2018 Conference Wrap-up: Wednesday 14th November

reACTivate 2018 conf wrapup (1)

2018 has been a bumper year for conferences, and the sad fact is that we can’t always go to all (or any) of them! However, the ALIA URLs and ACTive groups are bringing together a number of professionals who have been fortunate enough to attend some of the most interesting and diverse conferences in the region, including (in chronological order):

  • ALIA Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference (APLIC) – Gold Coast, Queensland
  • Digital Directions 2018 – Canberra ACT
  • IFLA World Library and Information Congress – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • ARLIS/ANZ Conference – Canberra ACT

This is an exciting opportunity to hear about the experience of attending conferences, far and wide. We extend a warm invitation to all library and information professions and students (ALIA member and non-members) plus those interested in working in our industry to join us at the National Library of Australia. There will also be a short panel session to answer your questions about the highs and lows of travelling and attending conferences.

Date: Wednesday 14th November 2018
Time: 5:45pm for a 6:00pm start
Place: Ferguson Room, First Floor, National Library of Australia
Cost: Free!

RSVP: alia.act.contact@gmail.com


Journal Club #2 – October 2018

Journal Club #2

ACTive ALIA’s Journal Club will shortly be hosting its second issue… er, meeting!

Okay, so we didn’t quite manage to get together bimonthly, but we’ve made up for it by teaming up with ALIA ACT Students and New Grads for a 2x Journal Club combo that is absolutely unmissable!

Our article for this month is ‘The Archival Turn in Law: The Papers of Lindy Chamberlain in the National Library of Australia’ by Katherine Biber in the Sydney Law Review. It’s an article about archives, held in a library, written by a law academic. Confused? Don’t be. It’s a great chance for us as GLAM workers to examine our profession from the outside in.

The following themes popped out at us as we read the article. We’ll use these as the basis for some conversation, but don’t feel obliged to prepare answers—we’ll see where the conversation takes us:

  • So… what is the ‘archival turn’?
  • The materiality of law—how is the law embodied in papers and objects, especially those not created by courts or lawyers?
  • By donating her papers to the NLA, how has Lindy contributed to making her story more accessible for researchers? Does the NLA itself help shape Lindy’s story?
  • How does the author’s experience of archives match up with our professional knowledge of archives?

Come join us on Tuesday 30th October, 5.30pm at the CIT Reid Library (Ground Floor, E Block, 37 Constitution Avenue Reid). This event is free! There will also be a tour of the library, which is painted all sorts of loud colours so you’ll never fall asleep in there…

RSVP on Facebook, if you’re into that kind of thing, or email alia.act.contact@gmail.com. Looking forward to seeing you there!

ACTive ALIA News – October 2018

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Hello! It’s your friendly ACTive ALIA news team, compiling the best October Canberra library goings-on so you don’t have to.



ACTive ALIA’s Journal Club will shortly be hosting its second issue… er, meeting! We’re teaming up with ACT Students and New Graduates to read ‘The Archival Turn in Law: The Papers of Lindy Chamberlain in the National Library of Australia‘ by Katherine Biber in the Sydney Law Review. Come join us on Tuesday 30th October, 5.30pm at the CIT Reid Library. Discussion questions to come soon. Also a tour of the library! RSVP on Facebook, if you’re into that kind of thing, or email alia.act.contact@gmail.com.

ALIA URLs (University and Research Libraries ACT) are hosting a lunchtime tour of the Australian National Botanic Gardens library on Tuesday 23rd October from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Places are limited, so please RSVP by 16th October to Francesca.Higgins@acu.edu.au

ALIA CRR (Canberra and Region Retirees) have a monthly Connect and Chat on the first Wednesday of each month at the NLA’s Bookplate cafe. The next meetup is on Wednesday 7th November from 11am to 2pm. Aspiring retirees also welcome!


After dealing with a small asbestos problem, Dickson Library has partially reopened. You can borrow and return books and use the PCs, but a large section of the library remains off-limits. With any luck, the rest will reopen in November.

Following the disastrous February flood, ANU’s Chifley Library is slowly getting back on its feet. However, there are grander plans in store: a proposed new library on the site of the current AD Hope building. Watch this space!

ACTive ALIA News – September 2018

Any excuse to show off the Geoscience Australia library sandpit

Finding yourself hankering for some Canberra library news? So were we, honestly. Fortunately the team at ACTive ALIA have decided to compile a brief list of some of the goings-on.


Loads of LIS jobs in Canberra at the moment! Seriously. So many. (All adverts are for permanent positions unless stated otherwise)


In conjunction with our friends and overlords at ALIA House, ACTive ALIA are hosting an ALIA Website Renovation Party next Wednesday 12th September. Come try your hand at information architecture while scoffing free wine and pizza. Did we mention FREE WINE AND PIZZA? Register now to secure your spot! It promises to be a great evening.

The University of Canberra’s Centre for Creative and Cultural Research is hosting a symposium on Creative and Cultural Futures: Leadership and Change on Friday 12th October, 10am-5pm at UC. Featuring a variety of speakers from all ends of the cultural heritage spectrum, it promises to be a great opportunity to discuss the future of the GLAM sector and its place in broader Australian society. Current UC students and recent alumni can attend for free! (Thanks to Tim Sherratt for the heads-up on this event.)

National Archives of Australia (NAA), in collaboration with UNESCO Memory of the World and the International Council on Archives, are hosting a one-day symposium Lost in the Cloud: Saving Humanity’s Digital Documentary Heritage on Wednesday 3rd October, 9am-4pm at Hotel Realm in Barton. Featuring ASA2018 keynote speaker Tim Gollins, plus an all-star cast from local and international GLAM institutions, it’s a great opportunity to hear from those fighting the digital preservation battle head-on. Plus, it’s free! Free!


Libraries ACT is currently the subject of an inquiry by the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services. If you have opinions about the future of Canberra’s public library service, now is the time to raise them! Submissions close on 21st September. All the details are on the committee website.

The federal Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories is continuing its inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions, including the NLA, NAA, NGA, NMA, NPG, AIATSIS, NFSA and AWM (we say, in our best Canberra acronym voice). Submissions are available for viewing on the committee website, as are recordings of public hearings.

Updates and corrections encouraged! Just drop us a line at alia.act.contact@gmail.com, tweet us @ACTive_ALIA, facebook us at ACTive ALIA, or send us a carrier pigeon.

ALIA Website Renovation Party! Wednesday 12th September

WebsiteDemolitionParty!.pngFor our September event, the ACTive ALIA committee warmly invites you to… bring a sledgehammer!

Well, not quite.

Our friends and overlords at ALIA House are planning a redesign of the ALIA website. But as with any good renovation, they can’t go and pick the furnishings before they’ve chosen the layout. To do that, ALIA first need to gather data on how people use the website to find what they need, and how a new website might help people find things more easily. (And by people, we mean you!)

Come along and try your hand at information architecture on Wednesday 12th September from 6pm to 7.30pm at ALIA House, 9-11 Napier Close Deakin. Make sure to register! There will be FREE WINE AND PIZZA which you will definitely not want to miss.

Any queries, drop us a line: alia.act.contact@gmail.com

Hope to see you there! (Preferably without sledgehammers.)

Upcoming Events – July / August

When T. S. Eliot penned the words, “April is the cruellest month”, he’d clearly never been to Canberra in August. Still, things are heating up in the local LIS scene with a number of events:

July 18 – Lunchtime presentation – Dr Michael Stephens
12:30-1:30pm – Ferguson Room, National Library of Australia

Michael Stephens.jpg

On Wednesday 18th of July, there will be a visit to the National Library by Dr Michael Stephens, who is visiting Australia as one of the Keynote Speakers for the upcoming APLIC conference later in July.

Dr Stephens is the Associate Professor at the School of Information at San Jose State University, and has written the monthly column “Office Hours” for Library Journal exploring issues, ideas and emerging trends in libraries and LIS education.  He has kindly agreed to visit the National Library and give a brief presentation on emerging trends and professional development in libraries.  Here is Michael’s latest blog post on coming to Australia.  This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Registration not required.

This event is presented by the ALIA URLS and ACTive Groups.

August 8 – ALIA ACT Groups mid-winter dinner 2018
6pm-10pm – Muse, East Hotel, Cnr Canberra Ave & Giles St, Kingston

ACT Groups mid winter dinner invite.jpg
$48 per person (for 2 courses)
Dessert and drinks available for purchase
Pull on your go-go boots and get groovy as we rewind to 1968!
Celebrating 50 years since the opening of the Chifley Library, ANU and the current building of the National Library of Australia.
August 15 – Journal Club #2
Save the date – Details TBC
Hope to see you there over the coming months!

Event re-cap – Journal Club


On the evening of Wednesday 13th of June, a group of ten professionals from across the ACT Library and Information sector gathered to discuss the VALA conference paper “No library required” by Kathryn Greenhill and Constance Wiebrands.
What ensued was an hour of lively discussion. We didn’t take any photos this time, so you’ll just have to take our word that we were all there.
Some aspects of what was discussed included:
– Recollections from those who attended the VALA conference and noted that this was the first time they recall librarians talking about “illegal” information seeking behaviour. It was a reminder that if this is what our target audience is doing, then it’s something we need to know about.
– Conversations about how we select our eResources – and that indeed some libraries are cutting back in areas that are already covered by these “alternative” channels. Working with consortia to get better arrangements across the library sector. PressReader as an example of online content that is already rethinking how we provide access to our users that doesn’t involve jumping through authentication hoops or creating barriers to quick and easy access.
– The role of information literacy training for students – whether it’s still relevant or if it creates more of a barrier by setting a whole lot of “rules” that library users would rather not go through. Also – that undergraduate students are less likely to know or care about effective research strategies, as they are less “invested” – especially if they’re leaving their assignments to the last minutes! It’s not until they start postgrad studies and start doing literature reviews, etc. that they start to value library eResources.
– Since this paper was written, commercial platforms like Netflix have popped up, and are starting to dominate more than these “alternative” channels. Although it’s not free, it is easy, and people are more likely to pay a little bit of money for a seamless experience, than try to jump through various hoops (legal or otherwise) for something that is free. Even in terms of accessibility – the process of travelling to a library or trying to figure out a website in order to get something for free is less attractive than paying for digital content that is immediately accessible through a commercial platform.
All in all, it was a lively and engaging first event for the year! Stay tuned for details of our upcoming events… this time we promise we’ll take some photos.