distinct USA bias to the text, anyone aware of the fate of libraries across the world will find food for thought.

Anyone who has studied the history and philosophy of knowledge, education and libraries will understand that the notion of universal access to the world’s knowledge is not new. Our attempts to manage human intellectual output can be seen in ancient times (Alexandrian Library for example) through to modern times (for example the British Library).


Cataloging the world : Paul Otlet and the birth of the information age by Alex Wright looks at the often overlooked contributions of Belgian Paul Otlet who first progressed the catalogue card as a means of bringing together records for everything recorded on paper. Otlet worked on creating a universal bibliography and developing a network of ‘electric telescopes’ that would allow anyone, anywhere, access to ‘books, newspapers, photographs, and recordings, all linked together in what he termed a réseau mondial: a worldwide web.’ A pioneering visionary, Otlet’s ideas seemed likely to come to fruition until  the Nazis took Brussels and seized his work. Cataloguing the world is an unexpectedly interesting introduction to recent library history.

It is well documented that the Nazis were responsible for ransacking and destroying many of Europe’s Libraries but in The book thieves : the Nazi looting of Europe’s libraries and the race to return a literary inheritance by Anders Rydell ; translated by Henning Koch, Rydell tells the hidden story of the Nazi appropriation of books from the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberals, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups, to be used as intellectual weapons against their owners. These books were not destroyed at the end of the war but found their way into the public library system from where a small team of librarians hope, to locate and reunite books to the decedents of the original owners.

Reading The book thieves… reminds us that one of the things that defines libraries are the people who work in them. In This is what a librarian looks like : a celebration of libraries, communities, and access to information for all by Kyle Cassidy, readers are presented with portraits and thoughts of 220 librarians of all ages, all backgrounds, all personalities and styles, to show us that librarians are not what we may expect. Through these vignettes, readers are treated to many perspectives of libraries over time and the people who have been influential in the field. Also included are original essays by well known authors, journalists and commentators such as John Scalzi, Nancy Pearl and Neil Gaiman.

Librarians have been known to defend the right to read throughout their history.  True stories of censorship battles in America’s libraries  edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco tells the stories of several American librarians who have championed intellectual freedom and access to sometimes controversial material.  While the book addresses topics such as age-appropriateness, censorship, crime and cultural expression, some examples depicted can only be considered skirmishes. That being said, it is interesting to see ways in which we deliberately or inadvertently cull our library collections, restrict their access and thus diminish our community knowledge-base.

In this collection of stories, The book lovers’ anthology : a compendium of writing about books, readers & libraries by Alex Wright, offers answers to questions regarding the impact of books on humans and human society: Do books corrupt? and Do badly written books damage intellect? are just two examples being addressed through the thoughts, excerpts and essays of well known authors. Authors include Chaucer, Austen, Shakespeare, Milton, Eliot and Ruskin. ‘A treasure trove of apt quotations from more than 250 authors’ (Sydney Morning Herald); a bibliophile’s ‘essential anthology’ (Bodleian Library).

Of course there is more to a bibliophile’s obsession than just books, there is all the things that surround books – the paraphernalia and ephemera.  Letter to a future lover : marginalia, errata, secrets, inscriptions, and other ephemera found in libraries by Ander Monson  finds meaning in the objects and notations found in books. According to Monson, everything we’ve read, written, collected noted or discarded, defines us. This of course has implications for how we should deal with this ephemera and how in collected form, it contributes to our bank of knowledge.

Seed libraries : and other means of keeping seeds in the hands of the people by Cindy Conner is a reminder that libraries are not just about books but can be collections of items for preservation and education. Seed Libraries is a practical guide to saving seeds through community programs and includes Step-by-step instructions for setting up a seed library and ways to maintain the collection and attract patrons. It also provides examples of existing libraries. (

Although Creepy libraries by Troy Taylor is aimed at children it provides an interesting view of 11 libraries around the world that are reputed to be haunted places. Readers ‘will discover one that is home to the spirit of a young girl who is depicted in its beautiful stained-glass window, one that is filled with ghosts who are distressed because it is built on top of their burial place, and one that has now turned into a bookstore yet is haunted by library patrons of the past—as well as a phantom cat. The creepy photographs and chilling nonfiction text will keep children turning the pages to discover more spooky stories’ (

