Future dreaming VIII #futurelibraries

How can New Zealand Librarians collectively participate in the future of the profession on a global scale?

We may be a small country, all the way at the southern edge of the Pacific Ocean, just slightly north of Antarctica, but we have fantastic opportunities to be part of the global professional librarian network. Connectedness via the internet to allows us to create broader international professional networks.

In reality, individually & small groups of New Zealand Librarians are already participating on a global level in the profession – from the significant New Zealand presence in #hyperlibMOOC, connections to the global 23 Mobile Things program networks, presenting at & attending international conferences, participating in IFLA events.

We are already taking our place on the international stage on an individual level, and perhaps that is enough, for now. It’s possible that we don’t need to be doing this at a collective level right now, because the collective view may be that we don’t need to *all* be connected globally, yet. I so think that the tipping point is fast approaching though, as more globally-looking and hyper-connected graduates join the professional librarian ranks. Continue reading

Be gregarious : find friends everywhere.

GKnow your #customers. Know your #community. Where does your library fit in the bigger community picture?

You can’t be all things to all people, but you can choose to be all things to some people or some things to all people or some things to some people. Be comfortable with your choice. Look wide & far for opportunities. Find friends in unlikely places.

Where are the well-established networks in your community? Where can you best focus your time to make new friends, new contacts, new opportunities? Find the sweet spot of time & investment. Focus your efforts on the highest return on investment to begin with.

Are you a solo librarian?
What if … you partner up with another solo librarian in your field to build a broad & deep collection that you share?
What if … you encourage your customers to co-publish research? (hint – find out the overlap in research interests of your staff.)

Are you a school librarian?
What if … you supplement your collection with different resources from National Library or your local public Library?
What if … you encourage your teaching staff to share with you which resources they always promote to their students? (hint – make it easy for them to switch to new alternatives.)

Are you part of a higher education buying consortium?
What if … you train your frontline staff know & understand how to promote & maximise the collection sharing arrangement?
What if … you encourage your customers to submit information requests electronically (hint – improve your submission process to make it easy peasy.)

Are you a small public library?
What if … you offer your space to other groups when the library is closed?
What if … you partner with a local organisation to share a location, which shares your overhead running costs? (hint – find customers in common who will benefit from two services + one location.)

Are you a large public library?
What if … you encourage schools to join their students up to increase the use of e-resources?
What if … you partner up with local school librarians to share your in-house e-resource training? (hint – hold the sessions outside of school hours, and not in school holidays)

Gorgeous. Generous. Glamourous. Gigantic. Gifted. Groovy. Gleaming.

Groundswell of New Professionals in NZ

2013 might be a real turning point for many of us here in NZ Library Land with a rising interest in a New Professionals network.

There’s been plenty of recent discussions on Twitter, in LIANZA’s Library Life and on various blogs. A contingent of Kiwis recently attended the 6th New Librarians’ Symposium (NLS6) in Brisbane and came back fizzing with ideas – me included. I haven’t yet caught up on all my notes & networks & ideas from NLS6, so I’m determined to keep the momentum going by capturing it here.

And there’s plenty of ground to explore – IFLA’s NPSig, ALIA’s New Grads network, ALIA’s NGAC. I’m also interested in what “new professional” means for other industries, and how are they supported by the wider industry.

Abigail Willemse has put the call out for NZers to join in the New Professionals discussion, with an initial Skype meeting set for Thursday March 14th at 7:30pm. The Twitter hashtag is #NewProfNZ.

So this month is all about the rise of the New Professionals.

*Update 2/3 – there’s also a blog set up for New Professionals NZ.