About Andrew

I'm a health librarian in Sydney, Australia, who also happens to be a geocacher.

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it’s closer to the end of January than the beginning, but this is my first post for 2011 so it’s the first chance I’ve had to wish you all a happy new year. I hope that you had a relaxing and restful break, and that you haven’t broken any of your new year’s resolutions yet.

This will be a bit of a mixed post, and I’ll be talking about both library- and geocaching-related stuff. Firstly, the main library-related news, of course, is that we are now in 2011, which means that the new library will open this year. This will be a challenging, busy and perhaps nostalgic time for all library staff at Macquarie. I was lucky enough to visit the new library in December as part of the ASRS training, and it was interesting to see how the plans look in “real life”. The ASRS vault is a very impressive space and I was able to see the cranes in operation.

The other major news recently has been the flooding in Queensland/northern New South Wales, and now Victoria. We’ve all seen the news footage and photos of what has happened, and ALIA has set up pages on its website detailing the libraries that have been affected in Queensland and Victoria.

Now, on to the other subject of this blog – geocaching. I found out last week that there is another member of library staff who geocaches, so it’s good to know that the hobby is gaining a following. I don’t have any geocaching resolutions for the year, although it would be nice to reach 250 finds by the end of the year (currently our total stands at 216). I’m also slowly working my way through solving some of the puzzle caches around Sydney. It would be nice to complete some more of this type of cache.

That’s all for now. I’ll try and keep the blog a bit more up-to-date this year than I did last year, but I can’t promise anything. I think I’ll be pretty busy once our baby arrives next month!

Geocaching update

I thought it was about time that I gave an update on my geocaching activities. During a trip to Port Stephens in August, we reached our 200 finds milestone. It’s taken us just over three years, which is quite slow compared to some, but we’ve enjoyed the experience. Next stop, 500!!

With daylight saving starting again, we’ve had the chance to do some geocaching after work. We were on a bit of a streak recently, where we went caching for three days in a row. Normally we can only do that on holidays, but daylight saving combined with some new caches in our area meant we had the chance for a bit of weekday afternoon caching. We also managed to find our third ever First To Find – very exciting!

Finished my online training course

Last week I submitted my portfolio for the FOLIOz course that I did on Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice. The going got a bit heavy at times, but I completed all the tasks that we were set. It my first attempt at completing an online training course, and I found it quite enjoyable. The tasks were interesting and relevant, and the course helped to develop my understanding of EBLIP. I think I’ll keep an eye out for other FOLIOz courses that might be relevant for me.

Online learning course

Well, I’ve signed up for an online course offered by ALIA in partnership with ScHARR at the University of Sheffield. The course looks at Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) and is called EBLIP-Gloss. Quite a catchy title, but at least there’s no need to actually wear lip gloss as part of the course.

The course runs for a few weeks, and I’m looking forward to it.

Burke and Wills, geocaching and the SLV

As part of their activities to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, the State Library of Victoria has got into geocaching. A series of caches will be placed along the route that the expedition took, as well as at other sites associated with the explorers. Sounds like it could be fun – I wonder if something like this could work with the Lachlan Macquarie bicentenery celebrations?

Web 2.0 training – wikis

Well, with Lhan unavailable for a couple of weeks, it’s up to Paul and I to deliver the four training sessions dealing with wikis. The first week went well, with all the participants learning how to edit a wiki page and how to create a page. I’m sure this week will be as successful. I hope everyone posts to their blog with what they’ve learnt, otherwise they won’t be eligible for any of the prizes that are on offer!

ALA Annual Conference

The 2010 American Library Association Conference was held last week in Washington, DC. Here are some links to various sessions and presentations:

The ALA Annual Conference is organised quite differently to Australian library conferences (apart from being much, much bigger – there were 26,201 attendees at this year’s conference!) There isn’t a single programme which all the sessions are part of. Rather, each Division of ALA organises their own programme. This means there are dozens of sessions all running at the same time at several different venues. It can be hard trying to decide which session to go to.

    Libraries and geocaching

    Well, I guess it would make sense for me to post some projects and ideas I’ve come across (mainly in the US) that combine libraries and geocaching.

    • The University of Notre Dame in Indiana came up with “Caching in at the Library” for their orientation programme for first year students.

    There are a copule of caches I’ve come across (but not found) that involve visiting a library or using Dewey Decimal Classification to solve a puzzle.


    I’m guessing that’s the first thing that popped into your head when you read the name of my blog. Don’t worry, it’s an activity that most people don’t know about.

    Geocaching is:

    a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

    I started in 2007, but geocaching itself started in 2000. It’s a great way to discover new places, and one of the main reasons that geocachers say they enjoy the hobby is that it’s taken them to places that they otherwise wouldn’t have visited (even within their own city). Geocaching is also a great activity for holidays – I’ve never specifically gone on a holiday just to go geocaching, but I’ve certainly done some during holidays.

    For those of you who are interested, there are 48 geocaches hidden within a 5 kilometre radius of the Library. The closest one’s about 3oo metres away.

    The main geocaching website, geocaching.com, has a variety of resources which explain the various aspects of the hobby. There’s also a wiki available at Geocaching Australia.