Sunday was the last day of NLS8 and after the nerves I experienced on Saturday, I was looking forward to finally sitting back and enjoying the conference. I went to the day’s keynotes Eulogy for the Information Age: The Future Is Impact not Access by R. David Lankes and You are fine just the way you are by Jane Caro. Sessions on Reading between the Wines, Confessions of a reformed dictator and the workshop Librarians and Dragons by Maddy and Micheal.
To me, the day’s keynotes were an interesting juxtaposition. Lankes seemed to be pushing Librarians to become superheroes in and for their communities. I’m all for community building, but being a superhero is just tough work! Whereas, Caro said we were fine just the way we are, and to not let others dictate what we can and should do. The way Lankes talks makes you think he lives and breathes the Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers. Which is great, don’t get me wrong. But do we really need another industry leader who only pats LIS Student and Newgrads on the head saying, “you’ve chosen a noble profession”?
While Lankes’s keynote addressed the professional self, Caro’s addressed the personal self. I could really sum up Caro’s talk with one of my favourite quotes from the movie Cool Runnings, “I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!” and was great to hear that type of power-affirming message from someone else (who isn’t a librarian) for a change.
Laura and Morgan from New Zealand presented Reading between the Wines an idea that really took off. They didn’t sugar coat their success either, adding into their presentation all the barriers and difficulties they encountered as well. I can see scope for a similar project here in Canberra if only LibrariesACT and a couple good pubs agreed!
Alex presented Confessions of a Reformed Dictator where she encouraged us to think outside our sphere of experience and be empathetic to the various ways people work. We covered the four basic types as indicated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and in covering them gained an understanding of how people may work. Most know these types as:
Extraversion and Introversion / Sensing and Intuition / Thinking and Feeling / Judgment and Perception
I have taken a few personality tests and while my Thinking/Feeling indicator changes depending on my mood, I usually end up with ENFJ-A. Which means, according to these tests I’m a Protagonist personality. Alex said, in knowing our own personality and strengths we can figure out how and why we respond to things certain ways and hopefully, become better people and team members.
I just adored Librarians and Dragons by Maddy and Micheal. In this workshop, they used dungeons and dragons-esque rules to create a game where we had to identify and use our transferable skills to defeat the mighty Demigorgon.
It was a great exercise that got us to think about all the transferable or soft skills we develop through our professional lives. Each table had a set of transferable skills along with three super effective transferable skills that, when used, won that round. I really liked this touch because it encouraged us to not only use the super effective skills but think about why those particular skills are super effective.
I also explored ideas with people outside of sessions. One particular idea that struck me as just brilliant is having an exit plan. At work, an exit plan is pretty straight forward. There is project wrap up or procedural updates if you are moving into another job. After hearing all weekend “put your hand up and say yes” I’m really glad I had this conversation.
If you are like me, you tend to over sign up for things in an effort to become immersed in the profession. However, I encourage you, when you sign up for things in future, to outline for yourself how long you want to be doing this new thing. Now I’m guilty of not doing this, as evidenced by the amount of volunteering and things I’ve signed up for on top of my studies and work:
- Committee Member of Museums Australia ACT Branch
- Digger with Dinosaur Dreaming
- Social Media Coordinator and Regional Coordinator for ALIA’s Student and Newgrad Group
- Editor for Ancient History Encyclopedia
- Committee Member for NLS9 Conference
So yeah, after chatting with Steven I’ve created a timeline for myself including, how long I want to be doing the above, how they benefit my professional career and tied them into things I want to achieve in the next seven years:
- Serve on ALIA’s ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee
- Become an ALIA Board Member
- Work in overseas in New Zealand and England libraries
- Participate as Mentee and Mentor in ALIA’s Mentorship Scheme
- Go to NDF in New Zealand
- Do a Masters in Digital Humanities or Science Communication
So have you got an exit plan?
I’d also like to say thanks to my NLS8 mentor, Monika Szunejko. Without her ideas and calm assurances, I wouldn’t have even produced a coherent workshop!
NLS8 Reading list: Five things I learned from #NLS8 I My DIY Presentation: Library Ninja Coders I Empowering New Librarians to DIY their Careers I But I Don’t Want to Code! I Creative leadership, building a future I Overall reflections on NLS8 I Day 2 of NLS8 I Sue and Mary at NLS8 I ALIA New Librarian Symposium 8 I NLS8 Keynote – ILN I Visibility Presentation
Twitter bots created in Tim Sherratt’s workshop Random acts of meaning: Digital skills for a post-truth world.
Till next time!
DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome)