NGAC is delighted to have been able to ask questions of the candidates for this year’s ALIA board elections. Our questions were focused on issues specifically related to students and new graduates. Each candidate’s responses will be posted separately. There are a number of candidates this year and we’ve received a fabulous response so far.
Many thanks to all candidates for taking the time to answer our questions.
Today’s responses come from Marian Morgan-Bindon.
1. What do you think of the state of the profession for new graduates? If they are finding it difficult to find their first job what advice would you give them?
- A field of opportunity – there is enormous interest in engaging new graduates across our industry.
- Remember – sell your skill set – you may not think have all the position requires but you will be surprised how your skills will translate and match business needs, visit the locations (at least virtually) and understand the direction and values of that organisation where you are applying, ask your friends to test your interview skills.
2. How can ALIA help students and new graduates? For those in hiring positions what are the benefits of hiring new graduate LIS professionals?
a) How can ALIA help:
- Course accreditation – ensuring LIS courses are delivering on market expectations.
- Taking advice from NGAC on the needs and concerns of new grads
- Maintaining the discounted membership rate period. It’s so important to belong to your professional association.
b) Benefits: New ideas and fresh eyes to help us deliver on our aspirations. Our new graduates (in my experience) are ambitious, adventurous enthusiastic and have a strong level of comfort and familiarity with emerging technology, they are early adaptors of change – all of these skills are very important in building and sustaining resilient services; and importantly our new graduates provide the industry with the opportunity to inspire and build the capacity and capability of our future leaders
3. (a) What are the essential skills librarians and information professionals need in order to be relevant both today and going into the future? (b) What could ALIA do to promote librarians as information professionals and service providers with skills relevant to a wider range of industries?
b) Evidenced by where staff with LIS qualifications are working now, I believe a range of industries already recognise the skill set of LIS staff. There is always scope to promote and market the relevant skills and ALIA will further develop its commitment to all staff working not only in the information industries but across the cultural sector.
4. (a) What have been the benefits of undertaking professional development in your career? (b) Why should the Professional Development program be compulsory for all ALIA members?
a) The wide range of opportunity and the chance to learn new things and new ways of achieving results is professionally and personally rewarding. . I would like to think I have a naturally enquiring mind and an interest in what’s around me. It’s never been a chore, rather a direct choice
b) While there is some support, akin to a number of other professions, for compulsory PD I feel there needs to be personal commitment by LIS professions to their professional development. It’s about maintaining relevancy, skill development and professionalism and being open to exploring new ideas and opportunities. This should be achieved without compulsion.
5. What would you like to see the ALIA board achieve?
- Continue to build and support our membership, their aspirations and professional development and employment opportunities.
- Continue its advocacy and leadership for the profession and on issues of importance e.g. influencing policy and decision making (Cooking for copyright -FAIR campaign; early literacy initiatives) at all levels of government and in the private sector
- Continue to strengthen, support and secure the brand library in the public and private sector, with other associations and allied sectors in Australia
- Continue to build the responsive organisation we need ALIA to be (professional development and quality LIS education, opportunity and capability building)
- Continue to effect change and influence at a national level
- Build awareness of the depth of our organisation.
We encourage all eligible members to consider these responses as they make their decisions to vote in the election. Voting is underway in the 2016 ALIA Board of Directors election and will close on Friday 8 April 2016.
More information about the process and this year’s candidates can be found at the ALIA website.
Alisa Howlett, Chair ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee