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NLS8 Report by Eileen Louden

The following is a report back by the fabulous Eileen Louden, Victoria's ALIA State Manager, shared here with permission.  Did you attend NLS8? Or maybe you've attended in the past? Share your experiences with us over on the new LibrariesWA Facebook Group.

The eighth New Librarians Symposium was held at the National Library of Australia in Canberra from Friday 23 - Sunday 25 June 2017. Friday began with the recreation of the historic Albert Hall photo that many people braved the cold Canberra winter morning to be a part of, after which we could move into the warmth of the library for several pre-symposium workshops and tours both that morning and afternoon.

The theme of the Symposium was ‘DIY Library Career’ and a strong current of ‘doing something’ ran through the each of the speakers presentations and workshops throughout the weekend.

Out of the presentations that I attended, these are the main points that I came away with:

Look for change (In the presentations from Anne Newton & Jo Croucher; Jennifer Thomas)

Look for opportunities (Clare McKenzie, Kate Byrne & Alyson Dalby (International Librarians Network); Mylee Joseph; Catherine Marais & Rani Thompson)

Identify who you want to work with, rather than just a position (Clare McKenzie, Kate Byrne & Alyson Dalby (ILN))

There’s no need for perfection. Own what you do. (Adele Walsh; Jane Caro)

Work to see what your community needs, just being there is not enough anymore (R. David Lankes; John Morseu; Hong Kong Libraries Connect; Clare McKenzie, Kate Byrne & Alyson Dalby (ILN))

There were lots of practical examples of how these points could be applied, and how they have been applied:

  • Dr Will Grant’s workshop about advocating for libraries. Several points from his workshop included:
    • Stepping into someone’s shoes and reaching them on their level. Not everyone has the same priorities as us library folk.
    • Identifying the main stakeholders for the library. Who do we want to appeal to?
  • Reading between the Wines. A bookclub with a difference held by Auckland Public Libraries. This idea takes the bookclub out of the library and into the local night scene, where the reach to the elusive 20-something market is stronger.  
  • John Morseu and going out into the the Torres Strait community. Again, the program goes out into the community and sees what they need, not what the library thinks the community needs.
  • Drag Queen Storytime at ALIA NGAC Breakout Space, which was my first introduction to this great program about encouraging children (and us!) to be themselves.
  • Styled for Success panel looked at how being ourselves in our work environment does not mean that we are compromising our professionalism, if fact, it can enhance it.
Finally, a great moment for me was chairing my first ever conference session on the Sunday. Meeting the speakers, who were actually more nervous than me, and working to put them at ease before they went up was a great experience and I would love to the opportunity to chair more sessions at future conferences. The speakers and myself have all since connected on social media and have bonded over our experience at NLS8.

Eileen Louden
ALIA Victoria State Manager
August 2017
Keynote address by Clare McKenzie, Kate Byrne & Alyson Dalby.

Drag Queen Storytime in the ALIA NGAC Breakout Space with Miss Patsy Declined (multi-shot).
'Styled for Success' panel (L-R) with chair Diana Richards, panellists Amy Walduck, Sonja Barfoed and Ben Manolas and host Pixie Stardust. 

About Jessica Pietsch | ALIA WA State Manager

Jessica Pietsch | ALIA WA State Manager
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