Bursary recipients report on QPLA Conference

The QPLA Committee were pleased to offer several bursaries to staff from member libraries across the different regions in Queensland. The bursaries gave them the opportunity to attend the 2015 QPLA Conference – Partners in Time hosted by Moreton Bay Regional Council at Mon Komo, Redcliffe.

It was a pleasure to offer this learning opportunity to all three recipients, enabling them to attend a QPLA library conference for the first time. Tammy Hickey was also the recipient of the Delegate’s Choice Award and 2015 Local Government Authority Award for her program “Good Behaviour Initiative”. Below is a brief overview and key learnings from the three recipients.

AaronAaron Radford – Logan City Council

The 2015 QPLA conference was a showcase of the variety and quality of public libraries in Queensland. Each presentation, workshop, forum or speaker was an open invitation to change, challenge and innovate beyond current practice and it was the over-arching theme of innovation which linked the diversity of presentations at the conference.

Will Dayble defined Disruption as challenging the fundamentals of the way you do business and this approach underlined the innovative approach that libraries are taking toward public programming, their place in the community and their organisational culture. This was demonstrated by:

  • Bundaberg Regional Council Libraries Aqua Bubs project which combines learn to swim classes with rhymes and stories in a unique approach to the First Five Forever initiative;
  • Cunnamulla Library’s Glamour Photo Good Behaviour Initiative which partnered with local schools, businesses and volunteers to improve literacy, good behaviour and attendance at both school and the local library;
  • Robotics workshops presented by Luan Heimlich of FIRST Australia, Nicollette Venn of Digital Careers and Noosa City Council Libraries who demonstrated practical ways in which robotics, coding and science programs in libraries could be both fun and help libraries link their programming to the National Digital Curriculum which will be rolled out in Queensland schools in 2016;
  • Edmonton Public Libraries “Leading from any position” program which aims to improve their organisational culture by encouraging staff through fostering initiative, life-long learning and communication to become a more innovative library service.

This selection of the presentations delivered during this year’s conference demonstrates the diversity of the presentations and the common thread of innovation running through them. By continuing to innovate and challenge the way we have always done things, Queensland libraries will continue to remain in our communities and the world at large.

IMG_1560Tammy Hickey – Paroo Shire Council

I was very excited to win a bursary to attend the QPLA Partners in Time conference held in Redcliffe from the 19th – 21st October. I found this was the most informative conference I’ve ever attended and I learnt so much and we are extremely grateful to have been given the bursary.

I found Pam Ryan’s talks very informative and inspiring. I’ve already put the “see it, own it, fix it” into practice in our library. I was obsessed with Dewey the robot from the Robotics Workshop and have asked State Library if we can be “put on the list” to borrow one of the two they have for loan. I think Dewey would be very good to assist with storytelling and with some of our older borrowers who would not have seen anything like him before. This workshop made me realise Robotics are a very good way of getting children and teenagers into our libraries.

Another stand out presenter for me was Will Dayble, who taught me I need to cause a “disruption” among other things. His presentation was very enlightening – as was Mary Ellen Bates. I have taken a lot of Mary Ellen’s information on board and hope to implement it into our everyday library practices.

This was my first QPLA conference and definitely won’t be my last. I learnt and had access to information I have never obtained from any other conference or professional development event.

AlanaAlana Read – Rockhampton Regional Council

This was my first Library conference, so I can say that everything was a highlight! I am very grateful that I was able to attend the conference, due to the generosity of the QPLA Committee.

Pam Ryan’s inspirational keynote speech about the Edmonton Public Library opened my eyes to what can be achieved with a focus on fostering individual staff initiative, staff recognition and placing customers as the highest priority.

The First Five Forever Forum was also a highlight for me as I am involved in children’s programming at my library service. The chance to see what other regional libraries in particular are doing was a treat.

Tammy Hickey’s (Cunnamulla Library) talk about the “Glamour Photo Good Behaviour Program” that she began at her library, was very heart-warming. Encouraging not only better school performance from children, but also increasing library memberships is a win-win.

Mary Ellen Bates explained about painless negotiating, by taking control of our reactions and getting what you want in any situation: “You are your own best advocate”.

The “Ozobots” were a new concept for me and great fun at the hands-on workshop. They are accessible technology that I hope can be utilised at my library service.

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