Wow, is it the week before Christmas already? Where did 2016 go?!

This year has been one for the ages. So many horrible things happened in the world tragedies, death and natural disasters. Personally, however, 2016 has really been a year of transformation for me!

At the end of 2015, I wanted to exceed expectations at my new workplace, become involved in the Canberra archaeological community and do more cool library things. I achieved some my 2016 goals, but honestly, I added much more to the list.

So let’s see how I went.

January began as a whirlwind of activity. My family and I undertook a huge change by leaving family, friends and support systems in Melbourne, and moved to Canberra. We moved because I was offered a position at the Australian Parliamentary Library, located in Parliament house. And honestly, who would say no to working in Parliament house?

All packed in the car and driving to Canberra.

My first position in the Library was as the Executive Assistant (EA) to the two Assistant Secretaries. And honestly, I was kinda out of my depth. It was a position I had no previous experience in and that required an amount of assertiveness and confidence that I was surprised to find in me!  Needless to say, I took the challenge head on learned a lot about myself and libraries along the way. While this position was a massive learning curve, I am enormously grateful to have received such a strategic organisational perspective very early in my career.

In February I went to the VALA2016 Conference, I really enjoyed the Wikipedia workshops and appreciated the chance to catch up with friends in Melbourne so soon after leaving them. I also became ALIA’s ACT Regional Coordinator for the Student and New graduates Group. I have enjoyed this role immensely, through it I have grown and become more comfortable in meeting new people and helping them make connections. I’ve also hosted events such as: Speak Up! and ALIANational16 Wrap-up.

In March I went to the Electronic Visualization and the Arts Australasia 2016 Conference. It really opened my eyes to the ways data visualisation is being used to convey information and how the Australian heritage sector is using it to their advantage.

In April I went to Barcamp 2016 where I learned how to operate a successful Kickstarter to the art of picking locks. And this month I went to a conference hosted by GoDigi about digital literacy and two workshops about data literacy. Seems pretty clear that this year I’ve had a healthy mix of learning for fun and professional development.

The slideshow below contains images taken at the various professional development events I’ve been to this year.

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I could say that my current career interests are the result of contact I’ve had with 3 people since December last year. It was during my internship at the Australian Parliamentary Library that I met a guy working with this thing called National Map. We had a few chats about open data, making cool things with data and what would be the best entry point for a beginner. I also met this IT guy who worked in the library. He showed me cool things that could be done with library data. Then a few months later, I had the pleasure of meeting an Associate Professor who makes a living out of hacking heritage data. They totally got me, hook, line, and sinker…

These days, I am a Library Database Officer assisting with digitisation projects and managing historic databases. This position has given me the chance to teach myself about programming, how to use data visualisations, open data, and bringing these conversations into my workplace. My favourite project to date has been learning more about XML and using it to come up with solutions to solve issues.

I have also indulged my passion for everything ancient and continued volunteering with Ancient History Encyclopedia. Attending ancient history lectures and visiting awesome exhibitions.

Oh! And I must not forget the things I got published this year:

  1. Koekoe, Jade and Luchetti, Liz (2016) How to Stand Out,  ALIA InCITE Magazine, Vol 37 Iss 11/12.
  2. Koekoe, Jade and Haughton, James (2016) Indigenous affairs: a quick guide to key internet linksParliamentary Library.
  3. Koekoe, Jade (2016)  Luthieros Music Instruments, Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Next year, I have lined up a dig with Dinosaur Dreaming, a workshop at the New Librarian Symposium 8 in Canberra and a graduation (yay me!).

Till next year!
DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome)