ASLA Conference Report 2015 Day 2

Keynote 2.1 Dr Helen Partridge University of Southern Queensland: There is nothing so practical as a good theory: understanding the theory-practice divide in the library and information science profession.

We all have biases and unlearning them is hard. Similar to the difficulties in riding a bike designed to steer differently.

But changing our biases is hard even when we recognise them, similar to Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Grieving. A common bias teacher librarians have is that they are not researchers and theoreticians.
If we don’t engage with theory-practice and research are we really professionals
Theory and practice are not really separate. Theory is derived from practice and in turn informs new practice.

Blogging is a valuable way to reflect on theory and practice.
We can use the ways of collecting evidence that we learnt from Anne Gillepsie to measure the social good and impact on people in our libraries.


Keynote 2.2: Sue Hutley Queensland University of Technology: Library management futures (or… Why would I work for you?)

Sue Hutley covered a lot of ground in her session from reflecting on how we treat our colleagues, to knowing our place in the organization ecosystem, to having a plan B for our career, to having an elevator pitch, and having a succession plan.

Sue told us that we choose jobs based on the people we work with not just the organization so she challenged us to look at this list and reflect on our own behaviour with subordinates and colleagues.
Have a look at this list and see whether you would work for you.


10 ways to be sensationally successful at your job
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Sue got the audience to give an elevator pitch about themselves and what they do to their neighbour in 2 minutes. We need to be able to describe quickly what we do and why it is important to we can take advantage of any opportunity to showcase our skills and school library program and services.

We need to understand our place in the organisation ecosystem so that we know where the money we get paid comes from and what is important to the organisation.
That is how we show our value to the principal.

Sometimes times change and you no longer have a job. Don’t take it personally. What are your plans if you don’t have a job tomorrow. What is your Plan B,C, D? What are your skills and passions?

Everyone should have a LinkedIn profile. That is how you sell yourself to the world. Have an online presence: LinkedIn profile, blog, eportfolio. Make sure you attend events professionally and socially. This is an opportunity to promote yourself and libraries and our role.

Every library should have succession planning. There is no success without succession. This is an aging profession and succession planning is important to the survival of the profession. Firstly we need to make our libraries indispensible to the success of the school, then we need to make sure that our principals know how to replace us and that future plans are written down. A succession planning position profile document is a starting point. Is there a manual on how to run the library? A collection policy? A strategic plan? A parent engagement plan?
Do you know your school goals? If you don’t how can you align your library services to those objectives.

The school alumni and community heroes are an underutilised resource in promoting the school library. Invite them back to talk about how the library was important to them

High schools need to familiarise students with the services of university libraries.
Students need to know about citing, academic integrity and databases before they hit university.




Panel 2.3: Publishing futures Q and A with ASLA XXIV sponsors

Martin from Assessit Library . The role of the library is to ensure that our students learn to navigate effectively in the digital world, provide access to resources, collected, curated and the wider world

Adrian from Concord Infiniti says that people should be technology as an opportunity to reshape the school environment. Teacher Librarians need to own the knowledge role at the school and be part of the steering committee.

Peri from Learning Fields: students and teachers need to become creators as well as consumers of information.

Charlie from Bolinda: Audio is the way digital natives absorb information . *5% of what we learn is from listening. Students can listen and comprehend 2 grade levels above their reading level.

Nami from OUP: Online publishers are reviewing sales models, looking at sharing resources with schools and public libraries.

Angus from OCLC ; Libraries have already weathered many storms, they must continue to adapt, particularly access outside school.

Hillary from Softlink: data is essential to leadership and those making decisions in schools. Use your Library Management System to get this data. Be visible throughout the school.

Discussed whether reading is better in digital or print. Reading is different in different formats. Scientific American article.
Neil Gaiman article: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreams.

Schools should encourage all students to become members of their public libraries and state library that way they can access data bases and resources that may be too expensive for the school to afford.


Keynote 2.4: Children's and YA literature futures: A conversation between Kristina Schulz (University of Queensland Press) and Suzy Wilson (Proprietor Riverbend Books)

Book recommendations

No Way Yirryikapayi by Melvelille Island children and Alison Lester

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

Destroying the Joint by Jane Caro

Just a Queen by Jane Caro

Not just Black and White by Lesley and Tammy Williams

When you buy at independent booksellers/publishers 70% of the money stays local. When you buy online from overseas all the money goes overseas. The cost of books in Australia is higher because of the small size of the population and distances.

Interesting trends are poetry including verse novels and non-fiction.


Keynote 2.5: Adjunct Professor Erica McWilliam Queensland University of Technology The future is not what it used to be

Erica McWilliam challenged us with her sometimes, uncomfortable view of the future.

She touched on the main features of Generation Z and Generation Alpha (born after 2010).

Then spoke about Tyler Cowen and his book “Average is Over” which argues that the increasing productivity of intelligent machines and economic globalization will result in winners and losers.

The ‘winners’ will be the small number of highly self-motivated individuals who are willing and able to add value to a highly computerised and automated world of economic productivity. The ‘others’ will include those with ‘average’ performance and aspirations who will find it increasingly difficult to maintain their social position, let alone gain any upward traction. They are more likely to be ‘slip slidin’ away’, to use Paul Simon’s familiar phrase, to join the growing ranks of the underemployed and unemployed. In other words, automation “is a wave that will lift you or that will dump you” (p.6). Cowen’s description of those no longer rewarded in this brave new world – “the slacker twenty-two-year-old with a BA in English, even from a good school”

So a minimal level qualification to find secure, well paid employment will be post-graduate qualifications. Basically people who need managing are no longer employable. To secure employment you will need a mixture of formal qualification and self directed learning of high level skills. Young people need to be VERY good at something, which will require effort and application. You can read more about her argument in this blog post .

Her idea for the role of school libraries is somewhat contrary to other speakers. Whereas other speakers have told us that the library should support the teaching of curriculum she recommends modeling ourselves on the 17th C coffee houses where aspirational young men met for self learning, networking and intellectual debate over coffee. In other words the library should the place for self directed enrichment and intellectual cross fertilisation of ideas and challenge.





Keynote 2.6: Helen Morgan Manager - Scholarly Publications, Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Services, The University of Queensland Library and Elizabeth Alvey - Digitisation, Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Services, The University of Queensland Library, The future is here - open science, open data and digital humanities.


Helen Morgan stressed the importance of data being accessible and useful to other people and introduced us to the possibilities of Open Data.
Malcolm Turnbull gave a speech on the power of open data. Open science allows anyone with an interest in a subject to be involved with real research such as the Open Source Malaria project and this Alzheimer study. An example of the citizen science it allows to take place is the Atlas of Living Australia.
This is an opportunity for teacher librarians to introduce the concepts and skills behind open science.
One of the important things about open data is that your data should be able to be used by anyone in the future. Consequently you need to think about how you would explain your research to someone after 20 years. The files need to findable using the preferred naming convention YYYY.MM.DD (title). Data needs to be kept safe by having 3 different copies in 3 different locations on three different devices.

Data Life cycle
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The frustrations of inadequate data management can be seen in this video




Elizabeth Alvey talked about the digitalisation of State Library of Queensland resources

Digitalised primary sources can empower student learning. However putting things online is not enough. It must be discoverable, relevant and contextualised.
Specific example mentioned are the historical photos which can be discovered on Trove and by search engines.
Jack Fryer’s Galipolli diary which has turning pages and is put into context.
The original diary of Refik Bey , a Turkish soldier at Galipolli. This has a translation attached.