Lapsing and mending. Blogjune 30/24


One pic from today

Close up of pink cotton darning a run in pink merino fabric. A threaded needle sticks into a felt darning ball below the  fabric.

Today is the last day of Blogjune. This is the first one in a long time where I lasted to the end, and managed to post every day. Like the last years, it’s the post where I muse that this was actually quite fun and, while I would not want to keep up banally posting whatever is in my head each day, it might be nice to post more often. Where I regret not commenting more, or responding in more depth to comments here. Where I wish that all the people who posted for Blogjune would keep it up because I really like being inside their heads.

Let’s see what happens.

A big difference this year is that I was not all-consumed by extra hours (and hours and hours) at a job where I felt like I could never do it well, no matter how hard I tried. One where I saw others doing excellent, extra-effort work non-stop, but also feeling the same way. I get to rest, to regroup and look up now.


Today I had a mending day with a friend – cups of tea, chatter and piles of mending. I have a number of merino camisoles that are about 15 years old, all with similar moth holes and ladders. It took me most of the morning to darn just half a run, so I have a nice project for winter nights in front of the TV. Tonight I take a tray of spicy apple bake to the eco-village for a soup and movie night.


Today is also the last day to renew my ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) membership for next year, before it lapses after 35 years of membership.

I always admired those people who qualified and worked as librarians then stayed involved and interested through ALIA after they moved out of the profession or retired. I like their mix of wisdom and willingness to learn. The way they enrich conversations with their experience and ability to say “this new thing is a bit like this other challenge we had in the past, here’s what we did then”. Or, recognising when their knowledge reached a limit, but encouraging and mentoring younger professionals to explore and learn, reminding them of values and ethics that surround us.

That’s not me.

I value mentoring, but this is a role I took professionally as an educator for the last 13 years or so. I think the kids are alright. I am happy that I have contributed a bit to that.

ALIA does have an essential policy role to play, working with governments and the non-government sector on creating a fairer and more supportive society, where citizens can access information freely without censorship or barrier. I think it has done that very well in recent years, and current moves to codify professional ethics in Australia are commendable. It’s a conversation I trust other voices to carry well. Although my membership could sponsor this activity even if I am not actively involved, I am moving on.

In some ways, it’s just happening naturally.

Lapsing and mending

I love the VALA Conference and in past years loved the new knowledge and connections I made with people. If you enjoy libraries and technology, then you should be there in a couple of weeks. Me? Spending the week catching up with my son as he visits from interstate for the week.

For 13 years I had to follow anything to do with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) like it was my religion. Any standard, any policy statement, any report I needed to read and keep up with, so I could add it to the huge framework of knowledge about libraries that I had to balance in my head and in my Zotero library, crowding out room for many other ideas. In previous years, I would have done all I could to fully participate in the upcoming IFLA Information Futures Summit. An IFLA event finally happening in Australia in September! I found out about it a couple of months ago, felt a tiny bit of FOMO, until I realised that week I have booked a week-long yoga retreat. Priorities are making themselves clear without any effort or great thought from me.

I don’t quite consider myself a lapsed librarian. I’ve become someone who makes things like this happen, and that is fine for now….even if I cannot really explain what it is at parties.

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