Don't forget the essentials

Don't forget the essentials

Not sure what essentials to pack for Conference?  Not to worry, we’ve got some tips.

Check out the long-range weather forecast the day before you leave – I always ring the useful Metphone 0900 number which I have found more accurate than other forecasts when I am going away. It is invariably useful in deciding how warmly to pack. The number for Canterbury is 0900-99903.     Layers of clothing will help you make the most of whatever the weather is like on the morning of the pōwhiri – whether it is hot or cold.  Style is up to you – whatever you feel comfortable in.

Remember there is no Conference satchel, so bring something in which to put all the things you need during the day.  You can bring a satchel from a previous LIANZA conference, a work satchel, or a favourite bag from home instead.      Previous LIANZA Conference bags back to 1991 have been collected by Brenda Chawner from Victoria University, you can check out her database and pictures here.    The only year that is missing is the 2003 Napier Conference – if you still have one Brenda would love to hear from you!   Check out also these examples of other library conference bags.

In terms of bringing note paper and pens – there will be some blank pages to make notes included in the handbook, but it’s still a good idea to bring your own note book.  There are no pens provided (other than those you might manage to score from vendors).

Other things to bring are camera, sunhat and walking shoes if you like walking in the morning, favourite pen, post-it notes, business cards, and your favourite clothes for the Conference dinner in Sol Square. Finally enthusiasm, an open mind and a dash of skepticism should enable you to get the most out of conference.

Any suggestions from veteran conference goers about what to bring?


Earlybird registration has now closed so those of you who were hoping to get a bit of a discounted Conference registration are now out of luck…or are you?

Were you aware that single day passes to Conference are available?  This option is definitely most beneficial to those of you who are studying as the student rate is only $150.  Yes, you could probably buy a hot pair of shoes for that but will a pair of wedges help you decide where you want to go in your career?  Will they look good on your CV?  Even the most gorgeous footwear can’t do those things.

Still, it’s a fair whack of change, so here’s our breakdown of the key subject areas that pop out on different days so if have to make a choice about which single day you’d like to attend.  Then you can get the most bang for your buck (depending on your area of interest).


  • IT/Web – A real mixed bag of issues from a diverse range of speakers/presenters for Conference’s first day including Richard Stallman’s keynote, the work of the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa, and a discussion of online identities, not to mention coming up with ad hoc IT solutions for a poetry competition.  Web and IT projects also feature in the 3M Awards.
  • Health – “Conference Monday” starts with the New Zealand Health Database Consortium AGM in the morning and finishes off with the HealthLIB AGM in the evening.
  • Public libraries – Some of the above web and IT sessions are relevant to the public library sector, particularly the 3Ms, People’s Network and Poetry, also of interest to public librarians may be the meetings of the EPIC User group and Cat SIG.

Don’t forget that Monday also features the pōwhiri as well as the Welcome Reception amongst the Exhibitors (so free drinks and nibbles). (more…)

Still trying to find somewhere to stay for conference?  Perhaps the friends you were relying on are full up with their adult children boomeranging home or maybe you just haven’t got round to it yet.  Despair not, you can find amazing bargains on some last minute hotel booking web sites. and are two worth trying. At the time of writing both sites had plenty of reasonably priced central city accommodation for conference week. On Expedia you can check traveller reviews where available and both have map links so you find out how close they are to the Convention Centre. is another that has particularly good traveller reviews and all have online booking.

Indeed, there is a cut-off date for those of you who are rushing around trying to get your funding sorted. It is Friday the 11th of September, yes, that’s this Friday. tick tock tick tock

So get busy y’all. Make sure you have all your information at the ready, from your LIANZA membership number to credit card details (either yours or someone else’s if they are paying for you … or you could be invoiced instead), and a vague idea of what sessions you might be interested in attending. And make sure you get your SOL Square “ticket” as well.

Get your typing fingers to the ready, and off you go!

Here’s the place to be : Registration page of the LIANZA 2009 Conference website.

We all know that attending Conference comes with a price.

And I know that I am the resident “‘tail-alcoholic” on these pages (socialising in SOL Square), but for once I’m not talking about the cost of panadol, water and vitamin C.

No I refer to the customary “feedback session” that you agree to speak at when you receive Conference sponsorship.  Of course this is a negligible cost if you like giving presentations…RM12221~Hangover-Shelter-Posters

But if like me you avoid them like the plague, you may find it useful to find out how other people report back from conferences.  Who knows what tips you could steal from them?

And guess what  – though I expect you might have suspected this all along – there just happens to be one such session being held in the near future. 

On Tuesday 15 September,  Kevin Adams, Gail Pattie and Lynsey Ainsworth, will be talking at CPIT about the conferences that they have attended recently.  Everybody is welcome to attend and the event begins at 6.15pm.  Please RSVP to

Though I still suspect that like me, come the end of Conference, you will still be desperately thinking of ways to get out of it.  Maybe a bad headache would work??



So by now you have worked out that you would like to hear the keynotes, definitely have something to say at the un-unconference and can’t wait to get all messy in Sol Square. The only thing left is to work out how the dickens you are going to afford it all.

There’s no doubt that LIANZA Conference  2009 is value for money, but it ain’t cheap. Luckily funding options abound. First of all try your workplace. They can only say no. Or what about your local LIANZA committee?  Hikuwai, Aoraki and Otago/Southland are all offering money for professional development. It’s worth a shot. Same goes for the Special Interest Groups. CatSIG is offering sponsorship to a member. If other SIGs or committees are offering sponsorship, maybe you could comment here?

Ok, so now you have an idea of who to ask, next up the boring bit – writing an application.  Where do you start?  Here’s a template for a Learning and Development Proposal from the ALIA New Librarians group. It gives you a rough idea of what to address when asking for money. Make sure you say you will write a report or deliver a feedback session, so others can benefit from the knowledge you gain at conference.  That makes you sound really good.

So hop to  it – deadlines are looming.

Last week we announced the winner of our Early Bird Registration competition – Andrew Robinson.

He was one of 94 first-time LIANZA members who joined up between 1 June & 31 July 2009, and was therefore entered into the draw to win a full Early Bird Registration.

We thought you might be interested to know a bit more about our lucky winner of this competition, so I threw some curly questions his way last week and now you get to find out a little more about the mysterious Andrew Robinson, Libraries & Customer Services Manager, South Waikato District Council.

Andrew Robinson, South Waikato District Council

Andrew Robinson, South Waikato District Council

So, how long have you worked in the library sector?

“On and off for about 12 years, just started my second year as manager. I have been out of the library scene for a while but definitely enjoying being back.”

What’s the coolest job title you have had?

“Apart from my current one? Systems Administrator Linux/Unix”

What did you want to be when you grew up?

“A professional Basketball player, no wait an Astronaut, nah definitely Batman”

What’s your favourite blog?

“Too busy for blogging but – great blog for the world’s greatest band. Of course if someone starts a blog about being a basketball playing superhero who flies a space shuttle – I’m in!”

Favourite NZ holiday destination?

“Anywhere there’s sun, surf and sand.”

Last movie you saw (and did you love it or hate it?)

“Harry Potter and the Half blood prince, it was decidedly average. As usual in Book vs Movie, Book wins!”

Last book you read (and who would you recommend it to?)

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, pub. 2008. Awesome story, fans of Jodi Picoult will enjoy but it has a lot more substance.”

What was the last book you didn’t finish?

Dune…twice. 3rd time lucky maybe” (mj interjects – my response for this is Lord of the Rings, I can’t finish even the first book)

Have you ever been to Christchurch? If yes, what do you remember most about it? If no, what do you know about Christchurch?

“No I haven’t been to Christchurch so really looking forward to it and to be honest my knowledge is sketchy. I know they have a river and some hills, a cathedral, a retired Wizard, and an average rugby team.”

What are you looking forward to at this year’s Conference?

“I always enjoy the keynote speakers and I’m looking forward to hearing Richard Stallman. What’s particularly beneficial to me is the exposure to what’s happening in libraries and the trends that are emerging, it should be a great conference!”

Thanks to Andrew for answering our questions. We’re hoping that he’ll take away more than a few sketchy ideas about a southern city with a retired wizard and a cathedral.

If you have any other questions that you’d like to throw Andrew’s way, post them here and we’ll see if we can’t get an answer out of him before conference.


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