ALIA National Advisory Committee – 8th Aug Meeting

ALIA is the national body representing librarians, information specialists, library technicians, and information science academics in Australia. I recently joined the Health Libraries Australia special interest group as an executive member (my membership became active in July after I finished my term as Chair of the Information Resources Group (HTAi)), and I thought that I should attend the Victorian NAC meeting. It was held at the university were I did my undergraduate degree and I hadn’t been back (apart from a reunion) since. Boy had the library changed! I didn’t recognise it. Of course, a lot can happen in a library over 20 (gasp!) years. The meeting was to discuss the ALIA discussion paper ‘Future of the Profession‘ and to solicit ideas from Victorian ALIA members. Two issues stood out for me – one that keeps on reoccuring again and again and the other a new one to me but valid and applicable in all types of libraries. The reoccuring one is Visability. The other is the superficiality of information trends and technology. How do you deal with these issues? I almost groaned aloud when the discussion leader said that a public librarian in Perth had been ‘caught’ going to Google for an answer to a question. I would have turned it into an educational opportunity – show people how to search for the answer using the tools that they use frequently! What would you have done?

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