What I hope to get out of NLS9

Me at Adelaide Zoo - a bald man with a tartan scarf, looking a bit tired, but with some nice trees in the background.
Me, looking tired.

I’m in Adelaide for NLS9 – ALIA’s New Librarian Symposium.

I feel a bit… unprepared.

If I was prepared, I’d have read the program and worked out which sessions I want to go to. If I was prepared, I’d be feeling energetic and extroverted and ready to engage. If I was really prepared, I’d have brought copies of my zines to give away in lieu of business cards.

Instead, I spent the last week in bed, besnotted.

Conferences, symposiums, festivals: they can take a lot of energy. And I’m not feeling very energetic right now.

The last few months have been draining, and I’m still at the tail end of this cold. I feel less like networking with peers or engaging with exciting new ideas and more like curling up somewhere warm and hibernating.

Oh well. It is what it is.

I may skip some of the social events, I’ll almost certainly fall asleep in some sessions, and I will definitely forget people’s names.

But there’s still things I want to get out of NLS9.

They are:

#1 – Three useful ideas

Conferences are full of ideas. I’ll be looking for 3 ideas, practices, tools or skills that I can follow up on and use in my professional career.

#2 – A better understanding of the sector

I’m changing careers from IT to the library sector. But I’ve never actually worked in a library. So I’m always looking to get a better understanding of the industry.

  • what do we do well?
  • what do we struggle with?
  • what are the opportunities?
  • what are the needs?

And above all: what can I contribute to the industry?

#3 – Touching base with my colleagues

I’m hoping to meet new peers in the library sector. But I’m not as far into the extroverted-networking mindspace as I can be.

So a more reasonable goal is to touch base with my friends in the sector, most of whom I only chat with on Twitter.

#4 – Touching base with my motivations

I’m halfway through my Masters of information Management. It’s probably going to take another year or more before I finish it, since I’m only studying one subject per semester.

It’s feeling like a slog at the moment.

So I’m hoping for a reminder of why I chose to change careers into this industry.

Back when I started my Masters, I wrote about my motivations in the post Career as a Question. It might be good revist that post after NLS9, to see how much still holds true, and how much it needs to change based on everything I’ve learnt so far.

Because I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time for reflection after the conference.

That’s how it works, right?

Capybaras at Adelaide Zoo. I envy them, and their naps in the sunshine.


About davidwitteveen

IT person. Zine Maker. Level 0 Library Nerd. Doctor Who fan.
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