GLAMR in Canberra (and beyond)
Limited places for this!

Originally posted on Canberra Library Tribe:

We said it was coming – it’s landed! Our next event is a talk/workshop on personal taxation issues for people working  (or studying) in the GLAMR sector.

It’s on Thursday 18 June, 6-7pm in the Ferguson room at the National Library of Australia.

Let's talk about tax Let’s talk about tax

We are grateful to for in-kind support from our wonderful workshop leaders, financial industry experts, Scott Malcolm and Jane Hadrill. Scott is a Certified Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor at Money Mechanics and Jane is a tax agent and property investment specialist at Hadrill Accounting.

Tickets are free but strictly limited, please RSVP on eventbrite

Please note that refreshments will not be available, but we might have an informal afterparty at a cafe after the workshop.


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Sometimes it’s nice to go into a keynote and not know anything about the person. I did it with G Willow Wilson, and then I did it the next day with Jad Abumrad. @JadAbumrad is part of a team that produces RadioLab. RadioLab is described on their website as “… a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience”.

Digression: A little surprising that I hadn’t heard of RadioLab as I love podcasts so much…just as a complete aside…my current podcast subscriptions are:

  • The Lapse (true stories gussied up). Dubbed ‘The Moth meets RadioLab’
  • RadioLab – I subscribed the day of the Jad keynote
  • Blueprint for living – ABC RN
  • 99% Invisible – design Roman Mars
  • Here’s the thing- with Alec Baldwin
  • Invisibilia – ideas, beliefs, assumptions, emotions
  • Boston Calling – how the world is changing America. BBC World Service
  • Rear Vision
  • Serial
  • In our time with Melvyn Bragg
  • Background Briefing
  • Future tense
  • Love + Radio- from the seedy to the sublime…
  • The Moth podcast
  • Snap Judgement
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • BBC Documentary of the week
  • All in the mind
  • Friday night comedy from BBC
  • Documentaries form BBC World Service
  • The film programme
  • This American Life
  • Health report
  • 360 Documentaries
  • The Body sphere
  • Sunday extra
  • All songs considered
  • Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young
  • Books and Arts daily

…Of course don’t panic- I never listen to everything there. How could I possibly? But they are there, and I just love my podcast time.

But back to the keynote. Keynote speakers are all about the stories…Jad started by saying that he wanted to talk about what it feels like to walk through uncertain spaces, the gut churn. He recorded his stomach churning on RadioLab deadline day…

How do you fill that emptiness?

Find your authentic voice?

What does it mean to speak in your own voice??

Ira Glass (This American Life) calls it ‘the gap’, Jad – the gut churn.

Ira Glass , on being creative…

How do you keep moving through the gap?

Jad gave some ideas…

1/ chase the antelope (story of a guy who wanted to know if he could chase down an antelope. He chased antelopes for 12 years!)

ask questions

allow the question to possess you

‘be the question’ – Rilke

2/ follow the odds

Put odds on. Jad talked about only 1 in 6/10/15 story ideas ever come to anything… “every story is trying really hard to suck”

3/ adjacent possible

“The potential (and serendipity) created when you notice and connect the unlikely”- from

I am a big fan of serendipity!

The moments before the epiphanies are bad moments, embrace the bad, the gut churn. (insert Wagner opera story here of the German forest)

I liked his final point- in walking through periods of doubt…walk with someone.

The humanist, imperfect person that I am loved that!!

Walk with someone.

‘Walk with someone and that gut churn is OK’…my words.

I googled Jad and there is this 20 minute talk from Jad about ‘why gut churn is an essential part of the creative process’… see and the video below

No point beating myself up about the fact that I didn’t write that much whilst #kateinportlandia … I was tired when I wasn’t doing things!

But I am annoyed that I didn’t write down more thoughts about some of the speakers that I heard pretty quickly after hearing them. It’s all very well and good being a reflective sort of person, but it’s good to get down those initial thoughts…and I don’t know that my notes capture enough of that.

Anyway…over a week later, I’ll try with the first keynote – G Willow Wilson.

G Willow Wilson is an American woman, a convert to Islam. She is a writer – including graphic novels…and I had never heard of her….

Battling a cold and a bad cough, she was an engaging and interesting speaker. G Willow Wilson wrote a graphic novel last year…Ms Marvel – which features the superhero Kamala Khan- a teenage Pakistani girl living in New Jersey.

