Monday, September 8, 2008

I've been reflecting on the benefits of being involved in organising a LIANZA conference - perhaps belatedly after 10 months of working on the conference, but predictable given that I have moved to a strategic role at Rodney District Council. Whilst it's proving a challenge to balance my work load (what's new in that?) I am glad that convening the 2008 LIANZA conference keeps me in touch with professional issues - while my new role has given me the opportunity to see that working in libraries (including organising library conferences and being involved in LIANZA) has provided lots of opportunities to develop a wide range of skills. One particularly useful at the moment is the ability to keep a straight face when people say "but haven't you always worked in libraries?".

Why I am sharing this with you? Well, I think it is easy to underestimate the skill base we develop in libraries and to forget that our skills are marketable and transferable. Barbara McKerrow - CEO of New Plymouth District - is one of the many people who have worked in libraries and now use their skills and knowledge in a different role. Barbara will be speaking on "After librarianship" at the Conference. Those who know Barbara know she is a lively, entertaining and thought-provoking speaker.

While Barbara's session will take us from libraries to other work opportunities, a number of speakers will contribute knowledge and experience from outside libraries, and the programme includes a wide range of speakers with in depth professional knowledge to share with you. I hope you take advantage of the chance to participate in sessions that are not in your speciality area as well as those that are - after all, who knows in what role you will be applying your skills in the future?

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