Changing names. Blogjune 10/24



A gum tree frames a vista of a city in the distance with the sea behind

This shows the city from a ridge of a walking track that begins just behind my office. It’s a public holiday today, so I did a long bushwalk with friends before returning home to create runsheets for a symposium I am running in Melbourne next week.


Well, a few days ago. Quietly. Soft launch.

Changed the name of this blog from Librarian Smatter to Kathrynarium.

I had changed it once before from “Librarians Matter”. My blog pre-dated the Black Lives Matter movement by a good half-decade, but keeping the name looked like I was trivialising something that needed a bit more respect. The domain name, “”, still make sense when I moved the S across.

You will hear more before the end of the month about whether, 34 years after qualifying professionally, I still think of myself as a librarian. This blog definitely is drifting away from being mainly about libraries and technology. “Kathrynarium” was the name of my second experimental blog I started using the Bloglines RSS reader (that also allowed you to write posts that could be syndicated). My first? Kathrynosaurus.

I’m no stranger to name changing. When my kids were born, their dad and I changed our different family names to a brand new one. I used to say that I took my kid’s name.

My first name changed this year too. Well, at work when I changed jobs at least. My line manager is called Kathryn. So was another employee, with a smattering of “Catherines” in the same very small organisation. So, to disambiguate, I voluntarily took the name “Kit”. Just searching my emails to try to locate anything from the person interviewing me (who had the same name) convinced me.

Public vs Academic Libraries. Blogjune 9/24



It’s a tiny movie that takes a bit of time to load. The berries on the common hackberry almost touching my balcony have matured enough for me to share my space with lorikeets for a couple of weeks. You can hear at the end that I also share the space with an intrigued cat.

Last week, Graeme wrote a series of posts about the differences between academic and public libraries, based on a lighting talk he gave to Kingston Library in April.

He made a post a day where he discussed differences in:

I’d second most of what he said. Especially about different talents you nurture in each, and the relationships to money and clients.

I started as a 19 year old in academic libraries, as an after-hours library clerk, which saw me through uni over five years. I returned to work in an academic library from 2001-2009 as a reference librarian, philosophy subject librarian and then emerging technologies specialist. I did a stint in 2020 as senior librarian, copyright, for another university. I finished my time as a university lecturer last year by designing and delivering the first Australian postgraduate course in scholarly communications.

I worked in public libraries from 1992 – 1999 in systems and community information roles. I returned to publics for a year from 2009 to 2010, doing systems and young adult work. When I began my university lecturing career in 2010, a course called “Public libraries” was among the units I taught for a couple of years.

One thing missing from Graeme’s list was – what public holidays mean for each sector.

In academic libraries, busy periods tend to follow exam time and major assessments. Toward the end of the year is time to catch up on all that housekeeping and admin you missed during the year. Most universities actually shut down all buildings from about the week before Christmas until just after New Year. Apart from minimal service-desk shifts, you actually have to write an email to your supervisor justifying why you need to work during that period.

Public holidays in public libraries! Oh the shock when I moved from academic back into publics in 2009, used to the gentle, productive down period of the Christmas holidays. We used to joke that clients acted as though the library would be shut for three years, not three days, over Easter. The days before the public holiday huge numbers of clients would swarm in and clear out the stock. Then the day after the public holiday we would feel very missed – with more clients visiting than average, telling us how important we were in their lives, swamping us with returns. And- the seasonal presents in the public libraries I worked in! Grateful clients would bake, drop off crafts, and in one library somebody paid for “all the library staff to go out to dinner”. This happened in December, but I am not 100% sure that was a Christmas gift though, it may have been part of someone’s will??

Rocking an Apple Pencil. Blogjune. 8/24



Large letters about a metre high spell out the word "DREAMS" in a park. They have been covered in colourful knitting and crochet.

Hurtle Square. Yarn-bombed.


Cycled (on my working manual bike) down to the Cabaret Festival to do a life-drawing session. I expected either a lot of fun and giggles, but no serious drawing, or a chance to really take time to draw some pretty amazing costumes and poses. Neither. Ruby Chew, a local artist and educator took us through using a sighting stick to measure and check angles and sizes of key proportions in a figure. It’s not something I have done before, and I found it extremely useful. We had a single model, a local burlesque performer who started with a large velvet hat, and a negligee over her costume, but steadily disrobed piece-by-piece with each pose.

We used charcoal, both willow and as pencils, not Apple pencils at all – although last time I did lifedrawing at my local pub in Freo, I did experiment with drawing using my iPad. I found the surface a bit restrictive, and realised the expansive feeling of moving my hand across page is part of the attraction.

Why the title of the post? Genevieve mentioned in her post today Rocketing rocket books, Batman that she’s not keen to commit to an Apple Pencil because she is concerned she may lose it. I use my Apple Pencil several times a day, and it changed my life for the better. I take notes in meetings, make lists, mark up PDFs, and now have access to all those bits of my brain that process information better when movement is involved. So, maybe this cheap bit of purpose-built elastic with a little pouch that I bought from eBay when I first got my iPad may be useful for Genevieve too?

A pink iPad cover with a piece of black elastic with a pouch in it strapped to the front holding an Apple Pencil to the front.

Highs and lows. Blogjune 7/24



Five people on a glitzy stage singing into hand-held mics with gusto


It’s a pretty good highpoint – the final act of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Variety Gala, with Mahalia Barnes leading “River Deep, Mountain High”, with Virginia Gay and Christie Whelan-Brown on backing vocals. Last year I was absolutely exhausted and could only squeeze a single week’s holiday in my (otherwise) 33 straight weeks of teaching, so I decided to stay in town and go to the Cabaret Festival instead of trying to travel. That’s when I discovered the Gala, which showcases around half the acts who will perform in the next few weeks… and added it to my annual calendar forever.


An ebike locked to a biker rack on a paved concourse at night. The front wheel is missing

E-bikes usually have two tyres and all their brakes. Mine did when I went in to the Gala. Not when I came out. It’s a bit hard to see, but I have two extremely solid bike locks on it. You can see the door to the theatre in the background, and it is under a CCTV.

I wasn’t too puzzled about why people would steal a front tyre. Theft was something that deterred me from buying an ebike, so I had read up and know that the idea is to get you to leave the bike out overnight… so the thieves can return with the tools they need to take the whole thing or strip it in the early morning.

Next time I will put the second lock through the front tyre and attach it to the other lock that is around the bike rack. I made the mistake of attaching both locks to the rack. I upped my home contents insurance to cover theft and damage to my bike and spent quite a bit on the locks. I bought it to ride it, not hide it, so still intend to use it as my main transport… just lock it smarter next time.

In the mean time, I wonder whether Choice reviewed e-bike tyres and brakes…

Fresh Borlotti Beans. Blogjune 5/24



Pink and creamy coloured fresh borlotti bean pods. One is split open showing pink-speckled beans inside.


Cooked this wonderful find for dinner.

After using dried borlotti beans all my life, I discovered the joys of the freshly shelled and cooked version in my local fruit and veg shop a couple of months before I left Fremantle. They are creamy and soft and subtle. I tried to find them in the Adelaide Central Markets, but no-one had heard of them. Then, having accepted long ago that I would not find any here, I found a huge pile at the Showgrounds Farmers Market on Sunday.


A glass bowl containing shelled frsh borlotti beans. The discarded pods are behind. In front is garlic, cherry tomatoes, two bay leaves and three sprigs of thyme.


  1. Freshly shelled borlotti beans
  2. Three bruised garlic cloves
  3. Half a tomato (I used cut up cherry tomatoes)
  4. Three sprigs of thyme
  5. Two bay leaves
A saucepan containing borlotti beans, tomato, bay leaves, thyme and garlic

Boil all together for 40 minutes or so, until the beans are creamy.

Use a slotted spoon to remove just the beans from the pot.

  • 6. Olive oil
  • 7. Balsamic vinegar
  • 8. Ground black pepper
  • 9. Sea salt
  • 10. Italian parsley leaves

Season the beans and toss in the parsley.

A rectangular glass dish containing beans and parsley.

Serve on their own. Or with freshly roasted capsium and brown rice, like I did.

Did not want… Blogjune 4/24



The top shelf of a dishwasher with a lot of glassware, including shards of a 1 litre pyrex jug that has self-destructed.


Dealt with the aftermath of a one litre Pyrex glass jug self-destructing in my 14 year old dishwasher, and the door seal tearing off in the intricate cleanup to remove shards from the filter and rubber pipes.

It took time. And money.

On the up side, I now have a three month subscription to Choice online, so if anyone wants me to look up reviews for any appliances, just let me know.

Miller’s Corner. Blogjune 3/24



Long winter shadows of trees fall on an earthy building with a circular stone chimney. There is a narrow road around it, with a two storey dwelling in the background.

ONE THING I DID TODAY (well, it will always be yesterday, but you get the drift)

Explored a small Cohousing community about 30 minute’s drive from the city, Miller’s Corner.

I was part of a group from an inner-city eco-village being hosted for the afternoon, along with residents from the even-more-rural Aldinga Arts Eco-Village. A couple of years ago, we had invited people from the other two villages for a chat about how everyone went about living so closely; kept sharing well; built with alternative materials like straw bales or hempcrete; and dealt with practicalities like cats, parking and building funds. Last year, Aldinga hosted both groups, with Miller’s Corner returning the favour today.

Aldinga, near the seaside about 45 minutes away from Adelaide, is by far the largest community with around 320 residents and 181 lots. They are very self-sufficient with their own sewage works and a shared farm with vegetable crops, orchard, chickens and goats. There are arts studios, a climbing wall that the teenagers in the community persuaded a community meeting to fund, and a project to make and sell bio-char. There is even have a Natural Earth Burial Ground, which permits them to bury people who die in the village.

Miller’s Corner was long dreamed, but only recently built. On retirement, the couple who owned the land decided to build a community, rather than just sell up and move away. First came the circular(ish) community space in the centre of the village, with circular fireplace of stones to match the masonry of the house already there. Then, with guidance of the same architect, passive solar houses were built in a circle around the community room, with no front fences and rear yards. Community members are from 8 to 80, with eventually 13 dwellings.

She Speaks and She Shanties. Blogjune 2/24



Five women with stripy shirts singing on a stage in a small pub space


Long-form improv performed by an all-female sea shanty group anyone?

Yes please!

Totally unintended.

I HAD intentionally attended a concert presented by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra of conservatorium students performing contemporary classical works by female composers at 4pm, part of the She Speaks programme. You know, something like an incredibly rapid and intricate flute piece with trills like birdsong, or a composition for cello and eight terracotta flowerpots, or a toy grand piano frentetically accompanying a pre-recorded track of static on a computer.

I did intentionally share a fabulous Greek meal with friends afterward, eating too much fried cheese with no regrets at all.

BUT, this is Adelaide. Where the Fringe has finished. And the Cabaret Festival, of course, has its own Fringe. So, two minutes before the She Shanties show, instead of walking past, I popped in for a rollicking ride where the audience suggested a profession useless on a desert island (management consultant), something you would take on a ship (parrot) and a catchphrase (“Oh, my leg!”)… and then there was much call-and-response chorusing between audience and performers amid imaginary cannon-ball fights; Madame Pachinko’s Circus drumming up business; an failed canine dental hygienist…. concluding with a lover’s ballad extolling the virtues of being unsuccessful together.

Winter out there, spring here. Blogjune 1/24


Back. Joining the decreasing gang who attempt to blog every day of June.

I’m going minimalist again this year. One pic and one thing I did today … and more if I want to.


(I am cheating and pre-writing this on Friday 31 May)

Started a six week course through work for people who support communities of scientific researchers, run through the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community . I am responsible for running an annual computational summer school and have this crazy idea that instead of people forming wonderful connections and mentorships over a three day event, then never seeing each other again…. we could build an online community around the event and .. like…. talk to each other before and after it. I love the idea of the first hour of the next summer school feeling like people who know each other finally catching up in person – rather than a room of strangers.


It’s well and truly Winter out there, but on my balcony I have flowers and fruit and feel very Springish.

Flowers in a window box with a bare tree behind them. A cityscape is behind this. Three apples growing on a tree are in the top left corner