Tag Archives: Distance learning

Exam fever…

It’s that time of the year…I pick up a book to study and I get sleepy. Suddenly I remember the email I forgot to send, or that recipe waiting to be made. Oh, and look at the pile of washing, plus the garden needs weeding! Yep… Anything but studying! Got to get to it! It’s the final stretch…in two months all the hard work of DL can be over. Woohoo *claps with delight*

The practical portfolio is printed and ready for the courier. SUCH a relief! Hoping it gets a good grade.


One thing I realised from doing this portfolio is the strength of my passion about school libraries! After last week’s final visit to get pupil demographics, I felt SO sad to see a school full of kids being disadvantaged because adults, who are stuck in the past, don’t utilise and support the school library.

After exams, perhaps a study-no-more “honeymoon” break with hubby. Thanks to him that I have reached the end. Brandtie, I salute you!



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Filed under Distance learning, Student librarian, The joys of learning at 50+

Social media in schools

Here are some interesting viewpoints on social media in schools.
Interesting. Just wondering if it would work in all cultures.

On the Distance Learning front…
I’ve been reading a lot for essay purposes… just two left! Woohoo! I’ve had essay-glut-syndrome… My brain does not want to cooperate anymore.
I haven’t visited the school this last month. I did give them a copy of the SWOT and a copy of my ‘way forward’ planning for the library. I’ve had ZERO comment/feedback, which leads me to think they are not impressed. Wonder what my lecturer’s opinion will be. Gulp. I know I’m making myself horribly vulnerable, but…watch this space for feedback on that issue.

Incidentally, I recommended blocking Facebook access on the library computers… It’s just so obvious why the Yr 12s and 13s prefer the PCs facing the wall! *thinks bad setup*

On other news…
My two Aspies (hubby and son) came home with a puppy 3 weeks ago, much to my horror at first…but it was love at first sight for all of us, and there you are…an instant, unasked-for, unplanned, edition to our family.

Of course all disciplining/feeding/control of said pup falls in my quarter! Sigh! And all while I chase those darned deadlines and really, really, need to concentrate! Oh well, ‘concentrate’ has been out the window! I plod on, counting down to November – the month of bliss – when my studies will be over!
Needless to say he is so adorable, feels the love, and therefore rules the roost!
Till next time…


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Filed under Distance learning, Secondary School libraries, The joys of learning at 50+

Mundane DL turns into fun PD

Through all the work and pressure of deadlines approaching, I’ve just remembered that I have a blog which I have not posted to for a while.  What to talk about? All I have is the mundane of life at the mo…

  • Working through a module ‘Serving the User’.  I giggle each time when I think of how much R David Lankes hates the term ‘user’, and how we’re required to use it.  I must say I agree with him…I love the term ‘member’ instead (Expect more. Lankes 2012, p61).  With this subject I’ve been challenged to think of how Outreach and Extension Services can be used in my community.  That got me thinking about the huge numbers of computer illiterate labourers that are in this country, where much of everyday life takes place on the net – e-health, e-government, e-banking…  A challenge indeed!  I wonder if, and how, the fancy new National Library (due to open in 2015) will reach out to them.      
  • I’m also working through a module called the Political Economy of Information. Okay, whatever!! Can’t wait to see the end of it.  In South Africa’s scenario I only see regression from 2000, after Pres. Mandela stood down from politics.  South Africa’s ‘secrecy bill’ is a crying shame. This article from 2013 is still just as relevant.
  • In between, I’m practicing classification – for two hours each morning, while my brain is working at its optimal best from the caffeine kick, I tackle the Dewey system with various topics.  Let’s just say, out of every 5 I appear to get one and a half correct! Waaah.  😦  Well, I mean fully correct. (I do get at least the first three numbers correct, thankfully!)  Hopefully that improves by the end of the year before the exam.  I do love it though. It’s a challenge. 

So, with two essays due by the end of February and by the end of March, I’m going to have some reading to do.  That intimidating portfolio is pushed aside for now, except for a day or two, here and there. 

Every now and then I treat myself to a Twitter session.  Tonight, once supper was out of the way and the dishes were washed by my ever-supportive hubby, I sat in the bath and had the pleasure of following Buffy Hamilton’s real-time experience with library lessons.  Sessions which she referred to as ‘Book Tasting’. Oh wow, wow, wow!  I have to admit, that silent reading in the school library has become my pet-hate, but having the privilege of seeing this process (via Twitter, no less!!) has me realising that I know nothing at all!  Well, I do know that the teens I’ve witnessed are bored silly, but that’s because it’s not being done in a way that will make it exciting for them. Thank you Buffy! I am learning. Looking forward to your Blog post.  🙂

Oh, and Woohoo! for Twitter! I get to have some PD at any random hour I choose!  It’s just wonderful. 

And so a very mundane DL evening, was turned into a fun PD experience.


1 from hubby for Valentine's day, and the other from my garden.

1 from hubby for Valentine’s day, and the other from my garden.

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Filed under Distance learning, librarianship, Student librarian

Blogging not my forte

Everyone blogs! If you’re a librarian, you blog! Well, I’m a different librarian, or at least student-librarian. (Ah, yes…I discovered a little late in life that I had missed my vocation).

Anyway,  I just can’t seem to latch on to this blogging thing. I do keep a journal…couldn’t go without it. But using language in an entertaining manner for the public to read is not one of my talents. I was brought up half Afrikaans/half English, and this did not help my vocabulary and grammar. (Talking about being a different kind of librarian…do all librarians love cats? It seems that way! I don’t like cats. Yes, you read right…I DON’T LIKE CATS! Feels good to say it too. But then, there are those two that belong to my daughter and son-in-law, that have kind of crept into my heart!)

With 7/30 modules left to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Info Science, 2014 is going to be a slog; I’m doing Distance Learning through the University of South Africa. I should complete this in Dec 2014. Roll on 2015, when I can get out there in the ‘real’ library world, hopefully equipped to make a difference somewhere.  As an expat in Doha, Qatar, I have my eye on the VERY handsome, modern Qatar National Library. Aah, as they say, dreams are good friends!

This year the course focus is on subject organization, cataloging, classification, user needs, political economy of information and more. Also a practical portfolio to do.  I love cataloging…sounds crazy, but someone has to love it, right?! However, this course is designed to make you a ‘jack of all trades’.  We’ll see where my strength lies when I get out there. By nature, I love to help, to serve, and make things easier for others.  So maybe it will be reader guidance.

For now, though, bring on 2014!  Dying to get this year behind me.   I hope to keep a record of my experiences in this final year.  Cataloguing, here we go again!


Tools of the trade

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A year on…

To recap my experiences in the last year would not be difficult; it would just take several pages, even if I try to condense it! With 7/30 modules left before I finish this degree, I’m eager to usher in 2014, as I’ve registered for all 7.  This year the focus is on cataloguing and classification, info organisation & retrieval, research methodology in Info Science, political economy of information, serving the user, and last, but not least, building a practical portfolio. I really want to aim for a Cum Laude pass, but 2013 was not easy.  I was forced to take less subjects because of a change in personal circumstances.  Asperger’s  has been diagnosed in our family. Why didn’t we know before?  Well, probably because we’re South African and there was little awareness and education of the condition in our country until now.  But also because my son, diagnosed at 27, went undiagnosed by professionals throughout his life, so we were oblivious to the reason behind his learning and behavioural difficulties. His condition doesn’t show outwardly. Indeed he appears to be very “neuro-typical” (jargon for ‘normal’). A year ago he returned to live with us – after being out of the home for 8 years – having suddenly found himself paid off from work, misunderstood by friends and unable to cope with everyday living. Along with his diagnosis and subsequent rebuttals from family and friends (since they think we’re daft) came severe emotional stress and even trauma.  It’s not easy for an adult to know he must move in with mom and dad, nor is it easy for us to adapt to having a dependent again.  Helping him cope with his diagnosis has been hard, but not as hard as the scepticism and betrayal from those closest to us as we are labeled ‘helicopter parents’!

But, moving on, his diagnosis has made us aware that my husband is also an Aspie (a person with Asperger’s).  That revelation answered years of questions and confusion.  One day, if I have the time, I will begin a blog on what it was like being married to an undiagnosed Aspie!  By God’s grace we are still together, 34 yrs later.  Somewhat of the struggle is depicted in this website.

And so…to my studies.  I have begun a refresher course online for cataloguing and classification, offered by Idaho Commission for Libraries. Good reminder of important points.  My last cataloguing experience was in 2012.

2014, I welcome you!  I am tired… tired of DL, tired of essays, tired of examination stress, but would I do it again? YES! I have enjoyed the experience, am learning much, and am really eager to get out there in 2015.  I won’t try to volunteer this year…don’t think I’ll have the time.  However, next year, God willing, I will have completed my studies and ready to take up the learning experience working in a library. Hopefully, full time. Bring it on!

So, let’s do this…2014 here I come.

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2012 Nerves

So, looking back, the 1st-year subjects are down with ease! Now 2nd year has begun and I’m really sweating.  Do I have enough time to get through all this material? Do I have the ability? My memory is questionable…stress??  The ACRONYMS are killing me.  How in the world does any information professional remember all these acronyms? And I already feel as if I’m sinking in a quagmire of metadata, microdata, motivation equation, knowledge – what is it?  There are interests, preferences, attitudes to make up user behaviour, all affected by record behaviour and contexts of user behaviour…whoa!! At least I recognise one thing…dear old Maslow. Thank goodness for something I know! But wait…what’s this? It’s being taken a step further…reading needs, escapist and aesthetic needs etc. etc.

So they say the world may end this year? Might I be so lucky! And then there’s talk of war in the Middle East…now that would mess up my plans! Just my textbooks alone would make up my allotted 30kgs if we had to flee, but there’s no way I’d leave them behind! Would be good if a certain country across the way would quietly shut its mouth and behave!! We’re all a tad tense.

Ok, enough already….back to the books. Bibliographic control, basic descriptive cataloguing, classification…

As they say locally, Inshallah, next month I may have a more positive outlook. Gulp. 😦

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Hello blogging world!

It’s Winter 2010…two weeks to Christmas. I’m embarking on this thing called Blogging. Feeling brave.

Just returned from Brisbane where we attended our lovely daughter’s graduation ceremony. Can’t believe she has qualified already. Where did time go? And I’ve just completed my first year of studies while working FULL TIME. Needless to say, I resigned, so that I could rather study full time.  But now I find I’m in two minds regarding what I should do…find a job? Study full time? I’ve just registered for four 2nd yr modules….four! That’s a lot for me. Decisions, decisions… Oh well, MERRY CHRISTMAS to anyone on the Information spectrum who might read this! 🙂

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Filed under Distance learning, Student librarian, The joys of learning at 50+