New Librarian’s Symposium (’08)

This symposium was held in Melbourne on the 5th and 6th of December, 2008. I realize that this conference happened 4 months ago, but better late than never! (?). I wanted to make sure that I shared a few points about the conference because several presentations covered technology/ideas that are not yet being used by libraries in New Zealand.

“23 things” was talked about in several presentations. “23 things” is an online exercise, essentially, where librarians sign up for the project and each week they search and participate in a different Web 2.0 application or technology. I found this to be an interesting tool to get the technophobes among us to give Web 2.0 applications a go. This exercise allows them to explore areas that they had no reason to tinker with before. This link has a good example of one attempt by a library. “23 things” (inspired by 43 Things, a website that challenges people to “list your goals, share your progress, and cheer each other on”) is a way for the more technologically hesitant librarians to sign up and use Web 2.0 and think about how these applications could be useful to the libraries.  The University of Michigan has altered it to 13 things.

Many of the younger librarians who have tried to start Web 2.0 initiatives have found great difficulty getting fellow tech-hesitant librarians among them to participate. Unfortunately justifications or alternatives were not discussed.

Common Craft was brought up by many presenters as well. This website is useful for those people that are too embarrassed to ask their colleagues what RSS or Twitter is. You can just go to the website and find a video that explains ‘in plain English’ quite a lot of popular technology/ideas (You just have to put up with the American accents, which even I find annoying).

A talk about keeping up-to-date with the library profession and web technology inspired me to make a little more time to read through those e-mails sent from all of the lists that I subscribe to. Or, to take stock and unsubscribe and find something better. Some general advice from the speaker, Michelle McLean from the Australian Library Corporation, was to read journals, go to conferences and training sessions, network (librarians are supposed to be sharing people, aren’t we?), bookmark websites using, etc. They are mostly suggestions that are not new to a lot of us. But, I think it is useful to keep in touch and keep reading. It inspires us about our profession, giving us new (and used) ideas to apply to our own work.

Gillian Hallam from Queensland University of Technology spoke about the potential of ePortfolios. These are widely used in the U.S. for doctors and engineers. It is a way that an applicant can show a little more about him/herself as well as all of the essential CV material, providing a deeper view of a person. Look at this ePortfolio to see an example.

One thought on “New Librarian’s Symposium (’08)

  1. Rachael April 14, 2009 / 2:27 am

    Thanks Alison, this is really useful! The Common Craft website is great – I can never find simple words to explain what stuff like RSS is, exactly. I see what you mean about the American accents though, heh heh.

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