ALIA board elections 2016: Malcolm O’Brien

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 Malcolm O’Brien.

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?

I’d advise candidates to apply in rural areas. These libraries often have very diverse and interesting programmes that will provide great experience to graduates.

2. How can ALIA help students and new graduates? For those in hiring positions what are the benefits of hiring new graduate LIS professionals?

Continued training programmes, workshops and conferences.

3. What are the essential skills librarians and information professionals need in order to be relevant both today and going into the future? What could ALIA do to promote librarians as information professionals and service providers with skills relevant to a wider range of industries?

An understanding of digital platforms, content and applications.

4. What have been the benefits of undertaking professional development in your career? Why should the Professional Development program be compulsory for all ALIA members?

Introductions to new ideas and developments I would otherwise never have encountered.

5. What would you like to see the ALIA board achieve?

The acceptance and understanding by the majority of Australians that their library is a central part of the community they live in.


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

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