For more information about the sessions and speakers click on the links below.

Opening Keynote

Before Lunch

After Lunch

Closing Keynote

WORKSHOP: Talk! Collaborate! And listen!

Workshop description

Outreach, teamwork, program development, change management, supervision and management . . . welcome to libraries! Knowing how to collaborate to build networks, learn and find support to tackle these areas of library work is crucial so let’s Talk! Collaborate! And Listen!

Talk! Collaborate! And Listen! will deviate from the traditional format of presenter up the front talking, brief opportunities for small group or individual work, then back to the presenter (and repeat). Instead we will focus on the knowledge and ideas that every delegate already has, with guidance from Sally! We will talk and flex our collaboration muscles in a warm and welcoming space and share knowledge and find fresh ideas on writing great resumes, networking and plotting our professional development.

Attendees will leave the workshop ready to network and collaborate in a meaningful way with potential colleagues and peers.


Sally Turbitt

Sally Turbitt is Research Communication and Information Officer at Central Coast Local Health District. Sally co-hosted Turbitt & Duck: The Library Podcast from October 2017 to January 2019 and will soon launch a new podcast Curious Noggin with Sally Turbitt.

What she is most passionate about (besides Eurovision and swimming in the ocean) is creating spaces for library people to get creative, share their knowledge and collaborate. Siloes are a dirty word in her world and she believes that giving NLS9 delegates the opportunity to flex their collaboration muscles will help them move into the library world ready to smash those siloes and share the shit out of what they know and can do!

Working together to superpower libraries with graphic novels

Session description


Strap in for a presentation that will have you flying the flag for graphic novels at libraries! New models of innovation and collaboration to foster a culture and improve graphic novels collections at libraries is just the beginning. Far from ‘just superheroes’, the current high interest in graphic novels is evidenced by numerous trending TV and movie adaptations and historical comics.

This is super news for libraries given the power of sequential art as a storytelling medium and a multimodal text fostering multiple literacies.

Join us as we highlight proven models for maximising exposure and circulation of graphic novels, improving library collections, attracting new demographics to the library and exploring new models for collaboration and innovation.


Iurgi Urrutia

Iurgi Urrutia is an Information Services Librarian for Kingston Libraries in Melbourne with a background in education and media studies. He is a strong advocate for public libraries, education, literacy and working for the community. Iurgi has contributed as a freelancer for publications in Spain and Australia, writes fiction and poetry and is the creator of Pop and Smash a blog about graphic novels at libraries.

Deviating with diversity, innovating with inclusion: a call for radical activism in libraries

Session description

Diversity and inclusion are at the core of what libraries are all about. Library and information science (LIS) professionals have an essential, catalytic role to play in ensuring that everyone is accepted, valued, cared for, respected and welcomed in libraries. Inclusive librarians create a culture of compassion and care, and ensure that their library facilities, services, programs, collections and technology are designed in a way where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

I am a Senior Library Officer, who lives with a visual, audial and spinal disability. With the unique perspective of my disability and my previous experience working as a Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the Human Resources sector, I now advocate for diversity and inclusion in libraries. I have previously shared broad tips on how libraries can become more inclusive at ALIA Queensland’s Mini Conference, and wish to further explore the topics of accessibility, space and activism.

How can we be inclusive if our structures oppress or exclude the people who might work in our spaces or occupy them as clients? If diversity is not reflected in our virtual and physical spaces? If the way people can “belong” is to change themselves, rather than for our spaces, services and profession to change?

As LIS professionals, we need to implement necessary changes to truly create diverse and inclusive workplaces, libraries and communities.


Nikki Andersen

Nikki Andersen is a Senior Library Officer at the University of Southern Queensland, and Social Media Coordinator for ALIA’s Students and New Graduates Group. With experience both in librarianship and Human Resources, Nikki is passionate about diversity and inclusion in libraries. Outside the library world, Nikki is a writer, activist and creative living enthusiast.

Walk this way: using geolocation for self-guided local history audio walking tours

Session description

Local History? Yaaaaaawn! But does it have to be? New technology isn’t a replacement for good content, but it can allow you to tell stories differently – and in the process tell different stories. Disrupting the dominant narratives in local history and innovating with new voices.

‘Echoes’ is a GPS triggered audio tour app for smartphones. Hear about the potentials and limitations of using Echoes, and what you will need to get started making your own geolocated local history audio walking tours.


Teishan Ahearne

Teishan Ahearne is a library worker and radio producer. Teishan works in online and digital content at Moreland City Libraries, and produces the program Earth Matters on 3CR Community Radio in Melbourne. Drawing these two fields together Teishan is working on a project compiling and making available online an archive of 40 years of 3CR’s radical radio.

Art in the library: why is it there and should we care?

Session description

It is common to display art in study spaces, but we as staff rarely stop to consider why. Ask a librarian and the response will often be ‘to brighten the space’ or ‘to make the environment welcoming’ but how many of us have stopped to consider why we have art in our libraries? In general, we seem to think that it’s a good thing, but how does it get there, and does it practically impact us? In other words, should we care?

Research into the benefits of art in other workplaces is common, but research into the inclusion of art in library spaces has been limited. Using case studies from the University of Queensland and a Cambridge college, this session will discuss some of the less conventional pieces of art we have put into libraries and discuss the reasons for and responses to displaying art in the academic library from both staff and students. You will leave thinking about the art in your library, how it affects you, and how you could use it to create innovative spaces and experiences for your users.


Flic French

Flic French is a LIS professional from the UK, now working in Brisbane as a librarian at the Fryer Library of the University of Queensland. She graduated from a Masters in Library and Information Services Management at the University of Sheffield in 2017. Flic has wide ranging experience in the LIS sector, having worked as a librarian, an archivist, and a records manager across a variety of institutions. In a former life she verified questions for TV quiz programs in the UK (yes, that is a job), and was in one episode of a popular UK detective show where you can just about see her hat. Her favourite Muppet changes regularly, but at the moment it’s definitely Robin. Next week it might be Rizzo.

This is not an ivory tower, but it is a hill I am willing to die on: sharing and promoting local history collections

Session description

A common misconception of local studies libraries is that they are indistinguishable from archives, museums and any other collection with a historic focus. Another myth is that staff must be experts on the content of every page in every book and familiar with the notation on every map because everything is collected, nothing is discarded and few things are catalogued.

The risk with these beliefs is that, unless explicitly told otherwise, many customers expect that the answers to all of their questions will be found in one person in one location and in one place. If it is not online or in their local studies collection, the information simply does not exist.

This session aims to provide a greater understanding of local studies collections by providing:

  • overview of the type of materials local studies libraries hold and the customer base they support
  • examples of successful, and measurable, engagement between new and existing customers with collections; including in-library programming, pop-up events and social media
  • samples of professional development programs that are designed to educate colleagues and partners about the role of local studies and their unique position with in public libraries and the wider world of heritage collections
  • demonstration of how to introduce customers to other heritage collections in order to assist them in achieving better research outcomes

This session will also discuss some of the barriers and impediments to customers finding local studies libraries in the first instance, and ways to address those challenges.


Kyla Stephan

After graduating from university, Kyla Stephan embarked on a career of making fairies and kewpies. A decision to return to study resulted in her hastily choosing English simply because the Library and Information Science office was closed for lunch during her visit. Within months of finishing, she started working in a library and after a decade of procrastination, finally became a librarian. Kyla has been the Local Studies Librarian for the City of Gold Coast since 2008. Her name is derived from the ancient Greek word for a two handled wine cup.

Geeks as guides: youth engagement in public libraries

Session description

Some public libraries struggle to get young people into their space, others are inundated with high-energy, high-need and sometimes disruptive teens. Hosting 20+ young people in a small library space can cause staff and other customers anxiety and frustration – how do we DEAL with them? Engage. Trust. Teach without teaching and they’ll learn without knowing. Hand them an iPad, feed them. Put their art on the walls and make them welcome.

Hire a Geek.

Library staff don’t come preset with years of youth-work experience but they ARE great at problem solving. Problem: Rowdy Young People. Solution: Hire a Geek. Someone with skills in youth engagement, someone who has experience in Trauma Informed Practice, someone who can support and guide teens and library staff alike.

This session will cover the journey of one remote library and the trials and triumphs experienced as they fight to change public perception and the lives of troubled indigenous young people in one of Australia’s most unique towns. Using a Geek.