 While Creepy Libraries looks at ‘other wordly’ library occupants, Staff-less Libraries: Innovative Staff Design by Carl Gustav Johannsen considers the recent trend toward unstaffed libraries as a way to meet the challenge of decreased funding and increased demand. The book considers the pros and cons of this model and presents international experiences and examples. Contents include definitions of the ‘Open Library’ concept, historical perspectives, community profiling and technological implications. An academic text, this book is aimed at professionals and managers.

Not overly convinced of the staff-less library approach,  Improbable libraries by Alex Johnson provided an inspiring account of how librarians around the world are undaunted in overcoming financial, geographic or political challenges to reach out to those in reading need. The book showcases the changing nature of library structures and functions, with insightful interviews and over 250 colour photographs. Open-air garden libraries, pop-up libraries, mobile libraries (using bikes or camels) and the Little Free Library phenomena are all included in this exploration of these communal spaces and places that bring us together. The simple truth is … people like going to libraries. Indeed, going to the library is like getting a pay rise, according to a survey conducted in 2014 by the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. (

Nola Cavallaro


ANZAC Day During World War One – Part 2 The First Commemoration – 13 October 1915

This is the second installment in a four-part series about Anzac Day and how it was commemorated in South Australia and Gawler, during the years immediately following the first landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

This week, in Part 2, you can read about the first observance of Anzac Day in South Australia on 13 October 1915. On 2 May, in Part 3, we will look at how Anzac Day was commemorated on 25 April 1916. Finally, in Part 4, which will be posted on 9 May, you will be able to read about the more organised Anzac Day commemorations that occurred in 1917 and 1918.

ANZAC Day was not officially recognised until the first anniversary of the Landing at Gallipoli in 1916. In South Australia, the depth of feeling and gratitude and admiration for the young men who were wounded and killed at Gallipoli was such that Eight Hours Day in 1915 was renamed ‘Anzac Day’¹. Renaming the day was the initiative of a committee formed to plan and run a procession, pageant and carnival to be held on Wednesday 13 October 1915². All proceeds raised were pledged to the Wounded Soldiers’ Fund³.

A quote from The Bulletin was considered to be an accurate reflection of the spirit of Anzac Day:

They did not count the cost, our men
When came the time of stress:
They gave the best they had to give,
And we can do no less4.

The people of South Australia were encouraged to ‘do no less’ than their best as plans were made. Public participation was sought in a competition to name the day. The successful name, Anzac Day, was suggested by many people including Mr Robert Wheeler of Prospect whose name was drawn for the prize5. In another effort to draw people in, a competition to design a ‘suitable cover for the Official Souvenir Programme’ was conducted, the prize being a ‘handsome trophy’. The cost to enter was one shilling to aid the South Australian Wounded Soldiers’ Fund6.

Anzac Day Procession, King William Street, Adelaide,
13 October 1915. Source: State Library of South Australia, PRG 2801313.

On a ‘typical Australian Spring’ day, 13 October 1915, the people of Adelaide met in ‘good spirit’, rather than ‘merriment’, in support of the war effort7. It was an opportunity to demonstrate a ‘vital, patriotic sentiment’ in support and memory of ‘Australia’s own sons who … stormed the terrible heights of Gaba Tepe8 and planted the flag of an unflinching and desperate chivalry on the dawn-clad Peninsula of Gallipoli’9.

The main feature of ‘Anzac Day’ 1915 was the procession. It was ‘one big invitation to pay’ according to the Chronicle report. ‘Pretty girls’ with collection boxes solicited money from all and sundry. The parade consisted of military personnel (about two thousand men in total); wounded soldiers; bands; representatives of the Eight Hours movement, Commercial Travellers and the Shopkeepers’ Defence League; women from various organisations; a troop of women on horseback (some of whom likely came from Gawler for the occasion10); trade unionists; trade displays; numerous ‘humorists’ who entertained the crowd as they passed by; and much more11.

During the afternoon, a large crowd watched sports such as cycling and athletics at Adelaide Oval. Between sporting events, the Commercial Travellers ‘police force’ arrested, tried and fined prominent citizens – the Chief Secretary was charged with ‘carrying too much style’ and fined five shillings; the Premier ‘gave himself up’ and was fined one penny due to his good behaviour12. The crowd, apparently, found this to be highly entertaining -humour, 1915-style.

Much-anticipated and described as ‘a real American novelty’ was the tram smash that took place at Adelaide Oval. Two obsolete tram cars travelling at twenty miles an hour were involved in a ‘thrilling’ staged collision. Detonators placed on the rails exploded on impact resulting in the total demolition of ’eight tons of wood and iron’13 -Demolition Derby, 1915- style.

In the aftermath of the commemoration of Anzac Day, the Premier, Crawford Vaughan, praised the public response and financial contribution to the appeal for the South Australian Soldiers’ Fund. The event was considered to be ‘a splendid success’14. As a result £4,000 was paid into the Fund15.

Two tram cars being prepared for a staged smash on Adelaide Oval, 13 October 1915.  Source: State Library of South Australia, PRG 28018439.3

Two tram cars explode during the staged smash on Adelaide Oval, 13 October 1915. Source: State Library of South Australia, PRG 28018139.

The remains of the two tram cars after the staged smash on Adelaide Oval, 13 October 1915. Source: State Library of South Australia, PRG 28018310.

‘Anzac Day’ on 13 October 1915 went by with little commemoration in Gawler. ‘Cit.’, writing in The Bunyip, questioned whether it would not be fairer to remove the burden of raising funds for the patriotic cause from those who could least afford it by introducing a graduated taxation system that fell heaviest on those ‘most able to bear it’. But, he said, this would also remove the pleasure for families, mothers particularly, knowing that they had contributed some material assistance to making more bearable the lives of their boys16.

Gawler people were given the opportunity to contribute to the Wounded Soldiers’ Fund on 22 October 1915 when the Commercial Travellers set up their ‘mock court’ in front of the Gawler Institute. In the name of fun and fundraising, there were ‘wholesale arrests’ on charges such as the ‘unpardonable offence’ of being the wife of the Mayor, ‘standing too near the edge of the footpath, thereby endangering his life’ and a baker for being the ‘biggest loafer’ in town. Those charges were forced to appear before ‘Mr Justice Hunt’, generally found guilty and compelled to pay fines. A concert in the evening added to the funds raised and overall about £70 was donated to the Fund17.

Post Contributor: Anne Richards


[1] ‘Anzac Day Arrangements’, The Critic, 1 September 1915, p. 20,, accessed 25 November 2015. [Eight Hours Day is now celebrated as Labour Day. It occurs at different times across Australia because each state achieved the eight hour day at different times.]
[2] ‘Anzac Day’, The Register, 27 August 1915, p. 6,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[3] ‘Anzac Day: Important Notice to the Public’, The Advertiser, 30 September 1915, p. 2,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[4] ‘Anzac Day’, The Mail, 18 September 1915, p. 7, accessed 25 November 2015.
[5] ‘Anzac Day”, The Register, 27 August 1915, p. 6.
[6] ‘Anzac Day. Designs for Souvenir Programme’, The Express and Telegraph,7 September 1915, p. 2,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[7] ‘Anzac Day: a Stirring Demonstration in Adelaide, Chronicle,16 October 1915, p. 35,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[8] The attack on Gaba Tepe, a promontory south of the main Australian positions at Anzac by men of the 11th Battalion was an attempt to deny the Turks a vantage point from which they could observe and direct artillery around Anzac Cove. It ended in failure. “Raid on Gaba Tepe”, Australian War Memorial website,, accessed 27 November 2015.
[9] ‘Labour’s Loyalty: Anzac Day Celebration’, The Register, 14 October 1915,
p. 4,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[10] ‘Local Mems’, The Bunyip, 24 September 1915, p. 4,, accessed 19 November 2015.
[11] ‘Anzac Day: a Stirring Demonstration in Adelaide, Chronicle,16 October 1915, p. 35.
[12] Ibid.
[13] ‘Anzac Day: Magnificent Celebrations’, The Mail, 16 October 1915, p. 1,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[14] ‘Anzac Day a Splendid Success’, The Advertiser,14 October 1915, p. 8,, accessed 19 November 2015.
[15] ‘South Australian soldiers’ Fund: Report of Executive Committee’, The Register, 23 March 1916,, accessed 25 November 2015.
[16] ‘Anzac Day’, The Bunyip, 15 October 1915, p. 2,, accessed, 1 December 2015.
[17] ‘The Baggies at Gawler: Wholesale Arrests at Gawler’, The Bunyip, 29 October 1915, p. 2,, accessed 1 December 2015.







