• 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 302013
 

This week’s topic up for discussion is practitioner research. Do practitioners have a role in contributing to research? How do practitioners do research? Katherine Howard gives a little introduction to the topic and the workshop – ‘Research for practitioners: getting started and getting supported’. In this workshop, experienced researchers will answer your questions and help turn your ideas into plans. Katherine answers the question that simmers at the back of the minds of practitioners in this profession – I’m a librarian/ archivist/ other information professional. Why should I do research?

Ever heard people say things along the lines of “I wish I’d learnt THAT in Library School” or “Those lecturer-type people don’t have a clue what it’s like to be a librarian/archivist/other information professional today.” Yes?  Well, that’s where you come in!!

Practitioner research is vital for a healthy, growing profession.  Can you imagine if the medical profession never wrote up clinical studies about their patients? Or if engineers didn’t advise their peers about how materials react differently in practical applications? It’s the same for the information professional.  The information sector has seen and continues to see a massive amount of change, and it is those at the ‘coal-face’ who see and experience it first-hand. Decision makers in the workplace need to base their future strategies and actions on evidence and  ‘lecturer-types’ need analytical results to better prepare each new cohort of graduates for the ever-changing information sector. The research that practitioners do (and publish!) plays a big role.  Oh, and a publication or two looks great on the CV, and can set you apart from other applicants as you develop your career.  It shows that you are invested in your profession.

Ok, but how do I actually DO research in my workplace?

I’m glad you asked!

Members of the ALIA Research Committee are conducting a workshop at NLS6 that will present the key elements of a research project. They will also cover the importance of a research proposal, and what you need to include to make yours shine.

If you have ideas about the workshop, feel free to leave a comment about what you would like to know more about, and we’ll try to incorporate it.

Grab your spot in this workshop now. Don’t miss out!

 January 30, 2013  Posted by at 10:30 am program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 282013
 

So you’ve just qualified as a library technician – what now? Do you want to learn about career options? Take on some professional development? Network with others in the same situation as yourself?

The 6th New Librarians Symposium (NLS6) can help you do all of this, and the great thing is, the conference is not just for librarians (despite the misleading conference title). Library technicians are more than welcome to attend and I believe they should. Why? Library technicians often have a unique perspective on the industry, and it would be great to see their fresh ideas and energy at the symposium.

Being a new graduate can be tough no matter which course you have graduated from, and events like the NLS6 can help technicians in so many ways. You can find out about the issues that are confronting the libraries at large, get unique perspectives from industry leaders and attend workshops that give you important workplace skills. Who knows it might even give you an edge answering a question in an interview or taking on a new project at work.

I’d love to see lots of new graduates at the conference, whatever course you have graduated from, and it’s not too late to register (ends 8th February)! Look forward to seeing you all there!

 

Claire has always been passionate about libraries and library work. She qualified as a library technician after leaving high school in 1997. Claire has held library assistant and library technician positions in academic, public, special and school libraries.

In 2011 she was the Social and Tours co-ordinator for the Back to Basics National Library and Information Technicians conference held in September. After graduating at the end of 2011 with a Graduate Diploma of Science (Information Services), Claire is currently working as Assistant Branch Librarian at Osborne Park Public Library. Interests outside work include sailing, scrapbooking and barracking for the Dockers :). She is also delivering a presentation  titled: ‘Know thy technician: examining working relationships between librarians and library technicians’ on the NLS6 showcase session.

Jan 272013
 

I feel like a fraud. I’m presenting at NLS6 and I’m still in the process of studying my Grad Dip in Library and Information Studies. It may be that I’m a very convincing fraud or that the skills I gained from my previous industry had put me in good stead for my new career choice. I like to think it is the latter.

I came from the museum industry and to be honest the leap from museums to libraries wasn’t huge but if you have come from the police like my, “We’re not from around here” co-presenter Raylene Jensen, the leap was far greater. She probably has better conflict management skills than I do.  However, my project management skills have enabled me to step into a temporary role of program development officer for the Gold Coast Library Services. Furthermore, the network of contacts from the arts and cultural industries has meant that I have been able to co-ordinate exhibitions and performance in libraries.

So, if you are coming to NLS as an “outsider” or a new graduate be aware that there is a need for your skills, be they from business, sporting, arts or elsewhere. Raylene and I will be talking about the benefits of coming from other industries and not being afraid to take chances in your new career choice.

 

Sophie Gow has a background in museum curatorship and event organisation, working for not for profit arts organisations and the peak industry body for museums and galleries in Queensland.  After successfully getting a job as a library assistant for Gold Coast Libraries the natural progression was to take over the library service. Sophie is currently embarking on her Grad Dip in Library Studies, which in many ways is not such a leap from museum management.

 

 

 January 27, 2013  Posted by at 10:00 am program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 202013
 

Hmm…New Librarian Symposium that sounds like an interesting conference but wait I cannot attend because I am just a library technician…

Sounds familiar to you?  I am here to tell you that NLS6 is for everyone.  Who am I? I was a library technician and I really wish that I attended more conferences and symposiums earlier on in my career as an information professional instead of thinking I could not attend because I thought I was not a qualified librarian.

NLS6 is different to other conferences as it is not just focused on issues affecting libraries, it expands beyond that.   We have sessions on how to build a professional online identity, how to find balance in your life and how to make your dreams a reality.

Throughout the symposium, there will be networking opportunities. For example, there will be a game where all delegates are encouraged to meet new faces and then add the interaction to the butcher paper wall.  Sounds cool doesn’t it? Want to know more then come along to NLS6 and join in the fun. You’ll be surprised at how many library technicians you might actually meet!

 January 20, 2013  Posted by at 1:09 pm program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 182013
 

With just a few weeks to go before we kick-start our awesome Symposium, we are very excited to announce our final keynote speaker – Sue Gardner.

Sue is the current Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia. She joined the foundation in 2007 and since then has increased the foundation’s readership and has raised $23 million in revenue. She was especially noted in the Forbes magazine as the person who “led the Wikipedia blackout in protest against SOPA” in 2012. Furthermore, in that year she was ranked as the 70th most powerful woman in the world!

A veteran journalist, she previously led the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation‘s website and online news outlets before joining Wikimedia.

So NLS6 delegates and attendees, start thinking about all the questions you want to ask Sue. In the meantime, we invite you to read her blog and follow her on Twitter @SuePGardner.

Sue, we are looking forward to meeting you at NLS6 in Brisbane in February 2013.

 January 18, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am program Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 172013
 

This week’s topic up for discussion is resilience. A little introduction and insight into the workshop – ‘Change is hard for everyone, so start with yourself’ – has been kindly contributed by the facilitator, Jenica Rogers. Jenica will guide participants through self-assessments about change, discuss strategies for building personal acceptance of both small and radical change, and examine some reasons why we resist the new and different. Jenica shares how a workshop about a tough subject like resilience comes together….

When discussing the details of my participation in NLS6, the symposium organising team asked that I give two workshops: one on leadership, and one on resilience. I said yes, immediately, for two different reasons. First, I’ve done leadership workshops before for librarians, and they’re fun and it’s in my wheelhouse and Yes! And second, resilience and change management are the kind of things that I think the most successful among us handle with natural aplomb, but which we *all* need, natural or no, so Yes!

Why resilience? Because the internet and its ubiquity changed the information landscape irrevocably, and libraries and librarians have entered a cycle of constant change as we learn what those changes mean for us. Because the jobs that some of us thought we’d have don’t exist anymore. Because it’s not going to slow down. And because, like death and taxes, change is inevitable. And as committed information professionals, we all want to be able to respond to change with grace, with fluidity, and with energy. Instead, many of us, and those we work with, respond to change with fear, with resistance, or with paralysis. We need less fear, in ourselves and in our libraries, and more resilience.

So for all of those reasons, I said YES! Except I’ve never delivered any formal content on resilience before. (Now what?)

The answer to “now what?” is easy: I’m an academic library administrator. When faced with an interesting challenge, I do research, and I start thinking.
On the formal learning side, I’ve been reading books, making the most of my Harvard Business Review online subscription (search for “resilience”), and scouring the web, both for library and non-library literature to inspire and inform me. One of the unexpected learning moments for me was that there are actual psychological and neurological drivers to resilience and our ability to rebound from traumatic change. On the one hand, of course there are. On the other hand, hey, neat. But what does that say about our expectation that everyone will just roll with change and come out the other side in great shape? Is the science telling us that our expectations are actually impossible? And what can we do about reconciling those two things? How do we prepare, plan, implement, and cope in meaningful ways, as leaders, coworkers, and employees when some of us are hard-wired to respond differently?

On the self-reflection side, this couldn’t have been more appropriately timed. The second half of 2012 was hard for me, professionally — I did big stuff outside my own place of work (Google Jenica Rogers and American Chemical Society), to big effect. I also stalled out at my own library, spinning my wheels while I waited to see what the impact would be of a big, looming, institutional change (Google SUNY Potsdam and systemness). At the same time, a big retirement wave culminated and now 31% of my faculty are “new” librarians. That’s a lot of change for any team, and requires serious resilience. As the Director, my responsibility is for managing it and fostering it and supporting it… not the best time for me to be feeling a bit battered, myself. So a little self-reflection about resilience and how we think about change were well-timed. It’s providing me with excellent fodder for discussion, examples, and case studies to share at the workshop!

So, I’ve learned a lot, and hope to spark some insight in those I get to talk with. Workshops are more than presentations, they’re an opportunity to engage with the professionals there “on the stage” and with our peers. To take challenging ideas and deconstruct them until we can see all the sides. To learn what’s worked for others, and to scribble down ideas about what might work for us. I hope to offer all of that to you as we talk about, learn about, and brainstorm about resilience in this workshop.

I still have four weeks left to prepare — any suggestions on aspects you’d like to see me explore before I come and share what I’ve learned? Please share in the comments.

Register now and secure your spot in Jenica’s workshop.

 January 17, 2013  Posted by at 10:30 am program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 162013
 

Last year we asked you to put your thinking caps on for questions for your keynote speakers. We received a range of interesting & thought-provoking questions, and here’s what our fabulous keynote speaker Jenica Rogers, Director of Libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam, had to say in response. You’d be better ready for some interesting conversations with her at NLS6, she wants to know more from you as well!

What do you know about the LIS scene in Australia? What are you keen to find out?

To be brutally honest, I know very, very little about libraries and librarianship in Australia, and intend to spend the next month doing some research and asking questions of a few of my online friends. That means that I’m seriously eager to learn everything about you all — what’s the same, and what’s different? I’m looking forward to conversations that make me think about divergent perspectives, and interactions that make me think it’s a very small world after all.

Did being named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2009 change your life in any way?

2009 was a hell of a year for me. I got the Mover & Shaker award, I applied for and was granted tenure and promotion to Associate Librarian rank, I applied for, interviewed for, and accepted the position of Director of Libraries, I had shoulder surgery and took 5 weeks off work, I went on my first European vacation as an adult, and I divorced my first husband. Given that pile of eventful change and disruption, it’s very hard for me to figure out which pieces affected me in which ways. It was simply a year of change, a year of growth, and a year of strong emotions. Looking back at the last three years, though, I’d say that my job title has far more professional impact than the M&S award does, for librarians — but the M&S award means more to non-librarians who may not understand our professional structures as clearly. I think it signals accomplishment to external audiences in an interesting way.

Were you offered different opportunities as a result?

I was already doggedly chasing the opportunities I wanted when the award came through, and it may be that it was a factor in getting them. I don’t know how to separate my own choices and impacts from what the award added, but I haven’t ever regretted that my friends and colleagues nominated me.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you as a student/new grad?

You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be good. Good is good enough to put yourself out there, and good is enough to start with, and good is enough build on. Just because we as a profession tend toward perfect — perfectly designed policies, systems that do precisely what we expect them to, MARC — doesn’t mean every thing and every person has to be perfect.

Good is good enough. If I’d realized that sooner, I’d have tried more things more often and more quickly, and I would have worried less about my own qualifications for things I wanted to do or be.

What role have mentors played in your professional development?

I’ve learned so very much from my mentors. In my experience, librarianship is a career in which you get educational training that teaches the basic principles of the field and the culture of the profession, and then you take that framework and learn absolutely everything you really need to know on the job. And you learn from your colleagues, from your supervisors, from your employees, from your users… and you learn both good and bad. All of those people are mentors, some explicit and some implicit, but they’re crucial.

In my experience, we learn by watching, we learn by listening, and we learn by being told. Explicit mentors are people who are willing to tell while you watch and listen, and implicit ones are those you just watch and listen to, who don’t know they’re telling. And there’s also amazing learning to be had from watching things go badly, people act thoughtlessly, respond poorly, so while we might not want to call that a mentoring relationship, it’s certainly an avenue for learning.

I also had the astounding luck of having three different supervisors who knew I wanted a leadership role and were willing to help me work at building that skill set — but I also know that my choice to tell them I wanted a leadership role gave them the opportunity to mentor me toward one.

How has career planning made a difference in your professional life?

My friend Jason Griffey once said to me that my career skyrocketed as it did because of the career choices I made, and he’s absolutely right. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was planning — but I was choosing.

My first job was a holistic technical services librarian position at a very small library. There, straight out of grad school, I learned cataloging, acquisitions, collection development, serials, and weeding — as well as staff management — because in a very small library your job is a lot of things.

I also worked part time as a consultant for a local regional library system that served public as well as academic libraries, and I learned about how different kinds and sizes of libraries really functioned in the world, which was incredibly useful for me to know.

All of that positioned me very well for my first job at SUNY Potsdam — cataloging and collection development librarian — and for my changing job responsibilities as I became Coordinator of Collection Development.  My choice to move to a small regional SUNY school (instead of somewhere larger, more prestigious, more geographically advantageous, etc) meant that I was a solid and known candidate when our Director retired in 2008.

If I’d chosen a different route for myself, I would certainly not have been a library director at age 33. But planning? That’s overstating my forethought. More important, I think, is knowing what I wanted out of my career and putting myself in places where I could get that.  (Griffey’s also right when he says that giving me organizational power is like giving Galadriel the One Ring, but that’s another story.)

What advice can you give for a new grad wanting to stand out from all the other job applicants?

DO STUFF, and then write about it meaningfully.

Every applicant in our job pools in the US has an undergraduate and graduate degree. Some have other advanced degrees, and certificates, and those are interesting — they tell us something about who the candidate is — but what I like more is evidence of success and skill. Library internships. Volunteer work and part time jobs in libraries. Do that stuff, and list it all in meaningful ways. And if your circumstances prevent you from doing more than getting the degree, tell me about those circumstances, too. Did you work at a book store? Describe it in library terms — were you assisting customers with reader’s advisory, or buying materials to suit the local population? Or maybe you built the schedule for the 23 part time employees at the store — tell us that, because, trust me, we know what kind of skill goes into doing a job like that. Have you worked in marketing? Teaching? Copyediting? Science lab assistant? Human resources? Graphic design? Accounting? Any customer service job?

Whatever it is that you’ve done in your life, spin it toward the skills you learned there and how you hope to bring them (along with your education, interest, and library experience) to the table as a new professional.

You are more than your degree — everyone has that — so tell me about you, and why we want to hire you. But remember: always be professional about it. I’m sure there’s a professionally appropriate way to write about any job… find it, and impress me.

 January 16, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am program Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jan 152013
 

Last year we asked for your curly questions for our keynotes, and we’re launching ourselves back into the build-up to NLS6 with their answers. We put your questions to Ruth Kneale, our wonderful keynote who wrote You Don’t Look Like a Librarian! based on her original blog started in 2002. Here’s what she had to say. You might just find yourselves with a raft more questions to ask her when you meet her in Brisbane in February 2013, as it is not long to go now.

What do you know about the LIS scene in Australia? What are you keen to find out?

Not very much, and what I do know is through the eyes of my friends who live here. I’d love to find out more about how special libraries are handled (I know there’s a chapter in SLA for the area but not much more – at least not yet!) and I’d love to learn more about how ALIA deals with a geographically dispersed membership.

Do you still get told that “you don’t look like a librarian”?

Oh, yeah. Recently (December 21st) at a postal service store, as a matter of fact. I was shipping a box of signed copies of my book out, and the guy behind the counter saw the label. He asked about it, I told him it was a book I had written, and he then said “can’t be – you don’t….hang on a second…” I had to laugh!

What is your favourite response to the statement “but you don’t look like a librarian”?

To be honest, I like to turn it around to the asker – “so what does a librarian look like, then?”  it often leads to a follow-on statement, “well, I didn’t know that!” It can really be a great lead-in to a conversation that changes that person’s perspective of libraries and librarians. (Educate and inform, I always say!)

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you as a student/new grad?

That library school would not teach you everything you need to know to be a good librarian.

What role have mentors played in your professional development?

My grad school adviser and mentor, Dr. Charley Seavey, convinced me to stay in grad school when I ran up against some philosophy classes that were difficult for me. He kept me grounded and sane throughout library school, letting me vent and discuss and learn in his office, and I am forever grateful to him for it. We’ve stayed in touch over the intervening years.

A couple of years after I graduated, I met someone who became my mentor within SLA, Stephen Abram. He encouraged me to get more involved with the association, and pursue my interest in the portrayal of librarians in popular culture. He also reminded me that it’s OK – even encouraged – to have fun at a conference!

Thanks to these two (and a host of others), I took the book-writing plunge, got more involved with SLA, and am now a Fellow pondering another book.

How has career planning made a difference in your professional life?

Well, the quick answer is, it got me where I am today, and I love my job, so it made a pretty big difference!

A longer answer is that it will definitely be an advantage to your career if you know what you want to be when you grow up. I’m not saying you have to know right now this very instant, but having some idea will allow you to take those steps when they appear in front of you. Early on is a good time to try things, and I do recommend that if you’re not sure that a particular path is the right one for you – but it’s always good to have “where do I want to be in five years?” lurking in the back of your mind. Talk to folks as you go along – never be afraid to ask “If I want to get into this branch/field/job, what would you recommend I do?” Take advantage of your professors in school, your bosses at your workplace, and fellow members of your associations. They are invaluable sources of career advice!

What advice can you give for a new grad wanting to stand out from all the other job applicants?

Be confident in yourself. Don’t be arrogant, but be confident. And keep trying! You will fail. Accept it, learn from it, and try again.

 

 January 15, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am program Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 142013
 

Ryan Donahue image We’re thrilled to begin the new year off with the introduction of our sixth keynote speaker for NLS6 – Ryan Donahue, senior information systems developer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ryan Donahue is super interested in messy cultural data. In his present role at the Met, Ryan is working on heaps of messy data problems, including enterprise data integration, linked data, emerging cultural heritage data standards, and standardized data for scholarly publications.

Previously, Ryan worked for the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York, where he managed the George Eastman House website, collections management system, digital asset management system and various in-gallery interactives. He was also involved in crafting strategies for digital collecting, collection dissemination and the overall IT infrastructure.

When we asked Ryan, what does it mean to you to ‘be different’, this was his response :

Being different is about taking full advantage of the paradigm shift of the digital turn. It’s an opportunity to take an objective look back at the cultural sector and assess our actual successes and failures. It’s also about reassessing the boundaries between Museums, Libraries and Archives in the digital world, and how we can best position ourselves in collaboration to tackle the mighty challenges of digital preservation looming on the horizon.

So folks, your mission now is to follow Ryan on Twitter (you’ll find him online @RyanD), and start planning all the questions you want to ask him, like what the heck is “messy cultural data” and how do we make sense of it.

Ryan, we’re really looking forward to seeing you next month at NLS6 in Brisbane.

 January 14, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am program Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 132013
 

Can’t make it to NLS6? You can still come to a workshop and the Symposium barbecue!

Workshops

We have opened up registrations for half and full day workshops for people who are not attending NLS6. These workshops will take place on Saturday 9 February (the day before the Symposium starts). While our workshops are geared towards new graduates, the topics are of broader appeal. Our facilitators are experts in their fields, both in Australia and abroad, and the workshops focus on some of the key issues for the information professions right now. Whether you’re a new grad who can’t make it to the whole Symposium or a more experienced information professional looking to kick start your professional development for 2013, we have something to offer you!

Our workshops will cover topics such as leadership, resilience, copyright, research in practice, and professional identity. Check out the full program to see what’s on offer.

Tickets to NLS6 workshops are a steal! We have priced these workshops to sell out and you simply won’t get access to this calibre of speakers anywhere else at these prices.

Half day workshop:

  • Student: $35
  • Standard: $45

Full day workshop:

  • Student: $65
  • Standard: $95

If you are finding it hard to choose a topic, we have a few tips to help you make that right decision.

Made your decision? Then register now! The number of workshop places available to people not attending the full Symposium are extremely limited, so get in quick!

Barbecue

Are you coming to Brisbane for Information Online? Are you a local who would like to take advantage of a great networking opportunity? You can buy a ticket to the NLS6 barbecue (our version of the traditional conference dinner) for just $18. This is a fantastic opportunity to network with new graduates, seasoned professionals, and our awesome speakers. The BBQ will be held from 5.30pm on Monday 11 February at QUT Gardens Point campus. Register now!

 January 13, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »