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The evolution of the TAFE library in a technology charged world

ALIA National 2014 Conference, 15-19 September 2014 Melbourne : together we are stronger
This conference paper discusses how technology offers a TAFE library a great opportunity to improve the way students access information and customer service. Over the years, TAFE libraries have embraced technology, however, it’s been incremental and a case of making small noticeable differences to the service. The primary driver is still brick-and-mortar service delivery. It’s the way we have done things for so long.  We deliver service in a way that we believe, best offers students immediate gratification and quality delivery. Either the information is on the shelves or our staff will find it and get it to you without delay. So brick-and-mortar is still the primary channel for TAFE libraries.
Nevertheless, we have now reached the precipice of change. We are now in a technology charged world that is accelerating at a rapid pace, opening the doors for TAFE libraries to dramatically change the way we deliver library products and services. The coming years will see TAFE libraries push quicker towards an omni-channel strategy - a mash up of physical and digital service experience for students.

The role of games in community building in an urban public library

National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) supports  the paper that discusses gaming as a pastime that encompasses a wide range of activities including video games, board games, pen and paper role playing games, and card games.   It evaluate the ways in which an urban public library can assess and meet the varied social and emotional needs of patrons using board and video games and examines issues surrounding gaming in libraries. It considers the role that game playing can have in the creation and building of communities when participation is facilitated by a public library through the provision of games and gaming events.
 
A survey was used to gather information to present a snapshot of the gaming habits of a community of individuals who utilise the services of an urban public library.  The results can inform other organisations when they are creating a game collection or expanding an existing one to help them choose titles which promote shared experiences and foster communication between community members. 

The benefits and the costs of digital grey literature for collecting organisations and the world!

ALIA National 2014 Conference, 15-19 September 2014 Melbourne : together we are stronger

This conference presentation explores the role of grey literature in public policy and practice in Australia based on the results of the Grey Literature Strategies research project, an ARC Linkage project being undertaken by Swinburne University and Victoria University in partnership with the National Library of Australia, the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Eidos Institute.

The presentation presents the findings from three online surveys conducted in 2013 of users, producers and collectors of research and information as well as interviews conducted with librarians, researchers and producing organisations. The paper will focus on the data from collecting organisations and other relevant results for the library community and will discuss the way in which libraries are both succeeding and still struggling in their approach to digital content. Topics that will be discussed include: the content users and collecting organisations consider most important; how users find and access content; views on copyright reform; strategies for dealing with deadlinks; selection and evaluation of digital content; contingent valuation and cost benefit analysis of grey literature.

The new RDA: resource description in libraries and beyond [slides]

ACOC 2018 Seminar, 13 August 2018 Canberra: resource description for the 21st century 
 
This presentation (PowerPoint slides) provides an overview of the RDA toolkit and RDA registry.
 
The ACOC seminar, organised by the Australian Committee on Cataloguing (ACOC), provides an opportunity to learn about the IFLA-LRM and how it will affect you, as well as the future of the RDA standard. It is of interest to all librarians, especially cataloguers, metadata creators and library system administrators. This seminar provides a rare opportunity to hear from the Chair of the RDA Steering Committee (RSC), Gordon Dunsire, who is visiting Australia and New Zealand on his way to IFLA in Malaysia. Gordon, along with Deborah Fritz, the legendary cataloguing trainer and consultant, will introduce the new look RDA and demystify the IFLA-LRM.
 
The seminar will also include news about the newly formed Oceania RDA Committee (ORDAC), a BIBFRAME update, and a demonstration of the new RDA Toolkit.

 

Tackling the challenges of modern day resource sharing at a national scale [slides]

Share it: Resource Sharing Futures Conference, 10-11 May 2018 Canberra
 
In collaboration with ALIA, Libraries Australia held Share it, a two-day resource sharing futures event. The aim of Share it was to discuss the current Australian resource sharing landscape and issues around the complex world of modern resource sharing. A further aim was to determine whether there is still a need for a national resource sharing service and, if so, to develop a resource sharing road map and action plan for Australia.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) provides an overview the current resource sharing landscape in New Zealand libraries.

The challenges of resource sharing in the 21st century: the view from Libraries Australia [slides]

Share it: Resource Sharing Futures Conference, 10-11 May 2018 Canberra
 
In collaboration with ALIA, Libraries Australia held Share it, a two-day resource sharing futures event. The aim of Share it was to discuss the current Australian resource sharing landscape and issues around the complex world of modern resource sharing. A further aim was to determine whether there is still a need for a national resource sharing service and, if so, to develop a resource sharing road map and action plan for Australia.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) provides an overview the current resource sharing landscape in Australian libraries.

The library as third space: how our rural library is leaping into this concept [slides]

Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference 2018, 30 July - 2 August 2018 Gold Coast: Roar Leap Dare
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) discusses the idea of the 3rd space, first raised by ay Oldenberg in his book ‘The Great Good Place’ (1989). In the 21st Century the places where a person may have no expectations placed upon them, where they may enter into a world of social acceptance and feel instantly ‘at home’ are rare. For some the library is the one place where they can guarantee they will have a conversation or at least some kind of interaction with another human being.  Many are lonely, elderly, restricted in some manner and have very small or non-existent social circles. The library is therefore becoming the ‘coal face’ for the disenfranchised, the lonely and the unaware.  ‘You should expect your library to be a community space – a place for the interchange of ideas and the creation of whole new concepts.’ (R.D.Lankes, 2012)

In this Pecha Kucha session I will demonstrate how the Eltham Library is demonstrating the use of the community as the 3rd space. I will show photographic evidence and provide testimony from our members – relating their stories and their reasons for regular participation in our weekly sessions. The common link is the need for social interaction and companionship. ‘The individual with a 3rd place has a host of friends that are not limited by the narrowness of personal choice.’ (Oldenberg, 1989).

Submission in response to the Senate Inquiry into issues facing diaspora communities in Australia, July 2020

This submission from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), highlights the success of public libraries, as government entities on the frontline of service delivery for diaspora communities. While public libraries are very much involved in this field, they are rarely recognised for this work.
 
Public libraries collaborate with their local communities to develop culturally appropriate programs; to provide books, magazines, newspapers and other resources in languages other than English; to celebrate diversity; to facilitate a greater sense of connection and build mutual understanding; to make physical spaces into culturally safe places; to support skills development for example with digital literacy and English as a second language.

Submission in response to the Review of Senior Secondary Pathways into Work, Further Education and Training Discussion Paper, December 2019

This submission from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) discusses the value of school libraries in supporting teaching staff, building reading and information literacies, promoting cybersafety and digital skills, and providing access to recreational books as well as essential study materials.
 
ALIA supports the notion of introducing mandatory, reportable minimum standards for literacy, numeracy and digital literacy and urges the review to make a clear link between these skills and the role of school libraries. Well-resourced school libraries, staffed by qualified professionals should be available to all young people in order to prepare them for future study and work.

Stonnington Libraries online literacy and development (SOLID) program

National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead
 
This conference paper explores the Stonnington Libraries Online Literacy and Development (SOLID) program developed by Charlotte Aberhart for staff across the Stonnington Library and Information Service. Between 2012 and 2016 Stonnington Library staff found they were increasingly approached by patrons for assistance with mobile devices and online services, in an environment where 'digital first' content was becoming more prevalent. The SOLID program was designed to improve staff confidence in meeting the specific needs of Stonnington Library patrons and encompassed five modules, each allocated 6 weeks for completion: Tablet Basics, eBooks and eAudiobooks, eReference, Social Media, and Online Media.
 
The paper outlines the structure and content of the SOLID program and discusses the feedback received from participants. In the future the program will run bi-annually at Stonnington Libraries, a choice made to avoid staff fatigue and to allow technological advances to be incorporated. The SOLID program is also available to other libraries through a Creative Commons license (link provided).

Survival skills: industry engagement and collaboration in the NT

ALIA National 2014 Conference, 15-19 September 2014 Melbourne : together we are stronger

This conference paper discusses the future of  library studies courses in the Northern Territory (NT). In 2008 the lifespan of the Library Studies course in the NT was said to be very short. Sources reported it would be discontinued due to the low enrolment numbers. This posed a huge disadvantage for the local industry if students were no longer trained at a paraprofessional level.

The strategy was to visit libraries, introduce the course (over many cups of coffee) to gain industry trust and support! Employers were strongly encouraged to provide input into assessment and training strategies. This proved to be a huge success for work placement and delivery in the workplace. A strong Course Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed and as staff numbers for delivery were limited flexible learning was introduced. Each semester students were encouraged to visit and tour a variety of libraries and the Museum and were always greeted enthusiastically.

 

School libraries at a glance

In recent times, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has relied on the NSW Crown Employees Award as the starting point for our salary scales, but we were concerned that these pay levels may not be reflective of the reality of the workplace. To test this, we embarked on a survey of people working in the sector. As a result, we have been able to produce the "ALIA LIS pay and employment snapshot 2020", which provides an understanding of real world pay and terms of employment across Australia at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020.
 
This document provides an overview of the pay, terms of employment, age, job satisfaction and career intentions of school library employees.
 

Seams and edges: Dreams of aggregation, access & discovery in a broken world

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract
 
Visions of technological utopia often portray an increasingly ‘seamless’ world, where technology integrates experience across space and time. Edges are blurred as we move easily between devices and contexts, between the digital and the physical.
 
But Mark Weiser, one of the pioneers of ubiquitous computing, questioned the idea of seamlessness, arguing instead for ‘beautiful seams’ — exposed edges that encouraged questions and the exploration of connections and meanings.
 
With discovery services and software vendors still promoting ‘seamless discovery’ as one of their major selling points, it seems the value of seams and edges requires further discussion. As we imagine the future of a service such as Trove, how do we balance the benefits of consistency, coordination and centralisation against the reality of a fragmented, unequal, and fundamentally broken world.
 
This paper will examine the rhetoric of ‘seamlessness’ in the world of discovery services, focusing in particular on the possibilities and problems facing Trove. By analysing both the literature around discovery, and the data about user behaviours currently available through Trove, I intend to expose the edges of meaning-making and explore the role of technology in both inhibiting and enriching experience.
 
How does our dream of comprehensiveness mask the biases in our collections? How do new tools for visualisation reinforce the invisibility of the missing and excluded? How do the assumptions of ‘access’ direct attention away from practical barriers to participation?
 
How does the very idea of systems and services, of complex and powerful ‘machines’ ready to do our bidding, discourage us from seeing the many, fragile acts of collaboration, connection, interpretation, and repair that hold these systems together?
 
Trove is an aggregator and a community; a collection of metadata and a platform for engagement. But as we imagine its future, how do avoid the rhetoric of technological power, and expose its seams and edges to scrutiny.

Seams and edges: Dreams of aggregation, access & discovery in a broken world [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) examines the rhetoric of ‘seamlessness’ in the world of discovery services, focusing in particular on the possibilities and problems facing Trove at the National Library of Australia.

Sustainable Development Goals advocacy: workshops

Our Global Future summit, facilitated by Dr Gill Hallam on 29 July 2018, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
More than 50 library leaders from Australia and the Asia-Pacific met for the Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Goals summit (SDG).
The presentations and workships resulted in the development of a shared understanding of what lies ahead for libraries and a list of actions to raise awareness and understanding of the sustainable development goals and the role libraries can play

Special libraries at a glance

In recent times, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has relied on the NSW Crown Employees Award as the starting point for our salary scales, but we were concerned that these pay levels may not be reflective of the reality of the workplace. To test this, we embarked on a survey of people working in the sector. As a result, we have been able to produce the "ALIA LIS pay and employment snapshot 2020", which provides an understanding of real world pay and terms of employment across Australia at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020.
 
This document provides an overview of the pay, terms of employment, age, job satisfaction and career intentions of special library employees.
 

Submission in response to the Australian Public Service Review, first round consultation

Submission by ALIA to the first round consulation of the Australian Public Service Review, 31 July 2018.
This review is looking at the capability, culture and operating model of the APS.
The submission presents a case against library staffing and service reductions in government libraries and requests that the APS Review consider the following five recommendations:
1. That the review recognise the importance of knowledge and information to the efficient and effective operation of the APS.
2. That the review endorse the ongoing need for qualified library and information professionals serving the Commonwealth Government.
3. That the review propose exploration of new service models for library and information services, with advice from ALIA and other relevant organisations.
4. That the review note the opportunity for the recruitment and employment of Indigenous professionals in the library stream.
5. That the APS recognise the need for specialist skills in the management of library and information services.
 

Submission in response to the Department of Communications and the Arts reviews of the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 and the Online Content Scheme discussion paper, June 2018

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) submission in response to enhancing online safety for children and older Australians. The submission recommends further integration of community focused programs into the Office of the eSafety Commissioner's portfolio.

Submission in response to Australia’s second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-2020

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) emphasises the role of public libraries in support of open government and digital tranformation through helping users to discover, access and use data. Libraries are trusted places, promoting equity and freedom of access to information and resources. They provide a valuable platform for government communication and public education initiatives. For Open Government to be successful and universal, the National Action Plan must actively engage the public library network, otherwise it will fail to reach people who are on the fringes through lack of internet connectivity, issues of affordability or limited digital skills.
 

Supporting Queensland Screenagers make the leap to university: moving from year 12 to first year university [slides]

Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference 2018, 30 July - 2 August 2018 Gold Coast: Roar Leap Dare
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) accompanied the talk on ensuring digital and information literacy scaffolding is applied effectively for successful student transition from school to the university. 
 
A familiar pathway to university in Queensland is through completion of senior education in a Queensland school. In 2017, 25,603 applications to university were made by Year 12 students to Queensland universities (38.8% of all Queensland university applications). Of these applications 92.1% were made university offers, totalling 41.3% of all Queensland university offers.
 
Screenagers have grown up surrounded by multimedia and digital devices in classrooms, are very comfortable with high-technology and small screens, and making choices to use these devices over pens and paper. Often referred to as Generation Z, Post-Millennials or the iGeneration, these students have truly grown up in a digital-first world. Year 12 Queensland screenagers are experienced in navigating curriculum defined school assessment, school research expectations, and school libraries. But how do these experiences stack up against first semester university expectations in assessment and research?

 

Social media analytics in an imperfect world

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
Abstract:
 
Social media statistics are a fluid area. We explore the strategy of measuring social media, with specific case studies. What are the statistics which count? Are all ‘likes’ equal? Data will be from the State Library of NSW Public Library Services use of social media and the NSW Readers’ Advisory Working Group’s Twitter-based reading group.
 
The State Library has a few public library related social media channels, with a well-defined audience of NSW public libraries. We encourage the use of #nswpubliclibraries. The Twitter reading group focuses on a different theme each month and people tweet about what they are reading, watching or playing using the relevant hashtags (#rwpchat and the hashtag for that month’s theme). Data from both of these streams are captured and evaluated and used in planning.
 
Efforts to evaluate the effectiveness and the reach of these online conversations are not straightforward. One of the main barriers to measuring a Twitter-based initiative is that the tools, which are readily available to assist with the analysis of a particular set of activities change. The tools adopted for this initiative quantify hashtag use differently. There are variations in the number of Tweets recorded as contributing to a particular discussion. This workshop explores the reliability of such tools (including Archivist, TAGS explorer and Eventifier). The analysis of hashtags is vital to record both current performance, and continued growth, of the reading group. There will also be exploration of the effectiveness of the Twitter reading group’s blog and the posts that support each month’s theme (views, comments and sharing of posts) and the associated Pinterest account which has been established to support the various reading themes (analytics and benefits of collaborative pinning). Some of these tools are being used by Public Library Services, and the different results will be explored.
 
Although social media has been around for several years, there are still questions about how the data is analysed, as demonstrated in the recent academic work Twitter and society edited by Karen Weller. The different analytics tools present different results and allow the data to be seen and accessed in diverse ways.
 
The paper will have practitioner focused discussion of social media analytics. The authors will explore some of the possible meanings and look at what indicative conclusions can be drawn. We will be showing how the data from two different kinds of accounts may be interpreted, any influences on planning, and how not all likes and follows are equal. We will discuss the importance of evaluation of social media use, and how we need to be at the edge of thinking and planning to be effective in how we use and evaluation social media within libraries.

Social media analytics in an imperfect world [slides]

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
 
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) is a practitioner focused discussion of social media analytics. The authors explore some of the possible meanings and look at what indicative conclusions can be drawn about library use of social media. The authors show how the data from two different kinds of accounts may be interpreted, any influences on planning, and how not all likes and follows are equal. Finally the authors discuss the importance of evaluation of social media use, and how we need to be at the edge of thinking and planning to be effective in how we use and evaluation social media within libraries.

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