G Willow Wilson talked about popular historical narratives, the “narrative wars” ,  and how it seems like very day we find out we have been lied to about something. She gave her own story – her background as an Ohio Lutheran – her family always said that they had Italian heritage. Then through DNA, G Willow Wilson found out that there was no Italian heritage…but some Iberian Jewish background!! So what happens, she asked….when the stories that we have been told aren’t real???

Her point is – we all live on the same earth…but we don’t make the same maps. “The political is personal” and words matter! She also talked about listening. Listening at a time of great change is a great skill.

And she talked about intersectionality – which I hadn’t heard of before…. Intersectionality is “… a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another” from Geek Feminism Wiki.

G Willow Wilson  said that librarians should champion the role to carry forth multiple voices into the future…


I enjoyed her story. After her keynote I queued up for around 45 minutes to say hello to her and get a poster signed…

I have ordered Ms Marvel. Apparently when I was in Portland Powell’s City of Books couldn’t keep enough copies in stock!



Writes Ms Marvel – comic about a Pakistani teenager girl living in New Jersey.

Rethinking of narratives, historically marginalised voices coming to the fore

“You never know what people are carrying inside” – think big white Polish guy who has suffered bullying and discrimination…

What happens when the stories we are told from childhood aren’t real? Think GWillowWilson – was told she had Italian heritage, then DNA later showed Iberian Jews!

Read 1491 – life before 1492 in US

The stuff you learn, the stuff you don’t learn, regardless of education.

Gaps in knowledge – the more I know the less I know…

‘Narrative wars’

New civil rights movement – the political is personal, words matter

Listen at a time of great change, listen is its own skill

Intersectionality – more than the sum of parts, identities are complex]



In pursuit of eradicating violence, we commit violence




On perpetuity – papers will go to a uni….Ms Marvel is going to be in the Avengers


How can you play these violent, misogynist online games? Slow change, but there is change, need more female developers, for example ‘raped’ is now ‘surprised by sex’…gaming has grown sideways….

… and as soon as #acrl2015 begins, I’m gone (seemingly).

still very much #kateinportlandia but no time to blog just now.

The schedule is hectic! 8am sessions starts, and today it was a 6.30 yoga start, so not going to whinge but say, I am down the #acrl2015 rabbit hole, but I will be back to write about the conference soon…possibly in between planes and insomnia.

In between days


Another awful sleep, just so wakeful, but I figure I can go on not much sleep for a bit and be OK. I think I could best sleep from about 4 am to 11 am Portland time, but that just won’t work with a conference starting tomorrow! Perhaps I’ll be in sync the day I leave….

Today I visited The University of Portland, which is a private Catholic, mainly liberal arts university with about 4000 students. It was about 30 mins Max train then bus north along the river. Really lovely campus grounds, lots of old established trees and amazing views of the river and the industry along the river…mainly ship repairs and ….not sure! Industry! I ma enjoying working out how to get places..the trimet planner/app help wonderfully. Once more I am gobsmacked by how good public transport is in other places that are not Australia (reminds me of Shaun Micallef’s ‘news that is not from Australia’). I spend the morning with staff and could have easily spent the day at the library with staff…but it’s not spring break there, and the place was buzzing (and they were having a Japanese library group through in the afternoon). The library spaces were great- a new refurbishment that was about a year old – lots of flexible learning spaces, the collection was all in compactus shelving on the basement floor (it used to take up 70% of all three floors), and most of the furniture and the reference collection shelving was on wheels. They are open 7.30 am to 2am daily and the place seemed to work!

Most of the students live on campus and I was invited to have lunch with the Dean of the Library (equivalent uni librarian?) and had a delicious salad that I picked all the components for, and it was $5! Bargain! Love the sustainable, responsible food and waste practices that I have seen all over Portland. Both Portland State Uni and University of Portland provide water fountains/taps everywhere as no bottled water is sold on campus….and keep cups abound! All good achievable steps.

I was feeling pretty tired and could have easily gone back to my room and slept all afternoon but I have a fear of just being awake all night again, so am not succumbing to that! Instead I found my way downtown to The Portland Art Museum. I wanted to see the Italian Fashion exhibition, which was fine, interesting. But the PMA is one of those places that won’t let you take photos. Why are galleries so black and white about this? It’s either yes or no, and if it’s no – it’s enforced!

I was blown away by ‘The Enclave‘  – I didn’t know anything about this exhibition but I kept seeing signs to “The Enclave” when I was wandering around the PMA. The artist – Richard Moose used a discontinued military film technology to shoot video in the Democratic Republic of Congo, This are has been in civil war since the late 1990s and over 5 million people have been killed. The film….” registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green landscape in vivid hues of lavender, crimson, and hot pink” so imagine footage of soldiers, death, life – a baby being born, village people physically moving a hut, soldiers patrolling and walking through the pink jungle. This was it. It gave everything a fairy tale glow, but watching the 6 screens all at different scenes and views, with foreboding music, and sometimes no music – it was incredibly powerful. And then there were scenes of still water. Different views of water. And singing. I have never sat through an entire video installation, much less one that ran for 39 minutes, but I couldn’t stop watching.

Google it.


Not really having an in between day….but it just came to my head on the bus back from University of Portland , and I’m missing Carl, and The Cure always remind me of Carlo xxx

Day 2 in Portland started in a strange fashion. Sleepless in Portland doesn’t sound quite right, but that was me. After the brilliant sleep of the night before,  I was (frankly) dismayed to still be awake at 3 am this morning. Wide awake. No hint of tiredness.

So I have spent most of today with low, low energy. But I have walked! Over 11000 steps.

I caught the Maxi downtown to Portland State University and spent a few hours at the library. I really like PSU Library’s website and the *look* of the website, the subject guides and the Library DIY. And they share cool things through their open source initiatives. An interesting city campus – it reminded me a little of the ANU grounds with the mixture of buildings and spaces (and a lot of unis really!).

After PSU I walked down the the Central Library of the Multnomah County Library – which was a busy busy place. I have read over the years about the social impact and value of of public libraries. Public libraries provide access to information through free access to internet, resources and support services to those in the community who may not have this access in any other way. There were certainly a lot of people there who looked like they slept rough, and the washrooms were busy!  I remember that also when we visited the NYPL.

I wondered and wandered around some more. I stumbled upon a block of food carts! Yay. Rachelle had recommended a cart called Korean Twist – and so I ordered a Korean burrito…a soft tortilla with tofu, rice, kimchi, salad and hot sauce. Another amazing food experience! I couldn’t eat it all so stupidly put it in my bag only to find it soaked into my tote a few hours later…Fool!!

And then a walk to more donuts! This time I made it to Blue Star Donuts. Not as many donut choices and no blueberry and basil today – so I went Mexican hot chocolate – which was just divine. A rich chocolate ganache – I admit I was expecting possibly a hint of chilli but it was an amazing chocolate donut (see Blue Star say donut, and Voodoo say doughnut!). I also got a Meyer lemon donut with lime curd which was also pretty pretty good! The donuts on their website all look amazing and I would loved to have sampled others…mmmm

A good thing I am walking…(and I have only had a Korean burrito and two donuts today)…it may sound more the way I go on and on about it! I do need to find more Mexican food also.

It’s early evening, 8pm and it’s been a mainly rainy day…so I am snuggled up with more bad TV and PJs and hoping for sleep soon (ish).

Tomorrow another university library and #acrl2015 is nearly here :)

The two donut/doughnut shops both had metal music, hip young staff and delicious donuts…but I may give donuts a miss tomoz..

Install compass


It’s the small subtle things, not just the big things that make up the fun of travelling and new places.

Before I left I made sure the I had a compass app on my phone…because it’s important to know how to find the points when you are taking directions in the US. The great TriMet planner that I’m using to get around Portland uses it all the time! Turn west at blah blah, go east a few blocks…huh?

The trip…

It’s such a #firstworld problem to whinge about travelling, so I’ll make it quick!

Up at 3 am Saturday to catch the 4 am coach  to Sydney. All fine, except it was pretty packed…I guess Murrays put on a 4 am bus because people want it. Anyway, a comfortable and uneventful trip up to Sydney. I got to to the airport just after 7 am and checked in very quickly. No hassles yet except the lovely Virgin Atlantic check in woman did raise my hopes by saying- oh yes to an aisle seat, and then “mmm looks like you have 3 seats to yourself”…imagine my surprise when I boarded and I was sharing my 3 seats with two other people. But it was fine – again a mainly comfortable and uneventful trip. I didn’t sleep a whole lot but I never do.

Movies watched…

  • Gone Girl – not as good as the book…but the book was only OK.
  • Nick Cave’s 20000 days on earth – I did like this. I especially liked the last scene with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds playing Jubilee Street with the montage of other performances…
  • Whiplash – jazz drumming and JK Simmons – what could go wrong? JK Simmons plays a bully (but often does) and pleased to see that Miles Teller who plays the young jazz drummer IS a drummer as well as an actor. Want Jack to watch this so I can talk to someone about it!
  • Also watched the first two episodes of ‘Orange is the new black’. Enough to want to keep on watching at some stage…No Portlandia which was a pity…if I was in any way organised I should have downloaded some eps as part of my preparation for this trip!

Long delay in LAX…was hoping for a 2-3 hour space between landing and flying onto Portland but the plane was delayed and ended up waiting at the airport for just over 5 hours! They were the hard hours…so near to the end of the trip, but so far. And I was so tired I was scared of falling asleep at the terminal in case I missed the plane completely!

But I did spend time talking with a Portlander Rachelle who is currently living in Sydney. She gave me loads of great tips and places to eat…yep, go to Voodoo Donuts, but the better tastier donuts are at Blue Star Donuts…great combinations like basil (Rachelle said “baazell”) and blueberry…

Plane to Portland and successfully negotiated the Max light rail to my hotel. Hurrah. Trip complete and #kateinportlandia truly begins!


Woke up after an amazing sleep. I had been awake for over 35 hours and was worried i would be too tired to sleep. Overtired…like a baby…hard to settle. Why no…I slept like a log (where does that expression come from?) – sleeping from 9pm to 9am with only a couple of the briefest periods of wakefulness. A slow smoozy slothy start to the day, I didn’t leave my room till midday and caught the Max light rail across the river into town and the markets.

Portland Saturday Markets – they may be called Portland Saturday Markets but they are also held on Sundays. Some nice local crafts, a guitarist was playing. A few food carts were here – I got a chicken tamale from a Mexican cart which was delicious – not too much and just a perfect late late breakfast.

Voodoo Donuts – I had to queue here with a whole bunch of other people, but queues can be fun and this one was a fun queue. Everyone was happy and talkative so the time passed quickly. I got some t-shirts and a loop donut and a voodoo doll donut. I have now eaten both…about 6 hours after I bought them, squashed but fresh and quite delicious in a sweet, sweet puffy donuty goodness way. The loop donut was sickly sweet – think fresh donut with a sweet, sweet white frosting and fruit loops on top. I don’t even eat fruit loops but I did this for Carl…xx bravely!

I wandered around enjoying the occasional light rain and grey skies. Like visiting Vancouver in the autumn I am fully expecting rain, showers, grey skies and cool days and I don’t mind it at all. Nice weather for introspection and cool reflections. I did read (and was also told by Rachelle) that Portlanders don’t use umbrellas. You just put your hood up and go. And that’s what I did! There were some umbrellas out, but I have to say that most were used by out-of-towners :) and the showers were light. But I am glad I packed my raincoat.

*Another way to look local in a city is to have a dog. I did think when travelling last year that there could be money in having a dog hiring business. Could solve a few problems in one. Travelers do a lot of walking > walking a dog makes you look like a local > grateful dogs get walked > travelers bluff it like a local!

I went to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens which were also lovely. Spring is springing in Portland. Still lots of bare trees but there are buds about. The gardens are considered to be the most authentic Suzhou-style Chinese gardens outside China. Portland and Suzhou are sister cities and the gardens were only completed in 2000, although they feel older. Magnolias, azaleas, daphne, lilies, Chinese fringe flower and Chinese paper bush (the last two are new to me but I took photos) all in flower…and some lovely trees, courtyards and pavilions.

More wondering and wandering led me to Floyds Cafe (Old Town) and a great latte, granola/yoghurt and wifi. Even more wandering and I got to Powell’s City of Books. I wasn’t especially going to go into a bookshop. I mean I love a good bookshop, but they are everywhere and there is so much to see in Portland. But Powell’s is great. It works! New and used books together. Lots of staff reviews and recommendations, great prices, great staff, and floors and floors of books. Wowsa.

So…I am back in the hotel, feeling slightly ill after the two donuts, watching crap TV….and thinking that I need to get ready for tomorrow and a visit to Portland State University Library.



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