Thursday, October 23, 2008

QPLA Conference

I was given the opportunity to attend day 1 of the Queensland Public Library Conference at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane this week.  The theme of the conference was future thinking - future proofing.  It was very interesting to hear how much the amalgamation of the councils had impacted upon libraries and their services.

William McGuinness was one of the keynote speakers and he spoke about the importance of public libraries in our everchanging society.   He also stated that libraries were a gift to help imagination bloom.  I quite liked that mental picture!

Dr Phillip Daffarra spoke on building foresight capacity into library thinking and planning, and the need to deal with constant changes in our practice.

I really enjoyed Kevin Hennah who talked about library makeovers, and the need for public libraries to lose their 'ugly' bits!  He showed some great before and after photos of some of the work he has done with library spaces.  What stood out for me was the need to see your library from the customer's perspective as they move around the spaces we have created for them.  Image, signage and uniformity of style were also very important, and need not cost alot of money!

I am studying digital preservation this semester at uni, so really enjoyed the talk by Cathy Pilgrim from the National Library of Australia on the Australian newspaper digitisation program.  I was amazed that I actually understood most of what she was saying, so all the readings I have done this semester must have sunk in!  What was excellent was the use of library 2.0 tools as a way to connect users with content in a participatory environment, via tagging, commenting on text and adding content.

I listened to a talk on fundraising in libraries by Dr Griffith, and a wonderful talk by Dr Helen Partridge on librarian 2.0, or what are the skills and knowledge that need to be taught in educational institutions to equip future librarians to deal with the vast changes that are taking place.

All in all a great day of learning, and I am extremely grateful to my work for paying for me to attend - even if I did have to catch a bus home, but that is a whole other story!!!!

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