Key messages the panel noticed
* Karen Coyle: We’re all in the same boat. And we’re all working toward solutions.
* Andrew Booth: The power of stories. Everyone has a story – every user – can we harness that power?
* Michael Houlihan: Passion is important, and confidence is important. These go together. Librarians as leaders.
* Martin Molloy: Spent so much time trying to survive and look after colleagues. Tend to forget what this is all about, and being here is a good reminder. Also, we’re all in the same boat but not necessarily rowing in same direction! Need to use the strength we’ve got, our comaraderie.
* Jenica Rogers: Concerned that might be minimising difference between countries, but pleasantly surprised that we are very similar. (But downside is we don’t have magic solutions to her answers either.) Very encouraging that we’ve got people all around the world working on these problems.
* Audience #1: Each one of us has the power to transform something at our own libraries.
* Audience #2: Climbing hills and not giving up – as long as it’s a hill worth climbing.
Issues for next 5 years
* Jenica Rogers: Concerns about readiness of librarian leaders. We’re not supporting as much as we need to. Moved up early because she chose to. But many wanting to do this aren’t finding the path or the support to do that.
* Michael Houlihan: Disagrees. Thinks many are preparing. Not sure the things we care about are always the preserve of professional librarians. Have brought in professions from elsewhere – can be in danger of isolating ourselves. Libraries sometimes pushed into slow lane.
* Martin Molloy: If David Cameron has his way won’t need to worry about younger generations because older ones will always be there unable to retire. Politicians are a key area for the next five years, and the advice they get from their policy offices re which services are vital/expendable. Librarians haven’t stepped up to the mark in managing corporately and advocating for libraries at the same time. Need to get more economists (etc) speaking for us.
* Andrew Booth: In past thinking about challenges have always thought about externalities, but Jenica’s presentation reminded that restrictions in our own head are the big challenge.
* Karen Coyle: We have many practices that are hundreds of years old that we need to transform into new technologies – and to do this we need to understand them (the practices) better. Have to re-examine what we take for granted, to transform for a new information-era.
* Sue Roberts: We have a strong professional collegiality and association that helps us work on these together and we shouldn’t underestimate that.
* Audience #3: “Nothing in this world is certain, all you get is the sun rising and setting.” Retention of traditional knowledge. When we see everything coming at us it might be an opportunity to look at ourselves and see how we need to change ourselves to face the future.
* Audience #4: We’ve got challenges but we have to prepare the next group. The next level are saying they don’t want the pressures. Need to look at doing things differently. We can get our message across if we position ourselves. Need to look beyond where we are and see if there’s something else.
* Carolyn Robertson: Don’t advocate a natural disaster to break the mould, but notes the “Other duties as required” – civil defense duty. As manager had to retrieve staff because they were so fantastic in other areas people wanted to hold on to them. Can take inspiration from INELI leaders.
* Heather Lamond: Has heard a few times that people don’t want to be leaders. So those who do want to be leaders have to let people know that.
Advice on working politically
* Karen Coyle: Attend a non-library conference. Be the only librarian and speak up as a librarian.
* Andrew Booth: We see things through librarian glasses. Work out what buttons to press with those with evidence. “Slip out of librarian skin; slap down librarian biases; slop on some reality.”
* Jenica Rogers: When making a case she’s rarely doing it to librarians, so has to translate it to broader audience. Had to learn how to do this. Communicating to people without librarian background is hard and very important!
* Martin Molloy: Simple to explain and difficult to do: Politicians are just like us – they have things they care passionately about and you need to work out how they tick and what their agenda is. Need to work with people who work with politicians to find out who’s doing what where. Politicians want to get reelected every four years, so need stories about how things change within four years. Local politicians are motivated by stories in their community; national politicians have more varied agendas. Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted. Can’t leave this to someone else – managers, etc – “I” need to do it within “my” role.
* Michael Houlihan: We’re all holding a bird that says “Celebrate” (promo for next conference) – need to tell people what we’ve done and how we contribute. Show the relevance of what we do to the goals of people who control the pursestrings. Likes the “Turning knowledge into value for New Zealand” motto because it says so much.
Audience #5: Asking what panel will take away to change what will come back.
* Jenica Rogers: Has realised her actual staff have never heard her do this. (Sue says she might scare them!) Fear is a good motivator. 🙂
* Karen Coyle: Will try to bring passion, humanness etc to meetings in future.
* Michael Houlihan: LIANZA is like a mini-IFLA – both contributions from worldwide and new innovators within NZ. Hopes to bring some of this to Wales.
And LIANZA 2012 will be in Palmerston North, 23-26 September with a theme of Ipukarea (referring to the ancestral homeland – a place that represents our history, where we go to be rejuvenated) Celebrate, Sustain, Transform.
[Waiata: Tu mai ra]