Monday, October 15, 2007

Dynamic librarians and library technicians at the Top End

The Top End Group of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) are a dynamic and successful group linking library staff together to build their expertise and services. I was very fortunate to attend the Top End Symposium which brought together library staff in all sectors. The presentations indicated that Northern Territory libraries were innovators taking new technologies and adapting them to their particular client needs.

Austin Ashe opened with a passionate declaration about the value of libraries - traditional services and online services. His legal career and commitment to communities provided different and complex perspectives on the value of libraries.

"Six Degrees of Separation " by Helen Edney introduced the enormous literacy issues in the territory. She described activities at Katherine library which have focused on improving literacy and developing life long skills from the library's program. It was a very thought provoking and good presentation.

The best paper award was given to Kay Pisel, Kormilda College for her presentation "Where to now? Positioning a school Library in the 21st Century". The range of services offered and sheer enthusiasm of staff was quite inspiring.

"Sharing Library Information - a Podcast Project at CDU Library" by Jessie Mahjouri and Marg Purnell, Charles Darwin University, described using podcasting to deliver training. A remarkably good project, the resulting audio files are easy to use and engaging. Do have a look at their service

The conference dinner was terrific – with belly dancing and magic tricks. Here is a photograph at the dinner of ALIA local liaison officer, Jayshree Mamtora, Andrew Finegan and me. Stephen Barnett, official photographer of the symposium, has posted a wonderful set of photographs on his blog

The ALIA National Advisory Congress was also dynamic and valuable.

Congratulations to all who contributed to the events.

No comments: