• Wikimedia Australia Wikimedia Australia
  • Ryan Donahue Ryan Donahue
  • Sue Gardner Sue Gardner
  • Ruth Kneale Ruth Kneale Ruth Kneale sponsored by the State Library of Queensland
  • Stuart Candy Stuart Candy Keynote Speaker, Dr Stuart Candy - Professional futurist
  • Ingrid Parent Ingrid Parent Ingrid Parent
  • Jenica Rogers Jenica Rogers Jenica Rogers sponsored by the State Library of Queensland
  • Marcus Foth Marcus Foth
  • NLS6 NLS6


Feb 062013

Haven’t tweeted at a professional event before? Or just in need of a re-cap? Here’s your social media guide to NLS6.

Okay, the basics first.


Key information and updates will be shared via @alianls6. Make sure you’re following us and we’d love to hear about your experience at NLS6!

The ‘conversation’

Engage with others in the sharing of ideas and content by using the hashtags #nls6sun and #nls6mon. These hashtags will be used throughout the 6th New Librarians’ Symposium, across all social media. You can even follow along by saving a search for #nls6 in your Twitter app. If you plan on live tweeting during NLS6, we’ve found these helpful tips.


Now for the super cool bits….

Capturing the #nls6 story

The #nls6 story will be captured at the end of each day using Storify. A link to the story will be provided via Twitter and embedded into blog posts so you can catch up on all the #nls6 shenanigans. So that makes it doubly important you use the #nls6 hashtag to be part of the story. Make your mark!

Snap and share your #nls6 experience

Get together, meet new people and share your pics of your #nls6 experience. Don’t forget to tag them with #nls6 when you post them online. Each afternoon, we’ll be selecting a ‘pic of the day’.

There will be plenty of Twitter folk handy at NLS6, no shortage willing to help others out with using Twitter. Here are a selection of folks to get you started – follow them to see what they’re up to at NLS6. Kick off a conversation, say ‘hi!’

Keynote speakers

Stuart Candy @futuryst

Ryan Donahue @RyanD

Marcus Foth @sunday9pm

Sue Gardner @SuePGardner

Ruth Kneale @desertlibrarian

Ingrid Parent @ingrid_parent

Jenica Rogers @jenica26

Workshop Presenters & Panelists

Katherine Howard @K1Howard

Eleanor Whitworth  @elewhitworth

Kathryn Greenhill @libsmatter

Kim Tairi @haikugirloz

Ellen Forsyth @ellenforsyth

Sue Hutley @suehutley

Mylee Joseph @myleejoseph

Margaret Warren @mawarre


And just in case you missed it, the hashtag is #nls6 😉

 February 6, 2013  Posted by at 11:00 am bits and pieces 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 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 112013

So you think that NLS6 is only for “new” “librarians”? We’d like to dispel that myth.

We know the title is a bit misleading… But titles aside, NLS is relevant to you, regardless of whether or not you call yourself a librarian, a library technician, an archivist, a researcher, or something in between.

So you’re not a librarian?

In fact, you don’t even work in a library? Don’t panic, neither do we! The NLS6 organising committee is comprised of lecturers, students, research officers, teaching and learning specialists, as well as a few librarians. We represent the diversity of the information professions and we have all brought our diverse interests and expertise to the table in developing the NLS6 program.

You might also be interested to note that our keynote speakers aren’t all librarians. In fact, we deliberately selected keynote speakers from outside librarianship to challenge delegates to ‘be different’. Check out the bios of the keynote speakers to see who they are and a get a sense of what they will offer.

We reflected on this notion of non-librarian-ness in an earlier blog post, and we want to reiterate that NLS6 has a much broader reach than simply those who have librarian in their job title.

Libraries are only one context for information work, and librarians are only one type of information worker. NLS6 has something to offer all types of information workers: data managers, knowledge workers, information architects, archivists, learning officers, research specialists, as well as all the specialisations that exist within any of these branches and the countless others that make up the library and information professions. The lines between these roles are blurrier than ever and it is at the intersections and emergences – and all the glorious debate and messiness therein – of these paths that the really interesting questions about our fundamental professional goals, identities and practices lie.

There are plenty of people presenting and attending NLS6 who might not necessarily label themselves as a librarian. One of our workshop presenters, Kathryn Greenhill, reflected on this very topic in her August 2012 blog postDo I still consider myself to be a librarian?

So check out the presenters who are library technicians, people who’ve switched careers and retrained, and get ready to meet project coordinators, data curators and research officers, to name a few non-librarians in the program line-up.

So you aren’t ‘new’ to the profession?

You might be new to your role as a manager. You might be an emerging leader. You might have made a sideways shift into your current role, so are still feeling ‘new’ in that sense. Perhaps you’re a library technician who just qualified as a librarian and you’re looking forward to the next phase in your career. Or you might be reimagining your career and looking for inspiration. With our focus on leadership, the future, and being different, NLS has something for you.

If you are worried that you haven’t finished studying or haven’t got a job in a library yet – don’t be! There are a lot of students registered for NLS6 – after all, this is a great way to start building a strong network in the industry. We have special student rates and we think this will be a fantastic introduction (or initiation) into the ‘library’ world.

Historically NLS has been targeted at recent graduates, and we have developed a program that will appeal to new professionals and people who’ve been in the profession for a little while and are looking to step up to their next challenge. But one of the best things about NLS is that it’s a fabulous networking space because it attracts senior members of the information professions, too. NLS6 has had an unprecedented level of support from senior members of the professions, and we are seeing these people register for the Symposium. If you’re not a new graduate, come to NLS6 to be inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of our delegates, come to take advantage of our stellar program, and come to find out who the bright new stars of this profession are.

Not young enough?

NLS is not a conference for ‘bright young things’, it’s a conference for ‘bright information professionals’. You don’t have to be young to attend NLS – in fact, we value the diversity of the age profile NLS attracts. For many of us, ‘librarianship’  is not our first career, and people transitioning into a second or third career have something to offer the rest of us. While the average age of an NLS delegate might be younger than most ALIA or LIANZA conferences, the Symposium attracts a wide spectrum of ages and we love that!

Regardless of what your job title says, there’s plenty to delve into at NLS6

Learn about leadership. Discuss copyright. Find out about using social media effectively. Discover the secrets to successful networking. Investigate collaborative learning opportunities. Be inspired to publish. Think differently about your career, our profession, the world.

Register here to join us and spread your wings with other enthusiastic NLS6 participants.


 January 11, 2013  Posted by at 12:00 pm program, your nls6 Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 182012

With so many thoughtful, creative and heartfelt entries for our $200AUD registration bursary, we’ve found it a real challenge to pick only three winners. Thank you to the anonymous donor who made these bursaries possible, and significantly helped three students come to NLS6. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Here are the winning statements*.

I need to attend NLS6 because …

  • 2013 is my year to be different.
  • it is simply the best opportunity for a distance student nearing graduation to network with peers, potential employers and mentors. NLS6 is looking to be a highlight of my 18 months study, and the milestone at the start of my career as a professional librarian.
  • this is the opportunity for me to kick-start my career. I want to make a career for myself and feel that NLS6 offers me a chance to learn, motivate, innovate and strive to achieve rewarding employment.

Our winners* are :

  • Anna Rotar
  • Anton Angelo
  • Elizabeth Wilcox

Congratulations. We look forward to seeing the three of you in Brisbane at NLS6 in February 2013.

If you missed out on these bursaries, don’t forget that there are still other bursaries available, as listed in our earlier blog post.

* Please note, statements and winners’ names are not necessarily listed in matching order.

 December 18, 2012  Posted by at 12:00 pm news, registration, your nls6 Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 172012

In addition to Jenica Rogers, Ruth Kneale, Ingrid Parent, and Marcus Foth, we’re pleased to be introducing our fifth keynote for NLS6 – Stuart Candy.

Dr Stuart Candy is a professional futurist with a design twist. He helps people engage more creatively and systematically with the worlds they could find themselves in, and generate ways to shape them. He currently works as regional Foresight and Innovation Leader for the global design and engineering firm Arup.

Stuart holds a Ph.D. in political science for pioneering work on ‘experiential futures’, designed immersions as a catalyst for more effective strategic conversation. His writing on this and other topics can be found at The Sceptical Futuryst.

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

It has been said that all we know about the future is that it will be different. A futurist’s practice of stretching into that difference means having the courage to transition from the known, the comfortable and the familiar into something else – and helping others find a way to do likewise.

Read up on Stuart’s blog, follow him on Twitter (you’ll find him online @futuryst), and start planning all the questions you want to ask him.

Stuart, we’re really looking forward to seeing you at NLS6 in Brisbane in February 2013.

 December 17, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 am program Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 032012

Are you a student who wants to go to NLS6? Will a bursary for registration costs make a real difference for you?

We’ve got great news! An anonymous donor has generously offered three $200AUD bursaries to make NLS6 accessible for students who might not otherwise be able to make it to Brisbane in 2013.

Entry is simple.

You must finish the statement – “I need to attend NLS6 because …”

Send your answers to helpanlsstudent@gmail.com

Answers must be submitted by midday (AEST – Brisbane) Friday 14 December 2012. Winners announced Tuesday 18 December 2012.

Conditions are simple.

You must be studying towards a LIS qualification – either part-time or full-time.
You must tell us where you are studying.
You agree that your statement can be published (anonymously) on our website.

Winning is simple.

A panel will decide on the three statements to win.
Each winner will receive $200AUD towards their registration costs.
If you have already registered for NLS6, we’ll reimburse you $200AUD if you win.

Want to help others to get to NLS6?

These bursaries have been made possible through the generosity of one anonymous donor. If you want to follow their lead, contact the NLS6 Marketing Team to discuss ways you can contribute towards getting your colleagues and students to NLS6. Email us on nls6@newlibrarianssymposium.com

Dec 022012

You won’t regret your decision to join us at NLS6 in February 2013.

This is a professional development opportunity you don’t want to miss.

The line-up of keynote speakers is amazing. The range of workshops is awesome. The diversity of presentations is inspiring.

Give yourself the best present for your professional development this Christmas – make a commitment to your future.

Take the plunge. Register now. Don’t miss out.

Earlybird registrations for NLS6 close at midnight (AEST Brisbane) on 31 December 2012.


 December 2, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 pm your nls6 Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »