• Wikimedia Australia Wikimedia Australia
  • Ryan Donahue Ryan Donahue
  • Sue Gardner Sue Gardner
  • Ruth Kneale Ruth Kneale Ruth Kneale sponsored by the State Library of Queensland
  • Stuart Candy Stuart Candy Keynote Speaker, Dr Stuart Candy - Professional futurist
  • Ingrid Parent Ingrid Parent Ingrid Parent
  • Jenica Rogers Jenica Rogers Jenica Rogers sponsored by the State Library of Queensland
  • Marcus Foth Marcus Foth
  • NLS6 NLS6
Feb 062013

Haven’t tweeted at a professional event before? Or just in need of a re-cap? Here’s your social media guide to NLS6.

Okay, the basics first.


Key information and updates will be shared via @alianls6. Make sure you’re following us and we’d love to hear about your experience at NLS6!

The ‘conversation’

Engage with others in the sharing of ideas and content by using the hashtags #nls6sun and #nls6mon. These hashtags will be used throughout the 6th New Librarians’ Symposium, across all social media. You can even follow along by saving a search for #nls6 in your Twitter app. If you plan on live tweeting during NLS6, we’ve found these helpful tips.


Now for the super cool bits….

Capturing the #nls6 story

The #nls6 story will be captured at the end of each day using Storify. A link to the story will be provided via Twitter and embedded into blog posts so you can catch up on all the #nls6 shenanigans. So that makes it doubly important you use the #nls6 hashtag to be part of the story. Make your mark!

Snap and share your #nls6 experience

Get together, meet new people and share your pics of your #nls6 experience. Don’t forget to tag them with #nls6 when you post them online. Each afternoon, we’ll be selecting a ‘pic of the day’.

There will be plenty of Twitter folk handy at NLS6, no shortage willing to help others out with using Twitter. Here are a selection of folks to get you started – follow them to see what they’re up to at NLS6. Kick off a conversation, say ‘hi!’

Keynote speakers

Stuart Candy @futuryst

Ryan Donahue @RyanD

Marcus Foth @sunday9pm

Sue Gardner @SuePGardner

Ruth Kneale @desertlibrarian

Ingrid Parent @ingrid_parent

Jenica Rogers @jenica26

Workshop Presenters & Panelists

Katherine Howard @K1Howard

Eleanor Whitworth  @elewhitworth

Kathryn Greenhill @libsmatter

Kim Tairi @haikugirloz

Ellen Forsyth @ellenforsyth

Sue Hutley @suehutley

Mylee Joseph @myleejoseph

Margaret Warren @mawarre


And just in case you missed it, the hashtag is #nls6 😉

 February 6, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am bits and pieces Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 102012

Need some help to get to NLS6? There are a number of funding opportunities available for prospective delegates – here’s the low down!

Just for students: wins $200 towards your registration cost

Closing Friday 14 December (midday AEST)

One very generous not-so-new professional has provided funding for three bursaries for students. Each bursary is worth $200AUD, which means the three people who get these bursaries will be able to attend NLS6 for as little as $95!

How do I enter?

Entry is simple. Just finish the statement: “I need to attend NLS6 because …” and send your answers to helpanlsstudent@gmail.com, along with a statement about which course you are enrolled in.

Answers must be submitted by midday (AEST – Brisbane) Friday 14 December 2012. Winners announced Tuesday 18 December 2012.

Am I eligible?

If you’re studying towards an LIS qualification – either part time or full time – we want to hear from you!

Fine print

  • By submitting, you agree that your statement can be published (anonymously) on our website.
  • A panel will decide on the three statements to win. We are looking for people who would have difficulty getting to NLS without some financial assistance.
  • Each winner will receive $200AUD towards their registration costs.
  • If you have already registered for NLS6, we’ll reimburse you $200AUD if you win.

For people who work in AGLIN member libraries: win free registration plus have your travel and accommodation costs covered!

Closing Monday 17 December

AGLIN is offering a bursary that will cover registration, travel and accommodation for a new graduate to attend NLS6. This is an extremely generous offer!

Am I eligible?

Is your organisation a member of the Australian Government Libraries Information Network (AGLIN)? Then you can apply for this funding opportunity.

How do I enter?

Contact Jessica from AGLIN at aglin@alia.org.au

For people who are self-funding: win free registration!

Closing Friday 21 December (midday AEST)

A whole bunch of experienced, senior members of the LIS profession based in Brisbane pitched in to raise funds for new graduates to attend NLS6. This funding opportunity is for people who would have to pay their own way to get to NLS6. Perhaps you missed out on getting funding from your organisation, or perhaps you’re not working right now. This bursary could be your ticket to NLS6! There are three registrations up for grabs.

Am I eligible?

If you can’t get funding from your organisation to attend NLS, or you’re not currently employed in the field, you should apply for this bursary!

How do I enter?

Simply email us at symposiumchairs@newlibrarianssymposium.com and tell us why you need this funding.

Answers must be submitted by midday (AEST – Brisbane) Friday 21 December 2012. Winners announced Monday 24 December 2012.

Fine print

  • A panel will decide on the three entries to win. We are looking for people who would have difficulty getting to NLS without some financial assistance. This bursary is specifically for people who don’t have financial support from their organisation to attend.
  • Each winner will receive complimentary registration for the Symposium.
  • If you have already registered for NLS6, we’ll reimburse your registration costs if you win.

For people who have to travel to get to NLS6: win up to $1000 towards your travel expenses

Closing Tuesday 15 January

The cost of travel can be a big barrier to attendance at events and conferences. The ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC) is running a competition to win a bursary towards your travel and/or accommodation costs.

There are multiple bursaries available and the amount of the bursaries awarded will depend on the needs of the people who get them.

Am I eligible?

The competition is open to presenters and non-presenters, students or anyone just wanting to go for the experience. There are only two requirements – you must be a personal member of ALIA and must not have been involved in organising the Symposium.

How do I enter?

Fill in the application form, write a short statement and then get creative! Use a digital format and tell us how the symposium themes or sub-themes will help you ‘be different’.

Fine print

  • NGAC will decide on the entries to win. Multiple bursaries are available.
  • Each winner will receive funding towards their travel and accommodation costs.
  • If you have already paid for your travel and accommodation, we will reimburse you the amount you are awarded through the bursary.
  • Any questions contact Danielle or Kate at aliangac@gmail.com
 December 10, 2012  Posted by at 9:20 am bits and pieces, news, your nls6 No Responses »
Aug 292012

We like our banner. It’s vibrant, a bit loud and a bit out there – it’s DIFFERENT! Which so nicely sums up NLS6.
You can download the NLS6 banner, make it your screen saver, your wallpaper, or just print it out and share it around.

Go on – we know you want to!

 August 29, 2012  Posted by at 8:13 pm bits and pieces Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jul 142012

Here it is folks! Our first official flyer for NLS6 for you to download, print, pin on your home/office board, share with your networks, and give to anyone who might be interested in submitting a proposal or coming along to the event in February next year.

I’m proud to say that I had a lot to ‘say’ about how this flyer came about. But credit must go to Christina Granata (ALIA events manager) and Gemma Kelly (ALIA graphic designer) for creating and coordinating this funky and awesome design.

So what are you waiting for? Exploit this flyer however you want – it’s bright, bold and beautiful! Stick it on your boss’s computer screen, your office door, or staff room. Post it on Facebook or Yammer or on any other social/professional network. Use your imagination! In the meantime, let your ninja planner come out and start organising your leave/summer holiday or that proposal submission! Brainwash -ahem- let your employer know this is THE professional development event of the year!

Be Different!

Download your flyer.

 July 14, 2012  Posted by at 8:24 am bits and pieces Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Jul 082012

For me, NLS is an important date on the ALIA calendar as it provides an opportunity for new librarians to have their first formal conference experience…either as an attendee, presenter or even as part of the organising committee. I presented my first (and to date, only) conference paper at NLS in 2008. While I was probably on the outer limit of being considered a new graduate, convening the 2011 symposium back to back with the ALIA National Library & Information Technicians Conference and to develop a conference that represented my vision for NLS was too good an opportunity to pass up.

My observation of previous symposia, and conferences in general, is that they are far too passive and as such we tried to develop a program that balanced presentations with practical workshops to ensure delegates returned to their libraries with a wider range of skills than they came with. To me a new librarian is someone who has had 3-5 years of professional experience at most, as opposed to the definition at the time which was up to 10 years! Another intention of incorporating workshops therefore was to encourage and challenge new librarians to gain new skills that might help them to move towards taking the next steps in their careers, become our new generation of leaders and managers and making their next conference one of the mainstream ALIA conferences.

I believe that the alignment of NLS6 with Information Online will continue to encourage new librarians to develop in their careers. Online has traditionally been well attended by new librarians and the focus on innovative technologies is in line with how libraries are and should be developing. Online also provides the opportunity for new librarians to develop connections with existing leaders and managers in the profession, a definite advantage of this model over the traditional symposium.

I look forward to seeing NLS6 take shape and providing the opportunity for new librarians to experience two of the most innovative events that ALIA presents.


Steve is currently the Manager, Library Services at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and was the convenor for NLS5.  He has previously worked in public libraries and the State Library of WA where among other things he was heavily involved in their Graduate Program.  Steve has also been a member of the ALIA NGAC. Steve’s passions in libraries are people and new technologies and is all about encouraging and mentoring people to take their next steps in their career and to be receptive to change.


 July 8, 2012  Posted by at 11:01 am bits and pieces Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jul 032012

Learn something new every day.

Never say Never   – Opportunity is everywhere and NLS is often a place to encourage creative thinking, and thinking big for our profession

Our Profession is Very Small.  Form long-term friendships to get you though your career.  Realise that senior people are really human, have feelings, and are not scary.  Figure out what you can do for them, rather than criticizing and expecting them to do it all for you.

Take the lead – and the leadership.  How can you lead from the position you are currently in.  Volunteer for ALIA, volunteer for a special project, return to extra study (not necessarily in librarianship).

Learn where you get your ideas from.  Ensure you have thinking space in your life  on a regular basis to ensure time and space for ideas generation, planning and thinking about the exhicution strategies for your great ideas.

Take a risk, make a change, learn about how to ‘Be professional – In a Profession’.

Learn about the Business of Libraries – vendors, money, demonstrating value.

Understand that there will be disappointments but don’t sweat the small stuff.


I’ll be passing on a few more personal and professional insights a little closer to the 2013 event.  In the meantime – start getting yourself organised to attend (don’t leave it ‘till the last minute), start saving, begin to put your case together to put forward to your employer to receive support, request leave from work in advance, submit your abstract and get ready to enjoy Brisbane in the Summer!

Sue Hutley   suehutley@gmail.com   http://au.linkedin.com/pub/sue-hutley/6/95/b8a

 July 3, 2012  Posted by at 8:56 pm bits and pieces Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jul 032012

 What does NLS mean to you?

For me, NLS is about our identity as new librarians. It is a forum for developing our own ideas of who we are as new librarians; where we fit in to the industry, where our unique strengths lie, and what common challenges and barriers we need to overcome. It is also a safe place where we can have a voice and share ideas as new librarians. We can express our frustrations without fear of condescension from our peers, and celebrate our limited experience and knowledge as a starting point to develop and grow.

When I attended NLS3 in 2006, I was only three months into my first librarian role. I had plenty of preconceived notions of what being a librarian was all about – all of which were swiftly debunked!

Coming to NLS in was an opportunity to meet many other librarians in the formative years of their career. Some of them were in a similar position as I, whilst others were a little more experienced, but still new enough to be able to understand the issues and provide peer support in overcoming challenges. It was also a chance to network and meet the “big-wigs” of the Austalian industry who have taken an interest in the future generation of librarians – people like Roxanne Missingham, Alan Smith, Alex Byrne, Helen Partridge and Graham Black.

Similarly, NLS4 in 2008 was particularly focused on unique barriers that new librarians face in the industry and, again, provided a forum for sharing our experiences and discussing strategies for overcoming them. It also turned an eye to the future of the industry, and the changing role that we will be playing, as librarians of the future, with keynotes from visionary thinkers such as Erik and Jaap from DOK, Delft, and Mark Pesce.

Each of these events have been utterly inspiring for me as a new librarian. They’ve been a boost to my enthusiasm for the industry, and a time to get excited about the possible futures of the industry, and the roles that we can play in it. They’ve been a place to not only think about my identity as a new librarian, but also find my tribe within the librarian community – colleagues and friends with whom I continue to share successes, work through challenges, and re-energise whenever my enthusiasm for the industry wanes.

Why did you get involved with NLS

I commenced my first job as a qualified librarian in September 2006 and, right from the start, I was keen to get involved in the ALIA New Graduates community. The NGG e-list was quite different back then, before everybody had a blog. It was *the* place to find library job listings, but it was also a vibrant forum for issues in the library industry. Discussion was plentiful, insightful and occasionally heated. There was a lot of online buzz leading up to NLS 2006 in December, and I was keen to meet many of the faces behind the names. Then, a call was put out for a couple of new graduates to participate in the “Great Debate” that opened the symposium. I put my hand up, and found myself on a team with Kay Harris and Roxanne Missingham. We won, of course.

Following NLS2006, I stayed in touch with many of the people I met, one of whom was Tania Barry, the NLS4 convenor. I found that we were very much on the same wavelength with our experiences and passion for the library industry, and when she asked me if I wanted to get involved in the committee in 2007, I jumped at the opportunity to join the team as the marketing coordinator. The theme was “Breaking Barriers”, looking at the barriers that exist in the progression of our careers, our profession, and the industry. These were all issues that I’d been blogging about at the time, from my perspective as a new librarian, and the opportunity to create an event that framed these issues within the inspired model of the New Librarians Symposium felt like the most valuable contribution that I could make to the industry, as a new librarian myself. That, and it was also a good excuse for a party in Melbourne.

How would you like to see NLS develop?

One of the biggest strengths of NLS is that, as a symposium, it has the flexibility to deviate from the traditional models of professional conference events. It’s not just about librarians getting up onto the podium and talking for 30 minutes with a powerpoint slideshow, whilst everybody takes notes (and tweets to each other). It also has panel sessions, workshops, debates, and forums. I’m a big fan of these kinds of interactive events, and getting delegates as involved in the sharing of ideas as possible, and I’d like to see this happen more. I also think that NLS can definitely be a safe space for really speaking one’s mind, and getting to the crux of the issues that can be so crippling for many new librarians. I’d like to see NLS create forums for more heated debate on the more controversial topics, which I’ll admit isn’t the easiest thing to do, but with the right kind of moderation to keep things on-topic and respectful, Tony Jones style, we can whip up some lively discussion that will keep us thinking for months afterward.

NLS is also unique in that it provides many new graduates to gain experience in delivering their first conference paper, and build their confidence in public speaking. However, this can often be a weakness to the program. I’d like to see NLS develop a more enforced peer review process, but with a difference. It wouldn’t be as a way of critiquing and questioning the validity of the paper, but more as a way of mentoring and supporting first-time presenters in building papers and presentations that are informed and interesting to the audience, and ensuring that presenters are well-prepared to deliver a first-class presentation on the day. I would also like to see a more interactive element brought to conference papers, incorporating a panel discussion and Q&A to papers, where speakers can drastically expand and debate the issues in their presentation.


Andrew Finegan is currently the acting Community Development Librarian at the City of Boroondara. He was the Marketing Coordinator at NLS4 and has also volunteered for ALIA with the New Graduates Group, Top End Group, and New Generation Advisory Committee. He tweets as @librarianidol.

 July 3, 2012  Posted by at 11:44 am bits and pieces Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jun 292012

What does NLS mean to me?

To me, NLS is a ‘space’ for new librarians to develop their professional identity.

I remember the first library conference I went to, the ALIA Biennial in 2004. It was so big, and it seemed to me that everyone knew each other – I found it really hard to break into existing professional networks. I also found that the program was hard to connect with, and was aimed at people who had progressed much further in their careers than I had. Even the vendors had little interest in talking to someone who didn’t have any budgetary authority.

The first NLS I went to, however, was very different. Almost every paper was relevant or interesting to me, and people were much more open. I didn’t have to apologise for being new or young or junior. Strangers spoke to me. I could ask really basic questions of people, about their presentations or what they did at work, and found that the people I spoke to were just as interested in me as I was in them.

Being in this environment helped me understand the building blocks of our profession; it helped me identify the issues that I felt passionately about; it inspired ideas about where our profession could go. Finally, and importantly, it allowed me to develop a professional network of peers, whose careers I am enjoying watching develop alongside my own.

Why did I get involved in NLS?

By the time I put my hand up for NLS3 I had already been running the NSW branch of the New Graduates Group with my co-convenor Adrianne Harris for about a year. That experience had shown me the value of being actively involved in the profession, and I loved the opportunities I was getting to develop different skills and widen my professional network.

My role as a convenor for NLS3 allowed me to manage a team of volunteers – building my management and leadership skills. It also forced me to better understand how ALIA worked and how conferences worked. Simply put, I got involved in NLS to learn new things, and I was very successful! What I didn’t expect was how much fun it was, and how many people from the organising committee remain my friends to this day (especially after we made them “work” on weekends).

How would I like to see NLS develop?

NLS needs to offer something that delegates can’t get elsewhere. To remain sustainable, NLS needs to be generative – to produce or create something above and beyond the event itself.

I strongly believe that the professional development needs of new librarians are different from those of more experienced members of our profession, and that it’s worth having a space in which those needs can be met. But this also means that NLS has a constantly shifting target market: in most cases delegates will not keep attending NLS after their first one or two events, because they’re no longer new grads and the program is of limited relevance to them. This should be a strength of NLS – it can be a constantly changing, nimble event, that responds to the expectations of a similarly changeable target market. NLS organisers should always be asking themselves “what will meet the needs of our target delegates?” rather than “how was this done before?”

NLS does, however, face sustainability challenges; it will always be difficult for new graduates to justify that kind of intensive professional development, more delegates self-fund their attendance at NLS than at other conferences, and it’s challenging to attract sponsorship dollars when your audience is less likely to have budgetary responsibilities. Two years between conferences makes it difficult to maintain a profile with the aforementioned changing target market.

I think the future for NLS has to be in generating something beyond the event itself to fill in the two year gap. This could be a series of smaller events, a community of practice, some form of publication – or something different entirely. Ideally there would be a way for future and past delegates to engage with the NLS brand on a more regular basis.

I’m very aware that I am no longer the target market for NLS, but it remains important that this ‘space’ is preserved for new librarians. Fundamentally, I would like to see NLS continue as a unique and sustainable event, and a vital training ground for the future leaders of our profession.

Alyson was one of the co-convenors of NLS2006. She’s currently working with the University of NSW Library as Client Services Coordinator, and has a background that spans special and medical libraries, vendor and association work. She has thoroughly enjoyed every NLS she has attended, and wishes NLS were held every year in Sydney, so she could go to the parties without having to justify it to her boss.


 June 29, 2012  Posted by at 10:58 am bits and pieces Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Guest Post: Alyson Dalby, NLS3 Convenor
Jun 252012

What does NLS mean to me?

I still vividly remember the feeling I had walking into the conference room at the very first NLS in Brisbane in 2002.  The energy, enthusiasm and passion in the room was HIGH and SO different to any other professional event I’d been to.  This was back in the days before Twitter, Facebook or PLNs, and at that point there wasn’t even an ALIA New Graduates Group – no way for new graduates to easily connect and share experiences across the country.  So for me, NLS was initially all about the real personal value of connecting with a wide professional peer group, to share ideas, goals, questions & inspiration (and of course, a cocktail or two!)

Later, when I convened the 2nd NLS in Adelaide in 2004, NLS was also a great learning experience in how to put up my hand and take risks, work within a national organisation like ALIA, work with a large committee, manage a significant budget, source international speakers and collaborate with some amazing and dynamic colleagues.  It gave me a depth of experience which I never would have gained in my day-job, and I think helped me step up to a management role more quickly than I otherwise would.  10 years later, I look back and realise that it was through NLS that I formed really valuable professional relationships, networks and friendships that are still important today and will last me throughout my career.

Why did I get involved in NLS?

Well, I am someone who likes to volunteer for things – I’m not sure you could have stopped me! 😉 It was a frustrating time to be a new graduate employment-wise, but rather than complaining, I wanted to do something positive.  I was really excited to be involved at a time where there were a lot of new developments at ALIA for new graduates – NGAC had just been established, work was just beginning on a New Graduates Group, and ALIA leadership were extremely supporting and encouraging of new grads. It was immensely satisfying to be involved in all of these initiatives and now, years later, it’s great to see new grads are now strongly represented on local groups, committees and advisory committees throughout the Association.  There are lots of possibilities to make a difference by getting involved, and it is rewarding to see the end results.

How would I like to see NLS develop?

I think it is up to each generation of new grads to define where they want NLS to go and what role they need it to play.  The environment has changed a lot from 2002, and there are more ways a new graduate can feel connected and engaged with their peers now than were available to us ten years ago.  However, I’d hope that NLS continues to offer a space where new grads can get together, share ideas, contribute and feel welcomed into the wider profession.  I think it’s also a fantastic supportive place where new grads can test out their budding presentation skills among peers.  I would note that it is important to see NLS as just an entrance, not the whole professional experience! The NLS vibe is often so enjoyable that some people would rather stay in the “new graduate” zone when in fact it can be the first of many steps into the profession as a whole and all that it can offer.


Kate (second from the left in both photos) with other NLS convenors and committee members


 June 25, 2012  Posted by at 10:29 am bits and pieces, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »