October Newsletter

ALIA Students and New GraduatesOctober 2017


Welcome to the ALIA Students and New Graduates’ secondly monthly update!

We hope you found our September Newsletter a useful resource for keeping track of all the events, post-event wrap ups and other exciting things ALIA SNGG got up to in September. The October Newsletter will function in the same way – so be sure to bookmark this blog post and check back regularly throughout the month as upcoming events are announced and new content is added to the blog.


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Canberra – Key Selection Criteria Workshop Wrap Up

How can I stand out from the crowd when I apply for my next job and if I am not successful how can my next application be better? These are two questions I wanted students and new graduates to get answers for after attending our KSC workshop. Long story short. I got my answers, and so much more.


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Melbourne – Interview Skills Seminar Wrap Up


Following on from our Key Selection Criteria Seminar in June, the Victorian ALIA SNGG team hosted its second tool building seminar for the year in August: the topic this time was Interview Skills.

Understanding this daunting part of the job hunting process, our panel of industry experts gave their best tips and advice for succeeding in a job interview. The diverse group included:

  • Anna Findlay, Senior Advisor, Library Liaison and Engagement, La Trobe University Library
  • Karyn Siegmann, Manager Library Services, Bayside City Council
  • Carolyn Macvean, Manager, Parliamentary Library and Information Service Victoria

Covering a number of different library sectors, the presenters gave advice based on their own experience both as a candidate and as a recruiter. Some of their their best tips and advice were:

Before the interview:

  • If given a choice for your interview time choose the first or last of the day. That way you will have more chance of being memorable.
  • Study the key selection criteria and come up with examples from your personal experience. The questions asked will usually be drawn from the KSC.
  • Many places use behavioural questions, so have a look at some examples of these so you can be prepared.
  • Keep up with current trends in the library sector and show that you’re interested and engaged in the industry.  Attend networking and PD events, and conferences. Showing a recruiter that you are passionate about the industry is much more attractive than telling them. (Coming to ALIA events is a great start!)
  • Make notes to take with you. If you don’t want to forget that awesome example you had for that behavioural question, write it down. It’s okay to refer to notes during an interview, and shows recruiters how well prepared you are.
  • Do your research!
    • Make sure you have researched the organisation you are interviewing for. Look at their website and read through their strategic and annual plans, then consider how you and your skills can contribute to these plans.
    • Make an effort to understand the community your are applying to work with. How well do you know the types of clients the organisation services?
    • Have you thought about the future of public libraries when applying for a job in one? Do your research and you’ll be able to ace this question!

During the interview:

  • Dress neat, smart and comfortable. This doesn’t mean you have to mask your personality in corporate attire. You can and should be authentic in your appearance.
  • Pause… Breathe… You’re allowed to ask a recruiter to repeat a question, ask for a moment to gather your thoughts, or to refer to your notes.
  • Big NOs in an interview: Don’t be a smartarse, don’t be dishonest, don’t forget to iron your shirt!

Bonus pro tip:

  • Keep an aspirations job folder with position descriptions of your dream jobs to help you think about the skills you want to develop.

If you missed the event or have forgotten something you can watch the live video from the night on Facebook.


You can find other great tips by checking out the tweets from the night.

For even more help SNGGing that dream job, check out the National Resume Review Service offered by ALIA SNGG. This service allows you to send your resume to an industry professional who will provide you feedback and tips for improvement. This service is available to all ALIA members, including student members!

ALIA SNGG also have more job SNGGing information on our Job Site. Check it out!

Our next event is a more casual social event: Join us for our Spring Social event on Thursday 21 September. Hope to see you there!


GLAMR Professional Profile – Sarah Howard

Sarah is a Liaison Librarian at QUT with the Faculty of Health and is currently leading a project investigating how virtual reality can be incorporated into the library. ALIA New Grads sat down to chat with Sarah about the project.


The integration of virtual reality (VR) into our everyday lives has long been imagined in sci-fi and pop culture but with advances in technology this is becoming, well, a reality. The release of low cost VR equipment such as Google’s cardboard headset and with VR apps available on Android and iPhone the technology is already at our fingertips. It’s also steadily making its way into libraries. In California Facebook’s Oculus partnered with California State Libraries to make 100 sets of Rift headsets, touch controllers and computers available in 90 libraries. While there hasn’t been the same support from technology companies in Australia a couple of academic libraries are investigating ways to make VR accessible to their users. The University of Adelaide Library undertook a two phase project to determine how they might best use and include VR technology in their collection and at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Library Sarah Howard is leading a project in partnership with ProQuest that has similar aims.

As a liaison librarian for the Faculty of Health virtual reality doesn’t specifically fall within Sarah’s position description which includes a mix of “research, teaching and learning and also information resources”. To make her passion for VR part of her day job Sarah undertook an independent research project to explore how the library could source and provide VR content and equipment to users as part of QUT Library’s Off the Grid program. During this program Sarah was able to dedicate 30 hours of her work time to investigating the idea. Sarah’s findings turned the head of the then director of the library, Sue Hutley, who set up a partnership withProQuest to develop the project further. Through this partnership Sarah and the team are aiming to investigate the kinds of virtual reality content library users want and the platforms that would be needed to house and distribute the content. As Sarah explained, “With ProQuest we’re trying to find out whatthe need is, not just for students or library staff but academics and then giving that information back to ProQuest to try and get them to help us source some actual virtual reality tools”. To do this Sarah is asking faculties, “if you had VR content how would you use it or what would you want from it?” She says the Creative Industries, Science and Engineering and Health Faculties have already created VR content, but further support is needed to provide them with a place to store content and overcome compatibility and bandwidth issues.

The library has also purchased VR equipment including a Playstation headset, Oculus rift headset and an Alienware laptop. Some of this equipment was put to the test at QUT’s Robotronica event, an all ages one-day event during National Science Week that showcased QUT’s work in the robotics field. Sarah set up a computer on wheels and a Playstation VR headset with the game The Luge from PlayStation’s VR Worlds series. The computer screen meant that people could watc21041211_262476150908688_1221909120446103552_n(1)h the action while others were playing. Over 100 people came and tried the technology, “Every single person that came through loved it and there were some people who I would have presumed would have [experienced] virtual reality before, but every person that came child, adult, I’d say have you done this before and most of them said no”. Despite the apparent simplicity of a short game like this there are many challenges in setting up VR. There are a surprising number of occupational health and safety considerations. During Robotronica the VR headsets had to be wiped down after each use and the cables had to be arranged to make sure they weren’t a trip hazard. Sarah also the needed to get parental permission before younger children could participate as Sony recommends that only children over the age of 12 should use the headsets. For Sarah one of the biggest challenges is finding a platform that offers institutions access to their content, as most platforms are built to cater to individuals. While ProQuest is currently creating both educational VR resources and a platform to make it accessible, Sarah is investigating ways to set up institutional access to platforms such as Steam, which Sarah describes as: “the game platform equivalent of Netflix”.

Sarah says that faculty members have been surprised that the library can help them with VR but this shouldn’t be so, “… we’re a library, we’re a resource, not just ebooks and databases but also images, virtual reality resources”. By having conversations and creating partnerships Sarah hopes to establish a VR community of practice with the library as a central hub, “where people can come together and share what they’ve got and ask what they need”. To cement their position as VR advisors the library itself has also become a content creator, producing a 360 video tour of the Kelvin Grove campus Library which you can view on YouTube. The demand for virtual reality content and equipment is only going to increase, “… the Gartner reports and a lot of other reports are saying yes it is definitely, in say the next five years… going to be more mainstream”. To keep up with this ever-changing environment Sarah encourages young librarians to be agile and future-focused, “see what the need is before it becomes a need, just so you can predict what you need to know”. Set up alerts, use social media and RSS feeds, Google alerts, Podcasts and don’t be afraid to share information with others and be part of the conversation.

You can find Sarah on Twitter: @nairarbiltuq

ALIA SNGG September Update

ALIA Students and New GraduatesSeptember 2017


Welcome to the ALIA Students and New Graduates’ first monthly update!

At the beginning of each month we will update you on what we’re up to and what events you can look forward to.   We will also keep you up to date on the latest from the ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee.

Let us know what you think in the comments, as this is a work in progress.  As the month goes on, we will update this post with any new events for this month, so be sure to bookmark this post and check back throughout the month.

So, without further ado, we present our very first update! Enjoy!

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