NGAC NLS8 Bursary Competition: an update

Last week, the New Generation Advisory Committee launched its New Librarians Symposium bursary competition. Tweets were posted, an email was sent to ALIA members. Almost immediately, we received feedback on one aspect – the age range.

We are a volunteer committee and while we are passionate about new and early career information professionals’ issues, we also rely on our community to reach out to us with feedback and to let us know what is affecting them and their experience with establishing themselves in the library and information profession. To those who gave feedback, we thank you.

Prior to launching the bursary competition, we were in two minds about the age range. But we didn’t question the direction because the purpose of the age range was to have those still working in the profession in 20 years time reflect on what was envisioned or foretold in this year, when ALIA’s time capsule would be opened in 2037. We also knew that this bursary competition wouldn’t be the only ‘time capsule’ or 80th anniversary celebration activity ALIA had planned.

Following feedback on the bursary competition, NGAC members had one of our many discussions we have about new and early career library and information professionals’ issues and concerns. Being a committee from different sectors and bringing in our own individual perspectives and experiences, our discussions result in various points and angles being considered. This is reflected in the hard work NGAC puts in to develop and provide engagement opportunities to new and early career information professionals. And we aim to make these opportunities as inclusive and accessible as possible to our community. #auslibchat is a fabulous example of this.

What we didn’t make clear when we first announced the bursary was that this competition won’t be the only way to contribute to ALIA’s 80th birthday celebrations. We regret any confusion we caused about this. Details about further activities this year, and how all members of ALIA can contribute to the planned time capsule, will be released soon. So stay tuned!

If you’re a new or early career information professional (graduated within last seven years) and would love to attend an amazing conference just for you, we look forward to seeing your entries for our bursary competition.

Alisa Howlett

Chairperson, and on behalf of the New Generation Advisory Committee

New year, new ALIA SNGG social media team!

Welcome

The ALIA Students and New Graduates Group would like to introduce our new Social Media team! This team of highly intelligent and interesting volunteers will be working hard to keep you up to date with the latest industry news, cat memes and food for thought.

Meet the new team!

Jade

One of these days, I’m going to spend a summer on an archaeological dig in the Middle East! I will also write a book, probably something about ancient history, social media and connecting the past to the present and future. I enjoy being creative and find an outlet through design, I’ve already designed 22 book covers for the book I’ve yet to write. I also want to build a family home to pass onto my son. Imagine walking up to Bilbo Baggins’ house and that is what my home will look like, green roof and all!

Starting in libraries, I always thought I’d end up in collection management or maybe as an ancient history subject librarian. But since discovering data visualisation and interpretation I’ve been a keen advocate of increasing my peers (and my own) data literacy.

Jade will continue her awesome work on the ALIA SNGG Twitter account in 2017.

Angela

Entering into the library and information profession has been a rewarding experience. I have recently become a Librarian in training with a coffee addiction having been accepted into University. It is interesting to see the current library trends and how information and libraries have kept up and gone forward with how information is delivered. Libraries can have a positive impact on the community, especially for young people.

Angela will be working with Jade on the ALIA SNGG Twitter account and will be contributing to the ALIA SNGG blog.

Maddy

I am a Harry Potter obsessed, unpractising zoologist who loves a good cat meme! Getting into the information profession has been eye opening  and I am very passionate about bringing libraries and librarians out into the open and showing the world what we are all about. Especially showing new, upcoming and potential information professionals how exciting the world of information and libraries can be. I am also passionate about sharing with the world the cuteness that is my cat, Aurora!

Maddy will be working on the ALIA SNGG Facebook Group and the upcoming ALIA SNGG Instagram account.

Bre

I’m a politics nerd, book addict and sleeping professional who has a bit of love/hate relationship with stability. I’m working on inserting myself into the library industry because I’m passionate about the role libraries play in the community.

Bre will be working on the ALIA SNGG blog and upcoming LinkedIn account.

Kylie

I am in my second semester of a Master of Information Science (Library and Information Practice) at QUT and I also work as a library adviser at QUT.  I’m interested in gamification, gaming in libraries and promoting social justice through libraries.  I’m also a keen gamer, Twine tinkerer, tea enthusiast and cat collector.

Kylie will be working on the ALIA SNGG blog.

Christine

I LOVE ancient history, ancient near east, to be precise. I had this wild idea of knocking over a Masters in Information Studies so I could work in an academic library to pursue this love… and then I fell in love with public libraries. So here I am reading stories, playing my ukulele and dancing around with toddlers and being paid for it. Not bad at all 🙂

Christine will be working on the ALIA SNGG Facebook Group and the upcoming Instagram account.

Irene

One of the best experiences I have ever had has been to do the harvest and follow the wine process in France for two seasons. Even if not strictly related to the library field, I later used those feelings and knowledge to plan a couple of projects for the library I was working at that time. Once again, I had experienced that every involvement enriches more than you think and especially for librarians is essential to be curious, active and to go beyond the shelves to support literacy without geographical or social limits.

Irene will be working on the ALIA SNGG Facebook Group.

Speech Bubble

Q&A

To get to know the team a bit better, we asked them a few questions:

Q1: Where was your last holiday and/or where would you like to go next?

Angela: I would love to travel to Europe mostly to Italy, Croatia and Greece during the summer!

Bre: My last trip was to South America and Europe in 2014. The two months I spent in Peru during that time just wasn’t long enough, so I’m off there again in September!

Kylie: I would like to travel around the USA paying S.P.E.C.I.A.L attention to visiting some of the landmarks in the Fallout games … I really love Fallout.

Christine: My last few holidays have been to Israel. My husband takes tour groups each year, and I’ve also worked on a dig – a Crusader castle on the Mediterranean coast – it was an amazing experience.

Irene: I usually travel for personal researches rather than real (and relaxing) holidays, but if I have the chance, I love to discover new places with a backpack and acting like a local, wherever I am. My dream/goal would be to visit at least once in a life every continent on Earth: South America and…Antarctica are still missing!

Q2: Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and why?

Angela: Probably Emma Watson, Maggie Smith, J.K. Rowling and John Green I think they are very inspirational but also think the conversations would be interesting.

Bre: My ideal dinner party guests would be Julian Burnside, J.K. Rowling, Sam Harris, Colin Wright, Winnie Byanyima and James Hansen – these are the most awesome people in the world and I would give anything to be even slightly as cool as they are.

Kylie: I’d like to have dinner with time travelers from the future.  I want to know if humanity ends up colonising Mars or living in space stations, whether we figure out FTL travel, whether we’ve made contact with other far flung civilisations, what the average day job will be a few hundred years from now and what a space-faring society looks like.  I might read too much Sci Fi.  Extra points if they like buffalo wings as much as I do.

Christine: To be totally honest, I’m done with dinner parties! Give me a quiet corner at my local bar overlooking the ocean, at sunset, my hubby and a glass of merlot and I’m in heaven.

Irene: It would be interesting to have at the same table David Foster Wallace, Roger Federer, Stanley Kubrick and Freddie Mercury, to discuss about sport, music and the meaning of life. Meanwhile, I could prepare homemade gnocchi, tiramisù or a traditional pizza.

Q3: Who or what is your GLAMR inspiration and why?

Angela: Been currently inspired by American program Read Aloud Day highlighting the importance of literacy especially to children.

Bre: Libraries Without Borders! It’s about more than just books. Their efforts show how libraries facilitate community and social well-being, as well as contributing to peace building efforts. Education is so important!

Kylie: I have many!  Two that stick out for me are Hugh Rundle and Kim Tairi.  They’re both making a big impact on the GLAMR community by encouraging collaboration, learning and idea sharing.  They are incredibly motivated and creative, which I admire.

Christine: It would have to be author of The Atlas of New Librarianship, David Lankes. His work made such an impact on me at uni, and really opened my eyes to how influential and important libraries are to communities. It put a fire in my belly! And it was a real treat to hear him speak at the VALA conference last year!

Irene: Information professionals who passionately advocate for librarians’ critical role in nowadays society, using interdisciplinary approaches, are a great inspiration to me. I also appreciate the GLAM-Wiki project, as I believe in the necessity to share resources by collaborative communities.

The new ALIA SNGG social media team will be working hard to bring you even more amazing content in 2017.  Stay tuned!

#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

ALIA NGAC positions: your questions answered

The ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee is currently looking for two new members. Being a member of NGAC is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the LIS profession in Australia and your professional development.

Since launching our recruitment last month, I’ve received a few queries and thought I’d share my answers here.

What does the New Generation Advisory Committee do?

“NGAC exists to help strengthen the participation of recently graduated library and information professionals in the Association. The Committee provides advice to the ALIA Board of Directors on issues of relevance to students and new professionals. The Committee works to provide information to the Board and National Office staff to inform development and delivery of services for new professional and student members, with the aim of ensuring the Association’s relevance to these groups.” – ALIA NGAC Manual

Plainly speaking, I personally believe there are two main roles of NGAC – connector and facilitator. As a connector, NGAC is your direct link to the ALIA Board. Through our engagement with the professional community, online and face-to-face, we have our eyes and ears out for issues, trends and concerns related to new library and information professionals. We help raise and advise on these with the Association towards better services and initiatives, and in turn, strengthen the future of our profession.

As a profession, we need to be responsive to the constantly changing environment around us. And to do that, we need to talk to each other and share our experiences. So as a facilitator, NGAC contributes to keeping the conversation going. Not just with new library and information professional issues, but we also encourage conversation among our community and network about broader industry issues and trends. You may have participated in our recent #auslibchat!

What’s the difference between NGAC and the Students & New Graduates Group?

Having now been involved with both the Student and New Graduates Group and NGAC, I can say they are different experiences. NGAC has a strategic advisory role within the Association, looking at new library and information professional issues across the country, while Students and New Graduates Group are ‘on the ground’, actively providing opportunities for networking and professional development opportunities at a local level. So with these bases covered, NGAC and the Students and New Graduates Group are well positioned to work together in achieving a common objective – increase student and new graduate participation and engagement with the profession.

Do I need to be a librarian?

No, you don’t. In fact, we have committee members from a variety of information sectors. We’re keen to hear different perspectives, for example, archives, information and records management, museums, academic, government, corporate, etc.

And…what about GLAM connections?

There are certainly opportunities here to further build our relationships with similar groups in Australia, and abroad. We need to identify those opportunities and explore where we can potentially work together.

Do I need to include references in my resume?

Selection is based on the skills and experience you bring (as demonstrated on your resume) and your response to the criteria.

If you wish to consider applying for an NGAC position (and please do!), I strongly recommend having a look at the position description and selection criteria and if this seems like the opportunity your looking for in contributing to the profession, then get started on your application!

Expressions of interest are due Friday, 4 March COB.

If you have any questions about being an NGAC member please don’t hesitate to contact me (acrystelle@gmail.com) with the subject line NGAC Inquiry.

Alisa Howlett – Chair, ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee