In this professional profile we continue to turn the spotlight back on ourselves with a closeup on one of the two Co-Convenors of the ALIA Students and New Graduates Group – Maddy Medlycott. Maddy works as a Legal Research and Reference Librarian at Crown Law Library in Brisbane. In this interview, Maddy discusses how her passion for transferable skills evolved into the Librarians and Dragons workshops she runs and provides some tips on staying connected with friends, family and colleagues.
What is your role in the ALIA Students and New Graduates Group? What does it entail?
My role in SNGG currently is Co-Convener. This means myself, and my fellow Co-Convener Annette Messell, lead the group. We provide support to all the SNGG volunteers including our regional coordinators, social media coordinators and our Resume Review Service team. It involves liaising with ALIA House and NGAC on behalf of SNGG and making sure SNGG events and ideas are seen and heard. We also have the opportunity to be creative, put forward ideas and implement them! It is really enjoyable work as I have been able to meet like minded LIS students and new grads from all over Australia and collaborate with them on various projects.
Alongside volunteering with ALIA Students and New Graduates Group you also run Librarians and Dragons workshops. Where did the inspiration for this come from and what do LIS professionals get out of attending these workshops?
The inspiration for Librarians and Dragons came from my colleague Michael Hawks and I brainstorming together. We knew we wanted to do something fun but as new graduates we didn’t have a whole lot of library experience to tell people about. I had experience (and some might call passion) for transferable skills as I had found that many of my past jobs including insurance salesperson, HR Coordinator and retail assistant, all really helped me with my studies and my jobs within libraries. Michael was keen to somehow get the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons into our project, even though neither of us had ever played it at that stage. So we meshed the two and came up with Librarians and Dragons! Our workshop allows LIS professionals to see how skills they may have developed outside of the LIS world can be valuable and applied in a library setting. It’s really important that we acknowledge all our past experiences and skills (we worked hard for them!) and to see that they have value in the LIS world if only we can transfer them over and show how they apply.
What are your top tips for people to work remotely and stay connected right now?
With the majority of us staying and working from home its more important then even to reach out and connect with those around us. ALIA has started some great initiatives to keep everyone connected via ALIA Connected. SNGG has their new online Bookclub too which is a great, lowkey, way to chat and meet others. Plus you get to talk about books! My friends, family and I are doing lots of virtual catch ups, whether to do some trivia, watch a TV show together or even a digital escape room or two! These really help me to stay connected with my friends and family.
What is the best piece of advice you have for GLAMR students and new professionals?
My top tip is actually something that really resonated with me from the New Librarians Symposium 8 from 2017. Two of the main take away messages were to find your tribe and to do something. I think these are great pieces of advice for any GLAMR student and new professional. Doing something on your own can be scary but if you can find one or two people to do something with you not only does it reduce the workload it is also so much less daunting. As students and new professionals I think some us don’t see what we can do and bring to the table. But we all have different opinions, views, life experiences that other GLAMR professionals would like to see and hear about. Make something from scratch, or get inspiration from somewhere or someone. There is always so many exciting things happening and students and new professionals have insights, skills and capabilities to really get involved and amongst it all!