So, more brief thoughts before I go to sleep...
Keynote: R. David Lankes
Words are important. We use words like information services, customer service, library users. But as professionals, do we really want to be "used" or "consumed"? Furthermore, the problem with seeing our product as information or data, means that people then become processors of that info / data to facilitate an action.
Library materials themselves do not equate to knowledge. It is not our job to inform - but to improve.
Information literacy itself is not enough - because it makes people feel better about having lousy skills. In order to improve, people must first acknowledge their ignorance.
Rather than merely provide access, new librarians need to keep a critical eye, listen to people, and connect conversations and communities. Stop asking "how can we help" and instead ask, "what care you doing and can we be a part of it?" We need to listen.
Librarianship is political, because it deals with empowerment. We need to get rid of the idea of neutrality. We're no longer gatekeepers, but rather weavers of community meaning and understanding.
These ideas echo much of what I've learned in the past, particularly in relation to librarianship and reader development, and my work in international development. We should stop seeing ourselves as simply provider of a transaction of resources, but see each interaction as an opportunity to build, collaborate, create, learn, etc.
eResources, licensing and copyright
My main takeaway from this was mostly to do with the tensions between licensing contracts and copyrights - especially when they come at odds with one another. Fair use doesn't solve this, as it's still an exception. Do we serve our clients and be bold in observing copyright legislation, or do we honour our contracts and maintain vendor / donor relationships?
This was more of a refresher than anything else, but was still handy to remind myself of the steps to go through when undergoing informal DIY research, and helped prompt me to reflect more on the kinds of research I'd like to pursue in the future.
Librarians and Dragons
I thoroughly enjoyed this as a creative and engaging way to teach people about applying transferable skills. I'm kinda tempted to re-write my resume as a DnD Character Sheet, as a way of looking at my skills and experience from a different perspective.
Keynote: Jane Caro
Jane is such an engaging speaker, telling it how it is. She reminds me of why feminism is still important today, and how we should all be mindful of the impossible standards that a patriarchal society places on us all.
Final words: Vicki McDonald
I'm keen to see how ALIA is planning to focus more on the wider Asia Pacific region in the coming year, and again, I'm further reminded on the importance of becoming a global librarian.
Okay, sleep time. I'll write up further overall thoughts and reflections tomorrow.