Naidene is an Assistant Library Campus Coordinator at Griffith University and is currently studying her Masters of Information Studies through Charles Sturt.
What was your path to librarianship? What was it that drew you to librarianship?
I guess you could say I fell into it. I have spent years studying music and education with no real stable job prospects so becoming a librarian was a very natural transition for me. I already had strong transferable skills in IT, literacy and organisational skills. So changing career focus was a new start for me that I was very excited about.
What drew me to librarianship was the variety in job roles and the constant learning. I think a love of knowledge is where it all started. As a librarian you need to keep up with the latest technologies, to help guide people find the information they need and to appropriately organise and manage information you’re entrusted with. I enjoy this immensely, as a librarian I find I am mentoring, training and educating staff and patrons on a daily basis to find, access and use information.
Where are you doing your library qualification and when will you graduate?
I am studying a master of information studies externally through Charles Sturt University. I am hoping to finish by the end of 2017.
Where are you currently working and what is your job title?
I am currently working at Griffith University. I started as a Library Campus Services (LCS) team member but I am currently enjoying a secondment opportunity as the Assistant Library Campus Coordinator. I help assist and train LCS staff across both Nathan and Logan campus libraries. The LCS staff are the face of the library and assist and support academics and students of Griffith University.
What does a standard day look like you for?
A typical day is quite varied as my responsibilities are vast. The majority of my time is spent deputising for the campus coordinator and supporting the staff in their daily operational activities. Whether that be liaising with staff to develop or update ‘Best Practice Work Methods’ that support staff in completion of daily operations, as well as developing training activities for the staff to improve or upskill. There are always a number of interesting little projects that I will be working on as well. Such as the review and rewording of the Griffith Library webpages, deselection and weeding of the physical library collection, or organising and arranging spaces in the library for events.
What is it that you love most about your job or librarianship in general?
What I love most about librarianship is the role is ever-changing and renewing. Libraries are innovative places and holistically embrace change within education, technology and information. On a daily basis I am learning something new or discovering new ways to find, create, and share information.
What I enjoy about my current job the most is interacting with students everyday and the staff. I am a part of a large team of library campus services staff and they are a very supportive and dynamic group. I enjoy the customer service aspect, especially when I get thrown a good reference question. There is nothing more rewarding then seeing the look of stress disappear from a student’s’ face because you managed to find what they were looking for. It’s the feeling of empowerment when you have really helped someone.
Do you have any advice for students and new graduates forging their careers in librarianship?
Be proactive and show initiative. Libraries are always changing and re-inventing so it is admiring when someone shows initiative and thinks outside the box. Especially working in an academic library, students need and want to have the latest and greatest in their services. So constantly upskilling and keeping abreast of new trends and solutions in technology and education is desirable. I recommend not waiting for your employee to recommend training, make the effort to constantly learn and immerse yourself in the world of libraries, information and technology. For example just recently I participated in an adobe education online training course. I have already implemented what I have learnt to improve my work practice. I developed skills in a number of adobe software products, which have also been beneficial when dealing with students who need basic help with adobe software that they may be using for their assignments.
Can you tell me about one of your early interviews for a library role? How did it go? Any advice?
Interviews are always very daunting and stressful, so preparation is key. The interview I attended for my entry into Griffith has been the most successful to date, not only because I got the job, but how I went about it. While I had no library experience I was able to demonstrate through transferable skills I had developed working in retail and throughout my university studies. Understanding the role you are applying for is vital and ensuring you can demonstrate succinctly your capability and what you can bring to the role. Don’t waffle! Come prepare with 2 to 3 competency examples to demonstrate to the panel your capabilities.
Where do you hope your career takes you?
To be honest I have only just started experiencing what libraries have to offer. There are a myriad number of paths to choose from in Academic libraries alone. Within the foreseeable future I am just looking forward to exploring those numerous roles and hopefully find where exactly is my forte.
You’ll be attending NLS8 – What are you most excited about?
NLS8 have an exciting line up of keynote speakers, such as Jane Caro, R. David Lankes, Mylee Joseph & many more. It would be great to hear from them all as they have a wealth of knowledge and with most currently contributing innovatively within the library sector.
I am most excited about the opportunity to network and connect with others who are working and studying in the librarianship field. Conferences are a great way to keep in touch with the current trends of the industry, which is generally inspiring and energising.