it’s who you know

The point of going to a conference is to learn more about the profession, and to meet up with others in the profession. I’ve sometimes found the most valuable things happen outside of the conference framework, but happen because of it.
We both went to the QPLA off-year conference held at State Library of Queensland, Brisbane. It was a mini-conference but packed full of valuable information and ideas. More on that soon.

We’re grateful to Nadia Patch, Coordinator of Reading at Brisbane Libraries, for spending her lunch break in an interview with us. We were so impressed with the work Nadia does and how she works with the team leaders (branch librarians) to work on a coordinated and very successful approach to reader services. Nadia’s team had developed eye-catching genre bookmarks which feature a space for librarians to write their own recommendation before personally giving the bookmark to a customer.
And the BCC bookclub booklet features 40 reviews written by library staff – awesome production.

We were also excited to meet Sue McKerracher, Director of the Library Agency managing National Year of Reading. After the conference I was fortunate to meet with Jane Cowell and Tammy Morley at State Library (Jane is Director Public and Indigenous Library Services and Tammy is Manager Capacity Development). Jane and Tammy were very supportive when I asked the question – how can we work with State Library to support reader services in Queensland public libraries?
They’ve also suggested we submit an article to the PLC enews, so look out for that.

The conference was all about advocacy, and personally I found Sue Henzcel and DK’s presentations the most valuable in this area (Sue on metrics and DK on social media advocacy). I found a lot I can use to support reader services delivery in the public library service.

I finished my trip with a visit to Robin Lee at Brisbane Square Library (colleagues Suzanne and Esther had visited BSL and Fairfield to check out RFID) – and met some more wonderful Brisbane librarians.

Conferences and library visits are an invaluable opportunity to meet talented people who are doing great things in our industry.

Who have you met who has influenced your professional practice?