Tag Archives: Lifelong Learning

What’s Your Dewey? 331 Careers – A future of your own design.

It’s the time of year when, across Australia, thousands of students will be leaving school and hitting the job market. It is also the time of year when many Australians are considering their employment options for 2018. Finding work is never easy, but finding meaningful work that adequately suits both your needs and desires is almost unattainable for many.

The Careers Handbook: The Graphic Guide to finding the perfect job for you, ed. Richard Gilbert is a great, all-round guide to working out what sort of careers are out there, what the pre-requisites for them are and if, in fact, they are suited to the job seeker. Although it is aimed at school-leavers, its currency, breadth of cover and ease of use is a great asset to any job hunter. 15 career categories are colour coded for easy identification and dealt with comprehensively. The book provides career paths in each industry and individual careers have a double page spread that include job description, skills guide and related careers. You can look inside here:  https://www.dk.com/uk/9780241006924-the-careers-handbook/

How to find work you love : the ethical careers guide
by Paul Allen 
aims to provide readers with the skills needed to approach finding that meaningful, perfect job. Organised as a stepped guide, the book helps readers identify their passions and understand their options in the current job market. Tips and advice from experts are included as are testimonials from those who have successfully found their perfect job. Although the book has a strong bias toward the UK work environment, the book is very easy to follow with a clean, attractive layout.
You can visit the website here: https://www.ethicalcareersguide.com/

What color is your parachute? : a practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers
by Richard N. Bolles 
is considered the #1 career search guide in the world, with over 10 million copies sold.  A very comprehensive title that includes practical exercises to assist job seekers in finding a suitable career. Anecdotally, the origin of the title is from a conversation where, in response to ‘I’m fed up with this job – I’m going to bail out?’,  Bolles replied ‘What color is your parachute?’  The first edition was published in 1970, and with each subsequent edition, Bolles has meticulously researched and updated all content. The latest edition is no exception, highlighting how the job market has changed in a digital world and how job seekers should aim to respond. The 2018 edition is likely the last by author Richard Bolles,who died  earlier this year aged 90.

Of course Dewey being an exacting classification tool, books on a multiplicity of careers will be found in the various Dewey subject areas: Actor or musician? Look to performing arts; Scientist or Doctor? You guessed it – the sciences. A great series that covers all of these diverse career options is You get paid for that?














Unusual and awesome jobs using... Science, or Technology, or Math or Sport are the current titles in this fascinating small series. Careers such as Cryptologist, Food Taster, Human Lie Detector and Roller Coaster Designer are just a few examples of some of the careers considered in this entertaining and informative series aimed at children and young teens.

Secretly…the  truth is, I got some inspiration as well… but then this is true of looking more closely at all of these guides. Clearly, it’s always time to re-evaluate and look outside the box when job hunting.


Loved to Death: A Photographer’s Tribute to Discarded Library Books


Books are treasured well beyond their pristine state. A new release from photographer Kerry Mansfield, celebrates the life and afterlife of books in her latest release, Expired.

Stamped “DISCARD” or “WITHDRAWN,” the books in Kerry Mansfield’s Expired have been exiled from the libraries where they were loved. There is something bittersweet about a library tome so well used that it has fallen to pieces, its tactile decay reflecting a collective act of reading. The new monograph from the San Francisco-based photographer features over 70 images of discarded library books, each posed against a black background for a post-withdrawal portrait.

“Each picture serves as an homage calling out palpable echoes etched into the pages by a margin-scrawled note, a yellowed coffee splatter or sticky peanut butter and jelly fingerprints,” writes Mansfield in a book essay. “It’s easy to feel a sense of abuse and loss, but they say much more. They show the evidence of everyone that has touched them, because they were well read, and often well-loved. They were not left on shelves, untouched.”

Mansfield frequently considers time in her photography. Aftermath responded to her diagnosis with breast cancer at the age of 31 with a series of self-portraits, while Threshold captures feathers dropping in front of her camera, a series created during a time of sleep deprivation. Expired also has a biographical connection for Mansfield, as she recalls how she spent “many lost afternoons hiding in the library nook” in elementary school. “The first rite of passage upon learning how to write one’s name was to inscribe it on a library checkout card promising the book’s safe journey and return,” she writes.

