#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

#auslibchat follow up: notes from Anne Reddacliff

Last week the New Generation Advisory Committee hosted a different sort of #auslibchat where we asked this year’s ALIA Board candidates questions from our student and new graduates community. We, and I’m sure the participants too, very much appreciated the candidates’ time and input to the discussion.

The committee recognises that Twitter chats can be fast-paced and not all our answers fit into 140 characters. So in thanking our candidates, we extended an invitation to post any further thoughts or longer answers that the candidates may have prepared.

Take it away, Anne!


In more than 140 characters I’d like to address two key questions from our Twitter chat last week:

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

 

I’d like to see ALIA introduce a mentoring scheme that pairs ALIA members as mentors with students/new grads. The aim is to provide support, guidance and encouragement with applying for jobs as well as to utilise one person’s networks to help another. ALIA has done great work hosting resume cafes/workshops for students, new grads and those affected by redundancies. As a mental health advocate I am particularly interested in how ALIA can help students/new grads to build resilience. I welcome the opportunity to play a larger role in this and would like to develop an online resilience toolkit or infographic to help students and new grads bounce back!

What role does ALIA have to play in the critical librarianship movement? How does this relate to future strategy and action?

 

As our national association ALIA has an important role to play in critical librarianship. Critical librarianship is about valuing diversity and critiquing the power structures we work within. Groups like ALIA LGBTQ and ATSILIRN provide diverse perspectives to ALIA but there is always more work that can be done. I would welcome input on how ALIA can address some of the issues that are raised in critical librarianship, particularly from external groups like Librarians for Refugees. The ALIA Strategic Plan states that ALIA’s object is to “respect the diversity and individuality of all people.” ALIA is also commencing vital action around the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals which advocate for women and technology, the environment and providing affordable access to the internet. This action is powered by many of the same ideas that drive critical librarianship.

As a final statement I nominated for the ALIA Board because I work in frontline client service and I get direct feedback from clients on how libraries are or aren’t meeting their needs. I am in a sound position to help ALIA devise policies that are responsive to diverse communities and the changing expectations of library clientele. I have a broad professional network and I actively listen to ALIA members and non-members about what they want from our professional association.


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!

 

Alisa Howlett

on behalf of the New Generation Advisory Commitee

ALIA Board elections are coming! We’d like to hear from you!

It’s that time of year again. ALIA Board elections are coming!

In our role of representing and advocating for new graduates in the past we have invited candidates for the ALIA Board election to respond to a set number of questions about issues and concerns relevant to our community – students and new graduates. You can find last year’s responses here on the blog.

This year, the committee would like to do something a bit different and have invited the board candidates to our next #auslibchat!

You can find information about this year’s candidates on the ALIA website. Voting begins on Monday 6th March.

We’d like to know what topics or issues are on your mind and what you’d like to ask this year’s ALIA board candidates. Please let us know in the comments or tweet us with the hashtag #ngacqtns2017

Then tune in and participate in #auslibchat on Tuesday 7th March, 2017 at 9pm AEDT.

#auslibchat feedback

Following NGAC’s third #auslibchat about ‘Innovative Outreach’, a super quick survey was promoted to gather feedback on how we’re doing so far. Feedback from this survey has helped NGAC with reflecting and reviewing how we do #auslibchat and what we might consider improving or changing in the future.

The results….

What are we doing well? Our top 3:

  • thought-provoking questions
  • the pace of the chats
  • moderating – interacting with participants; encouraging discussion and keeping the conversation going.

“Good questions. Well paced. Encouraging people to share ideas and chat. Fostering an enthusiastic environment – not sure if that’s even a thing but you seem to do it!” – participant feedback.

What do we need to improve or change? Our top 3 considerations:

  • publishing the questions in advance – you’ve asked and we’ve listened. Going forward, we will pre-publish questions so participants have time to ponder and prepare for the discussion (eg. get into the topic headspace).
  • providing a summary of the chats’ key points and/or better promote the Storify – as a lot of effort goes into organising, promoting, moderating and collating the chats on a regular basis, we will need to consider if we have the capacity to do a summary, or if we can work with others to achieve this.
  • an earlier time – I myself, am winding my brain down for bed from 9pm. So we’ll put our heads together and see what we can come up with.

“Posting questions beforehand would be helpful to prepare. Or a blurb describing what the chat will be, rather than just the theme.” – participant feedback.

 

“Put together a summary of the ideas that came out of a libchat so those who missed it can catch up. Maybe as a blog post so the conversation can continue in the comments?” – participant feedback.

There was one suggestion that I believe will enhance the chat experience, as well as provide opportunities for networking and discussion at a local level – physical meet-ups at the time of the chats, possibly even with a screen and projector set up to present the live chat feed. Definitely worth a discussion, hey SNGG? 🙂 Stay tuned!

Many thanks to the respondents of our #auslibchat survey. Your thoughts and ideas are appreciated. If you didn’t get a chance to respond to this survey, don’t worry. I’m sure there will be opportunities later down the track as part of our commitment to continuous improvement in our engagement.

Alisa Howlett, Chair ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee

Introducing #auslibchat

ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC) is now running #auslibchat, an Australian and NZ centred professional discussion on Twitter in the same vein as #uklibchat, #libchat and #edchat.

#auslibchat will run at 9pm AEDT on the first Tuesday of the month, starting on 2nd February 2016 for 1 hour.

The first theme will be “Where’s my next job?” We’ll be discussing the job market, career pathways and personal and professional development, among others. During #auslibchat we will draw on the experiences of our participants to provide a facilitated discussion.

ALIA NGAC are very, very, very excited to drive these discussions, so get involved and take part. See you online!