• 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 252013

Hello library friends,

So, we’re back from NLS6, and I’ve managed to finally write this post. I could say it was the #NLS6plague that made me miss the 48 hour window of opportunity Garry Conroy-Cooper taught us about during the Librarians We Love panel, or the fact that I was busy creating a zombie horde for UTS Play Day  and teaching classes for the start of session… But those would just be excuses, and one of the things that I think we all learned from NLS6 was to stop talking, and start doing.

I’ve been asked to share how I “Do Different”. I’m going to be honest – this mostly involves doing sketchnotes while I’m at conferences.

Librarians We Love  [sketchnotes]

Ellen Forsyth, Garry Conroy-Cooper, Kathryn Greenhill, Kim Tairi, Mylee Joseph, Paul Brown & Sue Hutley panel

I do these for a couple of reasons. One is that when I used to type up my notes, I would never look at them again because they were boring, no matter how awesome the session was. Drawing my notes forces me to listen and makes me engage with the content more. Because there is such a limited space, I have to really listen to figure out what the key parts are, and how I’d like to represent them within one iPad screen. Ashley England, my partner in library crime helps when I’ve been distracted drawing a Delorean for 10 minutes and missed a really good point.

Continue reading »

 February 25, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am get involved, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Feb 212013

Wow, what a show! During the Symposium I tried to attend everything I could- if only I could defy space and time and attend everything.

I started off with the workshops. First with Show me the evidence! With Suzanne Lewis which was a great way to understand how libraries should be making decisions. I also attended the workshop Designing the future vision of librarians with Sarah Drummond and Zanna Howard- it was a laugh a minute.

The breakout sessions were so hard to choose ~ there were just so many sessions I was interested in. Some of my favourite sessions include Holger Amans session Inspiring the leap into law librarianship– sex, drugs and law reports and excellent presentations and workshops from Bonnie Heim, Freya Lucas and Erin Findlay.

The keynotes were also of particular excellence. I enjoyed Stuart Candy’s presentation on the future of the libraries looking 10,000 years into the future and Ruth Kneal‘s keynote on alternative librarian lifestyles that looked at exciting carers such as a beer or wine librarian.

One of the best things about attending the conference was meeting so many amazing people. It was great to meet new people from all different areas in the library world including people that has just started studying or looking into a library career. I’m so glad that I was able to attend the Symposium and learn how “to be different”.

 February 21, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am get involved, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Feb 202013

Looking back over my notes from NLS6 I was overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of quality speakers I got to experience within such a short space of time. So many people presented each with so much to offer. As a student relatively new to library studies this experience was both intimidating and inspiring. I learnt so much. However, there were a few things that really stood out.

Mistakes should be turned into learning experiences. To hear this from a number of people who have been in the industry for quite some time was liberating. As a new student who is about to start job hunting within the industry, it’s nice to know that the pressure is off, I don’t have to be perfect and know the best way things should be done immediately, rather I need to strive to do the right thing and be willing to learn from any failures along the way.

Actively seek out opportunities. Opportunities won’t always fall into my lap, sometimes I’ll have to actively look for them in order to grow my skill set and challenge myself. There are so many opportunities out there and the more I become involved in them the more new opportunities will open up to me.

Network like crazy. Networking is important, super important, and as it turns out, it’s also rather fun! Networking isn’t just a way to find new job opportunities, but it opens up the possibility of learning from other peoples’ experiences. By choosing to network I’m opening myself up to a whole wealth of knowledge. People have a lot to offer and I need to seek out what they can teach me. This way, I’ll be a better librarian and a better person from it.

Everyone has their own path to follow.  My own individual journey will be different from everyone else’s. I can learn from them, but I shouldn’t let anyone else’s experiences dictate how my own path pans out. Instead I should relish that I’m different and let my own individual path be a reflection of who I am as a person.

I’m sad NLS6 is over, but I’m so very glad I impulsively chose to go. I learnt so much and met so many wonderful people who encouraged me and inspired me to keep moving forward. This really was the perfect start to the year, it inspired me to go forward into the job hunt and BE BOLD (with bananas)*.

*Note: Be bold with bananas is a reference to one of the conference sessions, for further information I would suggest twitter #beboldwithbananas…you’re welcome.



 February 20, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am get involved, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Feb 192013

I didn’t just do my job….I did my job right       Jenica Rogers @ the final keynote of NLS6

Of all the fabulous speakers I listened to over NLS6, it is this statement by Jenica Rogers that has stayed with me in the time that has passed since the conference finished. While I am still an LIS student I also have a day job and the simplicity of this idea, of doing my job right, really struck a chord. Am I just doing my job at work and in my study? Or am I doing my work and study “right”? Upon reflection, I think there is always room for improvement. It’s a matter of being aware, of questioning the way I go about my decision making and problem solving, whether working or studying, and being honest as to whether I am doing a job I can be proud of or whether I am just going through the motions. This was definitely a consciousness raising moment for me and will continue to be so as I move forward in 2013.

There were plenty of other inspirational moments. Ellen Broad’s amazing workshop on copyright in our swiftly changing digital landscape was not just impressive because of her ability to impart gallons of relevant, thought-provoking information. It also meant I can no longer look at any image anywhere and wonder whether there is a copyright infringement happening. If that isn’t a consciousness-raising exercise then I don’t know what is. Similarly, Sue Gardner’s elegant keynote on Wikimedia and the responsibility we have as future LIS professionals to create the Wikipedia we deserve again made me reflect on how much responsibility I actually take for the circulation of information and the creation of knowledge. I returned to my day job and talked the ears off anyone who would listen about the value of Wikipedia and its underlying philosophy of social justice and access to information for all. Once again, something that hadn’t been on my radar was now front and centre. I resolved to explore the possibility of becoming a Wikipedian. Consciousness. Raised.

Apart from the speakers and their presentations there was one other aspect of NLS6 that struck me. Warmth. Now, those of you who attended will know I’m not talking about the temperature in the lecture theatres. That was icy and I was glad I took a cardigan. But the people – from the delegates, to the speakers, to the amazingly hard-working organizing committee – managed to create an atmosphere so welcoming it was almost overwhelming. Meeting and talking with people face to face, most of whom I had only interacted with online, was a privilege and a joy. And even though I’m not yet working in the LIS sector, I felt a sense of belonging that I haven’t experienced for some time. As a result I returned to my daily life resolved to work hard at my studies and to be braver in my personal and professional life. In short, at NLS6 I found the inspiration that I had been looking for to make a concerted effort to start doing things “right”.

 February 19, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am get involved, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 092012

We’ve put our logo on redbubble so you can order your very own NLS6 tshirt! There’s a wide variety of shirt styles, colours and sizes available, and you can choose whether you want your logo on the front or the back. You can even get a hoodie, but Brisbane is quite warm in February, so you might not find yourself wearing it.

Order your NLS6 shirt now!

Full disclosure: We’re charging a small profit margin on the merch. That money will be put directly back into the Symposium to make it even more awesome!

 December 9, 2012  Posted by at 8:20 am get involved, news No Responses »
Oct 302012

The 6th New Librarians’ Symposium is going to challenge you to Be Different in more ways than one! We’ve developed an action and ideas-packed program filled with a range of speakers from across the industry (and outside it) and we want you to Do Different by volunteering.

NLS6 is looking for LIS students who might not be able to afford to attend the symposium, but are willing to volunteer their time in order to be part of the experience. By volunteering, you will gain valuable skills that will shine on your resume, network with industry people and inspire those around you with hard work and a smile! You will do a variety of jobs including: session and workshop assistant, roving, technical assistance and other odd jobs as required.

Other than the amazing benefits listed above, there are extra perks to volunteering.

  • free entry into the Symposium
  • a volunteer T-shirt commemorating the event
  • free morning tea and lunch
  • attend a session of your choice

You will also be expected to be part of the team assisting with the social BBQ dinner (we will feed you in return for all this hard work lol).

We require NLS6 volunteers to be hard working, courteous and punctual. Volunteers are the most important element of the Symposium as you ensure things run smoothly and problem free.

To register your interest, email volunteers@newlibrarianssymposium.com with the subject heading “Student Volunteer.” Include a brief biography stating your particular areas of interest within the library and information sector and where you attend university by Friday, November 23.

Thank you for supporting NLS6!

 October 30, 2012  Posted by at 9:56 am get involved Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Oct 022012

A couple of weeks ago I spent an enjoyable afternoon working with a group of librarians and library students who were considering submitting a proposal for NLS6. During the afternoon, we explored and developed ideas and I was really inspired by the interesting and very different ideas for topics that came from the various experiences. I hope to see some of those ideas come to life at NLS6.

A couple of days ago there was a lively but brief exhange on twitter, around the ‘L’ word, the perception that some employers are turned off by new grads who present themselves as librarians, and the value of skills to employers. I made the case that when recruiting, I am much more interested in the applicants’ attitude than their skills, as  anyone working in libraries (and probably most other workplaces) will need to be re-skilling and up-skilling regularly. Therefore I want to know that the applicant is someone who will readily pick up new skills and is a self-motivated learner rather than which skills they already possess. Of course that comes with some caveats – there is an expectation of a level of knowledge and understanding of the profession that comes with a professional qualification that is a basic requirement.

Both these events are part of the reasons why I will be attending NLS6 – I want to see and experience the great ideas that our new graduates bring to the table. I am convinced that new ideas and the contact with new grads helps to refresh and challenge us all, and I always learn something. I also believe that there are elements that are, for very valid reasons, underselling the value of our profession, and I would like to contribute to that debate so our new grads get another perspective on a profession that has been in existence and valued for hundreds of years.

There is another reason.

When we have positions to fill which are suitable for a new grad, as a senior manager I want to make sure that we attract the very best of the field. To do that I need to know what will make our roles attractive to the best – and spending more time listening to new grads talk about their ideas, experiences and career ambitions will help me understand how to attract the sort of employee we need to take us into the future.


Carolyn McDonald is currently associate director, academic services in information services at Griffith University. Prior to joining Griffith, Carolyn was manager, technology innovation at Bond University, and has over 18 years of experience in (mostly academic) libraries in Western Australia. She also worked at the State Library of WA as manager, digital services prior to coming to Queensland, and as technology librarian at Gold Coast City Council. During her career Carolyn has mostly worked with library systems, but has also worked in other librarian roles including information literacy, lending, reference, document delivery and external student support. You can find Carolyn on twitter at @camcd.

 October 2, 2012  Posted by at 1:00 pm get involved Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 282012

As a student, I struggle with spending time on things I want to do for fun, and things I should do for professional development. Fortunately, some things fit both categories! The New Librarians Symposium is full of fresh ideas, memorable presentations, and people who are doing amazing things in the industry. NLS5 was the first professional library event I attended, so perhaps I’m biased, but it will be difficult for other conferences to live up to my memory of it. I was excited, overwhelmed, and more than a little awed by the sheer number of awesome people in one place.

The banner that greeted me at NLS5A year on, I can barely recall the venue or the food; that’s okay, because that’s not what NLS is about. I made new friends, learned new things, networked, and contributed to the Twitter back channel. The lectures I’d attended at QUT had given me some idea of the breadth of roles available in libraries, but NLS5 made it clear just how limitless my options would be. I was surrounded by real librarians, and their jobs sounded interesting, challenging, and meaningful.

The  2011 keynote speaker lineup was a who’s who in libraryland: Mal Booth, Kate Davis, Kathryn Greenhill, and – all the way from the US – David Lee King. The plenary addresses were given by Sam Hughes, the children’s librarian at WA State Library, and Garry Conroy-Cooper, a man everybody wants to work for. I have come to know and respect these people, and their work, in the past year. What’s so amazing (aside from Sam’s ability to lead a ballroom of adults in a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle) was the immediacy of what the speakers had to say.

Because NLS is a symposium, not a conference, there’s less lead time in submitting and selecting presentations. This means that topics are fresh. Instead of hearing about tired concepts and technology, you can learn what’s hot, right now. And NLS is not strictly for managers, or experienced librarians — it’s for you! You can go home, brimming with enthusiasm, and put those ideas to work.

I attended a workshop prior to the symposium, How to get THE job, and got some great tips. By the close of NLS5, I was feeling so confident and enthusiastic, I asked Steve McQuade if I could come to the State Library of WA and do my practicum. He said yes! Those two weeks were among the best in my two-year journey to becoming a qualified librarian. You never know where the connections you’ll make at NLS will lead.

If the calibre of the speakers at NLS5 is anything to go by, you’ll be blown away at next year’s symposium. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun. Go on, be different – at NLS6!


Julia Garnett is the 2011 winner of ALIA’s New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC) competition for free registration to NLS5. She is in her final semester of the LIS program at QUT, and can’t wait to blend her love of technology, books, research, and the community in her first role as a librarian. When she’s not reading on her Kindle, you can catch her singing, blogging, or learning hip hop.

Julia, @jzgarnett



 September 28, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am get involved Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 232012

We were overwhelmed with the response to the request to review for NLS6 and as a result have a team of reviewers with a wonderful breadth of experience.  We would like to thank them for their commitment.

They have donated their precious time to read/watch and review all of the submissions and get comments back to us in a tight schedule and for that we are grateful!

We have already begun to receive some very constructive comments from these reviewers, and look forward to the next phase in this exciting process, all allowing us to bring you an NLS6 that is Different!




 August 23, 2012  Posted by at 12:43 pm get involved, news, proposals Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 052012

There is only 1 week left to submit your proposal for NLS6! Submissions close on the 12th of August.

Do you have something to say to our new and emerging info professionals? Can you inspire, delight and challenge them about our industry? Then what are you waiting for?!

Need convincing? Why not read some past presenters’ reflections and check out their speaker experiences and what they got out of it:

For more details go to our call for proposals page or if you have any further questions email: proposals@newlibrarianssymposium.com.




 August 5, 2012  Posted by at 10:23 am get involved, news, proposals Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »