Last night I went to an networking event hosted by City of Melbourne and Charles Stuart University. I was recognised, recognised a few faces myself and made a new friend! All in the beautiful wooden surroundings of the Library at the Dock.

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Now I had never been to a networking event before. I thought we would all be cramped into one room and told to mingle, that thought had me worried because my mingling skills are a little rusty. To my surprise it was nothing like that. We had a couple presenters tell us about upcoming library projects and give us some insights on what their libraries do. Then we listened to a panel of four share their knowledge regarding job seeking, how to get noticed, the importance of building your own networks while studying online and generally just getting out there! In fact there was only 20 mins of mingling scheduled into the event at all!

My advice to those of you studying online and who are a little afraid of the ‘networking’ word, don’t be! The event you have been eyeing will probably be nothing like you expect and hopefully as I was, you will be glad to went.

So from the night these are the four points I took away:

  • The LIS profession is a small tight-knit community, 7 degrees of separation really. So always conduct yourself professionally at events and online, you never know who will be talking to who.
  • Studying to be a librarian yet haven’t got any experience working in a library? Try and get volunteering to bridge that gap, the experience will also help you to contextualise your learning. Look at your local history groups, public library or Volunteering Victoria.
  • Copyright, privacy and ethics are seen as the next ‘big thing’ for libraries as more information goes digital.
  • Good skills to developed that aren’t always taught in your course curriculum: The ability to help people make connections, public speaking, business writing, coding languages, databases and project management.

Our panellists for the night were:

My next post will be about the ALIA Conference I went to last week and points of interest to me. Till then, don’t’ forget to be awesome!

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