Monday, 5 March 2007

The Unconference had some ideas about where library staff come from

Where do librarians come from? It is said that 60% of professional library graduates are graduates of Charles Sturt University. Is this true?

I ran a session at the Unconference on 2 March on library training, and it was a very lively session too. Everyone had a point of view - and not the same point of view, either. Jenelle Cleary from the Victorian Parliamentary Library kindly took notes, which I will pass on to the organisers. Margie Anderson and Indra Kurzeme have been collaborating on work on this very question.

I had three takeaways from the session, and some other thoughts too. One point made strongly was the need to promote libraries as a career. Another thought was the need for more paths to accreditation. And the third was the desirability of employers getting together with training institutions to work out where we all want to go - what kinds of people and skills does our industry need?

I will write some more about this, but in the meantime, Gill Hallam's major survey is working its way through the system, and she will be speaking about it in Melbourne on 29 March.


Anonymous said...

thanks for blogging! i think i prefer blogs to email lists:)
fran m

unconference organiser said...

I think this is a great idea Derek, good on you for getting your blog up. I've just this morning being reading in Library Journal how ALA is moving towards Web 2.0 and peer to peer journalism. Maybe you can initiate some of these ideas when you are pres.
Chris Mackenzie

e_swan said...

Why is it we as librarians like to talk about buildings instead of our profession or professionals? We constantly promote "libraries" and Derek has talked about "libraries" as a career. Nurses and doctors don't talk about "hospitals" as a career, lawyers don't talk about "courts" as a career, engineers don't talk about "bridges" or "mines" as a career. Can we please start focussing on and promoting librarians, many of whom in 2007 use their unique skills outside the walls of "libraries". If we educate "librarians" and promote their unique skills, the libraries will be looked after by the librarians. If this is not done, the libraries may survive but a trend already emerging shows the profession will not and librarians will be replaced by clerks and sales assistants who will run the libraries!

Michelle said...

Thank you Derek for starting the blog. I have found two items of interest on it already. I particularly like the idea of an unconference. I hope the organisers publish an account of the day and what the response to it was.

Derek Whitehead said...

A couple of quick comments - and thank you. Elizabeth - I use library as a shorthand for "librarians and library technicians and other people who work in, support and are committed to libraries." They're not all librarians. And libraries are no longer buildings - well over half of the use of our "collection" is online.

Michelle, I thought the Unconference was great too - Chris Mackenzie, the unconference organiser, can answer your question about publishing an account of the unconference. Although it WAS an UNconference.