Expired includes its own checkout card inside the back cover — signed by the artist in an envelope stamped “EXPIRED.” Some of her photographs frame just these slips of paper chronicling readers with inked dates or names. One from The Giant Golden Book of Dogs, Cats, and Horses was check out by a kid named Kelli three times in a row between October and January (and then again in September and November). Yet as Mansfield notes, these cards are an “act of declaration that’s dissolving faster than we can see as cards are removed permanently and bar codes take their place.”

The dog-eared pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, a copy of Lad: A Dog that has a chunk missing from its cover (perhaps taken by canine teeth?), crayon scribbles on The Velveteen Rabbit, the broken spine of Treasure Island, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame braced by tape, all recall the shared experience of library literature. Mansfield’s photographs give these imperfections a quiet dignity.

Source: Loved to Death: A Photographer’s Tribute to Discarded Library Books

A-Z Apps Series – News

The news, is not the civilised activity we used to participate in years ago.  We’d purchase a newspaper and read that or sit in front of the television or the radio at a set time and listen in.  But not anymore.  We are bombarded with ‘news’ constantly. Via social media, radio, television, print media etc. So what can we do to get the news we want to hear about?  How do you access the news?  What is the news for you?  Technology, sports, politics, local events or the social activities of the rich and famous?
Breaking NewsThere are many apps that will collate your news interests or just apps that deal with specific news information. Below we have listed a few you might find handy…
 Free to air television channels have created apps for viewers to watch their content ‘on demand’ wherever and whenever they like.  This will include their news broadcasts and in-depth investigative programs.  Most of these function on the premise that content will be available for a limited time to view then it will expire and become unavailable.  Most of these apps are available not just on smartphones that use Android and iOS, but also for smart tvs, tablet devices, desktop computers and media set top boxes.  The following list is for Australian channels.
NewspapersThen we have the print and online media channels like Facebook where almost every news outlet, regardless of how else they broadcast their news, has a ‘page’ that readers can ‘follow’ to get the news ‘hot off the press’ so to speak.  Print media apps usually are a collection of news articles and stories that you can access, sometimes for a subscription fee. Some of these can be tailored to your likes and interests so you get news geared especially for you.
News wordcloud pageSpeciality News Apps are plentiful and are usually created for specific subjects or followers like sports teams or codes, business, technology, traveling and Australian teams.

So, whether you’re an avid sports fan, globe trotter looking for inspiration or just want to catch up with the days events in your state or local area, there’s an app you can download to keep you informed.

What’s Your Dewey? 781 It’s All M.m.usic To My Ears…

Strictly speaking, 781 should get you books on the general principles of music and musical forms, but realistically, you will also find titles devoted to individual performers, bands and concerts. Being a bit of a purist, and genuinely interested on the assigned topic, I scanned the virtual shelves (the catalogue) to see what I could find.

The first title to attract my attention questioned my understanding of musical forms – I had always thought an audial relationship with music was intrinsic, and Air Guitar, A user’s guide by Bruno MacDonald did not strike me as a musical form. Perhaps it had something to say about the general principles of music?

Perhaps not. By way of introduction, the book states:  ‘Freddie Mercury did it. Hormone-addled adolescents do it. Grown men do it in the privacy of their own homes (and, sometimes, in dark public gatherings). There are even specialist computer games that encourage you to do it. It is air guitar.’ Clearly designed to attract attention,  what follows is more of a comic-style picture book than a serious attempt at discussing a musical form. The book is divided into three sections: Getting started, which includes basic accessories, (there are accessories?) and the Dos and Donts (…the general principles!);  Air Guitar Moves, which explains 12 moves including ‘The Hendrix’; and Going Pro, with ’50 fret fondling favourites’. The book is sparse on content, laid out like a storyboard complete with sketchy coloured line drawings…not exactly definitive but bound to attract the growing number of devotees.

Clearly, Air Guitar is part of the music scene. When looking at what else might be included as part of ‘the scene’, I came across a series of books aimed at teens and young adults called The Music Scene.








Matt Annis, author and journalist who has spent many years working within the music industry, has created this series of four titles that looks at the world of contemporary music. The Music Industry, The History of Modern Music, Music Fashion & Style and Performing Live, are easy to read and full of practical tips based on case studies featuring some of the world’s best known contemporary musical artists. Although slim, each title is packed with useful information. Published by Franklin Watts in 2012, the series is starting to date (as things quickly do in the pop industry) but many of the principles behind the how-to advice are relevant today.

Still on the hunt for titles on musical forms, Jazz : a beginner’s guide by Stuart Nicholson revived my hope that I am looking in the right place.

Like many, I have some preconceived (and potentially erroneous) ideas about what constitutes Jazz. A quick browse through this title, reassures me that Jazz is what I thought it to be, but also a lot more. Nicholson takes readers through Jazz early history in southern USA to modern jazz scenes around the world. He talks about the evolution of the word and concept that Jazz encompasses and the way that many listeners are predisposed to understanding it because of its close links to other mainstream forms such as blues, rock and roll and pop. The eleven chapters include The Blues, The American Popular Song, Rise of the Big Bands, Jazz Goes Modern  and Jazz in the Global Village. Each chapter is accompanied by a play list based on the form and style being discussed. You can take a peak inside here: Jazz-Beginners-Guide-Guides

Classical music is another form that has suffered from ‘bad press’ being labelled elitist and boring… but… What if it only took half a minute to better understand and appreciate what it is after all, the most freely available form of music: as background music, on the internet, in the media and used in some of our most famous jingles?

30-second classical music : the 50 most significant genres, composers and innovations, each explained in half a minute
edited by Joanne Cormac is one book that promises to deliver just that! In his forward, David Pickard says ‘The book proves that it is possible to be brief, succinct and insightful without being patronising or simplistic… every significant development [in the history of classical music] seems to be covered.’ In writing this book, Joanne Cormac’s aim is to dispel some of the myths surrounding classical music, to demystify some of the jargon and to open it up to a broader audience. The seven sections of the book take readers on a journey through the earliest instruments and monastic plainchant to the electronic music of modern composition. Each section has a glossary and the text is clearly laid out and nicely illustrated to encourage browsing and return visits. Not a book you have to consume in one sitting, but you could.
You can preview the book here: 30-Second-Classical-Music

There is always the danger when books try to simplify ideas and concepts that they will offend potential readers by ‘talking down’ to them. The  books ...for Dummies series makes no attempt to disguise the fact that they assume readers have little or no knowledge of the topic at hand. Music theory for dummies by Michael Pilhofer and Holly Day is no exception.

Like many titles in the series, the book takes readers back to the basics: Note values and counting, Treble and Bass clefs, Time signatures, Tempo and Tone, Key signatures, Scales and  chords are all included with Music theory’s history an added bonus that puts it all in perspective. The book is well structured and easy to follow. It provides examples of music to compliment the text, chord charts and audio examples on CD (piano and guitar). It also has a companion website that you can visit here: http://www.dummies.com/go/musictheory

Although not exactly a musical form, the music that consistently attracts audiences is music that includes a combination of voice and inspiring lyrics – collectively known as ‘songs’. 

First published in 2005, 1001 songs you must hear before you die edited by Robert Dimery has become one of the most popular musical go-to reference books, listing some of the world’s most famous popular songs beginning early 20th century. Each featured song title includes its unique backstory with illustrations, and is placed in context of time and musical influences (with similar genre-titles included). A range of music journalists have also contributed to the book. Although heavily biased toward music from the USA, the list includes titles in French, Spanish, Italian and German. An easy to browse book, that has been consistently updated with the latest release in 2016. You can also sample song titles based on the book online at: http://playlists.net/1001-songs-you-must-hear-before-you-die-4 

There is no doubt that music plays an important part in our lives. Neurologists, scientists, doctors and teachers agree that exposure to music at an early age has positive benefits for life: positive for early childhood development; for our schooling and education; for our health and well being and ultimately, for our longevity. Music therapy is increasingly being incorporated in medicine to assist with pain management, healing and recovery and mental and emotional resilience.

Music remembers me : connection and wellbeing in dementia
by Kirsty Beilharz  aims to address both the practitioner and those without experience or training, looking for ‘quick start’ guidelines. Beilharz makes strong links between the mind and music engagement for dementia sufferers, and provides practical advice on introducing music to their daily care. The book includes moving stories from Australian health and aged care providers HammondCare and is considered a ground-breaking book on the topic.
You can view the book-launch trailer here: Music Remembers Me

So, it seems that there is much to learn about musical principles and forms in the 781s (with a little Dewey perseverance and leeway given) and… the next time that song or piece of music gets stuck in my head and just won’t go away? I’ll just assume its all for the best!
Nola Cavallaro

Tech Savvy: A-Z Apps Series – Music

So we’ve obviously come a long way since playing records was the only way to put together a playlist of our favourite tunes. We can now have a personal rock concert, symphony orchestra, dance party or chill out session at our finger tips and playing just for us, owing to the many options for headphones available on the market.

Whether you’re at the gym, on your daily commute, studying or just generally trying to tune out the world, there are many options for you to listen to your favourites, something new or something to get you fired up for your PT session. What’s your go-to music app? Do you have any pros or cons that made the decision for you?

Many music streaming services have popped up and disappeared over the last 5 years. With such a new way of tuning into your music there have been many ideas explored to bring streaming services to the consumer. When using the streaming services on your mobile phone you will need to check whether your data allowance is adequate or if that service is included in your phone’s data plan, otherwise you’ll find you’re out of data before your month has barely begun. Many music artists have added their titles to some or all of these services. If your music collection is looking a little dated and you’re keen to try something new we’ve highlighted some of the more popular streaming services below.

Spotify:  https://www.spotify.com/au/ is a great way to get some music on the go without needing to organise it yourself. Download your app, sign up (free or premium accounts) and hit play. There are restrictions to the free account that might make you consider the paid version. If you don’t mind the ads and don’t usually skip your songs then you’ll find the free version is fine for you. Spotify gives you access to millions of songs to create your own playlists and as one of the most used music streaming services in the world, you may even find your bestie’s fave playlist or a playlist compiled by your favourite artist.

Apple Music
: https://www.apple.com/au/music/ The streaming music service created by Apple for their customers, synced across all their devices they have logged into with their Apple ID. Apple Music is a paid subscriptions only service to give users an extra 40 million songs to their own library, with different prices for students, individuals or families. Create your own playlist or get Apple Music to create something for you based on your music preferences. Connect your Apple devices to play your selections through your iPhone, Apple Watch or their upcoming Home pod. You can also move your playlists to your device to limit your data usage and listen offline.

iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/ Launched in Australia during 2013 this recommender system radio station has multiple music stations and offers free, ‘Plus’ and ‘All Access’ subscription services. Available on many devices including home and automotive smart systems. Also, using the All Access Services means you will be able to save live broadcasts to your digital playlists to get more bang for your buck.

Shazam: https://www.shazam.com/ is an application used to recognise the music and TV that is playing near you. Starting out as a text messaging service, it has evolved into a way music artists can keep fans up to date with their latest music offerings and their music tastes. By holding your open app up to the music playing locally, it will ‘listen’ and check against the database of songs, artists and albums to return information to you about track details, artist information, lyrics, videos, concert tickets etc. So the next time you’re walking through somewhere wondering ‘that song is really good, I wonder what it is?’ …you can now answer that question and find your next favourite artist, song or album.

Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/store/music?hl=en Just like some of the previous options, you have a choice of paid or free subscriptions to access the music service. The paid subscription service will also give subscribers ad-free access to YouTube Red, the premium offering from YouTube. There is an Offline Mixtape functionality for you to listen offline to your playlists. And if you’re not sure what to listen to next, you can mix your own library with the radio stations and get an eclectic mix. Don’t like the current song? You can skip unlimited times with their paid ‘All Access’ pass. Would you like to know what that song is playing near you right now? Google Play Music has a Shazam style ‘identify what’s playing’ option which will connect you with the music, artist and anything available on YouTube for you to watch.

So it comes down to whether you want to keep your favourite tunes or just listen to what takes your fancy at the time. Do you want all the bells and whistles that come with the paid subscriptions or are you just happy to have any music to listen to? Do you mind ads appearing in between your songs, like a radio station, or are you looking to get away from the radio and just have music? All these are great questions for deciding on a music streaming service, and luckily, most services have a great intro price or free service model for you to test them. What is your go-to music service? Are you intrigued and want to give it a try? Let us know what you think!
Melinda Kennedy