#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.

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

NLS8 Bursary Competition – now open!

ngac-bursary-poster-sngg-blog

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a Librarian can bring you back the right one”
Neil Gaiman

ALIA and ALIA NGAC are proud to announce the NLS8 Bursary Competition! This is an excellent opportunity for the next generation of Students, Library and Information professionals to win a bursary to attend NLS8 in Canberra in June 2017.

This year we’re inviting the next generation of students and information professionals to create a record of your thoughts – in any format that you like – about where the Library and Information world will be in 2037. The winning entry will be included in a time capsule, to be opened on ALIA’s 100th birthday.
Entries can be either physical or digital and in creative format, such as text, drawing,
music, video, games or crafts. The more creative the better, no holes barred!

Entrants must have ALIA membership and studying or recently graduated from a Library and Information accredited course.

Be quick and submit your entries to aliangac@gmail.com. Submissions close on the 31st March 2017 at 10 pm.

Bursaries are also available through the NLS8 committee until March 13th. Do you work with any students or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues? Tell them to apply! Fewer people apply for bursaries than you think. Applicants can apply using a written or video application. For more details head to nls8.com/bursaries