Behind the scenes: Tours, technicians and devils

Visitor Services Library Technician Jennie Nicholl reports on her recent attendance at the ALIA National Library and Information Technicians’ Symposium in Hobart.

From 2-4 September, library technicians from all over Australia gathered in the beautiful city of Hobart, Tasmania for the National Library and Information Technicians’ Symposium. The theme was Right here, right now - it's a devil of a time in libraries.


With a number of tours on offer on the first day, I joined other library technicians for the Salamanca tour, including the historic Parliamentary Library, which was originally established in 1852 as the Customs House. The library provides invaluable information and research services for members of the Tasmanian parliament. The tour included the parliamentary museum located in the basement.


I then visited the Andrew Inglis Clark Law Library, also located in the Salamanca area. It is used by lawyers, members of the public representing themselves in court and students. The library also is a central service point for interlibrary loans for the Department of Justice, Supreme Court of Tasmania, the Magistrates Court of Tasmania and the Law Society of Tasmania. Both tours were enjoyable and rich in history.

As an experienced library technician, I volunteered to buddy a first timer at the symposium. I met my buddy, Unity, at the Behind the scenes at LINC afternoon tour.  LINC Tasmania brings together library and information services, adult literacy supports, community learning and Tasmanian archives and heritage services.

Part of the Allport Family Collection at LINC Tasmania. Image by SLQ staff.

Part of the Allport Family Collection at LINC Tasmania. Image by SLQ staff.

The conference got off to a great start on Thursday 3 September with a speech from former Olympic swimming champion and Tasmanian Devil advocate, Shane Gould.

The conference had two themes over the following two days. The first theme was Evolving - as a profession we are evolving and moving forward in today’s fast-paced changing world and adjusting to changes in libraries due to digital technology and physical and online services. The final day of the conference carried the second theme, Engaging - as library technicians we are always engaging with communities and library patrons.

The papers presented were enlightening and honest about how libraries are keeping abreast with the ever-changing world of technology, and how as library professionals we are embracing change for the better of our patrons. Change is upon us and cannot be avoided. Library technicians will play a vital part in the library world of the future.

After a wonderful day of presentations and papers, we gathered for a Devil of a Dinner. Funds raised at the dinner went to the Tasmanian Save the Devil Program. The devils have aggressive facial tumours, which are contagious through biting and 100 percent fatal. The funds raised will further assist the breeding program on Maria Island.

Jennie Nicholl at ALIA National Library and Information Technicians' Symposium, Tasmania. Image by SLQ staff.

Jennie Nicholl at ALIA National Library and Information Technicians' Symposium, Tasmania. Image by SLQ staff.

To find out more about the symposium and the papers presented, visit the ALIA National Library and Information Technicians’ Symposium 2015 website.

Jennie Nicholl

Library Technician

 

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