#auslibchat follow up: notes from Clare O’Dwyer

Clare O’Dwyer gives us her extended answers from the last #auslibchat:

“I really enjoyed #auslibchat and it is an amazing experience especially when working overseas – although it made me a little homesick.

Here are my extended answers for the blog…

Q1. What was your first GLAMR job? #auslibchat

My first job was a library assistant in a volunteer role at my old primary school. This led to a paid role.

It was a really wonderful first job that I was given quite a lot of autonomy in to do story times and creative displays. I was only 19 years old so it really helped me feel more confident to get started in a library career.

Q2. How were you supported in your early career by ALIA or other professional organisations? What would you change/do differently? #auslibchat

In my early career my first experience of working in a public library at 20 was dreadful I was really bullied. However I did get recommended into another library assistant role in another organisation where the love vibe reigned. I had stomach pain each day from the laughter and fun with my colleagues. My manager told me quite clearly I should go to university and get qualified … she really believed in my ability. From a Library technician qualification to a Masters in Arts Management later that manager lit a fire that has never gone out. I truly love libraries and our ability to transform a library experience for our clients.

Q3. What would you do to champion new gen professionals & new grads in an environment that is increasingly difficult to find a job? #auslibchat

There is a real need to have succession planning strengthened in the larger libraries in Australia. Ideally more paid internships or cadets or short term project opportunities. In RMIT Vietnam the majority of the library staff are 20 years younger than me … they bring so much great optimism, strategic ideas and creative energy.

Q4. What role does ALIA have to play in the critical l’ship movement? How does this relate to future strategy and action? #auslibchat

Libraries more than ever are institutions of truth that support diversity. They are truly spaces that you can be alone but also supported by Librarians. Its important to keep our profile high to ensure government and institutional funding for the long term and to ensure Librarians are recognised as professionals. That includes maintaining salaries that are commensurate with the IT industry.

Q5. How can the profession continue to grow & develop? What role do you see for new gen professionals right now? #auslibchat

Its really exciting times for new gen librarians – opportunities in research, data management, digital curation, events, training, curating exhibitions and so much more. If I was starting out again I would be very interested in coding and gaining more skills in digital archives.

We will continue to grow if we keep both and open mind and seize opportunities to step in and be a critical service. I am very excited that libraries can also be maker spaces, performance spaces, business start up platforms and learning spaces. Our strength is that we don’t just talk about innovation we implement it.”

 

Thanks Clare!

If you missed last week’s chat, here is the Storify.

Here are the candidates’ Twitter handles to look out for:

Alicia Cohen – @Alicia_Cohen

Jonathon Guppy – @JonnyGup

Clare O’Dwyer – @MrsChurchill1

Anne Reddacliff – @AMoodiLibrarian

Don’t forget that if you’re an ALIA member, there’s still time to vote! Get to know your candidates and hop to it!

James McGoran

Vice Chair, NGAC

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