Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Friday, September 10, 2004
Conference time, remotivation, imagineering  
I got back yesterday from the LIANZA conference in Auckland. It's the first I've been to, and I think I got a lot out of it. I made contact with quite a few people, mainly those I already knew, but managed to get introduced to a lot of other librarians through them. I can already see that if I stay in this profession for a while that I'll build up quite a strong network of peers. Which is great.

The other highlight was re-discovering my motivation and desire to do my job. I managed to find three or four things to do differently that should improve what I do, and basically got an all-round sense of motivation to do so. In this respect, the actual content was probably less important than the attitude of the presenters. I didn't hear anything really earth-shatteringly new at any session, but I did pick up on some more traditional things that I hadn't been doing, or got reminders of things I already knew, but wasn't really doing.

Also important was the speech from Penny Carnaby, the National Librarian. Her speech was a celebration of where we are, and the things we've achieved recently - and listening to it, it was hard not to be impressed, and proud. Knowledge and culture appear to be on a true high in New Zealand at the moment, and libraries are contributing to that - the EPIC project was cited as an example of something we're doing that hasn't been achieved anywhere else in the world, and NZ librarians took a lead role in the World Summit on the Information Society. We've also had the National Library Act (1.2 nb PDF), passed last year. When we add in factors such as a supportive and knowledgeable minister, and the current excellent job situation for information workers in this country, it's a good time to be a librarian (my classmates from the MLIS last year have all got good jobs, and didn't take long to find them).

Penny also looked forward to the future, and mentioned a few possibilities for the next year. The thing that excited me most was the possible upgrading of the National Union Catalogue to include "Amazon-like" information. I'm devoutly wishing that this occurs - one of my big gripes has been that I can get more comprehensive information about books from Amazon than from the NUC - sure, the NUC's information is "better", but Amazon's is often more useful (depending on the user's specific needs). If the National Library can take the best from Amazon and incorporate it into a properly bibliographically controlled catalogue, it will be an impressive and useful achievement.


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