passportUnder normal circumstances I would have said a “passport to exhibitionism” would likely come in a margarita glass.  But funnily enough this isn’t what Conference organisers had in mind when they came up with the ‘Exhibition Passport’ you’ll get as part of your registration pack.  So what manner of document is this passport and does it require posing for a horribly unflattering photo?  In short, no.

The idea is that you trot around checking out the wares of the various Exhibitors’ stands, collecting stamps for your “passport” as you go.  If you manage to get to around half of the stands (ie you get forty stamps) then you’ll go in the draw to win a prize donated by Conference sponsor, New Zealand Micrographic Services Ltd.

Once you’ve got your forty stamps, post your passport (don’t forget to write your name on it!) into one of the entry boxes in the exhibition area by 1.30pm on Wednesday.  The prize draw will take place at the closing ceremony at 3.30pm and you have to be there to collect your prize or you’ll miss out.  The prize in question is a 1TB LaCie Hard Disk.  That’s a terrabyte of memory folks!  And don’t feel bad if you don’t know how big that is, I had to ask too (1TB = 1000GB).

The National Library of New Zealand stand has prizey goodness on offer as well with Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa t-shirts to be won (green is the new black).  Expert advice will also be available in the form of staff from the People’s Network, Content Services, Digital Services, Te Puna and so on but not all at the same time so make sure to check the schedule for the best time to drop by.   Mysterious prizes will be available for some lucky souls who attend presentations (and there’s talk of a quiz) so be sure to include the National Library stand on your ‘itinerary’.

I hear-tell Cardquip is dangling a digital camera shaped carrot to tempt delegates towards their stand and the chances are good that other exhibitors will have prizes and competitions on offer so keep your eyes and ears open when you’re out and about collecting your passport stamps!

presenting at Conference can be this easy!

Presenting at Conference can be this easy!

So you submitted an abstract

Then your abstract was accepted – HUZZAHH!!!

Your session is listed in the Conference Programme

And you’ve booked your flights and accommodation in Christchurch.

But the last few nights have been horrible.  You’ve tossed and turned, driven away your partner, counted all of the rivots in the ceiling, and sweated through your favourite pyjamas.

You tried to attend a Conference Presentation Session but they were always the same night as your Star Trek marathons, or the local “stitch and bitch”, and it was just too dark or too hot to get off the couch… 

Now EEEEKKK!!! Conference is only a few days away.

What will you say?  How will you say it?

What if the delegates all get bored to sleep by your powerpoint?

Before you find yourself rocking under the table, here’s something that may help.

Moira Fraser and Paddy Plunket ran a series of workshops during May that focused on how to deliver great presentations.  Their top tips are:

  • Always focus on telling your audience something that will be important or interesting to them. 
  • Start by telling your audience WHY you think what you have to say will be  important or interesting to them.  This is a useful statement to work out in advance because it helps you stay focussed on your “value proposition”.  Audience members that know why a presentation is useful will pay attention to it differently and remember it better. An example of this kind of statement is “I hope that by the end of my presentation you will have a good understanding of some of the things to do, and some of the things to avoid, when starting up a new service for elderly users”, or “this will give you a framework for designing an information literacy programme in any kind of library or information service”.
  • Audiences remember better the more involved they are in the presentation.  In the hierarchy of involvement listening is near the bottom!  Quizzes, practical exercises and discussions require the kind of involvement that helps people to remember.
  • Your voice and your body are the most important and sophisticated delivery technology available to you.  Work on delivering your presentation in a confident and engaging tone and with strong body language.

Aoraki held a session in April during which Sally Thompson and Aurelia Arona (amongst others) spoke generally about doing a presentation and what to put on your powerpoint.  Their powerpoints are available online on the Conference Slideshare and contain many good ideas. 

But if you’re still chewing on your computer keyboard, there may still be time to register for the LIANZA Ikaroa presentation skills session.  It’s being held next Tuesday (29 September) at Massey University.  See their page on the LIANZA website for more information and to register online.

If all else fails, don’t forget, the delegates are interested in hearing what you have to say, and they are not there to give you a hard time.  They will forgive you your stumbles, and the odd powerpoint slide.  And there’s always light at the end of the gin bottle…

Do you have any other good ideas?  Post them here and we can share them.

Bibliotheque national du France

Bibliotheque national du France

I’m now blogging from Paris, darlings. I caught the red eye out from London. Always wanted to say that!! I feel so worldly – Paris is everything I thought it would be and more. The people are elegant and refined, the food is spectacular, and the history and culture surrounding me everywhere is just mind-boggling. I saw the Eiffel tower from the taxi on my way in to the Conference this morning…

The library Conference is being held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and is about “Libraries now and into the future”. Check out this picture of the interior of the library. Amazing! It’s really inspiring for me to understand libraries in the international context, and I’ll be able to apply what I learn here to this years LIANZA Conference. The theme of that Conference is He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata (The People, the people, the people).

I’m particularly interested in sucession planning for the library profession, as in NZ in general the proportion of mature to junior younger librarians is quite high. What happens when the baby boomers start retiring? I see in the LIANZA Conference programme there’s a paper on the University of Wollongong Library Professional Cadets, I must make a note to catch that and see what they’re doing about this challenge.

Anyway, back to France, after this Conference finishes up I’ll be meeting my Aunt Sarah and Uncle John in Lyon, where they live. Can’t believe I’m getting paid to have a free trip to France to see my relatives! Of course I’ll have to get myself to Lyon, but getting to France was the hard bit! I’m so glad I bit the bullet and applied for this grant – my life will never be the same, it will always be coloured by the experiences I’ve had here. I am officially a fully-fledged bonafide Conference junkie!!

Flying into Heathrow...

Flying into Heathrow...

Hi, my name is Libby Church. And I’m in London. Having the best time of my life…

I don’t know if you have registered yet for the LIANZA 2009 Conference, or think you will – but I just want to say a few words about how much fun going to a Conference is, and how it has changed my life. I, like many of you, love my job as a Librarian – all that interacting with books, people and knowledge. So inspiring! But lately I had been feeling down on myself. My boyfriend dumped me, my career was going nowhere, a new pimple had just appeared on the end of my nose…and that’s when a colleague suggested: “Have you thought about applying to go to a Conference?”

So I thought about it. What would going to a Conference do for me? Actually, plenty. For a start, I’d get out of the city for a while, away from that evil ex-boyfriend of mine. I’d be travelling, expenses (mostly) paid to a new place I’d never been before. I’d find out what’s happening on the cutting edge of my profession. Plus it would look great on my resume once I’d got back home. And – I’d meet colleagues in my field, heck maybe even befriend one or two. And who’s to say I might not meet a sexy young man to replace the old one? Strange things happen when you’re on Conference. As I’m finding out! I’ve just landed at Heathrow Airport, ready for a Conference at the British Library, then off to Paris for a Conference at La Bibliothèque nationale de France. Applying for the grant to go was a bit nerve-wracking, but not nearly as hard as I thought. I’m seriously going to apply for LIANZA Conference 2009 too – I will see y’all there!
In the meantime, check me out on facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/people/Libby-Church/1318458549

 Next Thursday….






I’ve never been involved in organising a conference before so it’s really amazed me to discover the gazillion tasks that have to be taken care of before anything “visible” actually happens.  Crikey, it’s staggering how many man and woman hours go into making sure your conference is as successful as it can be.  Although it’s not all altruistic.  We Cantabs have a tendency to be fiercely parochial and we want to make this year’s Christchurch conference rock so much you just won’t want to leave.

This blog will be the place for conference news, info about speakers (I know who some of them are but I can’t say, tease) and chat on any number of crucial conference topics (like where is the nearest café doing a decent cup of coffee?)  We’ll cover all this and more in the lead up to the biggest event on New Zealand’s library calendar.

While this year’s conference may seem like a long way off for you “civilians” for those of us working on it,  October will roll around before we know it.

My sub-committee (Promotions and Communications, or the PromComSubCom as I’ve taken to calling it) has been beavering away making sure we can get conference info out to you in as many ways as possible.  We’ll be Facebooking, blogging, Flickring, List-serving, YouTubing, Library-Lifing and various other things all in the interests of keeping you in the loop.  No need to thank us.  Our pleasure.

We hope you take the time to stop by every now and again and feel free to ask us questions or share your opinions here.  After all, this year’s conference is all about people –

3279861106_8d8ba1c7d7Hutia te rito o te harakeke
Kei whea, te kōmako e kō
Kī mai ki āhau
He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao
Māku e kī atu
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

When the heart is torn from the flax bush,
where will the bell bird sing?
You ask me, what is the most important thing on earth?
My reply is it is people, it is people, it is people

…and that includes you.