• 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
Jan 312013

NLS6 is just around the corner, almost time to dust off the suitcase and get ready to head to sunny Brisvegas. So what do you pack? Or if you’re a Brisbane local who can take advantage of having their home comforts at hand, what should you bring to the conference each day?

Well, the best people to ask are your network, those who have done it before and have got the low down on conference essentials.
I turned to Twitter, crowdsourced for suggestions and here’s what my network told me…

A Twitter account and a business card. Twitter allows you to connect with people and will be a fantastic way to catch up with your new connections when NLS6 is over.

While Twitter is a great tool for making connections, having a business card to hand out is a sure fire way to stick in people’s memories. It doesn’t have to be a business card from an organisation either. A card that you have designed with links to your online resume or blog can get people interested in finding out more about you. And if you haven’t got time to get some business cards made up then bring some coloured paper and some pens and had out your details.

Those post-it notes will also come in handy for you to jot down a note reminding you about the person who gave you their card and what you might like to speak to them about in the future.

Ok, some of professional items ticked off. Now for the practical bit!

My network tells me comfy shoes are a must as well as outfits that are going to take you from the symposium to dinner and drinks afterwards. For a great list of what to pack and check out this list of what to pack for a weekend away. While NLS6 is a professional event and is going to provide you with some amazing professional development opportunities as well as inspiration by the bucketload, it’s also important to remember that it’s Brisbane on the weekend. No-one is going to be expecting you to show up in a business suit, which is why the Elsevier NLS6 BBQ has a beach theme. Seeing as you’ll save room in your suitcase by skipping the suit jackets, you can throw some boardies in.

Just remember it’s Brisbane in summer, so yes it is going to be hot (and humid), but it might also be raining (remember the brolly!) The conference location is air-conditioned, so ensure to pack a few layers you can take on and off easily and won’t take up much room in your bag.

And the last two important things to pack? Water and gadget chargers. Water because it’s Brisbane in summer, it’s hot, yes I am repeating myself I know! And gadget chargers because there is nothing worse than being without power when you really want to call,text, email or tweet someone. If you’ve got room throw in some spare chargers too, and as @katiedatwork said, ‘bring a powerboard and you’ll meet lots of new people!’.

For some more tips on conference survival have a look at advice these librarians offer. Conference veterans know what they are talking about.

Conference Survival Tips – 35 Conferences Later

A Library Conference Survival Guide – 20 Tips

So happy packing and safe travels, but before you rush off to start testing out comfy shoes, if you have any other suggestions on what to pack or how to survive, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

Many thanks to those who contributed their survival and packing suggestions – @acrystelle, @katiedatwork, @madradish, @lyndelleg, @SpiroAgnew2012 and @sutherma.

 January 31, 2013  Posted by at 10:30 am planning, travel, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 242013

Let me give it to you straight, Brisbane in February is hot, sometimes really hot and possibly even hot and stormy. But the one constant is the heat. There are some who love nothing better than lying in the summer sun, and while I admire their sunbaking stamina (while hoping they are using SPF30) I prefer to seek out the cool. One of the finest places in Brisbane to keep cool is Southbank, a 10 minute walk from the NLS6 venue, where you can keep cool swimming, having a coffee or soaking up some culture. So at the risk of this post sounding like a Tourism Australia ad, here are some of the best things about Southbank in the summer.

It’s got a beach! Okay, so the beach is man made, but it is still a very nice public lagoon overlooking the Brisbane River. If you squint a little or maybe buy tinted sunnies to change the brown colour of the river to blue you could be in the Maldives. Perhaps. At the very least you will be at a lovely, free, sparkling blue lagoon with lots of shady picnic and BBQ spots surrounding it.

It’s got culture! Including a library(!) and not just any old library, but a truly magnificent one. SLQ is a great spot to keep cool, check out some amazing exhibitions or take advantage of free Wi-Fi. In fact, lining the Brisbane river you can find SLQ, the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA. All right next to each other and all air-conditioned. Wandering in and out of museums, libraries and galleries is a great way to keep cool and see some of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

It’s got food! And drinks too. Southbank has a range of cafes, restaurants and pubs, as well as places to purchase mandatory holiday ice-creams. If you are looking for somewhere to grab a coffee or have a three-course meal then Southbank has you covered and you can spend from a little or a lot to do so.

It’s got movies! Nothing like a darkened cinema and a tub of popcorn when you really want to cool off. For those of us on a budget these cinemas are cheap as well, with ticket prices under $10.

It’s beautiful! It is a really, really pretty precinct to wander around especially in the evening when the mercury falls. There are lots of scenic running tracks if you are feeling energetic or you can just amble by the river and get a good look at the city.  Southbank is the kind of place where you can spend an hour, an evening or a whole day. In fact in the evenings following the official NLS6 program, Southbank is ideal and easy to get to by popping over the Goodwill Bridge and have a few coldies with those you’ll meet.

So in the spirit of the cheesy tourist speak that has littered this post I think during NLS6 when your fellow delegates tweet to find out “Where the bloody hell are you?”, the answer will be easy – Southbank.

For more information, check out the websites listed in the pocket guide developed by the Experience team. Check out ideas for things to do in and around Brisbane, where to find wi-fi and look for the closest pharmacy to your accommodation for those emergency band aids. Download your copy.

 January 24, 2013  Posted by at 10:30 am out and about, planning, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 202012
Enter the New Librarians' Symposium Competition

Enter the New Librarians’ Symposium Competition

Enter without knocking / New Librarian / Symposium / Competition.

Did you know you could win up to $1000 for your NLS6 travel and accommodation? The New Librarians Symposium (NLS6) is generously offering these bursaries, and the competition is being run by New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC).

How do I enter? All you need to do is express how the bursary could help you to “be different” (just like the conference theme!). Plus, if you look at the word “different” over and over again you’ll get to experience jamais vu, a phenomenon where a repeated word will begin to look alien – different different different different different different different different– and then you get to rediscover it all over again!

Terms and conditions

You can enter if you’re an ALIA personal member who has graduated from an ALIA recognised course in the past 5 years, or if you’re currently studying an ALIA recognised course. This bursary is for people who wouldn’t otherwise receive funding from their organisation to attend the conference. If you have assisted in the organisation of the conference unfortunately you’re ineligible to enter.

Some inspiration for your entry

NLS caters to attendees across the information professions – so you could make a graph of different information roles (and show where you fit into this, in a different way of course), or create a tag cloud with different role types or skills.

Of course you can explore the theme of “being different” in any way that suits you. As the format is open there are so many options – you could film your very own interpretive dance, make music by clapping books together, tweet, create a photo essay, draw something on a window with spray-on snow, pop bubble wrap to the sound of a library anthem, use your book cart to create a giant Art Attack style work by rolling the wheels in maple syrup or mow the NLS6 logo into your library’s lawn (maybe check with your boss about that one!), create a search string about difference and the conference… etcetera! Remember that you get to include a rationale for your entry in the application form, so if you create an esoteric, artistic or short tweet work, that you’ll be able to explain it. You don’t need a hashtag for tweeted entries so you have even more characters available!

Remember to confirm your entry by filling in the form! (apologies for the incorrect date on the form – you really do have till 15 January 2013 to enter).

Sample entry

Here’s a sample entry, a book spine poem on the theme of the benefit of difference. I’m not eligible to enter, but in a different universe, my entry would explain that I focused on searchlight intelligence (linking different concepts) and how to engage new audiences with library resources. Of course I would learn more about this at NLS6!

Be someone different …be yourself / be different… /

…how to think differently / unique value / be yourself little penguin / unique soul.

Book spine poem on the theme of “difference” as a sample entry

Book spine poem on the theme of “difference” as a sample entry

We’ve extended the deadline, so you now have till 15 January 2013 to enter. If you have any questions feel free to contact the New Generation Advisory Committee via @aliangac or aliangac [AT] gmail.com

Happy creating!

