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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


What’s Your Dewey? 646.5 A Hatter’s Choice

Hats have been part of our attire for centuries and for centuries they have gone in and out of fashion. They have been equally defining of an era, a character, a social status and a must for healthy outdoor living.  A Lithuanian proverb says: For every head a hat and yet a quick walk through any busy shopping or entertainment centre in Australia suggests the converse – no-one (not really) wears a hat. That is of course with one obvious exception – Race-day!  On Cup-day, in any state of Australia, the  fascinators come out and they can indeed be fascinating!

I will admit to being a fan of hats and have my own small but unique collection. I have been known to visit hat stores and view all the hats in clothing recycle shops.  I have also been known to garner new book titles on the topic as they hit the library shelves. Below are just a few I have viewed.

Studio Secrets: Milinery by Estelle Ramousse & Fabienne Gambrelle
Authored by renowned French milliner Estelle Ramousse, this beautifully illustrated book makes big promises but has met with mixed reviews. There are those that are clearly attracted to the look of this contemporary title but it’s the photographic content rather than the text that draws readers in. Those seeking instruction or any detailed demonstration of millinery technique will be disappointed as information is brief and aimed at introductory level only. Despite criticism, the book is attractive, contains some interesting history and can be a good starting point for those wanting to dabble.


Hats by Madame Paulette : Paris milliner extraordinaire by Annie Schneider ; foreword by Stephen Jones.
Born in 1900, Madame Paulette learned her trade between two world wars, to become the ‘queen of milliners’ and the most sought after fashion designer of the forties and fifties. Her hats featured in some of the world’s most famous movies of the time and graced the heads of notable stars such as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn. Her creations were also sought by royalty (Princess Grace of Monaco), Paris couturiers (Pierre Cardin), photographers (Klein) and fashion magazines (Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar). This is a beautifully designed and illustrated book giving readers  an insight into a fascinating character and true fashion pioneer.
A stunning account of the life and work of the famed Parisian milliner. With clientele like Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, she set the standard for petite pillboxes and over-the-top chapeaux.—

Children’s sun hats by Gill Stratton.
No Hat No Play’ is now a standard rule applied to children in both our pre-schools and primary schools. Most school hats, however, are less than inspirational and many children resist the request to wear a hat out of school hours. Children’s sun hats by Gill Stratton provides simple but great advice on how to turn this around – get children involved in designing and making their own hats!  She encourages would-be home milliners to involve children in the process, from the look of the item to the choice of fabric and suggests ways to involve them in constructing the end result. This is a practical book, which begins with some pertinent and basic hat-making tools, tips and techniques. It also includes patterns and ideas for projects. The book may not help you inspire teens but is certainly great for hat-making for babies to 8 year olds. You can take a sneak peek here:

Hat shop : 25 projects to sew, from practical to fascinating compiled by Susanne Woods.
Part of the Design Collective series, this title features contributions from over 20 designers from around the world. Hat projects include designs for bonnets, caps, crowns and headbands, fascinators, scarves and tams. They vary from the fun to the serious, the glamorous to the work-a-day. Likening the book to the Lithuanian proverb mentioned above, the publishers suggest the book includes ‘a handmade hat for every head!’ The book includes hats for all age groups and styles, and can be picked up by those starting out in hat-making as it includes some step-by-step photographs and patterns (although not all photographs are clear or instructions simple).
You can look inside here:

From the neck up: an illustrated guide to hatmaking by Denise Dreher
Since first being published over 30 years ago, this title has been THE reference book for anyone serious about the art and craft of millinery. It has been used by milliners from all fields including theatre and film costume designers. Although it clearly contains information that is now outdated and some of the supplies and materials are no longer readily available, it is still considered an invaluable resource. It’s longevity can be attributed to both the historical context of hat designs  (it includes designs from many eras in history such as ancient Greece Baroque, Edwardian and Modern) and its relatively easy to follow instructions.  The book also includes over four hundred illustrations and drawings. The book not only details how to make new hats but gives good instructions on repairing damaged and vintage hats (useful for hat collectors like me).

Of course there are many, many more books on the topic and in different Dewey areas – the 391s for stylish hats and the 745s for fabulous crafty paper hats to name just two. Then of course there are the many serious and quirky quotes about hats contained in books from all over the Dewey range by characters real and fictional. So I think I’ll conclude with a quote from a Neil Gaiman book Anansi Boys:

“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”

Nola Cavallaro



Tech Savvy: A-Z Apps Series – Dress (aka Fashion)

Previously in this series we have covered Online Shopping, but here we will talk more about the apps we use for FASHION! (the buying, styling, storing and caring for our wardrobe contents). It has become so easy to get out your mobile device when checking for anything these days and finding the latest season’s dress, boots or even underwear is just as easy!
So, many companies have created apps to complement their online stores to cater to their customers’ needs.  Some of these companies are online only stores like Australian/New Zealand brand The Iconic (  They’ve been a growing online fashion outlet for five years and are all about providing easy, fashion forward options from all over the world right to the palm of your hand.  ModCloth ( is an online space where you can find style and décor from independent designers with a fashion fits all mentality.  Based in the United States they do ship internationally and have been around for 14 years. They have a great online community atmosphere where customers can provide information regarding colour, fit and feel for other customers and a place to post a selfie in your new outfit.  
is like a social media platform for fashion loving people.  It provides a place to purchase fabulous new goodies and a like-minded community of fashionistas to share your outfit creations with.  
There are also apps created for physical stores to create more opportunities for customers to find a bargain utilising loyalty club benefits for app users.  An Australian brand; Review ( has done just that with their loyalty app that sends you notifications for sales, special loyalty deals and updates on new stock added to their collections.  Myer ( does this also with their MyerOne app for club members.  It provides customers opportunities to keep track of loyalty points and the ability to send accrued points to family and friends for them to use in their accounts.  
Victoria’s Secret is now a mix of physical and online stores but has an app available to customers through the Apple App Store and Google Play ( or ), giving customers the space to search through their latest additions to their collections regardless of their location; on the couch, during their lunch break or the train to work!   There’s also a sneak peek into what goes into creating the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with exclusive pictures and information.  The app utilises a loyalty membership functionality to give members latest in-store/online deals, app-only deals and the ability to keep track of gift cards. 
Our Aussie department stores have got in on the action too with
Big W ( /  ) and Target ( creating apps for their customers with great features like store details, current catalogues to view and store maps meaning you can find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. 
So you’ve bought your items and now you can’t remember if you’ve still got those red shoes that will go perfectly with that new dress on it’s way.  That’s where great apps like Stylebook ( come in handy.  Use the item’s photo from the store or take your own when the item arrives, then complete the form with brand, colour and price and continue with the rest of your wardrobe collection.  There’s a video to assist with any queries and you can plan your outfits into a calendar, which is really helpful when you’re planning a trip and want to keep the packing to a minimum.  Keep track of anything from dresses to dance shoes to hats and  harem pants.  It’ll have you getting ready in the morning without stressing about what to wear. 
After all that shopping, outfit creation and sorting of your wardrobe contents, what you need now is a good lie down with some great inspiration!  Through the library you have access to many fashion magazines to peruse on your mobile device or computer/laptop using Zinio (  You’ll need your library membership number and pin to access the content, but then there are many magazines to choose from to get your next fabulous outfit inspiration, maybe for the upcoming Adelaide Cup Day. 
Do you have any fashion apps you love?  Got something you think is a bargain finder or makes getting ready a breeze?  Let us know in the comments section so others can benefit from your find!
Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy


What’s Your Dewey? 332.4 Money and More.

Dolly Levi (aka Barbara Streisand) from Hello Dolly, famously said:
“Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.”
Money forms an integral part of our lives and the pursuit of money has ramifications both obvious and discreet. It has been the case ever since the notion of exchange of goods for services replaced a more communal approach to social structure. If a quick browse through any book store or library is any indication, humans are preoccupied with the topic – there has been so much written about it. Below are a few examples that caught my attention.


Money: Everything You Never Knew About Your Favorite Thing to Find, Save, Spend & Covet by Sandra & Harry Choron
The introduction sets the tone of this readily accessible title. It says about money: ‘We claim that it can’t buy happiness, but Donald Trump’s perpetual smirk belies the point, and of the 685,000 books available on the subject, just about all of them focus on how to get your hands on more of it. This book is the exception.’ Money: Everything You Never Knew About Your Favorite Thing to Find, Save, Spend & Covet  looks at money through history, culture, psychology, old money, new money, other people’s money and concludes with the things money can’t buy. It includes the serious, the seriously funny and some bizarre little known facts about money. Well laid out, easy to read and reference, this title is also available on Kindle.
Click here to preview:


Coined: the rich life of money and how its history has shaped us
by Kabir Sehgal
According to Sehgal in his Introduction to the book, “Every chapter is meant to spark your curiosity, not satisfy it.” Sehgal describes money as a musical note, where-in are “more notes vibrating at other frequencies; we just can’t hear them.” Seghal’s insatiable quest to discover how and why money has become such an integral part of our world is at times fascinating, entertaining, predictable, challenging and informative. Taking readers on his search for the reason behind money’s hold on our lives, he looks at money from its origins of exchange to the financial crisis of 2008. Sehgal concludes money and humans have a symbiotic relationship whereby they constantly change and adapt to each other. A mixed bag of light and entertaining facts and dry economic observations, this book has received varied reviews.

Heads up money.

Aimed at teen readers, Heads Up Money  simply explains the world of money including the global marketplace, financial risks and gains, and free trade. Structured with an FAQ approach,  questions include Who is making money? How do stock markets work?  Can Money buy happiness? What is  supply and demand all about?  and Why don’t banks simply print more money? A book not just for teens I’d say.

Of course some people just like to look at money, and certainly coins and notes from around the world and through history have included some of the best artwork and craftsmanship out there. Here’s where the more comes in.

Although, not strictly speaking, a 332.4, the Standard catalog of world paper money, 1961-present, Modern issues edited by Maggie Judkins is a great book to browse. This 22nd edition features 22,000 variety listings of world bank notes and 13,750 detailed illustrations for easy identification. Contributors to this catalogue include an international team of collectors, dealers, researchers and national bank officials. Arguably the most informed, accurate and all-encompassing resource  for the identification, description and valuation of modern world bank notes.
Click here for a look inside:

Of course , if all you want to do is look at a book that tells you how to make money, there are plenty to choose from – there’s a message in there somewhere…

Nola Cavallaro

TechSavvy: Online Banking


Balancing your finances was previously a paper affair with trips to your local branch a necessity.  Nowadays technology has made banking available 24/7.  With Christmas just gone and the summer sales upon us, there are many retailers out there vying for your hard earned money.  How do you manage it all.  Many still use good old pen and paper to make a list and carry it with them.  But we all have carry our smartphones on us, so why not take advantage of this. Below we’ve listed apps that some of our staff use and apps that we’ve found that we think could be useful.

Chronicle – iOS $4.99 & Mac $14.99 – this is a great app for just keeping track of your bills. It will require some time to first set it up with your regular bills, their details and usual occurrence rates, but they’ll give you reminders for when they’re due and you can look back to track your spend for each month, quarter and year.  It will also sync the details between your iOS device and your Apple iMac computer so you can check on what’s due wherever you happen to be.  It means you’ll never have to worry about missing a bill.

Pocketbook – FREE iOS & Android – Highly recommended app by many different groups including Business Insider, CNET and Choice magazine.  Everything organised into categories for your daily spend, bills and banking transactions, this app will keep you on track for day to day expenses and how you’re tracking toward your savings goals.  It will send you notifications for bills, encouragement on your saving efforts and gives you a ‘safely spend’ amount so you can grab that coffee on the go without worrying it’s eating into your savings or bill money.


Home Budget – Windows, Mac, iOS $4.99, Android $6.49, Amazon $5.99 – this is another whole finance solution.  It has apps for everything and will sync between multiple different devices, so you’ll always be updated, especially if there’s more than one person doing the finances. Once you’ve added your account information it will update the app details when you make a payment for a bill, grab the shopping or lunch with friends.  Add your bill details and never miss another bill as you’ll always know when they’re due.  If you really want to get your finances in tip top shape, this app will give you the opportunity to create reports to get a better understanding of how you’re tracking toward your savings goals or if you’re paying too much for that electricity bill.

There are many, many more apps to help you control your spending, pay your bills and track your savings goals available to download.  If the above apps are too involved for your liking or you’ve already got a system that works then we’ve listed some of the current (Australian) bank owned apps you can download from your specific app stores.  These apps are designed to give you a quick overview of your account balances, transfer funds between your accounts or externally, pay bills or contact someone from the institution for help with your banking needs.  They are a quick way to keep up to date while you’re on the go.  These apps use strict logins that require set up in conjunction with your banking institution so that your data is kept safe.  Some of the following apps may also make a version of their apps for wearable devices like the Samsung Gear or Apple Watch.


Many banks have now developed their own specific apps for their customers to gain easy access to their accounts on the go.

CommBank – iOS & Android –

ANZ GoMoney – iOS & Android –

NAB –  iOS, Android & Windows Phone Store –

Bendigo Bank – iOS & Android –

You can also try People’s Choice (iOS & Android) and Westpac Mobile Banking  (iOS, Android & Windows Phone Store)

However you maintain your finances I hope we’ve shown you some new, interesting or convenient ways to keep track of your hard earned dollars and maybe you’ve got something you use that you could share with others.

Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy