Thursday, 6 January 2011

12 days of Christmas - Post 12 Wrap up 2001-2010

Final post for the 12 days of Christmas Twitter challenge. Many of the participants have contributed a blog post during this challenge wrapping up 2010, either professionally, personally or both. I had this on the agenda for my final post, then had a change of heart and thought I would blog about one or two professional highlights that occurred each year over the past 10 years.

  1. 2001 - Commenced at Charles Sturt University for the Bachelor of Arts (Library and Information Science). I had just missed out on enrolling in 1999 to start in 2000 so completed an elective in 2000 just before I had another baby.
  2. 2002 - Learned cataloguing :-)
  3. 2003 - Got my first Dean's Award for Academic Excellence.
  4. 2004 - Started my first professional role as a Children's Librarian, even though I was not yet qualified.
  5. 2005 - Presented my first conference paper at neXt 2005: ALIA National Library and Information Technicians Conference.
  6. 2006 - Graduated with Distinction from CSU.
  7. 2007 - Attended the Aurora Institute courtesy of the ALIA Aurora Scholarship and the State Library of Victoria.
  8. 2008 - Commenced a new role with Yarra Plenty Regional Library and convened the 4th ALIA New Librarians Symposium in Melbourne (NLS4).
  9. 2009 - Presented a paper at IFLA on issues impacting on the recruitment of school leavers to the library profession with Gill Hallam. Gill is a wonderful advocate for the profession, someone I admire and look up to.
  10. 2010 - Acted for almost a year as Operations Manager at Yarra Plenty, an exceptional professional development opportunity.

12 days of Christmas - Post 11 Something for me

Reading many of the posts for the 12 days of Christmas, as well as posts on Twitter, has made me aware of the need to have a healthy balance in life (as I won't really be 'working' this year, I can't quite say 'work/life balance').

I thought I would follow Kate's craft meme, also followed by Tony, to reinforce things I want (would like) to achieve this year).

  1. I will continue to avoid buying items for my scrapbooking stash so I can use what I have faster (this has been in place for almost 3 years and nothing seems to have depleted...)
  2. I will make all my Christmas cards again this year.
  3. I will experiment and make a step card that will fit in a standard size envelope.
  4. I will finish my December Daily album (I really just have to get photos together).
  5. I will continue with Project 365 for myself and Anthony.
  6. I will finish crocheting my granny stripe blanket.
  7. I will unpick some jumpers that I no longer want and reuse the wool.
  8. I will finish scrapbooking Project 365 for 2009-2010.
  9. I will host some more crafternoons, as I am a little housebound right now (first Twitter one scheduled for Jan 16, yay).
  10. I will experiment more with Photoshop.

Now I am kind of bound to do these.....

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

12 days of Christmas - Post 10 On recruiting to the profession

An issue that is very dear to my heart is that of using well thought out and meaningful work experience programs for secondary school students as a way to recruit more to the profession. There has been a lot of concern expressed internationally about the future of the library and information services profession; there are quite a number of factors that are contributing to an uncertain future. These include: recruitment and retention, changing skill sets and declining numbers of people choosing librarianship as a career. Library professional bodies, such as ALIA and ALA ,have encouraged considerable research into these problems so we can attempt to better understand issues of sustainability, however one area that has not been explored in any depth is the topic of why LIS studies are not perceived, let alone promoted, as a good first professional qualification for school leavers.

There needs to be some sort of development of effective career pathways which will require integrated relationships between the schools, vocational education and higher education sectors, along with employers and professional associations. I think there's quite a bit of scope for the LIS profession to develop career models that might be representative for other areas of employment.

There isn't much in the way of professional literature that examines the uptake of librarianship as a first qualification by school leavers, which is what made me take on a research study of the issues impacting on recruitment of young people. In particular, I like to look at opportunities for inspiring and motivating students through well structured and stimulating work experience programs. This topic is relevant to all librarians who are interested in the future of the LIS profession. After all, we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our profession.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

12 days of Christmas - Post 9 - Tips for first time conference attendees

In 2007 I was fortunate enough to be on the organising committee for ALIA07, the ALIA National Library and Technicians Conference 2007. My portfolio was Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, a position I found challenging and rewarding. One of pages I put together for the website was tips for first time conference attendees. With ALIA Information Online approaching, I thought it would be fitting to repost the information here.

Planning before the conference

Plan what presentations you will see in advance by reading the abstracts that are supplied by the conference organisers. Some sessions may require advance booking due to limited numbers, so book in early if you are interested.

Only book for events or tours that you know you are interested in and will attend. It will undermine your credibility if your name is there and you don’t turn up.

Send some emails to the ALIA lists (eg libtec, aliaVIC, aliaNEWGRADS) to see how many others are attending from your state, where the best accommodation might be or the best way to get around the city where the conference is to be held. You may even find a potential room mate!

Attend the first timer’s dinner, if there is one being held.

Before you start

Take comfortable shoes – you will be doing a lot of walking and standing.

Take a bottle of water – air conditioning can make conference venues very dry.

As a mini survival kit, take some aspirin in case you get caught with a headache, and some band aids in case of blisters.

Trade vendors often have giveaways and promotional material regarding new products, so make sure you take a bag that can accommodate your goodies.

Conferences are excellent networking opportunities – handing out business cards is much more professional than writing your details on scrap paper. If you do not have any supplied by your employer, they can be made quite simply using programs such as Microsoft Publisher.

Room temperatures can vary, so try to wear something layered which will allow you to adjust your clothing in accordance with the room comfort level, for example, wearing a short sleeved shirt with a light jacket over the top.

If you are an interstater, remember to do some research about the host city – make the most of this opportunity to visit another city!

Develop some questions to help you break the ice. For example:

*Which presentations are you particularly interested in?
*Have you heard any of these presenters before?
*Are you from Sydney?
*Do you work in a library?

Prepare some good questions to help you liaise with the trade at the venue. For example:

*Are you showcasing anything new this year?
*Can you demonstrate something about this product for me?

At the venue

Turn your mobile phone off or switch it to silent/vibrate mode.

Familiarise yourself with the layout of the conference venue. Find out the way rooms are numbered or named (in the case of concurrent sessions), where the toilets are located and whether there are any water fountains available.

Most conferences provide lanyards for delegate identification – slip some business cards at the back so you always have them with you, even when you are waiting in queues.

Network with the trade vendors, asking some well thought out questions.

Make sure that your name tag is visible to all, not hiding under a jacket or behind your hair. You want people to be able to refer to you by name, which will help them remember you more.

Network with as many people as you can – this is where the business cards will come in very handy!

Fill in the conference evaluation form – it is the way the organising committee can make the conference even better the next time around.

During presentations

A plenary session is usually one attended by all delegates. By attending the plenary, you will have something in common to talk about with the rest of the delegates.

Take plenty of notes. This will help if you need to write up a report for work or study, or if you want to write an article for submission to a journal.

Ensure you know where your next session is going to be held, so you don’t waste time trying to get there.

Try to arrive at the presentation a little early, especially if you need certain seating for a reason, for example to see more clearly or hear better.

If you do arrive late, don’t stress, just take the plunge and sit down! You won’t be the first to be late!

Don’t be hesitant in asking questions. You are among colleagues and friends.

It is common practice to identify yourself, your library, or your place of study prior to asking your question.

The trade exhibition

Make sure that you visit the ALIA stand to meet with local liaison officers and National Office representatives, and learn about the work of our professional association.

Business cards come in handy here. Many booths have competitions where entry is by placing a business card in for a prize draw. You can also hand them out for information to be sent to you at a later date.

If something from one of the exhibitors really attracts your attention, write some brief information on one of their business cards as a prompt for after the conference.

Ask the questions that you have prepared earlier (see above). Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know anything about a product/vendor – this is their opportunity to inform you!

Even if you are familiar with the trade exhibitors, take the opportunity to see if there is something new on the market that you can learn about.

Remember to thank the vendors – their participation enhances your conference experience and professional knowledge and will also encourage them to continue supporting conferences.

Networking and Social Events

You will be in a lot of queues (tea breaks, lunches, even the restrooms!) so make the most of these opportunities to network with people.

Remember, if you have business cards, bring them with you because they are a useful tool for networking.

If you’re a first timer, try to get accommodation from those recommended by the Committee. This will give you more opportunities to network.

Use the elists to find contacts from your area.

Remember that networking is not only about talking about work-related topics.

If you can, set up dinner groups – gathering around a meal is a great networking opportunity.

Try to attend events that are organised for all delegates, such as the conference dinner or cocktail party. These are designed to bring all delegates together in a fun atmosphere.

Always be positive – try not to put a negative slant to the conversation. You could be talking to a prospective employer!

12 days of Christmas - Post 8 On documenting life and more challenges

Today @polyxena invited me to a challenge to read a mystery book a month as recommended by Tara Moss. I have been quite slack in my reading since starting work in the library industry, which is a shame as I was so addicted to reading. January's book is Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express which I have reserved at my local library. I used to own almost all Agatha Christie's works, but got rid of them a few years ago in an attempt to declutter.

@polyxena and I are not quite sure how the Tara Moss challenge works (it isn't very clear) but we have undertaken to read the book recommended regardless of whether we get to use our registration to the site or not. @bonitoclub, @katejf and @mt77 have also jumped on board. Not sure whether listening to @polyxena is a wise thing - the last time I did this I became addicted to Cityville...... :-) If you are interested visit the blog post here for more information on how to join #librarytwittermysteryamonth.

In the last few days I have undertaken quite a few challenges. There is :

  • Fiona's blog post a day for the 12 days of Christmas;
  • Project365 for Anthony (taking a photo of him every day for 12 months);
  • Kathryn's #dailyimage2011 where a photo is taken of the individual every day and then uploaded to Flickr (except I wont be uploading);
  • Anne's reading a recommended mystery book a month.

Anne also recommended I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I have read or that I want to read. I have registered and entered 3 books so far....