Setting information free and websites that stink, our keynotes on the morning of day two inspired us to take action and be different.
Catch up or re-live the moments with our Storify capture.
Catch up or re-live the moments with our Storify capture.
We were inspired.
We are capable of leading the information profession.
One-liners like “Be bold with bananas” and “You people have mad skills” will (hopefully) empower us newbies to make the difference we want to see and make throughout our careers.
Catch up on the action from day one of the Sixth ALIA New Librarians Symposium.
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!
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….
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!
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!’
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 😉
Hi- Kate from NGAC, back again. Our 2nd $500 runner-up winner is Rachel and below is her entry. We loved how she used her own experiences and photos to create her entry. On behalf of ALIA, NGAC and the NLS6 committee, a well deserved congratulations.
-Kate Freedman, NGAC Chair
Sliding to be different
When I first got the call that I had won a bursary to NLS6 I was busy talking with library users on all the services that libraries could offer. It was exciting to find out that I would soon get the opportunity to engage with new ideas on what other people and libraries were doing by attending the Symposium. There are so many things both libraries and the information profession have to offer library users and the world. Attending the symposium will highlight for me the importance of engaging with library users and investigating professional methods of “being different” and providing outstanding service.
In my entry I tried to capture some the ways in which attending the Symposium will help me in both a visual and personal way. I used some of my holiday snaps from around Australia and the world to demonstrate how attending the Symposium will promote the exchange of ideas and the development of new perspectives. I used Slideshare as a way to link the photos and ideas together on how “being different” can be useful for information professionals.
Each slide provides an insight into what I seek in attending NLS6.
In slide 2 of the presentation I used a photo of some of the Berlin Wall that is now protected by a fence. To me this photo demonstrates two competing ideas that are relevant in the modern world.
Slide 3 is a view of Paris on a wet day, it represents new ways of looking at a place or embracing new ideas helps us find beauty and relevance.
Slide 5 shows an unusual sign in Italy with people crossed out, which represents the need to engage with the community and not block them out.
Slide 6 shows the work of a street artist in London that represents harvesting creativity from those around us, through engaging people that use the library, the community and the profession.
Slide 7 shows some ruins in London that represent the past of the profession; these foundations are the story of the past and the foundation that the profession is built on today.
“Being different” is also about creating new ways in which to interact with information.
Slide 8 demonstrates new ways of presenting information with a traditional warning sign with street art on it.
In slide 10 I’m clearly excited about attending the symposium. See you there!
Hi- Kate from NGAC here. Today we introduce Emily, and her $500 runner-up winning entry. We loved her creativity and sense of humour. Have a look below at her entry- we think she should invent a real (drinkable) version! On behalf of ALIA, NGAC and the NLS6 committee, a well deserved congratulations.
-Kate Freedman, NGAC Chair.
Here’s to the Symposium
When I initially saw the call for entries to NGAC’s travel bursary competition I was hesitant. My student brain was in full holiday swing and the thought of creatively responding to the theme ‘be different’ was daunting, I promptly forgot about it. Sometime later I saw a reminder and with impending car registration the idea of financial aid of any kind was very appealing. Nothing I thought of seemed particularly inspired or “different”. The evening following I happened to be spending the night with three close friends (my pseudo housemates). Between discussing my upcoming trip and their good humoured mocking of my insistence in calling it a ‘Symposium’ we found ourselves on Wikipedia (the final, if not somewhat iffy destination of many a modern discussion). To our delight we discovered that in Ancient Greece a Symposium was, among other things, a drinking party! It was from this that my idea evolved… I would create a cocktail, the unofficial beverage of the NLS6!
INTRODUCING FRUIT SYMPOSIA
Although creating a cocktail was rather a light-hearted approach to the competition it enabled me to allude to key elements of the upcoming NLS6, especially the coming together of individuals to share ideas and inspire one another to move forward into the future of librarianship, consequently the Symposium is still to this day like a drinking party (albeit with less alcohol…). As individuals we come together and share a little part of ourselves with one another. Through the Symposium this sharing will encourage and inspire us to move forward, to take what we learned, combine it creatively with our own unique approaches and as a result we will ‘be different’.
As a student relatively new to the information profession (I’m just about to commence my second semester of a Master of Information Management) I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to attend an event full of individuals who care about the information profession, who understand the industry and who are willing to engage with others in looking optimistically towards the future. I hope to learn more about what the future might look like for librarians and what my individual role in that future may be. I am eager to hear stories of the different approaches to embrace the information chaos of the modern world. I want to learn from others, and through learning from others I hope and trust that I will in turn be inspired to ‘be different’.
Thank you to the National Library of Australia who are a Premium Sponsor for NLS6, generously supporting our fantastic day of Workshops. This sponsor guest post is authored by Sarah Schindeler, Digital Services Librarian, National Library of Australia.
Innovation is something that librarians know they need. We talk about it, sometimes in almost hallowed terms, as if it is magical or miraculous. Of course it’s neither of these things but it is as challenging as it is rewarding. Innovating as an early career librarian means:
When author Rajiv Malhotra’s pitched his book ‘Being Different’ to his publishers, they told him that it would be far more successful if he named it ‘Being same’. Innovation goes hand-in-hand with change and a willingness to be different in the face of opposition, both of which are quite terrifying concepts.
Last year the National Library decided to be a little bit different by using stop-motion animation in a series of instructional web videos. Our team loved them but they were rather cheeky and a definite departure from our previous YouTube content. Some of us were quietly nervous. What if nobody watched them? (they did) Worse, what if they hated them? (they didn’t).
There’s always a certain degree of risk. Take the success story that is the Trove discovery service as an example. There have been other discovery services in the past that were also innovative but never really took off. Trove’s success can be attributed, in part, to a somewhat risky venture into crowd-sourcing. Librarians don’t find it easy to relinquish control and trust our patrons. However, the initial fears of widespread spamming were never realized and today, Trove is an award-winning free discovery service that is used and enhanced by millions of people.
I feel for early career librarians who are keen to innovate but are held back not only fear of failure but by a lack of resourcing and lack of support. There are particular challenges around innovating from the bottom upwards but whenever I hear ‘my boss won’t let me’ I’m reminded of some excellent advice Seth Godin wrote in the Guardian a few years ago. The following quote gets to the heart of the matter:
“But wait!” I hear you say. “My boss won’t let me. I want to do something great, but she won’t let me.”
This is, of course, nonsense. Your boss won’t let you because what you’re really asking is: “May I do something silly and fun and, if it doesn’t work, will you take the blame – but if it does work, I get the credit?” What would you say to an offer like that?
The alternative sounds scary, but I don’t think it is. The alternative is to just be remarkable. Go all the way to the edge. Not in a big thing, perhaps, but in a little one. Find some area where you have a tiny bit of authority and run with it. After you succeed, you’ll discover you’ve got more leeway for next time. And if you fail? Don’t worry. Your organisation secretly wants employees willing to push hard even if it means failing every so often.
Innovating as a new librarian may be difficult but it doesn’t require creative genius, just patience, persistence, a tolerance for risk, and a willingness to lead from the ground up and invest in helping others see your point of view. As the proverb says, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we remain rigid and unwilling to work to make our ideas happen, then we are disadvantaging ourselves from meeting and exceeding the needs of our patrons now and into the future.
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.
Sue, we are looking forward to meeting you at NLS6 in Brisbane in February 2013.
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.
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.
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 …
Our winners* are :
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.