Sonja Barfoed, @SonjaBarfoed Committee member of ALIA NGAC @aliangac

 December 20, 2012  Posted by at 10:43 am planning, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Nov 292012

Preceding NLS6 is a full day of workshops on Saturday February 9th 2013, covering a wide array of topics, from leadership to research, from copyright to social media, from professional identity to design thinking.

With so many topics, how do you choose? Do yourself a favour and sit down to consider your options rather than leave it crazily until the last minute to make your decision.

Head to the program page of the website. Use the ‘Switch Schedule’ filter to switch from Symposium to Workshops view. There’s six streams of workshops. Click on a session title to find out more about each workshop’s content.

Making choices #1

First up, choose between:

  1. a full day option – now you have narrowed down to two choices; or
  2. two half day options – now you have narrowed to two workshops from a line-up of four (morning) and four (afternoon).

A full day gives you a whole day to explore a topic, bond with the other participants, get practical experience and immerse yourself in topic. By contrast, the half-day workshops give you a chance to try your hand at two completely different topics.

Now you’ve narrowed your choices, it should be easier to make a decision right?

Making choices #2

Reflect on why are you coming to NLS6. Sure, there will be plenty of reasons why you’re joining us, but focus on your core reason.

Are you focused on strengthening your professional identity? Are you coming to expand your technical skills? Are you exploring new ways of looking at social media?

Pick a topic that scares you. Pick a topic that stretches you. Pick a topic that affirms why you do what you.

If you could have any job in the world, which workshop topic(s) would help you achieve it?

Still indecisive?

We didn’t promise to make it easy to choose, because we did promise you that this symposium would Be Different. The workshops will all be awesome. We’ll be showcasing the workshops over the coming weeks, so if you really can’t decide right away, then make sure you stay tuned to find out more.

 November 29, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am planning, program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Nov 162012

Handy information in your pocket. That’s what you want in a great travel app, isn’t it? Information to keep you moving, help make the most of an experience in a new place or assist with planning. I’m also a stickler for deriving the most value out of each dollar I spend on travel.

On my recent trip overseas I paid attention to the apps I used most often while on the go. The travel apps listed below are my top 5. These are the ones I referred to frequently for answers and tips, so you know these have been road-tested.

1. Evernote (free) – Okay, not travel specific but its versatility meant I could capture signs and directions to my iPhone, my immediate responses and reactions to experiences, which made for easier reflective writing later. After a day at the symposium, no doubt you’ll have invitations to social and networking opportunities in the evenings, so as soon as an idea strikes during the day, record it. You can return to it when you have the time. Rest easier knowing there’s no need to be distracted from your evening conversation because you’re too busy trying to remember what you thought about a discussion, a presentation or comment.

2. Urbanspoon (free) – By far the easiest way I found places to have brekky, lunch or dinner. (Recommendations from locals help also). But if you’re unfamiliar of a city and not sure what’s around the corner from your accommodation, Urbanspoon can help with places near to you, provide indications of price and what others thought about it.

3. Tripadvisor (free) – I don’t book accommodation without checking out reviews first on Tripadvisor. Get reviews and photos from real people on accommodation and attractions around the area. I used Tripadvisor to find popular attractions, and those in and around the neighbourhood I was staying. There’s also a website version, which I actually use most often. I tend to cross check reviews with another handy website – booking.com (there’s an app for that too!).

4. Lonely Planet City Guide ($4.49) – A small price but I wasn’t without a Lonely Planet City Guide on my recent trip. City Guides have essential information for your destination – information about getting around, as well as attractions and walking tours for exploring. I found the City Guide apps helped with ideas for what to do, where things were and planning my sight-seeing. Once downloaded, there are no additional data charges to access the content, great for roaming around.

5. Virgin Australia Flight Specials (free) – This one is probably the most useful airline app I’ve come across so far. Easy search for fares, you can even set up alerts to remind you to grab sale fares for the route to Brisbane or for your favourite destinations. Keep up to date with flight status, manage your booking and check-in for your flight. It’s one jam-packed app!

Other apps specific to Brisbane you can check out are: –

  • South Bank Pocket Guide (free)
  • Airtrain (free)
  • Black and White Cabs (free)
  • Yellow Cabs Brisbane (free)
  • QAGOMA – Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (free)

The Experience team are here to support your planning for your NLS6. Get to know our team members to spot them at the symposium!
And remember, if you have any questions for the Experience team, please send your emails to experience@newlibrarianssymposium.com.

 November 16, 2012  Posted by at 12:00 pm planning, travel, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Nov 142012

So, you want to go to NLS6 but your organisation can’t fund you and those new shoes were just too tempting. Don’t despair…

The New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC) is running a competition to win a bursary towards part of your travel and/or accommodation costs to attend the ALIA 6th New Librarians Symposium (NLS6), held in Brisbane from 9-12 February 2013.

The competition is open to presenters and non-presenters just wanting to go to 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.

Entering is simple. 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’.

NLS6 is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the library profession, meet other new professionals and be inspired as you set out in your career.

We want lots of entries, so get thinking!

Check out the entry form for competition details.

Any questions contact Danielle or Kate at aliangac@gmail.com

 November 14, 2012  Posted by at 1:00 pm planning, your nls6 Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Nov 012012

By now you have most likely seen our awesome keynotes and workshops and are really getting excited about attending NLS6 in February next year! But wait, what is that you say? You haven’t got two bobs to rub together to go to Brisbane and to pay for your own registration? So have you read about our helpful hints in putting a case for your employer and getting your organisation to pay for your attendance? How about the one about self-funding ideas? Got it all but still want more ideas? Well luckily we do have a few more up our sleeves:

The NGAC Travel Bursary – A competition

The New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC) is offering travel financial support to students of ALIA-recognised LIS course and new graduates (ALIA members) who would otherwise not receive funding from their organisations. The competition is open to everyone except members of the NLS6 organising committee and NGAC. For more information, please download the NGAC_NLS6 Competition Application. Competition ends 10 December 2012.

The QUT Information Professional Alumni Bursary – A competition

The Ian Maddox Memorial Bursary is awarded to QUT alumni or current QUT students of library and information studies; information management; or teacher librarianship courses. More information on eligibility and how to apply is contained in the Nomination form (505KB, PDF) and on QUT’s Information Professional Alumni Chapter website. Competition ends 28 November 2012.

LINC Tasmania – The Sir John Morris Memorial Trust Fund

For those information professionals living in Tasmania you may be eligible to get funding from LINC Tasmania via the Sir John Morris Memorial Trust Fund. I have applied for this last year to attend NLS5 and was lucky enough to be granted part of my costs (airfare, registration and accommodation). Submit application by 29 November 2012.

Do you know of any other grants, competitions or awards in your State or Territory? Let us know in the comments!


 November 1, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am accommodation, planning, travel Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 312012

As a student or new graduate, there are some obvious personal benefits to attending NLS6 :

  • contribute to your own professional development
  • build your professional networks with other students, new graduates and potential managers (both Australians and Kiwis)
  • get enthused about your profession and have an amazing few days with the future faces of our industry

But how do you convince your boss? We have put together some resources to help you convince your employer that it is a worthwhile investment to support you to attend NLS6.

To secure funding from your employer you need first to do some research and put forward a watertight case that will prove it is in the interests of your organisation that you attend NLS6.

Mylee Joseph has some fantastic tips and leading questions to get you started Making a Case for Attending a Conference.

1. Research your organisation’s policies/procedures
What do you need to do to apply? Even if there isn’t a formal application process, you are more likely to succeed if you put in a formal application.

2. Research NLS
Look through the program and look for papers that are relevant to your role and/or your library.  Think about it from your managers perspective. Can you relate anything back to your own role/library.

3. What can you give back?
Few people are given Professional development funding without promising something in return. Don’t assume you can’t offer anything because you are in an entry level role – a fresh perspective can be invaluable.
Presentations to staff and reports on what you have learnt are often suggested or required, but think about what small project you could carry out that would have practical results:
– Build a wordpress site for your library after going to Kathryn Greenhill’s workshop
– Check your library’s copyright compliance after attending Ellen Broad’s workshop
– Investigate how your library could implement a virtual storytime with Michelle Collins and Regine Karantzas

4. Plan and budget
Draw up an approximate budget of what it will cost to attend NLS6: registration, accommodation, travel, food, taxis to/from airport. Check out the deals we have arranged and see if there are any sales online for nearby accommodation or travel.

