• 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
Aug 022012

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?!

 August 2, 2012  Posted by at 3:08 pm get involved, proposals Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 012012

I had the privilege of participating in the New Librarians’ Symposium in Perth last September. It was a privilege for me as such forums provide access to an interested, motivated audience who are eager to access wisdom. Therefore as a presenter I have a real responsibility to provoke, entertain, inform and create an intellectual ‘conflict commons’ around particular subjects.

Steve McQuade’s comments about passivity. Right on the ball. Workshops, presentations, discussions, etc that are forcefully interactive are required. Having just run a rapid fire ‘intellectual speed dating’ type of workshop with my LINC personnel last Friday, I can attest to this method as a sure fire way of getting answers, innovations, leadership thinking and getting some serious ‘elephants in the room’ out there to deal with.

I present and engage with audiences quite regularly. I’m not perfect but my wisdom to share is this … imagine you were being paid to present, that your income relied upon it … treat the audience as clients who have paid good money to attend, participate, engage … presentation style is 50% of the equation, 50% is the content provided or generated by the engagement process … your aim is to leave the audience with a memory that will carry beyond a conference program.


I would also encourage evidence based presentations. What is meant here, is provide some kind of evidencial backup to statements made or reference some research undertaken somewhere in the world for your theme. I will  remember to the day I die, something said at the NLS5 last year by a presenter who went before me, that I couldn’t resist using in my subsequent presentation. They said ‘I don’t know know anyone who doesn’t like libraries’! This was a personal opinion and effectively a personal value statement and not underpinned by evidence and statistical information as to the engagement of Libraries by the Australian public. Please back up what you say with research, evidence and honest experience.

Lastly, I would say it is perfectly ok to utilise creative conflict and some provocation to elicit new ideas, perspectives and leadership outcomes … comfort doesn’t bring innovation; dissonance, challenge and pulling down sacred bulls and sacred cows does.

Challenge me!



Garry W Conroy-Cooper is the leader of the Launceston LINC [Learning &Information Network Centre] of LINC Tasmania | www.linc.tas.gov.au | He leads a team of almost 40 permanent staff, 110 fixed term contractors and almost 270 volunteers.

Garry has government and private sector experience across the library, archives, record, document management and recruitment areas and is a practising artist and believes strongly in the use of creativity as a business development approach. He has a reputation for being an ‘agent provocateur’ within our industry, whether challenging existing paradigms, driving cultural change,  using diverse leadership styles and questioning out of date value systems.

Jul 262012

Passionate about helping the next generation of librarians and information professionals but can’t get yourself to Brisbane in 2013?

Want to be involved in NLS6 but don’t necessarily want to present?

Perhaps you want to present but also want to have greater involvement in the planning of NLS6?

Then becoming a reviewer of NLS6 presentation proposals is perfect for you!

To ensure the NLS6 program is of the highest standard possible, all submitted presentation proposals will go through a peer review process. Reviewers will make sure that each presentation fits into NLS6’s theme of “Be different”.

We are looking for people from all backgrounds and stages of their information career to be reviewers: everyone from students to established professionals. If you have a passion for the industry and an understanding of the goals of NLS, then we want to hear from you!

All we will require of you is time to review presentation proposals and give feedback within a two week turnaround time in late August. We will give you a list of criteria on which to review the proposals so you won’t be going in blind.

Plus, as if you needed more motivation, becoming an NLS reviewer can also earn you ALIA PD points!

So how do I sign up I hear you ask? Simple! Just send us an expression of interest before 5 August 2012. Details of what you need to include in the E.O.I can be found in our official call for reviewers.



Jul 202012
Seize this opportunity. Go for it.
For some people, just reading that top line will be enough for them to submit a proposal for the 6th New Librarians Symposium. I can tell you now I’m not one of those people. And I presented at last year’s New Librarians’ Symposium in Perth. If you’re a student or new graduate reading this, please read on. It may be the boost (or convincing) you need. Chances are you’re wondering “Can my idea really be accepted….?” Well, I’m here to tell you why you should submit.

First, let me tell you a story. I was in the same position in December 2010. Presenting wasn’t in my immediate plans. I thought I had nothing to say. Who would listen to me? But I had an idea and wondered, “How can I share this?” With some encouragement, okay it was more like a boot in the rear end, I submitted. I was stoked I even put together an abstract.

You only have to start, take the first step and the rest will follow.

Being a first-time presenter at an event like the New Librarians’ Symposium is like having training wheels on a bike as well as having a cheer squad behind you. The people who organise and attend the event create a buzzing atmosphere that only makes you want to jump onto that stage and give them your all. Such support and the connections you make in the friendliest of spaces on the national conference circuit are priceless and will probably become the most important to you during the course of your career.

Of course I was nervous, to be honest there’s not much that will change that…..did I look nervous?

Sure, I screwed up in the first few minutes when I had the wrong slide up on the screen. S*** happens. I laughed it off and kept going. And guess what? I wasn’t ready to come off the stage by the time I finished! On a serious note, presenting at a New Librarians’ Symposium is one of the few opportunities to start putting your name and ideas out there, to share and add to the knowledge of this profession, not to mention a shiny piece for your CV.


You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Thinking I’m an established professional? Nope. I’m a LIS masters student and only embarked on this career path a few years ago.

Following my experience at last year’s NLS, it’s time to pay it forward. I’m a Brissy local and co-chair of the Experience sub-committee on a mission to maximise your experience at the 6th New Librarians’ Symposium.

Not only can you expect a supportive Organising Committee, but the Experience team are also here to provide you with information about getting to Brisbane – you know, the “nitty-gritty, how do I get to the city from the airport?” kind of things to make your planning and participation experience to be as smooth and of best value as possible to you as a budding information professional.

The Experience team will have you revved up for NLS6 with an engaging and inspiring program of workshops on the Saturday, the day before NLS6 begins. In the lead up, we’ll be passing on travel deals, provide restaurant and accommodation reviews, and create opportunities to make connections with others and participate in discussions well before the event. Need to workout while you’re here? We’ve got you covered. We’ll find you the gyms in and around the CBD. Need gluten free options? No problem. The team will suss out catering restaurants. Need some help getting around QUT and the symposium program? We’ll have a team of volunteers you can approach. But what about drinks and tweet ups, you ask? Definitely no issues there. Social events will be planned closer to and during the event.

An “Ask the Experience team” mailbox will be set up shortly for you to start emailing your questions through.

So go on, have a crack. Who knows, right?

 July 20, 2012  Posted by at 10:54 am get involved, proposals Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 182012

The NLS6 proposal submission system is now open! We will be accepting proposal submissions until August 12, so it is time to get your skates on.

We need content from both first-timers and more experienced types, so if you think that you could inspire, delight and/or challenge our audience of new and emerging information professionals we need to hear from you! In case you haven’t heard, proposals can be for presentations in just about any format you can think of – your only limit is how far outside the square you can think.

For all the details, go to the Call for Proposals page on our website. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Be Different!

 July 18, 2012  Posted by at 4:36 pm get involved, program, proposals Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 092012

The 6th New Librarians Symposium is going to challenge you to Be Different in more ways than one! We’re developing an action and ideas-packed program filled with a range of speakers from across the industry (and outside it), and with all levels of experience: why not be one of them?

We are very excited to announce that we have now opened the call for proposals for NLS6!

Who can submit a proposal? Anyone!

If you can see gaps or issues unaddressed in debates around our profession(s), if you have experiences or wisdom to share, if you want to connect and share ideas, we want your proposal!

I’m not a new graduate – can I still present? YES!

You don’t need to be ‘new’ to have passion, energy and drive, that’s for sure. We are increasing the balance of content between experienced and new professionals in our program, to make sure that delegates have the chance to benefit from the perspectives and experiences of recently transitioned and experienced professionals with valuable insight to share!

I am a very new graduate (or student) – would my proposal even be considered? YES!

Short years but big on ideas? NLS6 is not just about providing content for new librarians – it’s also a space for new librarians to produce and share their own! Presenting at a national symposium is amazing PD experience (not to mention CV bling), and first-time speakers will have the option of working with a mentor: why not take the plunge in the friendliest atmosphere on the national circuit?

I’m not in a ‘traditional’ library role – will my insights and questions be relevant? YES!

NLS6 is for ALL professionals (aspiring, recent, transitioning or other) from ALL corners of the profession, even – or perhaps especially –  those that don’t use the ‘L’ word. The lines are blurring as the complex and rapidly shifting library and information landscape evolves – we’d love to hear what you have to say!

What can I contribute?

We are looking at putting together a program that provokes debate, inspires action, questions assumptions, and shares experiences to arm delegates with the strategies and confidence to be different.

How you want to do this is up to you; this is why we are asking for presentation proposals, not abstracts for a paper. A paper might not be the best form for expressing your idea! Papers are very welcome of course, but don’t limit your thinking to this format; if you can see another way, go for it!

We are offering 20 or 40 minute slots (including questions) in the program. Your proposal should address one of our six sub-theme areas:

  • Inspire: opening minds, expanding horizons
  • Imagine: the future of the information professions
  • Create: creativity, innovation and risk taking
  • Lead: in our profession and beyond
  • Climb: professional development opportunities, gaps, strategies
  • Leap: diverse career options for information professionals

Sounds great!  What do I need to do?

All the nitty-gritty can be found on our official call for proposals. Any questions can be sent to proposals@newlibrarianssymposium.com.

Make sure you submit your idea by 12 August.

 July 9, 2012  Posted by at 1:54 pm get involved, planning, program, proposals Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 052012

We asked for your ideas, and did you ever give them to us! On the blog and on Twitter, your passion and energy (not to mention your smarts!) came through loud and clear. Not only that, the huge range of thoughtful and creative responses showed just how diverse and hungry this demographic is – hungry to be inspired, empowered, challenged and entertained. This is exactly what we want NLS6 to do for you.

So, what’s happening with all those ideas?

We nabbed every blog and Twitter response (even the tongue-in-cheek ones!) and noticed some pretty strong themes emerging. The NLS mainstays – professional skills, strategies and pathways now, and in the future – came back again and again, as well as some delicious thoughts around creativity, empowerment, and living/working/thinking at the cutting edge. Not only that, you came up with some great suggestions for specific speakers. Local heroes, international superstars, movers and shakers from all corners of the profession, and outside it; I want to invite them ALL to the NLS6 party!

Unfortunately, we now reach the hard part.

One of the big jobs for the organising committee over the next few weeks will be refining this list of awesome into a targeted, exciting, program that will bring something different to the table, and set your minds (and Twitter feeds!) alight.

Watch this space for more updates as they emerge. We tagged the call for ideas #mynls6 for a reason: this event is for you, and we will be looking for your direct input and feedback every step of the way. Stay loud. Stay opinionated. Most of all, stay passionate.


 June 5, 2012  Posted by at 9:42 pm get involved, program Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
May 162012

One of the very first tasks for the NLS6 Organising Committee is locking in a range of awesome keynote speakers.

But in keeping with our Be different theme, we want to take a different approach to selecting speakers for keynote presentations and participants for panels.

This time round, we want you guys – the delegates-to-be – to tell us what you want to hear about and who you want to hear from.

We encourage you to think differently:

  • Think beyond the L in LIS. What’s happening in the broader information profession?
  • Think beyond the obvious three. It’s not just about academic, public and special libraries. Who inspires you in school libraries? Research libraries? Non-traditional library roles?
  • Think beyond a lecture. Our ‘keynote’ sessions don’t have to be traditional keynotes. Want to hear different people on the same topic? Suggest a panel, debate, or round of lightening talk keynotes.

You can suggest topics or people – we’re open to both.

Although we can’t promise stacks of big names from overseas, don’t limit your thinking at this point. As well as having people present in person at NLS6, we’re open to bringing some keynote presenters in virtually.

So let’s get a discussion going! Tell us what you think, either in the comments here, or by tweeting with the hashtag #mynls6. Have your say by COB Friday 25 May.

 May 16, 2012  Posted by at 10:00 am get involved, program Tagged with: , , ,  24 Responses »
May 142012

The NLS6 Organising Committee met last week to kick off our planning. Here’s what we’re working on at the moment.

Budget and administration

Venues, catering and contracts are being locked down. We’ve been balancing the books to bring you the best possible symposium experience at the lowest possible cost. NLS6 will not cost you the earth, but we will have an earth-shattering program!


Jess and Fiona are looking after the Proposals and Speaker Liaison crew, who are busily preparing a draft call for contributions and working to refine the program model. We have something seriously different in store for you. Start thinking about what you might like to contribute to the NLS6 program!


The Experience team, lead by Alisa and Michelle, are working out the nitty gritty of how they can help you to have a smooth experience as you prepare for your trip to Brisbane, and an awesome time once you get here. They’re going to be bringing you helpful travel information, tips and advice. And they’re also putting together a range of free workshops for NLS6 delegates that will take place the day before the symposium kicks off.


Our Marketing lead Karina is working hard on a marketing plan for the event. She’ll be the one making sure we have good visibility so we can attract a wide range of delegates from different parts of the information professions.


Zaana is working on our sponsorship prospectus and will soon be talking to organisations who’ve already expressed an interest in supporting NLS6.


Our self-proclaimed web monkey Matthias and his co-chair Lisa are working on the symposium website, our proposal submission site and a collaborative space for the committee. They have some pretty cool stuff in the makings so make sure you visit here often.

What’s next?

In keeping with our aim to deliver a very different NLS, in the next few days, you’ll have your first opportunity to input into the direction of the program. Stay tuned for details!

Mar 222012

Thought you’d missed your chance to submit an expression of interest to be part of the NLS6 organising committee?  Think again!

We’ve had more than a few requests to extend the deadline, so we’ve decided to give you an extra week to get an awesome EOI together.

This a great opportunity to have a direct impact on the experience of new professionals on a national scale, so make sure you get your EOI to us by midnight, Friday 30th March to be part of the action.