Six Hot Picks with Mel Chivers
Mel says: Work was as busy as ever over lockdown and juggling that with an attention-hungry toddler, it’s safe to say this has not been a time of quiet contemplation or reflection. I have not kept up with all the amazing online professional development opportunities, or taken the opportunity to do some deep reading and learn some new technology skills. These are six of the things that kept me sane and occupied over the last few months.
I wanted to get on the sourdough bandwagon over lockdown but I decided to go for a kiwi recipe. I’m looking forward to having a look through our New Zealand Collection to try to find some local recipes. My rewena leaven makes delicious bread, and isn’t a full-time job like some of the recipes I’ve seen.
My daughter has me figured out; she knows I’ll never say no to reading her a book, but I have to say I regret buying Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. We are both loving Perfect by Danny Parker and Freya Blackwood. It’s a lovely book, which felt very appropriate for our long quiet autumn at home. We have also loved listening to other people read picture books through virtual storytimes.
Heritage collections online
My daughter is a little young to take advantage of all the amazing GLAM virtual tours and online activities that were shared over lockdown but I have been helping students to carry out assignments online that normally take advantage of our New Zealand Collection and archives. Papers Past is always amazing but I loved exploring Auckland Libraries' heritage collections in Kura.
Hobbies: running and knitting
I’ve hated running my entire life but over lockdown the thought of getting out of the house for 30 minutes and returning with an endorphin boost suddenly changed my mind. We will see if this new hobby continues as we move into ‘new normal’. I’ve been doing my best to live up to the knitting librarian stereotype but my Ravelry wishlist has been growing a lot faster than I can keep up with.
Online professional development
I’m generally terrible with webinars, I always register and then some emergency comes up (or they run at 4 am our time) and then they stack up in the folder of webinars I never get around to watching.
I didn’t manage many webinars during lockdown when I was just trying to answer emails while building Duplo towers. Now day-care is open again I’ve been enjoying the Cancelled Conference Conversations, which have provided a platform for presentations that were accepted for now-cancelled education conferences. It’s a great example of an innovative kiwi response to the problem of academics needing to continue to continue producing research inputs and sharing their ideas with the community.
[editor’s note: You can also check out LIANZA’s recent webinars!]
Food with friends
Lockdown has made me appreciate more than ever the simple pleasure of being able to enjoy amazing food (and a craft beer or two) with friends, whether it’s supporting our local hospitality industry, or being able to buy amazing ingredients from the farmers market again to cook at home.