#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

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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.

ALIA Board elections 2016: Annette McGuiness

NGAC is delighted to have been able to ask questions of the candidates for this year’s ALIA board elections. Our questions were focused on issues specifically related to students and new graduates. Each candidate’s responses will be posted separately. There are a number of candidates this year and we’ve received a fabulous response so far.  

Many thanks to all candidates for taking the time to answer our questions. 

Today’s responses come from Annette McGuiness.

1. What do you think of the state of the profession for new graduates? If they are finding it difficult to find their first job what advice would you give them?

I believe that the LIS industry offers new graduates some amazing opportunities for those willing to engage and to step forward and/or step up to them. I found ALIA’s Future of the Library and information profession reports (see: https://alia.org.au/futureoftheprofession) provided good insights into the ‘state of the profession’ across a range of the industry’s sectors.

Opportunities do vary across sectors and across the states and territories and this may mean that new graduates (or any library professional really) may need to work in an area that is not an ideal or first choice to gain some good basic experience or to even relocate to maximise the opportunities available to them.

I would advise new graduates to get some good CV and selection criteria training, and to make use of any ALIA or other networking or workshop opportunities.  I would suggest having simple business cards printed up, and to join LinkedIn. I would also recommend new graduates submitting their resumes to LIS and even general recruitment agencies.

2. How can ALIA help students and new graduates? For those in hiring positions what are the benefits of hiring new graduate LIS professionals?

Students and new grads are the future of the profession…. I joined ALIA as a student and it provided a great foundation of valuable information and contacts. That was over 20 years ago and the resources and contacts available today are even more extensive. Keeping student and new grad membership rates reasonable would also be helpful to attracting and retaining those coming to the profession.

Benefits.  In my experience the greatest benefits that new graduates bring to a workplace are a high sense of enthusiasm and energy together with an openness to learn.  I have also found that new graduates bring with them lots of good ideas , and they tend to have a more recent exposure to the literature –  new trend info, links to new sources and resources!

3. What are the essential skills librarians and information professionals need in order to be relevant both today and going into the future? What could ALIA do to promote librarians as information professionals and service providers with skills relevant to a wider range of industries?

Again ALIA has already done some good work in reviewing LIS education, skills and employment trends (see: https://alia.org.au/employment-and-careers/alia-lis-education-skills-and-employment-trend-report); but if I had to encapsulate a good foundation information and skill set for new graduates I would include:

  • An excellent theory foundation in information management with solid practicum experience
    High-level digital literacy skills
  • A solid understanding of metadata/access point/description functionality
  • Comfort in using and teaching others to use technology
    Engaging presentation and communication skills,
  • Flexibility and an openness to learn.

 

LIS professionals have one of the most applicable and transferable skill-sets of any profession.  If you look at all of the knowledge and skills articulated, they are valuable not just across our industry but across any industry that has information management and sharing at its core.

 

4. What have been the benefits of undertaking professional development in your career? Why should the Professional Development program be compulsory for all ALIA members?

It is rare to find a LIS professional who is not a lifelong learner or a lover of learning. Professional development is critical to staying ‘fresh’ and to maintaining and/or enhancing knowledge and skills.  Group-based PD also tends to offer valuable networking opportunities.   I support the idea of compulsory registration in terms of meeting and maintaining skills to a professional standard however it is very much a balance of cost (both in time and in funding), and I am conscious of those in different parts of the sector (e.g. teacher-librarians, and those working in small special libraries or one-person libraries, etc.) who don’t always have the resources to participate in continuous/compulsory professional development.  

5. What would you like to see the ALIA board achieve?

The short answer is that I would like to achieve great things for its members – which in turn will always benefit our broader work and personal communities. I am very keen to see the ALIA Board supporting initiatives that have value across as many of the library and information sectors as is possible. I look forward to an opportunity to further enhance ALIA’s support and contribution to our incredible industry.