ANZAC Day During World War One – Part 1 The Origin Of The Word ANZAC

This is the first part in a four-part series about Anzac Day and how it was commemorated in South Australia and Gawler, during the years immediately following the first landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

This week, in Part 1, you can read about the origin of the word ‘Anzac’ and Anzac Day. In Part 2, on 25 April you can read about the first observance of Anzac Day in South Australia on 13 October 1915. On 2 May, in Part 3, we will look at how Anzac Day was commemorated on 25 April 1916. Finally, in Part 4, which will be posted on 9 May, you will be able to read about the more organised Anzac Day commemorations that occurred in 1917 and 1918.

When Britain declared war against Germany on 4 August 1914, young men from all parts of Australia rushed to support the ‘mother country’ by joining the Australian Imperial Force. This was thought to be the opportunity for Australian men to prove their worth on the battlefield. They were blissfully unaware of the horrors to come as they boarded ships bound for the battlefield. Most were transported to Egypt where they were trained for the ill-fated assault on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915.

Lines of the Australian 9th and 10th Battalions at Mena Camp, Egypt, December 1914. Many Australian units took kangaroos and other Australian animals to Egypt. Some were given to the Cairo Zoological Gardens when the units went to Gallipoli.        Source: Australian War Memorial, C02588.

‘Anzac’ is an acronym formed from the first letters of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This was how the Australian and New Zealand soldiers were grouped while in training at Mena Camp in Egypt, prior to embarking ships for the landing at Gallipoli.

The origin of the word ‘Anzac’ is open to conjecture – there are a number of possibilities. First is the claim of General Sir William R Birdwood that he chose the acronym as a telegraphic code for his ‘Army Corps’. He further claimed that when asked to suggest a name for the beach at Gallipoli on which the first Landing took place, he selected ‘Anzac Cove’¹. General Sir Ian Hamilton, in the foreword to a book published in 1915, claimed that he was the man who ‘omitted the five full stops and brazenly coined the word ‘Anzac’².

C E W Bean, in his book The Story of Anzac, and Robert Rhodes James in his book Gallipoli, gave similar accounts. Their version was that, early in 1915 in the General Staff of General Birdwood, two Australian clerks (Sergeants Little and Millington) were using a rubber with the initials A.&N.Z.A.C to register mail and correspondence. When the need for a code word arose, one of the clerks (probably Lieutenant A T White of the British Army) suggested ‘ANZAC’. The code word was approved and adopted but, according to Bean, it was some time before it came into general use and, even at the time of the Landing, it was not well-known. James, however, believed that the term ‘Anzac’ was in general use by January 1915³.

After the Landing at Gallipoli the word ‘Anzac’ came to be a word that described the soldiers themselves. When the war ended, it was used to refer to any Australian or New Zealand person who had served in World War One4. The spirit of Anzac recognises the qualities of courage, mateship, sacrifice and endurance in the face of death and despair5. By early June 1915, the word ‘Anzac’ made its first appearance in Australian newspapers6. In a telegram received by the Minister for Defence Major-General Sir Ian Hamilton reported that he had received news from Anzac of enemy reinforcements being sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula7.


On 25 April each year, we commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli together with all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Services are held at war memorials at dawn, the time of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli. Later in the day marches and other services are held8.

The first official dawn service was held in Sydney in 1927. This was also the first year that all states recognised a public holiday on the day. Dawn services were at first attended only by veterans; the marches and services later in the day were for families and others9. These days, people from all walks of life and backgrounds go to the ANZAC Day services of their choosing.

Post Contributor: Anne Richards

[1] ‘Origins of the acronym ANZAC’, Australian War Memorial website,, accessed 23 November 2015.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] ‘Anzac acronym’, Australian War memorial website,, accessed 23 November 2015.
[5] ‘ANZAC Day’, Australian War Memorial website,, accessed 23 November 2015.
[6] For example, ‘A Good Advance’, The Argus, 7 June 1915, p. 9,, accessed 23 November 2015; ‘Australians at Work’, The Register, 7 June 1915, p. 8,, accessed 23 November 2015.
[7] Ibid., The Register, 7 June 1915.
[8] ‘ANZAC Day’, Australian War Memorial website.
[9] Ibid.


What’s Your Dewey? 573s – Senses (As I See It).

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, ‘sense’ is an ability to understand, recognize, value, or react to something, especially any of the five physical abilities to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. When we talk about our senses, we generally refer to the mechanisms by which our bodies react to internal or external stimuli which are many and varied within the animal kingdom. Most books that deal with the generally understood topic of the senses are to be found in the 573s – Specific physiological systems in animals, regional histology & physiology in animals.

There are many children’s books devoted to the 5 human senses. They are either sense organ specific (devoted to each of the ear, nose, eyes, skin or tongue) or general and refer to all of the 5 senses. While they are all very informative and a requisite topic for growing young minds, the ones that most intrigue are those which look at lesser known animal sensorial abilities.

Top 10 Super Senses by Virginia Loh-Hagan
This title includes many interesting facts about animals and their senses including the 15,000 taste buds of pigs, the tarsier’s exceptional night vision; and the 25,000 touch receptors in the star-nosed mole’s nose.  It is written with high interest, low complexity text and includes clear illustrations, glossary and simplified pronunciation. Preview here:

A Natural History of the Senses
  by Diane Ackerman
Ackerman’s book, variously described as inspiring, charming, intriguing, knowledgeable and even pure ecstasy, has received many accolades. Each of the 5 senses are presented as realms for discovery with unique takes. Smell is named the ‘mute’ sense  with a personality that can be mapped; the skin has ‘eyes’ in the section on Touch; earth calls us in Hearing; and the walls are round in Vision. The New York Times says of it ” Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.”
Quick Look:

A Tour of the Senses: How Your Brain Interprets the World by John M. Henshaw
A tour of the senses takes readers through the common understanding of the senses that help us interpret our surroundings, to the science behind the process underpinning Stimulus, Sensations and Perception. Henshaw explains how we see, feel, taste, touch, and smell. Making reference to Aristotle’s classification of the five main senses and examining sensory research today, Henshaw argues well for a reinterpretation of the number of senses available to living organisms. An interesting approach to the topic, well researched and easy to read.

We have the technology : how biohackers, foodies, physicians, and scientists are transforming human perception, one sense at a time by Kara Platoni.
Bioscience, metaperception, neurobiology, metasensory experiences, AI and augmented reality are all topics addressed in this witty, candid, intriguing and disturbing book by Platoni. An academic and science reporter, Platoni researches the ways we extend our ‘sensory experiences to make the world more real’. There is much food for thought to enlighten and challenge in this book.

Neurocomic by Matted Farinella & Hana Ros [graphic novel]
Farinella, graphic jounalist and scientific illustrator and Ros, neuroscientist  and documentary writer, introduce the complexities of the brain in graphic novel format.  ‘Neurocomic is a journey through the human brain: a place of neuron forests, memory caves, and castles of deception. Along the way, you’ll encounter Boschean beasts, giant squid, guitar-playing sea slugs, and the great pioneers of neuroscience. Hana Roš and Matteo Farinella provide an insight into the most complex thing in the universe.’ (

Meet The Award Winning Authors Tricia Stringer and Meredith Appleyard

Spend the morning with two of South Australia’s winning authors. Wednesday May 3, 10am – 12noon. Details below.