• 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
Dec 052012
 

Thought about how to present yourself as an information professional lately?

Today, we’re likely to be entities in ourselves. We’re not going to be with the one employer our entire career. A thoughtful and, dare I say it, strategic approach is required to build an identity (and brand) so that others in the profession and our professional networks or communities, may know who we are and what we (can) bring to the profession.

The terms ‘brand’ and ‘identity’ tend to be used synonymously when discussing or providing advice on building and managing a personal brand. I invite those keen to learn more to seek their own understandings of these terms. I may stir the pot here by saying they’re two different things.
Please, ponder it.

Building a professional identity doesn’t happen overnight. I’d go a far as saying we will constantly be shaping our professional identities. It’s not just about setting up a Twitter handle or Linkedin profile. I guess you can think of your professional identity as what is uniquely you as an information professional. What do you bring? Try thinking about your professional identity as a piece of a giant puzzle, this being the picture of the profession’s skills, knowledge and expertise. Okay, so you’re not going to know all of this straight away as a newbie to the profession. And I’m just putting ideas on the table here. But you may be eager to share your thoughts, reactions and ideas in the profession. That’s great! Different experiences provide a valuable source – alternative perspectives and understanding. Sharing your fresh thinking about LIS issues shed light on new knowledge, ways of doing things and approaches to challenges.

A professional identity is communicated via a brand, made up of reputation, identity and professional relationships. A brand is like a storefront. It encapsulates what it is you’d like others to see as your contribution, your piece of the puzzle. Communicating your identity takes place in the connections you develop and the contribution you make to your professional network of peers. You might have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a blog, a Linkedin profile, may pin stuff on Pinterest or display your presentations on Slideshare. It is important to consider how all of these channels are presented, and how they can consistently communicate your professional identity.

The ‘Building and managing your professional identity’ workshop at NLS6 with Matthias Liffers and myself will provoke thought and discussion around the drivers for being in the online space and provide an opportunity to fine tune the use of professional networking tools.

Now try thinking about how your professional networking tools, what you’ve achieved and what you’re currently doing in your job or in the profession could come together and be presented on one website. Take it a step further. Show potential employers that you can create a web presence and build your own professional “home” site. Get your hands dirty with a full-day WordPress workshop presented by Kathryn Greenhill.

Participants have a little homework to do before the workshop. Kathryn explains this in a short video and it’s as hard as ordering a book through Amazon.com and as expensive as buying a cup of coffee a month. It involves buying hosting at bluehost.com and choosing a domain name. Participants will leave the workshop with their site configured and set up on the web. The setup will cost around $110 up front. Instructions will be provided, but it is essential to complete this a couple of days before the workshop.

Now in case you missed the useful resources above, here they are again to get you started.

Nov 302012
 

I give a shout out for answers to this tweet to my network on Twitter.

Quick #nls6 blog post crowd sourcing – PLN, why do you use Twitter? What value does a PLN &/or using Twitter bring to you as a professional? Thx!  -@acrystelle

Look what happened.

I probably never have to be the only person I know at a library conference ever again  – @siandart

Twitter = views, ideas, concepts fr outside own POW, different sectors, professions, countries. all keep me engaged & interested  – @flexnib

essential for note taking & networking during confs, way of staying in touch informally with PLN, water cooler chatting #twitter  – @newgradlib

good to easily keep up with industry happenings + brilliant for meeting new ppl in profession & maintaining network  – @ktaines

Opportunity to engage with and learn from others. Sharing knowledge and thoughts to strengthen the profession. #nls6  – @sallyheroes

Plus even more responses…

I know from experience that rockin’ up to a conference can be daunting, a bit like the first day of school. These thoughts come to mind – Will people like me? Who will I sit with? And oh no, what if I’m alone in the corner at morning tea? Or unable to make conversation with someone I’d really like to connect with?

The answer – start to build relationships and develop your professional voice ahead of time. But how? Here’s where the professional networking and discussion program aims to help.

THE IDEA
Basically, we’d like to encourage newbies to the profession and/or newbies to being in the professional online space to establish and build connections, engage in professional conversation and gain a sense of community prior to the symposium.

THE ‘HOW’
Okay, the grand plan is this. A program of professional networking and discussion will stem from the symposium workshop topics. A series of blog posts will provide an overview or viewpoint of the topic area; include details of the related workshops, and link to some resources to get you started with exploring the topics on your own (or with others!) Each ‘hot topic’ will be introduced on Twitter to start off the discussion. This will be followed by a blog post on the topic and some circulation of useful resources.

THE ‘CONVERSATION’
Making connections and facilitation of professional discussion throughout the program will be primarily via Twitter. Participants are encouraged to use both #nls6 and #hottopic hashtags in their tweets for others to follow along.

New to Twitter? No worries. Here are some resources to get you started.

Next, you’ll need people to follow. Building a group of professional LIS folk is simple. Start with a few, either from who you know or from your favourite library blogs, then look to see who they follow. From there, look to see who those people follow, and so on. See any of interest to you? Follow them.

There’s no shortage of Twitter folk willing to help others starting out in the online space. So give it a crack. Start building your professional voice, be involved, and get connected!

 November 30, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 302012
 

So you’ve made the call to attend NLS6, and now you’re looking for creative ways to find funding to help out with costs. To help you on your way, I’ve asked previous NLS attendees for their ideas about how to make your NLS6 happen if funds are the only things standing in your way. Hana W is based in Wellington (New Zealand). Kim T is based in Melbourne (Australia). Both attended NLS5 in Perth (2011).

Hana : I attended one day of NLS5 after I attended & presented at ALIA Libtec in 2011. I used funding awarded from my regional LIANZA committee, Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, and to get to Perth I received funding from my employer.

Kim : I was already attending ALIA National Library & Information Technicians Conference and was fortunate that my workplace allowed me to stay for both. It is worth considering sharing accommodation with someone you know who is attending if possible.

Hana : If you are funding yourself, I’d suggest staying at a backpackers close to the conference venue (I stayed at a local backpackers down the road from NLS5 venue).

For the Australian-based folks, here’s some ideas for keeping your costs low :

  • Keep in touch with other new grads in the ALIA New Graduates Group, to find out who else is going to NLS6 from your region to share travel and/or accommodation with.
  • Find out if you are eligible for one of the ALIA Awards.
  • If you are currently working, then approach your employer about partially paying for some of your costs. Be creative with your pitch, and maybe they could cover your accommodation, or your flights, or your registration costs.

For the New Zealand-based folks, here’s some suggestions about sourcing funding from Hana :

  • Apply to your employer. Yes, it means crafting a well written and convincing application, but it is worth it.
  • Apply to your local LIANZA regional committee for the Hydestor award.
  • Check with your local LIANZA committee if they have any discretionary funding for professional development opportunities.
  • Apply for the Ada Fache fund if applicable.

You might also find that there are funding sources outside of your library sphere. Do you belong to other groups that have funding grants?  Are you a student of an institution that offers travel grants? Does anyone in your family belong to Lions or Rotary groups? Are you an member of another professional body that offers professional development grants? Now is the time to cast your net wide so that you can join us at NLS6.

Image of Hana WHana W is based in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a self confessed library geek, as proven by her blog, Library.Geek. She’s @thewhaanga. She’s the former editor of LIANZA’s Library Life.

 

 

 

Image of Kim TKim T is a crafter, maker and runner based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the Manager, Hawthorn Campus Library at Swinburne University. She’s @haikugirlOz and an Aurora alumni.

 October 30, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am accommodation, travel, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 142012
 

Thinking of heading to NLS6 and want to be sure that it is the right place for you? Are you heading to Brisbane from out-of-state or even from overseas (head nod to New Zealand & the Pacific Islands-based folks) and need a good reason to convince people to fund you to attend?

I’ve asked two Kiwi New Librarians’ Symposium attendees about their NLS experiences to give you some inspiration. Hana W is based in Wellington (New Zealand). Kim T is based in Melbourne (Australia). Both attended NLS5 in Perth (2011).

What advantages for new librarians do you see from attending a focussed New Grads events such as NLS?

Kim : NLS feels inclusive. It think it is a valuable symposium and it offers something a bit different from conferences like LIANZA or ALIA which are a bit more mainstream. The good thing is that events like NLS are evolving. They look at new ways of getting people involved, such as offering different ways of presenting.

Hana : A networking opportunity! Meeting new people, meeting colleagues in real life and making new friends at these events is what it’s all about. The primary reason I attend conferences is to catch up with friends and meet new ones, secondary being the actual content and speakers.  Perhaps I’m alone in this admittance, but I’m happy to say it.

Kim : I like that fact that the symposium creates a safe, nurturing space for many of the speakers to present for the first time.

Hana : For NLS in particular, it is more of an unhinged sharing opportunity as your manager isn’t likely to be there and everyone is pretty open and up front.  Most people attending NLS are on a similar wave length to you so discussion and ideas for collaboration are all fairly energetic and positive.

Kim : It’s just great to hang out with a bunch of people who are new to the profession, who offer fresh perspectives, openness and an enthusiasm for the job. There is a lot of peer mentoring that goes on at NLS. It’s possible to meet other people a bit like you, facing similar challenges and form alliances to support each other.

What were your highlights from NLS5?

Kim : My highlights included the keynote from Mal Booth (UTS University Librarian) who talked about design thinking and libraries of the future, and meeting David Lee King from Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. They were both engaging, forward thinking and inspirational.

Making connections – a.k.a. meeting tweeps in real life (IRL)

Hana : A big highlight was meeting many of the people that I had been communicating with on Twitter for a couple of years, and just hanging out with them all. It felt so good to be connecting with like minded individuals who are all on the same wave length at NLS.  I really enjoy making connections with other LIS professionals and going to NLS was even more like hanging out with a bunch of mates.

Kim : People from my PLN (personal learning network) were attending NLS5 and it was the chance to catch up with them. It was also the opportunity to meet “in real life” people whose blogs I follow or that I follow on Twitter.

But I am not a new graduate …

Kim : I am not a new graduate any longer but NLS5 was a great conference for me to attend as a library manager because I got to hear new graduates talk about their experiences/perceptions of the profession. Many of my new grad friends and colleagues rave about the conference. I expected it to be good and it was.

Hana : Don’t think about the title new graduate! I enjoyed NLS because it is not limited to new graduates. I attended and I don’t yet have a degree or postgraduate library and information qualification but I found it really helpful, and all the content and presentations relevant to me.

What was the most important lesson you took away from NLS?

Kim : Libraries are changing and librarians need to keep learning and evolving to remain relevant. And your professional association needs you!

Hana : Making connections with our friends in Australia is invaluable.

And a last word from Hana …

Hana : For the Kiwis reading this, I’m encouraging you to go to NLS6, as there has been so few New Zealanders attending NLS (we’ve only found two examples so far). Go on guys, it’s fun hanging out with Aussies, I promise. Bridge the gap, lead the way and get into it so more can follow!

Image of Kim T Kim T is a crafter, maker and runner based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the Manager, Hawthorn Campus Library at Swinburne University. She’s @haikugirlOz and an Aurora alumni.

 

 

Image of Hana W

Hana W is based in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a self confessed library geek, as proven by her blog, Library.Geek. She’s @thewhaanga. She’s the former editor of LIANZA’s Library Life.

 October 14, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am program Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »