There are many reasons to speak at NLS6:
- experience for your CV
- get work to fund your conference registration
- public speaking experience
- help getting you over the line for that job/promotion
- professional development
Speaking at NLS6 will help you with all this, but it will also be so much more. It will be something you are proud of; it will help you meet amazing people and make ongoing connections, and you might actually find that you enjoy it!
The 4th New Librarians Symposium (2008)
NLS4 coincided with my graduation as a librarian at the end of 2008. As I had attended a graduation ceremony for a previous degree, I decided along with some classmates, to spend the money attending NLS instead of the graduation ceremony. This was a decision I did not regret.
I worked for a conference organiser as a teenager so I have seen a lot of conferences from many professions. I was not expecting NLS to be the best conference I had seen. NLS is not a high budget event, you won’t get expensive goodie bags or fireworks or free champagne all night. What you will get is the most excited and engaged people in your profession all in one room. The people you meet and listen to present at NLS will be the future leaders of the industry inAustralia, and faster than you think.
NLS4 was a fantastic learning and social initiation and by the time NLS5 rolled around I thought I could attempt to present myself.
The 5th New Librarians Symposium (2011)
But what to talk about? I didn’t feel like an expert in anything, but as Alisa explained so eloquently you don’t need to know it all to teach others something.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel if you can find a point of difference or a new perspective on an old problem. To take the pressure off I co-authored and co-presented a paper with colleagues but once I was there I realised that this was the most forgiving and interested audience. The audience wants you to succeed and wants to hear what you have to say and they will say nice things on twitter!
The 6th New Librarians’ Symposium (2013)
So what is my advice? Read the call for proposals carefully and brainstorm what you can offer that matches the theme: from work, research or personal professional experience. Talk to people about your ideas, talk to peers and mentors/managers. Get work on board if you can, if you make them see the benefit they may give you time release and/or support in your proposal.
And lastly, have fun! NLS6 isn’t a boring stuffy conference, so enjoy yourself and show your personality. This is your future, this is an opportunity to give something back to your peers and your profession and whatever you give you will get back with interest: the professional experience and by creating a name for yourself and forging connections with the movers and shakers of Australia (and beyond)!
You have almost two weeks to get your initial proposal in. You don’t need to have your talk perfectly planned by the 12th August, you need just up to 500 words or 3 minutes recorded to sell us the idea. What are you waiting for?!