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, 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:

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.

Introducing your committee members – Nicolette

So, what is there to know about the group Secretary? We threw ten quick questions at her to find out…

nla50ppl - Nicolette

What is your name? I’m Nicolette Suttor, sometimes referred to as Nikki. 🙂

What is your favourite colour? Purple! It can be a serene lavender, or it can be bold, like what the Roman emperors wore. I… might have just gone for a bike ride in a brilliant purple shirt, actually 😉 Let’s cycle safely and visibly, shall we?

What do you like most about libraries? Hm… When I go in, I can always find a quiet corner to curl up with a book… And thus launch into whatever world/country/location the book is taking place in 😉

Favourite thing to do in Canberra? I have to say, after living in Sydney for about 20 years, I love the cycle paths in Canberra! I can ride my bike to work without being at least a little concerned that someone may not have had their morning coffee, or maybe a little too much beverage of choice the previous evening 😛 I can ride around lakes without a problem and also stop for coffee (or tea, or cool beverage, depending on the weather) And even better? Stopping by a library, or stopping in a park with a book…What, you expect me to do anything without having a book handy?

Favourite library? Uh… actually, the National Library! The sheer number of books they have! The amount of information! And the Ephemera collection! And… and… and… 😀

Favourite historical librarian? Margaret Leiteritz – she was a librarian, yes, but she was also an artist. She combined two great loves! Now, I can combine two as well, but… I suspect my secondary interest is more appropriate to libraries – knitting! Not as likely to get paint all over the books, but my goodness, the loose fibre from the yarn! *sigh*

How many cats is too many? I guess… it depends on how many can fit into your house? Without constantly jumping over each other, I mean. I have just one, and I think she prefers being an only-feline J

Knitting or crocheting? What, you mean I actually have to choose?! Well… I’d say knitting, but that’s what I’ve won ribbons for… I’m still trying to learn crochet, though!

Fiction or non-fiction? Normally fiction as it offers more freedom for flights of fancy 😉 But I’m also interested in history and prefer the real thing rather than historical fiction if it is set in a location I’m curious about, as it can cause confusion about what really happened, and what was author-created.

Paper or ebook? I actually prefer ebooks, as they are easier to carry 😉 And, I can carry as many as I have the memory in my devices to hold! Ooh, the number of books I can take with me on holiday… There are only so many paper books one can take along!

Well, there you have it. If you want to know more, you’re going to have to come along to one of our events and find out for yourself!


ACTive Journal Club June 2018

Journal Club June 2018

Our first event will be the inaugural meeting of the ACTive ALIA Journal Club! We’re looking to hold Journal Club meetups every two months, discussing an article hand-picked by the ACTive ALIA team.

This month’s article is ‘No library required: the free and easy backwaters of online content sharing’, presented by Kathryn Greenhill and Constance Wiebrands at the VALA 2012 conference. We chose this as our first article because it discusses a universal library problem: the loss of our information monopoly and the ability of internet denizens to flout copyright laws at will in the free and easy pursuit of knowledge.

Join us at 5.30pm on Wednesday 13th June, at the National Library. We’ll meet in the Ferguson Room on level 1. (Walk in the front door and look up, then left. You’ll see us in a glass box.)

We’ll have three set discussion questions before opening up the room:

  1. What do Greenhill and Wiebrands’ ‘alternate pathways’ offer that libraries don’t?
  2. Can libraries compete with these alternate pathways? Should they even try?
  3. How could libraries modify their business models or service paradigms to compete, or otherwise stand out in a crowded attention economy?

Please RSVP on our Facebook event or by email to Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Seeking Committee Members!

So, we’ve formed our Executive Committee, and starting to plan our upcoming events, but we’re also currently on the lookout for more people to get involved as general committee members.

Call for Committee Members

Here’s a few Frequently* Asked Questions:

What does it involve?

You get to be part of a group of awesome people, working to engage with the Library and Information sector in the ACT. It involves having ideas, but more than that – finding ways to make those ideas work. It might be helping organise library tours, presentations, discussions – maybe even an unconference! Or it might be working more on the digital front, developing our online presence. Whatever your interests, the more, the merrier!

Does it matter where I work or what I do?

We welcome representation from across the Library and Information profession, as well as the wider GLAMR sector. We’re looking to engage with these professionals across all sectors in the ACT, and if you’re working in a less-conventional field, then that just provides more scope for outreach!

What’s in it for me?

Well, firstly, you can claim PD points for the time that you use working on ALIA group related activities, which can go toward your participation in the ALIA PD Scheme. You get to hang out with some enthusiastic people who are keen to make connections and engage with professional issues. You also get badges!

Sounds great! What do I do next?

Send us an email at We’d love to hear from you – let us what you’re keen to get involved with, and what ideas you might have for the group. Or even if you’re not sure and just want to have a chat, then that can also be the start of a wonderful collaboration.

So, what are you waiting for?

*Not actually asked frequently – but they could be.