Did you know that Richard Stallman was interviewed by Kim Hill on Saturday?  I missed it but ended up listening to the podcast yesterday.  It’s pretty interesting listening.  He covers a lot of topics including 911 “conspiracy” theories, airport security in the US and why he considers some kinds of electronic surveillance to be deeply disconcerting in terms of the way they put a lot of power into the hands of law enforcement (which the public then has to take on trust will not be exploited).  Pretty thought-provoking stuff.

His views are perhaps on the more extreme end of the range to my own but I think the basic principle of his arguments are sound.  Kim Hill however seemed quite annoyed with him, repeatedly accusing him of saying things he hadn’t and extrapolating wildly though I suppose it gave him the opportunity to clearly define what his specific view was on several things, but why so grumpy, Kim?  Another surprise is that he sounds a bit like Woody Allen (which is something that a fellow librarian pointed out, and I have to agree).

If you’re looking for a little background radio to listen to this afternoon, why not check out the podcast for yourself? It runs to just over 39 minutes and LIANZA Conference gets a mention (yay!).  I can’t wait to hear what he says in his keynote address.  I wager it’ll generate quite a lot of debate so make sure you get along to that one.  You don’t want to miss out on the “watercooler conversation” that’ll go on afterwards.

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Over the last few weeks we’ve been drip-feeding you the Keynote speakers who will be setting the tone for this year’s conference.  Today we announce the final speakers, one of whom will be a familiar face, the other not so much…

Penny Carnaby photoPenny Carnaby

The big cheese/head honcho of the National Library of New Zealand Penny is always a warm and engaging speaker who has a knack for summing up the general mood of a gathering (plus she’s a southern girl, and we like that).  In her role as National Librarian Penny has led the organisation’s digital strategy focused in three key areas covering digital content, connection and preservation to deliver a New Generation National Library.

Penny is also Deputy Chair of the ICT Steering Committee for Education, a member of the Learning State Industry Training Board, the Library and Information Advisory Commission (LIAC), a member of National State Libraries of Australasia (NSLA), and Adjunct Professor in the School of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington.  In 2008 Penny was re-appointed to chair the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) internationally.  She’s a busy woman and no mistake, I mean look at all those acronyms.

Prior to returning to New Zealand in 2003, Penny was University Librarian and Deputy Librarian at Macquarie University in Sydney.  Previous to this she enjoyed a long career in the tertiary sector in several roles at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT), including leading integrated education delivery services in library and learning services, e-learning and staff development.  In 1999-2000 she served as National President LIANZA, and was awarded a Fellowship of the Association in 2001.

Penny’s professional interest is in creating national frameworks and strategies to enhance the flow of information to all parts of society.  She believes that New Zealand Aotearoa has the potential to become a leading information democracy.  Her personal interests include the environment and wildlife of Australia and New Zealand, and the management of a small farm on Banks Peninsula, growing native trees.

And lastly, but by no means leastly…

tim_spaldingTim Spalding

Tim Spalding’s name may not be one that you are familiar with but you’re almost certain to have heard about his creation LibraryThing, the social cataloguing and social networking website.

Tim started LibraryThing in 2005 as a pet project to catalogue his books. Since then over 700,000 members have catalogued over 40 million books on LibraryThing, and whole new form of book life has been created.  But of course LibraryThing is about more than just books, its sense of community (check out Librarians who LibraryThing if you haven’t already) is one of its strong points.  LibraryThing must surely be one of the best examples of Web 2.0 at work.

Before LibraryThing, Tim was a graduate student in Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan, and worked for a Boston publisher. He lives in Portland, Maine but will be making the trip to Christchurch to speak at this year’s conference and we couldn’t be any more chuffed.

Want to know more?