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!


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 alia.act.contact@gmail.com. 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.

Introducing your committee members – Andrew

Hello! Happy Library and Information Week, and welcome to the brand new blog for ACTive ALIA.


I’m Andrew – the new group convenor, and I’m quite excited to be part of this new chapter for the group. I’ve been on a number of ALIA committees in the past, but I’ve taken a few years off in the interim, working overseas before returning to Australia in late 2016. Now that I’m starting to settle into life in Canberra, I’m looking forward to connecting more with other local and like-minded professionals.

I’m keen for this group to be an opportunity for professionals from all Library and Information sectors in the ACT to connect with one another and share ideas. We’re currently in the early stages of planning our first few events in the coming months. However, I also recognise that we plan the kinds of events that you want to attend. So, please – if you have any burning ideas for what you’d like us to organise, then please let us know, either in the comments below, or you can email us privately at alia.act.contact@gmail.com.