We encourage all eligible members to consider these responses as they make their decisions to vote in the election. Voting is underway in the 2016 ALIA Board of Directors election and will close on Friday 8 April 2016.

More information about the process and this year’s candidates can be found at the ALIA website.

Alisa Howlett, Chair ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee

ALIA Board elections 2016: Lyndall Osborne

NGAC is delighted to have been able to ask questions of the candidates for this year’s ALIA board elections. Our questions were focused on issues specifically related to students and new graduates. Each candidate’s responses will be posted separately. There are a number of candidates this year and we’ve received a fabulous response so far.  

Many thanks to all candidates for taking the time to answer our questions. 

Today’s responses come from Lyndall Osborne.

1. What do you think of the state of the profession for new graduates? If they are finding it difficult to find their first job what advice would you give them?

I actually think in Australia librarianship is a dynamic and exciting profession with lots of opportunity for new graduates. Australian libraries of all types are embracing the challenges of new technologies,  new roles, new collaborative opportunities and new ways of engaging with community.  Librarians have awesome skills that can be applied in all sorts of non-traditional roles.  New librarians can find themselves in the traditional catch-22 of needing experience and not having the means to get experience.  I would advise taking every opportunity to talk to working librarians, to network, and even to intern or undertake other short periods of work if possible. Be involved in social media. Consider the unusual, ask for opportunities, you never know where it might lead and it will all broaden your horizons and add to your resume.

2. How can ALIA help students and new graduates? For those in hiring positions what are the benefits of hiring new graduate LIS professionals?

ALIA professional development programs are really important, especially courses that are free and can be undertaken online so that learning can continue. So are the ways ALIA helps showcase employment opportunities.  Perhaps it could also help advertise intern and volunteer positions.  For those hiring new graduates there are advantages: enthusiasm, new ideas, the latest knowledge, the ability to help someone start their career.

3. What are the essential skills librarians and information professionals need in order to be relevant both today and going into the future? What could ALIA do to promote librarians as information professionals and service providers with skills relevant to a wider range of industries?

Technology is key, everything from coding to data visualisation to super searching. So is understanding ways of engaging with (at times collaborating with)  and understanding your community, whether that community is students, researchers, workers in a hospital or other industry, or the general public served through a public library.Flexibility, adaptability, the ability to be resilient in times of continuous change, to be able to innovate and be creative.

ALIA can and should be involved in a wide range of industry forums and conferences, consider providing speakers, have a stand in the trade show at a variety of forums, not just library and closely related conferences.

4. What have been the benefits of undertaking professional development in your career? Why should the Professional Development program be compulsory for all ALIA members?

Learning is always valuable, in fact essential. I have learned much over my career by working in a wide variety of libraries: public, university, special, research. Each type of library, and each difference position has taught me new skills and new ways of applying and developing my professional knowledge. Learning keeps you change ready and that is essential to have a long-term career.

5. What would you like to see the ALIA board achieve?

To continue to improve the profile of the profession, to develop valuable and valued information professionals, to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people into the profession so that they can care for their own cultural knowledge and archives, and to be a relevant professional body to workers in libraries and information organisations.


We encourage all eligible members to consider these responses as they make their decisions to vote in the election. Voting is underway in the 2016 ALIA Board of Directors election and will close on Friday 8 April 2016.

More information about the process and this year’s candidates can be found at the ALIA website.

Alisa Howlett, Chair ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee

ALIA Board elections 2016: Penny Davies

NGAC is delighted to have been able to ask questions of the candidates for this year’s ALIA board elections. Our questions were focused on issues specifically related to students and new graduates. Each candidate’s responses will be posted separately. There are a number of candidates this year and we’ve received a fabulous response so far.  

Many thanks to all candidates for taking the time to answer our questions. 

Today’s responses come from Penny Davies.

1. What do you think of the state of the profession for new graduates? If they are finding it difficult to find their first job what advice would you give them?

The LIS profession is at a time of burgeoning significant change. The myriad developments on the world stage including technology, our understanding of operating in non-traditional forums, vision to develop and deliver new outcomes etc all place the profession in an exciting space.

Added to this, generational change is already being seen but will flourish over the next years as many existing LIS professionals retire. As this age group represents a large proportion of the industry which is magnified at the managerial and leadership level this anticipated exit will open opportunities for many, both existing and new graduates entering the profession.

This is a vibrantly exciting time ripe with opportunity for individuals and the profession as a whole.

For new Graduates finding it difficult to find their first job I would encourage them to seek out someone in the industry they trust and admire. A good mentor can be a lifelong relationship and establishing someone early can greatly assist new grads in developing their careers. Ask this mentor to assist you in the process of preparing job applications and your CV. They may well be able to take you through a mock interview scenario. Any confidence that a young grad can develop will greatly assist in the process. If you don’t have a pre-existing relationship head down to the local library and introduce yourself.

Passion and a preparedness to learn about the organisation you want to work for are critical. It may be necessary, even desirable, to think outside the proverbial box when applying for jobs. Whilst it is desirable to have a career goal sometimes it is necessary to seize an unusual opportunity to open doors.

2. How can ALIA help students and new graduates? For those in hiring positions what are the benefits of hiring new graduate LIS professionals?

ALIA holds an important role in advocating for all in the industry including new grads. The professional development structure and ALIA weekly are very useful tools to be informed and abreast of change, opportunity and best practice.
The benefit of hiring new graduates include freshness, enthusiasm and passion coupled with up to date training giving the new grad an edge that is often only seen at that point of freshness. Coupling that with the experience existing within an organisation can deliver exciting, creative and innovative outcomes.

3. What are the essential skills librarians and information professionals need in order to be relevant both today and going into the future? What could ALIA do to promote librarians as information professionals and service providers with skills relevant to a wider range of industries?

The contemporary LIS professional must be engaged, adaptive, innovative and flexible. A commitment to ongoing professional development is a must in order to stay current, fresh and relevant in a fast changing world. A commitment to the role and a spirit of service are fundamental. As LIS professionals in many ways we hold enormous power. Bringing people and resources/information together through our expertise is highly satisfying and rewarding.

Just as it is incumbent for all LIS professionals to stay abreast of industry trends so it is true for professionals and ALIA as an organisation to also keep a watching brief on changes and developments in other industries. Important lessons can often be learned and extrapolated as well as creating opportunities to forge relationships and to advocate for the standing of the profession at all times with all parties.

4. What have been the benefits of undertaking professional development in your career? Why should the Professional Development program be compulsory for all ALIA members?

Professional development is critical to staying informed, vibrant and relevant. Whether through formal learning opportunities or informal such as professional reading it is critical to be constantly learning, absorbing and growing to ensure that we are providing the best quality service at all times.

I would like to think that all practitioners would see the need and be committed to pursuing excellence in their profession which includes formal and informal learning. The LIS profession is not a stagnant field. Whilst the technological changes are evident to all, it is equally important to be abreast of changing community expectations, modes of learning and engaging and seeking and sourcing information. Ongoing professional development is a prerequisite to providing cutting edge, innovative, resourceful, relevant services.

5. What would you like to see the ALIA board achieve?

I have a particular commitment to ensuring the profession is as energetic, relevant and vibrant as it can possibly be. I would relish the opportunity to work as part of the board ensuring that the profession continues to be respected and valued and that in many instances it realises a new understanding and value in the eye of government, school principals, councils, business and the many others who employee LIS professionals and through controlling budgets and policy direction have an enormous say in influencing the climate in which the profession works. I wish to see the profession valued by those outside the profession and for those within it to have a firm commitment to excellence and pride in themselves and their colleagues.


We encourage all eligible members to consider these responses as they make their decisions to vote in the election. Voting is underway in the 2016 ALIA Board of Directors election and will close on Friday 8 April 2016.

More information about the process and this year’s candidates can be found at the ALIA website.

Alisa Howlett, Chair ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee