New Zealand News

By Judith Schroder

Judith Schroder sends her report on the highlights from the NZLIA Conference where T/Ls were encouraged to become 'outrageous, inconvenient, inappropriate and innovative'

This was my first NZLIA Conference and 350 librarians en masse!

The plenary sessions all had excellent speakers and started with Moana Jackson talking about Intellectual Property Rights and the difference between written and spoken word. Charles Landry provided the catch phrase for the Conference when he introduced 'yes' cities and 'no'cities and related them to library environments. Who is the modem information professional presented by Barbie Keiser pointed out that no other professional is defined by the place in which they work as a librarian is in a library. She also stressed that as modem information professionals we should not let the place shape our job but shape the job for ourselves, recognising opportunities and educating and training others so that our role is more one of managing information rather than using it. One of the most popular speakers was Robert Berring who in his stimulating and colourful address talked about the move from a book culture to non-book one of electronic data, and that emphasis should be on filtering databases not protecting them.

Of course the high point of the Conference was the School Library Network afternoon which opened with Catherine Thomas and Rosa-Jane French very ably presenting the results of the nationwide survey of school librarians. As a comparison Helen Beggs presented the results of a survey of Wellington librarians. Penny Camaby followed and urged school librarians to become 'outrageous, inconvenient, inappropriate and innovative' in order to raise the profile of the library and its staff. The final session was a workshop on self-esteem run by Janine Gould of Wellington. Her down to earth and entertaining presentation included some useful strategies for increasing feelings of power. These included changing "I can't" to "I won't" and "I should" to "I could". An exercise in visualising ourselves in five years time concluded with the comment that:if you can see it you can achieve it and if you didn't like what you saw you can change it. Everyone agreed that this session was great value!

The CHYPS afternoon covered co-operative initiatives between libraries in Wanganui where schools and the public library are linked electronically and share resources. At Upper Hutt the link extends from schools to public library and the Institute of Technology. Both WANs are in the early stages but participants were enthusiastic and positive that this is the way forward. 

The evenings provided time to relax over a meal and be entertained. David Hill spoke at the CHYPS dinner on the valuable work of librarians in motivating children to read. I'm now looking forward to Queenstown 1996 and hope there'll be a large contingent of school librarians. Conferences are most beneficial professionally and are a great experience!

Judith Schroder


Papanui High School