ALA have provided a useful sample memo for attending conferences.  You can use this as inspiration or a base and amend this as needed to make your case to attend NLS6 (make sure you adjust it to NLS6 and to your own application). Access in Google Docs here.

See your application as a negotiation process. If your manager can’t justify funding your entire NLS6 application, see if they can pay a section or even just give you conference leave (instead of annual leave) while you fund yourself. Recognise that you may have to put in some extra work outside of work hours to get your application ready and on your return fulfilling all those promises you made to get funding/leave.

Give it a go!
Many libraries will have a budget for staff professional development and it is always worth trying, there might be a bit left over that needs to be spent before the end of 2012!

Don’t lose hope. Putting in an application to attend NLS6 shows your managers that you are eager to develop your career and attend events and the next time you apply for something you might be successful.

Check out our other posts on tips for self funding and other funding possibilities.

 October 31, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am planning, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 192012

eBooks. It seems everyone has something to say about them. Why do eBooks matter to libraries?  Should librarians in fact be breaking up with eBooks? While talk of eBooks is surely going to be happening over coffees at NLS6, perhaps we will be crying over their terrible treatment of us after sinking a few beers, one thing is certain. No matter what the format, there are books that make us laugh, books that make us cry and books that inspire us to do something. So while there is no doubt talking about eBooks with your peers at NLS could help you understand this complex issue, right now let’s just talk books, in particular books about Brisbane.

When I first moved to Brisbane someone gave me a copy of He Died with a Falafel in His Hand, John Birmingham’s epic house-sharing novel, particularly appropriate as I was living in a grungy group house at the time. This hilarious book and the craziness it details was my first introduction to the wonderful land of Brisbane literature and since then I have become a huge fan of many authors that write about this city. It was Nick Earls stories about living in the inner city in novels like Zigzag Street and Bachelor Kisses that made me explore my neighbourhood, and Rebecca Sparrow’s The Girl Most Likely made a whole new set of Brisbane suburbs seem cool. For a completely different take on Brisbane I stepped back in time with David Malouf’s Johnno which gave me a new insight into Brisbane and its history.

Brisbane, Brisneyland, Brisvegas, however you want to refer to it there is a book out there that will capture your heart and let you unlock a little piece of the city. A book that will make you feel like you are living in the sub-tropical heat with frangipani blooming outside your window as you sip, well, you get the idea.

So before you come to NLS6 and dive into discussions about eBooks, books and every other kind of resource libraries have to offer (including the librarians!) take some time to find a book about Brisbane that inspires you to have a look around another part of the city before or after the symposium. If you need some inspiration take a look at this list of books about Brisbane. And when you get here take some time to do the Albert St Literary walk in the city, this is an easy walk from NLS6 HQ,  it lets you see what other famous authors think about Brisbane, and best of all it’s free!

If you have any recommendations about books that explore Brisbane, please add a comment below and I look forward to speaking with you at NLS6 after you have delved into Brisbane fiction on whichever platform you choose.

Disclaimer: While NLS6 is promising to be a hell of a good time we cannot promise that it will live up to the debauchery portrayed in books such as He Died with a Falafel in His Hand, after all information professionals are a staid and serious lot aren’t we??? 😉

 October 19, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am out and about, planning Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 182012

Well we might have been quiet lately but rest assured we will be no longer! The NLS6 organising committee have been VERY busy behind the scene indeed. Let’s see, there’s the Proposal Team who have been overworked with the difficult job of choosing which speaker proposals are in or out; the Experience Team, preparing to create the best symposium experience ever for all of you potential delegates; and the Web Team, who are gearing up and getting the website ready for the opening of registrations – not long to go now! Oh, and we mustn’t forget the coming revelation of our awesome keynotes. We are very excited indeed! And we can’t wait to reveal them to you – very, very soon.


 September 18, 2012  Posted by at 1:11 pm committee, planning Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »