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Posts Tagged ‘elections’


It  won’t come as too much of a surprise, but the whole recent election process has had my mind quite occupied.

As I said earlier, I think that the small profile that was included on the voting papers didn’t provide people with enough information. I feel  that with the launch of the new website, LIANZA could have made a better effort in giving people more information, and provided a forum for members to ask questions of the nominees. LIANZA Head Office should have asked for fuller statements. They should have then  had those statements published on the blog as the voting papers went out, and then had the candidates answering questions posted to the blog.

It seems to me at the moment that LIANZA is not fully utilising the new models  of communication that the Internet has opened. We seem stuck in a strange paper and process dominated rut that the organisation is loath to break free from. Really, for a professional body that represents a wide range of people working with information in the online environment everyday, it is quite a bad look.

I must also confess that I was disappointed with the number of votes cast. The most recent information available from the LIANZA website says that as of September last year there were 1,808 personal members. That means that the 222 who voted consists of 12% of the personal membership. Which had me questioning why that is so? Is it apathy? Lack of information on nominees? Lack of relevance?

All this has me wondering just how can LIANZA engage with the membership? What is it that we need to do to make LIANZA relevant? To lift the apathy?

I know what I am going to be doing. I have said that while acting from within LIANZA that I felt constrained in speaking my mind. This is because as regional chair I felt I  needed to publicly support LIANZA and in some cases defend it, even where I felt that defence was not warranted. It comes from being part of a body and acting constructively. I decided that I wanted to make more noise to enact change and to provide leadership. I felt I had two opportunities, either be voted onto the council and from there promote what I felt was necessary internally, in a way that you can’t by acting as regional chair, or to remove myself from more official channels and be more vocal in a more external setting. Since the former didn’t happen, the latter is the path I am following.

I want LIANZA to be  “The vibrant, vital professional voice for those engaged in librarianship and information management in New Zealand Aotearoa.“  To do that it needs hard working conscientious  volunteers, and a vocal engaged membership. I might be wrong but I think we have plenty of the former and not enough of the latter, so that’s what I am going to be doing this year.

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The Sounds Of Silence


I have been a bit quiet recently, mainly because I have been waiting for the results of the LIANZA elections to see if my bid for President-Elect was successful. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t 😦

What that means is that their will be more time for me to inundate you with posts here… 🙂

It will also mean that I will just have to extra noisy 😆

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It may be that I am indeed barking up the wrong tree, but it seems to me that a 150-word profile on the ballet papers may give you the briefest amount of information about candidates for elections, but it is not enough information to make an informed vote.

As promised, here is a fuller post detailing information about me for the purposes of informing the voting members of LIANZA about whom they may be voting for in the President-Elect election.

There is of course a judgement call to be made about how much information to put out there, but in essence, I see this as a C.V. / covering letter for my nomination.

I started working in libraries at the Karori branch of Wellington City Libraries.  I had finished my undergraduate degree, a B.A. majoring in Classics, and it was my first “real” job.  Much to my chagrin now, I applied under the belief that as I liked reading, working in libraries would be great. How little did I know. I soon learnt that working in libraries was more than just reading books, with the occasional moment where you might issues, return or shelve. There was a lot more going on, and I really enjoyed the work. I very quickly decided that working in libraries was where I wanted to be, so I enrolled in the MLIS, taking a year off work to complete.

When I finished my professional qualification, I continued to work at Wellington City Libraries, both in a number of branches and as part of the circulation team at Central. I then went to work at The Alexander Turnbull Library with, what I considered at the time, the lofty title of Assistant Acquisitions Librarian.  This exposed me to a more specialised library environment, and gave me the first taste of real collection development work and heritage preservation.  During this time I had not had a permanent contract, as both organisations had been undergoing restructuring.

I then went to work as the Sole Charge librarian for the C.I.T., at their Terrace campus. Working sole charge really opened my eyes to a number of issues facing smaller libraries, and I have a lot of respect for those who do that year in, year out. For myself I rapidly realised that I was not suited for such a solitary existence.  I wasn’t there too long, as just after I joined, it was decided that the CIT would merge with the WP to form WelTech. Also the hours were cut from full time, so I was made redundant.

Over the next four odd years I had a break from libraries, and worked as a stay at home dad. This was one of the most personally rewarding periods of my life. When I re-entered the paid work force I became I found myself having a greater awareness and interest in gender issues. Especially as a male in a female dominated profession.

I returned to work being employed firstly as the Technical Services librarian for the Open Polytechnic, and then as a Reference Librarian. I then was appointed to the position of College Liaison Librarian, Business, at Massey University. At that time I became more involved in LIANZA and attended my first conference. I joined the Ikaroa committee and then stood for chairman.

My family had moved to Dannevirke, and I eventually became the Technical Services Librarian here. Over the years then I have worked in large libraries and small, I have worked in Public, Academic and Special libraries. I have worked in customer service roles and in technical services roles.

That’s my history, so what about what I believe in.

I have developed in recent times a passion for Library 2.0 technologies, being on Twitter, and blogging institutionally, professionally and personally. I have also presented last year at LIANZA09 on the challenges of blogging in small rural Public Libraries.

I believe that Internet is both the biggest opportunity for libraries and it’s biggest threat.

I believe in that access to free information via your public library is a fundamental right within a functioning democracy. I also think that funding such a service is going to become more of an issue in the future years.

I am philosophically opposed to any form of censorship, but recognise that in practical terms, especially with the Internet, that some form may be inevitable. I am yet to be convinced that filters don’t work, and I am grateful we have them on the APNK, as I know that without them our job would be a hundred times more difficult.

I think that over the last few years the council has done a tremendous job behind the scenes in advocating for libraries, and if there is one failing is in that LIANZA has not been open enough nor communicated enough with the membership.  What I would wish to achieve in being President-elect is a more open and forthright communication strategy. I think that while LIANZA has been effective in it’s lobbying it has not seen to be effective.

I also believe that LIANZA has missed the boat in it’s implementation of Web2.0 technologies for communicating with membership.  This post should be on the LIANZA website. The candidates should have been  invited to give both a 150 word profile for the voting papers and also a longer more detailed post for the Blog.

I hope that gives you a better idea of who I am and what I stand for. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section and I will answer as soon as I can.

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