A river of books in Melbourne

Luzinterruptus, the anonymous art group who highlights the beauty of public spaces using only light and creativity, turned Federation Square into a river of 10 000 books donated by public libraries. They created a similar installation in New York – Literature vs Traffic.

Great Melb. photos: http://molempire.com/2012/09/13/literature-vs-traffic-a-river-of-books-floods-the-streets-of-melbourne/


A great place to get some bargains with proceeds to a very worthwhile organisation..….we will be buying some up-to-date non fiction for our library.

Lifeline Spring Bookfair 2012

Books, magazines, games, jigsaws, comics, maps, records, CDs and DVDs. Includes large of science fiction and fantasy specials, from $2.

Friday 21 September – 10am-6pm
Saturday 22 September – 10am-5pm
Sunday 23 September – 10am-4pm

Budawang Building
Exhibition Park
Flemington Road, Mitchell


Google, censorship and Assange

Interesting issues to discuss with senior students – censorship, freedom of speech, power, control, governments, corporations, global relations, ethics, religious animosity, tolerance…..


The controversial video The innocence of Muslims will stay on YouTube but Google has restricted access to it in 5 countries – India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Libya, Egypt. Google says this is consistent with its principles. Google operates in over 100 countries and handles the majority of search queries worldwide. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Does Google have too much power to influence the course of world events?


What Google isn’t telling us about the video it banned in 5 countries – Bianca Bosker

“Censoring a video that doesn’t break local laws or violate YouTube’s terms of use marks an extraordinary, highly unusual move on Google’s part that underscores the responsibility tech companies are now shouldering, by virtue of their outsized reach, to arbitrate free speech, shape international affairs and export values from their home nations.”

Some interesting points are raised:

“Would the video have been removed if it was an article?
Would the video have been removed if it had sparked violence by pro-democracy protesters?
Does banning the video reward violence? Is this a lesson that controversial content can be snuffed out if enough people are injured, enough buildings are burned and government officials ask nicely enough?
When does Google listen to violence, and when does it ignore it? Is all violence created equal? Does Google get to decide when other countries are “ready” for free speech?”


Eva Galperin: Google’s move sets a dangerous precedent. “While their goal of trying to tamp down violence may have been sincere, the decision was misguided and opens the door for more censorship in the future.”

Jillian York: “By placing itself in the role of arbiter, Google is now vulnerable to demands from a variety of parties and will have to explain why it sees censorship as the right solution in some cases but not in others.”


Will Russia ban YouTube?

Innocence of Muslims film could get the whole site blacklisted under a new law.



Another interesting resource for discussing censorship – should appeal to high school students:


Underground: the Julian Assange story (90 minute telemovie; Channel 10; October)

The previews look great (great promo song) and the reviews are excellent. It has been invited to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Robert Connolly (Balibo). Stars Alex Williams, Rachel Griffiths and Anthony LaPaglia. The intriguing backstory of Assange’s early life – his gypsy lifestyle and mistrust of authority during his teenage days as a hacker. Assange is portayed as a flawed hero, railing against the establishment.




ALA best free reference web sites 2012

This list came out round about July…. a bit of a US slant but includes some interesting & useful sites; the list comes out annually.


The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) announced the Best Free Reference Web Sites for 2012 to recognize outstanding reference sites on the web.



Best free reference web sites combined index 1999 – 2012:    http://www.ala.org/rusa/sections/mars/marspubs/marsbestindex


This year’s list has 26 sites; here are some interesting ones:


MIT OpenCourseWare    http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

Provides free access online to the materials used in the majority of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.


Google Art Project   www.googleartproject.com/

Links to more than 1000 works of art at 17 major art museums around the world. Virtually explore the museum and click on artworks to view them; many have extra information and links.


Encyclopedia of Earth    www.eoearth.org/

A free, online encyclopedia about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. Nearly 7,000 articles are reviewed and written by “scholars, professionals, educators, practitioners and other experts who collaborate and review each other’s work.” The intended audience is the general public. Articles contain links and a list of further resources. A good alternative to Wikipedia for environmental topics.


Encyclopedia of Life    http://eol.org/

“Global access to knowledge about life on Earth.” Begun in 2007 with a vision of providing global access to knowledge about life on Earth. People and organizations around the world contribute. Search boxes are located on almost every page of the encyclopedia.


CitationFox    http://library.albany.edu/usered/cite/index.html

Guides for APA & MLA styles.


Newspaper Map    http://newspapermap.com.

Over 10,000 newspapers from all over the world, most of them possible to translate to and from many languages with one click.


Worlddatabank    http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx

Access data from the World Bank; search for countries and time period. World Development Indicators (WDI) provides data on education, the environment, health, and poverty. Global Development Finance (GDF) provides statistics about the economic and financial health of countries. Results are presented in a useful report that can be exported.


FBI’s Vault    http://vault.fbi.gov/

An open database of declassified FBI records. Includes many documents related to civil rights, gangsters, popular culture and violent crime. Even includes dossiers on Steve Jobs and The Monkees!


Forvo: All the words in the world. Pronounced.     www.forvo.com/

Audio playback clips of word pronunciations by native speakers in over 280 languages. Launched in 2008 and now contains over 1,250,000 pronunciations of nearly 1,200,000  words, including idioms. Forvo’s goal is to include all words in all languages but does limit entries to those that can be found in a dictionary. Includes Google map of the language & accents. Features a different language daily. The website can be viewed in different languages.


The Khan Academy     www.khanacademy.org.

Over 2600 videos (10 mins each), practice exercises and assessments for K-12 maths (algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus and more), science (biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, etc.) finance, history and the humanities (art history). Create accounts in Google and Facebook to save and track progress.


The Holocaust – Yad Vashem    www.yadvashem.org/

In-depth information. Includes testimonies, personal letters & diaries.


The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database  


Emory University provides an accessible database of 35,000 slaving voyages involving 10 million Africans. Includes lesson plans.


Common Sense Media  www.commonsensemedia.org/

Provides ratings and detailed information for parents about the suitability of all types of media for children (movies, books, games, websites, apps, music, and TV). US site but could also be useful for Aust.


How to ask “R U OK?”

How to ask ‘R U OK?’


Professor Tony Jorm explains why asking someone ‘Are you ok?’ can change a life

 Help stop little problems becoming bigger by connecting with someone you care about and asking them, ‘Are you ok?’

You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time. You just need to be able to listen to their concerns without judgment and take the time to follow up with them.

Below are some simple steps to start a conversation.

1. Ask the question, ‘Are you ok?’


·         Start a general conversation; preferably somewhere private

·         Build trust through good eye contact, open and relaxed body language

·         Ask open–ended questions

‘What’s been happening? How are you going?’
‘I’ve noticed that… What’s going on for you at the moment?’
‘You don’t seem like yourself and I’m wondering are you ok? Is there anything that’s contributing?’

2. Listen without judgement


·         Guide the conversation with caring questions and give them time to reply

·         Don’t rush to solve problems for them

·         Help them understand that solutions are available when they’re ready to start exploring these

‘How has that made you feel?’
‘How long have you felt this way?’
‘What do you think caused this reaction?’



3. Encourage action


·         Summarise the issues and ask them what they plan to do

·         Encourage them to take one step, such as see their doctor

·         If they’re unsure about where to go to for help, help them to contact a local doctor or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

‘What do you think might help your situation?’
‘Have you considered making an appointment with your doctor?’
‘Would you like me to make an appointment or come with you?’

4. Follow up


·         Put a note in your diary to call them in one week. If they’re desperate, follow up sooner

·         Ask if they’ve managed to take that first step and see someone

·         If they didn’t find this experience helpful, urge them to try a different professional because there’s someone out there who can help them

‘How are things going? Did you speak with your doctor?’
‘What did they suggest? What did you think of their advice?’
‘You’ve had a busy time. Would you like me to make the appointment?’

Dealing with denial?


·         If they deny the problem, don’t criticise them. Acknowledge they’re not ready to talk

·         Say you’re still concerned about changes in their behavior and you care about them

·         Ask if you can enquire again next week if there’s no improvement

·         Avoid a confrontation with the person unless it’s necessary to prevent them hurting themselves or others

‘It’s ok that you don’t want to talk about it but please don’t hesitate to call me when you’re ready to discuss it.’
‘Can we meet up next week for a chat?’
‘Is there someone else you’d rather discuss this with?’


What if you think the person is considering suicide?


If you’re worried that someone you know is doing it tough or having suicidal thoughts, it’s important that you give that person an opportunity to talk about it. Find a quiet and private space to ask them how they’re feeling and whether they’ve had any thoughts about suicide. Speak in a calm, confident and non-judgmental manner to help them feel supported and reassured.

If someone says they’re thinking about suicide, it’s important you take it seriously. Tell them that you care about them and you want to help. Don’t become agitated, angry or upset. Explain that thoughts of suicide are common and don’t have to be acted upon.

It’s also essential that you determine whether they’ve formulated a plan to take their life. Ask if they’ve decided how they’ll kill themselves or if they’ve begun to take steps to end their life. If they have, it’s critical that you do NOT leave them alone and do NOT use guilt or threats to prevent suicide. Even if someone says they haven’t made a plan for suicide, you still need to take it seriously. Lack of a plan does NOT guarantee their safety. Get immediate professional help or call emergency help lines – such as Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 – for advice and support.

People who are thinking about suicide may signal their suicidal intentions to others. In other cases, there may be no warning. It’s therefore critical that you regularly engage with family, friends and colleagues and provide them with the attention and time to ask them how they’re going.

What if I can’t speak to them face-to-face?


·         Use the same 4 steps above and talk to them over the phone

·         Avoid calling from a noisy place or whilst traveling

·         If they’re in a rush, make a time to call them back

·         Remember that they can’t see your face, so it’s important to verbally indicate your support

‘I wanted to call up and have a chat to you about how you’re going. Is now a good time?’
‘It sounds like you’re busy or in a rush. When is a good time to call you back to have a proper chat?’

Can I use social media?


·         Social media is a great way to share personal tips and information on coping strategies and wellbeing tips (visit our facebook.com/ruokday for examples)

·         Send positive messages but avoid publicly commenting on how someone’s coping

·         Encourage a conversation over the phone or in person by suggesting a time to catch up
Think carefully before posting or sharing content. What may be appropriate face-to-face could be misinterpreted online. If you’re wondering how the comment might be interpreted, it’s probably best not to send it and to give them a call instead.



R U OK? Day

“R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’

By regularly reaching out to one another and having open and honest conversations, we can all help build a more connected community and reduce our country’s high suicide rate.

More than 2,200 Australians suicide each year and men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females (ABS 2012). For each person that takes their life, another 30 people attempt to end their own life (SANE Australia).”


School resources: http://www.ruokday.com/resources-for-you/r-u-ok-at-school/


Many video resources – youth, well-known Australians and others:




Understanding depression



Other excellent mental health websites:








Apple Volume Purchase Program now in Australia

The Apple Volume Purchase Program is now available in Aust….. it makes it easier to put apps on multiple iPads and other Apple iOS devices (iPod Touch, iPhone).


Good news – many apps may cost 50% less.

Macworld 5 Sept 2012:  “Apple has launched its Volume Purchase Program (VPP) in Australia today, allowing educational institutions to bulk-buy apps for 50 percent less than individual iOS App Store pricing.

The program is open to primary and secondary schools, universities and colleges, and allows Apple devices to be used as teaching tools in classrooms and courses.

Apple said the program “allows educational institutions to purchase iOS apps in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, administrators and employees. Through the VPP, participating developers can provide their apps for 50 percent off App Store prices in quantities of 20 or more.”

The program requires institutions to appoint a Program Manager and a Program Facilitator to create a unique Apple ID for the program, and oversee and purchase (via credit card) the necessary apps.

The apps are bought through a Program Education Store, separate to the traditional iOS App Store, which provides individual codes that can be emailed to students or employees to redeem on their own iOS devices, or placed on an internal website for the recipients to download”  http://www.macworld.com.au/news/apple-launches-volume-purchase-program-for-aussie-educators-71175/

Apple info:  http://www.apple.com/au/education/volume-purchase-program/


Sounds like it will make things easier!


Indigenous resources & Indigenous Literacy Day

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day – Wed 5 Sept. Many schools raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which donates books and funds literacy programs in remote indigenous communities. $340 000 has been donated so far in 2012 with 85 000 books supplied to 230 remote indigenous communities. Some children’s books are also translated into indigenous languages. It is a very successful and worthwhile program.


The Sapphires

The highly acclaimed film continues its success at the box office, the soundtrack is #1, the weekly free podcast on iTunes is popular as is the iPhone app where Jessica Mauboy helps you sing like a diva!



The black list: film and TV projects since 1970 with indigenous Australians in key creative roles

Published in June 2010, Screen Australia’s comprehensive reference book The black list catalogued the work of 257 Indigenous Australians with credits since 1970 as producer, director, writer or director of photography. Includes details of the film and TV projects and availability.

Search the Find a Film database: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/prod_industry_indig.aspx

PDF of the book: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/documents/SA_publications/BlackList.pdf

Updated chronology of indigenous film and TV 1970 – 2012



Creative Spirits


This comprehensive website has excellent links for  indigenous culture and resources. It is curated by a non indigenous person who has received acclaim for the information provided (part of NLA’s Pandora).

Books and reviews about indigenous culture – art, autobiography, children’s, novels, history, sport, teaching resources etc:   http://www.creativespirits.info/resources/books

Films dealing with indigenous issues – indigenous and non indigenous directors. Includes synopsis of each: http://www.creativespirits.info/resources/movies/


Magabala Books

Based in Broome; publishes works which have major Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or South Sea Islander involvement (indigenous author, editor or illustrator). Browse categories – new releases, children’s, social history, biography etc



IAD Press

Based in Alice Springs; a rich catalogue of publications celebrating Central Australian language, art, culture and biographies. All publications represent an authentic indigenous perspective. Includes fiction, children’s, biography, art, land and culture, Aboriginal languages.



Aboriginal Studies Press

Australia’s leading publisher of indigenous studies – the publishing arm of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), the world’s premier research and collecting institute of Australian indigenous studies. Publish up to ten new titles annually and choose outstanding writing that promotes an understanding of Australian indigenous cultures.



Little red yellow black book: an introduction to indigenous Australia – Bruce Pascoe & AIATSIS (ASP, Canberra, 2008)

Best-selling guide to indigenous history and contemporary culture.

Online teaching resources and links: http://lryb.aiatsis.gov.au/


ABC indigenous portal

Excellent links to news, TV programs, online videos, arts reviews, community stories.