ALLA 2013 – Convenor’s reflections on ALLA Agitations 2013

By Karen Rowe-Nurse

AgitationsTwelve months work has come and gone – the conference has ended and I (along with the rest of the committee) am in recovery mode as well as finalising those (always) last few things. Personally, I think it was a good conference and I had a great but exhausting time.

The concept behind the conference was to shake things up, to create a festival of ideas that did things differently from the past and so we tried new formats, new ways of engaging (many thanks to those who tweeted!)  to get us thinking about new ways of approaching our work, our clients and our opportunities in a period of disruption.  For me it was particularly important to have some renowned international speakers to benchmark ourselves against. We had two formidable speakers in Jean O’Grady and Dave Shumaker, both of whom are very highly regarded in the library world.  I think we had a good mix of librarianship and law in the program, practical and theoretical.  I loved the social media panel Q & A (didn’t David Sinfield make a wonderful Tony Jones?) and enjoyed the plenary speakers. I missed the 10 x 10 sessions (sorry chaps) but feedback has been good.  What I would like to hear about is your responses to the program and how it could be made better for next year (keep tuned, a survey is coming)

What will I take way from this conference? The enjoyable social functions, the (speed) networking, the Sydney Town Hall, the moon hanging over the Opera House as we left Wildfire, the fabulous company –  friendships made,  colleagues  met, relationships with the publishers renewed , and new ideas to apply at work. I must admit here that I enjoy going to conferences – I love getting away from work to discover a new place, new people, new library things and also getting some inspiration for keeping on with my job. No matter how much we enjoy our jobs there are times when you need to be renewed and for me, attending conferences allows me to do this. For many years it was also a great excuse to escape from home duties for several days as well. Living with 5 wonderful but large and noisy males means that escaping to another city with a bit of free time on the side was good for my soul as well.

Will I be doing this again next year? You Betcha! (well, not the convenor’s role – I will hand that over to someone else) but I will be involved on the new committee for 2014 and look forward to exploring ideas, skills and Adelaide with you.

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