In our continuing quest to give the people behind this year’s LIANZA Conference a face, we tracked down Promotions and Communications Chair Megan Ingle and asked her a few questions…
Kia ora Megan, you’re comparatively new to the library field aren’t you? What’s your background (in libraries and out)?
True, I’m relatively new to the library world, having only stepped out into the world as a qualified librarian at the end of 2006.
In 2005, I made the sideways shift into the library/information/records/archives world after spending several years in research, publishing and specialist bookselling roles. I decided to tackle an M.L.I.S. through Victoria University of Wellington and survived two-thirds of the course as a full-time student (one semester on-campus and then one semester by distance) before I actually started work in a library at the end of 2005. I finally managed to complete the rest of my M.L.I.S. by October 2006.
I’ve worked for Christchurch City Libraries since the end of 2005, and have had the opportunity to be a Library Assistant, an Information Librarian and a Children’s & Young Adults’ Librarian before settling into the role of Selection & Access Librarian.
Being part of a profession which allows me to indulge my interest in printed books, the web, audiovisual materials, multimedia experiences, diverse people, research, building design … to name but a few areas … all in all, it’s a really good fit for someone like me who is interested in lots of different things and can go a-hunting for the answers to weird and wonderful questions.
You’re the chair for the Promotions and Communications Sub-committee. What exactly does that sub-committee do?
We’re responsible for making sure folks (both within New Zealand and overseas) know about the upcoming conference in October 2009.
At the moment, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes planning for upcoming promotional work. We’ve been investigating ways to ensure that we target as wide a market as possible, including New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, as well as a variety of IFLA regions, and non-traditional/non-library areas.
So far, we’ve been making use of a range of different technologies and communications streams to make sure that we cast a wide net for folks who will want to attend conference. This can take the form of postings on a multitude of list-servs, contributing to the LIANZA 2009 Conference blog, updating our Facebook page, taking photos to post to Flickr, writing articles for regional LIANZA newsletters and LIANZA’s monthly Library Life. We’re also looking at options for Twitter and YouTube.
And we’re working with the other sub-committees (e.g. Programme, Bi-cultural, Social, Sponsorship) to make sure the important topics from each of these areas are shared with potential conference attendees.
What prompted you to want to get involved as part of the Conference organising committee?
I’m a firm believer that you’ve got to be ‘in’ to make things happen, so I figured this would be a great way to contribute. I’ve also been extremely lucky to have attended various conferences and professional development workshops over the years, both within the library profession and prior to being a librarian, and I wanted to give something back to creating a valuable and memorable conference experience. There’s a lot of work that goes on prior to, during and after a conference to making it seem effortless – and playing a role in laying down good foundations for a positive conference experience is part of the reason I decided to be involved.
As a newcomer to the profession, I’m also keen to learn from others who have a diverse range of professional experience and knowledge, and I figured that this would be a great way to meet different folks and be inspired by their experiences and enthusiasm for the profession, as well as make a contribution to LIANZA and the wider library and information profession from the inside out.
What does the theme of this year’s conference “he tangata, he tangata, he tangata” mean to you?
For me, the whole profession is about people. For all aspects of the profession, from customers, vendors, publishers, content creators, staff, archivists, researchers, it is all about the people. People sharing their knowledge, sharing their stories, sharing their experiences, and creating an environment whereby information, in all its many forms, is created, accessed, shared, re-visited, kept and re-used.
For me, it is also significant that the importance of information and knowledge, which is shaped by people’s different experiences and cultural & spiritual beliefs, is acknowledged. We each have a professional role to play in ensuring that facilitating access to information is both respectful and respected.
What do you do in your spare time?
Outside of work you can find me in any number of places, but typically I could be found in my veggie patch, renovating my house, tramping up a mountain, being an aunty, on my bicycle, hunting out fabric to make new clothes out of, reading, listening to NZ music, planning an overseas trip, meandering on the web, or taking photographs.
Which literary character do you most relate to and why?
Today’s answer would be … the characters of Toot & Puddle. They represent for me the importance of travelling to discover the world, as well as having people at home to share it with. I’ll leave it up to folks to find out who these two characters are.