New Professionals’ Perspectives (2 of 3)

In this article, Becoming a librarian: from Sydney to Hong Kong via a LIS degree, published in the last issue of the Australian Library Journal, Joanna Hare reflects on her personal journey to become a librarian, and on her first two years as one.

Jo shares the results of a brief survey of new librarians working in academic libraries in Hong Kong regarding their experiences of LIS education and first years in the profession, and concludes with some recommendations for other new librarians entering the workforce. She explains that although “Imposter Syndrome is a significant factor for all new librarians”, her journey has been successful because it has been based on learning by doing, and working outside her comfort zone.

NLS7 (New Librarians’ Symposium) 2015: thoughts on live tweeting


Although a tad narcissistic, my first foray into using Storify has resulted in a collection of stories of my own tweets from each session I attended at NLS7.

I’ve done this mainly for my own record and reflection in years to come, as this was my first sustained effort at live-tweeting an entire conference and I want to be able to measure if my style or method changes for future conferences.

I’ve been doing some reading on live-tweeting and reasons to do it. The Research Whisperer talks about the importance of ‘having a public record of what took place, from one person’s perspective‘. This makes sense to me, as this is exactly how I see my Storify collection.

What I like about live-tweeting is the ability to take on the role of a ‘citizen reporter’ for events like NLS7. My main goal was to provide a ‘flavour’ of each session I went to for those unable to attend the symposium and who were following the tweet stream from afar, by tweeting key points from each speaker, and also noting any pithy points that resonated for me.

What I continue to struggle with is the authenticity of live-tweeting, and not knowing whether a tweeter’s words are their own take on the situation or a direct copy of what they’re heaing. So when I live-tweet, am I putting my own spin on what I’m hearing, or am I typing quotes from the presenters verbatim, in order to best represent what the presenter intended? I suppose the more live-tweeting I do, the more I will cultivate my own voice, and those following along will in turn come to know this voice, and know what to expect. But what do I do about my continual fascination with playing devil’s advocate to explore many sides of an issue? By doing this, do I risk confusing people, or losing any trust that may be gained in my ability to correctly and without bias document events?

The interesting question as to whether live-tweeting without permission is unethical is explored by The Contemplative Mammoth (why did I not think of such a title for my blog?) and the idea that ‘it should be taken as a given that a tweet is not necessarily an accurate representation of what was said’ is noted. This I think is a nice point that gives those newer to the experience of live-tweeting a bit more confidence to experiment while finding their style or ‘voice’ for live-tweeting.

Contemplative Mammoth also put me on to the interesting article Let’s have a discussion about live-tweeting academic conferences which raises some good thoughts on misrepresentation and brings up the question: are conferences actually ‘public’?

For me, live-tweeting at NLS7 was really an excellent way to connect with new peers in the industry, and to forge a Twitter Bond that will last long after the symposium, one that might even help assuage the #postconferenceblues that are in full swing.

As well, I feel that live-tweeting will in future become a public note-taking device for me – one where immediate broadcast can share my findings with many, many others and invite comment, debate, and further discussion.

ANDS data workshops 16 July 2015

Some takeaways from two recent workshops organised by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS): RDM101: Research data starter for research data support staff and Hip topics: What’s trending in RDM in Victoria?

Trying to find datasets online is not a completely straightforward process. Multiple searching methods are required in different data ‘portals’, and ANDS lists a few:

One interesting point that was discussed after investigation of the portals was that mobile-compatible websites are few in this space – this is a major drawback if researchers want to upload datasets from the field using mobile devices. If the death of the PC comes to fruition with the majority of the populace switching to mobile devices in the near future, it would be good to see mobile compatibility developments hastened for data portals.

A group note-taking session documenting reasons data is valuable resulted in a collaborative Meeting Words document.

The changing skill set of librarians was examined. Data librarians need to be across many different areas to do their job well – research data management, open access and copyright issues, datasets and dataset management, and increased IT skills.

Socio-informatician is the name given to two new information management roles at Melbourne University, adding yet another term to the librarian job titles lexicon.

A constant re-evaluation of skills is required to be successful in the fluid environment that is research data management.

A metadata group tool called Redcap was discussed.

So far there hasn’t been an end-to-end roll out of ORCIDs in Australia, and the ORCID consortium model currently being drafted by the ORCID working group (CAUL, ANDS, ARMS, CAUDIT, AAF, UA – with input from ARC, NHMRC) was discussed. A minimum of 20 members will be needed to implement, and more information on this will be forthcoming in the next month or two.

It was good to hear that the Wellcome Trust is now mandating ORCID IDs for research grants – it does seem that mandates are needed from the top so that they trickle down and become embedded in processes.