Clare Fisher stumbled into libraries by accident at the age of 19 and fell so much in love with the industry that she’s now spent a further 19 years dedicated to public libraries in Queensland and the NT. Itchy feet led her to the dusty, vibrant town of Alice Springs in 2016 and she now manages the Alice Springs Public Library, a beautifully chaotic establishment that fills a very special role for its local community as a learning hub, meeting place, play zone and recreational space for its varied and multicultural customers.

Blair McFarland has worked with remote communities in Central Australia in community justice issues for more than 30 years. He lived at Papunya for four years and has first-hand experience of life in traditional Aboriginal communities. In 2002 he established CAYLUS, the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service, which is a division of Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation. Due to this long association with the communities, and his continuing commitment to social justice, he is well known in the region. He received the 2008 Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in the drug and alcohol field. Here is a summary of the CAYLUS project in comic form – B1G1 Geeks 2018 (32MB)

Safer libraries: how we got our ideas heard

Session description

This session will share our experiences on addressing the Change the Course report from a library perspective. This was a social issue which is incredibly important to us on a personal level, as well as a professional level as we feel a strong duty of care for our clients. As new librarians it can be difficult to find ways to bring your ideas and passion to the table. This session will give new librarians some tips on how this can be achieved. It will also offer practical suggestions on ways libraries can improve the safety of their space, whether academic, public or other special libraries. This discussion began at our library via the institution run MATE Bystander program training which was delivered to all Front Line Library Staff. Following on from this training, we conducted an environmental scan and literature review to determine safety strategies that were already in place and how this could be taken further. From this, we have identified strategies and techniques that we are hoping to introduce to our spaces in late 2018/early 2019. In the session, we will discuss any successes and issues we experienced along the way and how we were able to communicate our ideas and present them to library leadership for further development and possible implementation.


Laura Wheatley & Rhiannon Reid

Laura Wheatley has been in the library industry for over ten years, starting as a school-based trainee library assistant to holding a Masters in Information Studies. She has moved between public and academic libraries in various roles including Digital Services Senior Library Officer and Assistant Library Campus Coordinator. Now working as a Librarian at Griffith University, Laura is focused on ensuring libraries are a welcoming space for all. She is also a Regional Coordinator for Queensland with the ALIA Students and New Graduates Group.

Rhiannon Reid has been in libraries for five years and can boast that she has worked at all six Griffith University libraries in various roles including Assistant Library Campus Coordinator. Now as a Library Officer, Rhiannon is spreading her knowledge into physiotherapy and encouraging all her classmates to use the services that libraries provide. Rhiannon holds a Master of Information Studies and is passionate about social justice and making libraries safe and exciting places.

Engineers of conduct and technicians of behaviour: a divergent look at cultural institutions, information professionals and the historical impossibility of neutrality

Session description

This session will examine the ways in which cultural institutions such as libraries, archives and museums and the information professionals who work in them can never be considered truly neutral.  Deviating from a common narrative in which cultural institutions are characterised as great, good places, we aim to explore and challenge the foundation tories of the Australian information professions, and ask attendees to critically reflect on a history which deviates from these stories. Attendees will be asked to consider what is unknown about our shared history and what the implications for these blind spots are. The session will also challenge attendee’s perceptions of their own practice and ask them to consider ways in which they can develop a more critical understanding of their profession and what they can do to re-address the narrative.


Mary Carroll

Mary Carroll is a Course Director in the School of Information Studies at CSU Wagga Wagga. Her current role focuses on educating for the future of the information professions. To this end her research seeks to develop a critical understanding of the cultural, social and historical forces which impact the Australian Information professions and to place these professions in their wider context.

A criminologist, engineer and stand-up comedian walk through the door … they’re just heading to work

Session description

In 2018, library services are more than the provision of resources to the community. Libraries are a place of customer-facing learning, which can be influenced by the skills and knowledge of the team. What elements can a criminologist bring to programs to decrease antisocial behaviour in lower socio-economic communities? How many tools and techniques can an engineer introduce to programs and activities? What skills can a stand-up comedian bring to customer service and children’s activities?

In this session, attendees will learn about the different skills and knowledge that different career-types can bring to modern libraries. This session will demonstrate a working example of an alternative staffing model for those with leadership and hiring responsibilities. Attendees with less traditional career backgrounds, will also see examples of ways they can use their individual skills and knowledge within modern library service provision.


Teena Miller

Teena Miller is the Coordinator of Libraries and Heritage Services at the City of Mandurah, overseeing Mandurah Libraries and the Mandurah Community Museum. She has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology, a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Services and is currently completing her MBA. Over the last five years, she has transformed Mandurah Libraries from transactional to an experiential service introducing new technologies, self-issue, refurbishing the library spaces and learning programs to meet the needs of the community. This transformation has resulted in an alternative staffing model drawing on transferable skills and experience.

Join the revolution!

Session description

In New York, until recently, 80,000 children had their library card blocked due to fines. That’s nearly one in five. In Australia thousands are denied the fundamental and enduring library service of access to knowledge and resources because of blocked cards due to fine accrual. Librarians are forced to transcend their library training and personal character to play ‘library cop’ as Seinfeld would mock.

The evidence against library fines is now so great that we must take notice in Australia. Our library services, but more accurately our politicians must take note. The problem of library fines affects us all, and it rallies against our core values as librarians.

It is time for action.
Join me as I put forward the evidence to prove library fines do not work.
Join me as I put forward the evidence that shows the positive outcomes of banning of library fines.
Join me as I show you a world without library fines.
Together we can make a difference and I’ll show you how.
Join the revolution against library fines.
Vive la révolution


James Nicholson

James Nicholson is the ALIA State Manager for QLD and works at the University of Queensland. Before working at UQ he worked for a public library service and could see first hand the effect that library fines could have on people, especially children. He also founded and runs a registered charity called The Sleigh Bell Foundation that supports disadvantaged families at Christmas time. Therefore, he is always looking for ways to help the disadvantaged break down road blocks to education, knowledge, support or services.

The librarian as researcher: a journey in the ethics of storytelling

Session description

As librarians we often view ourselves as the guides to others on their information journey and often forget that we ourselves are capable of world-leading and ground-breaking research. As part of completing my Master of Information Studies my research project collected and analysed data about the information seeking behaviours of female intimate partner abuse (IPA) survivors in New Zealand. Throughout this process, I had to pull on many resources in other disciplines to guide me.

This presentation will talk about the ethical considerations involved in approaching research in vulnerable communities and the academic research process involved. While our profession has extensive ethical guidelines around data usage, our governing bodies do not have specific research ethics guidelines for our researchers. How do we find an ethical code to follow? What are the ethical considerations we should make? Should our governing professional bodies be guiding us through this process? How do we go about obtaining ethics approval in academia? What about ethics outside of academia? But beyond that, how do we even go about taking that leap to put ourselves out there?

I will also talk about how to go about advocacy and storytelling in a way that allows you to elevate the voices of your participants while also protecting their identities. As Lynn Westbrook, a groundbreaker in information behaviour in vulnerable communities, wrote, “Increasing the effectiveness of information support mechanisms for vulnerable population[s] saves lives both immediately and in future generations.”


Laura Mason

Laura Mason completed her undergraduate degree in History and English Literature, with Honours in History at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She has been studying her Masters at the same university part time while working in both academic libraries, and more recently, records management in the public sector. During her Masters she became interested in the intersection of libraries, advocacy, ethics and social story-telling and she dedicated the research component to looking at the Information-seeking Behaviours of Intimate Partner Violence Survivors. In her spare time Laura likes to deep dive into whatever topic takes her fancy and pull out random facts to use at parties.

LIGHTNING: Five ways to be an empathetic and resilient client service librarian

Session description

Engaging with the public can be one of the biggest challenges for librarians. It’s often the aspect of being a librarian that is seen as least glamorous, and doesn’t get covered in library school.

I would like to share with the participants of NLS9 my five tips for dealing with clients in difficult situations, in ways that ensure we take care of ourselves. These are based on my experience as a Duty Librarian in a busy State Library, drawing from sociological, psychological and business perspectives.

Clients are mostly respectful and appreciative – but libraries attract all sorts. We have an important social responsibility as one of the few community facilities free to all, but there is also an expectation that we take everyone and everything in our stride.

We need many tools in our arsenal to help all of our clients in an empathetic and fair manner while also not collapsing under the strain. That is why I am offering my five ways to be an empathetic and resilient client service librarian.


Leela Wittmer

Leela Wittmer works as a client service and research librarian. She has been Librarian-ing for a couple of years and has a varied work background including chef and life-model. Leela likes research and people and social theory and data and problem solving anachronistic cataloguing systems. There isn’t really anything she doesn’t like.

LIGHTNING: Choose your own Greeters Program adventure

Session description

A new volunteer Greeters Program, launched in 2018, has completely transformed the library’s visitor experience and is making a significant contribution to our strategic goals of removing barriers, being open and inviting and placing people at the heart of everything we do. There have been volunteers at the library for 35 years supporting programs or collection projects, but this is the first volunteer program directly involved with the visitor experience.

The Greeters Program consciously aimed to recruit volunteers that mirror the demographics of visitors to the library. We know that more than half of our visitors are born overseas and half our visitors speak a language other than English, a third are students and of these almost half are international students. Greeters are predominantly Millennials, reflecting our visitors who are primarily under the age of 35. With over 300 applicants to date, we have 100 Greeters who will be joined by a further 100 volunteers over the next year.

With the introduction of a large number of innovative and proactive processes to grow and engage a diverse volunteering team of Greeters and provide a platform for them to grow collectively and individually as well as to meet organisational goals. Shortlisted for both the Volunteering Victoria Innovation and Inclusion awards, the Greeters Program won the 2018 State Inclusion award.


Kimberley Dunt

Kimberley Dunt is a volunteer at both the State Library Victoria and PMI Victorian History Library while she is completing a Bachelor of Arts Librarianship and Corporate Information Management as an online student through Curtin University.

LIGHTNING: The library experience: a discussion in possibilities

Session description

This lightning talk will cover how libraries can utilise the built environment to enhance user experience, either using technological design or architecturally based concepts resulting in reduction of barriers to access. It will draw on both social disability and social design concepts, which when used in libraries will ultimately allow the entire community access to innovative learning experiences and different ways to experience a library.

Firstly, a brief overview of the Social Disability Model: a concept which discusses how sensory, physical, intellectual or psychological pathology do not lead to disability; rather, disability comes from when society fails to take differences into account.

Following, a look at Social Design, or design that can be used to solve problems for the greater amount of people; for example, using technology such as augmented reality to provide reading as a whole-body experience, benefiting users who may not be able to read proficiently. Architects, designers and libraries can implement such ideas in their designs allowing users to experience information in very different ways to traditional library interactions.

Finally, we’ll explore the physical architectural design elements, such as sensory walls, that contribute to a unique experience for library users no matter what the ability of the user. By diversifying the user experience, libraries can better cater for different achieving styles, therefore reducing barriers to access and the concept of social disability for their users.


Belinda Dunkley

Belinda Dunkley is a new graduate, from Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, and is currently working as a librarian in public libraries. She has experience in special academic libraries with a focus on Architecture and has an interest in how libraries can engage with their communities and the removal of barriers to access, by using either technology or design.

Advocacy, influence and the art of blowing your own horn: using infographics to tell your library’s story

Session description

This session shows how you can show off your library’s achievements by producing fantastic looking annual or bi-annual reports using infographics. Mining library systems for quantitative and qualitative data and representing it visually is a way of grabbing the attention of those higher up the food chain (who may be the ones that sign the cheques) and showing that you are constantly evaluating your services and making evidence-driven decisions.

This session incorporates an interactive workshop as well as a presentation. Please bring along your own device such as a laptop or tablet to participate.


Deborah Brown

Deborah’s career has spanned the corporate, government and educational library sectors. Deborah worked for 12 years at Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, relishing being at the coalface of news breaking in print and online. Her final position at Fairfax was as Manager, Information Services, which involved leading a team of 25 staff including research librarians, photo librarians and managing the Fairfax Archives. In 2009 Deborah took a position managing the Reference and Information Services arm of the NSW Parliamentary Library, which involved providing the highest quality services to Members of NSW Parliament and their staff. In 2012 a change of direction saw Deborah moving to the education sector to her current role as Manager, Library and Information Science at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College North Sydney, which offers both the International Baccalaureate and NSW Higher School Certificate curriculums. She has since discovered a passion for young adult dystopian literature, in particular the zombie apocalypse sub-genre. Deborah has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Information Studies) and a Masters of Education from the University of Technology, Sydney.

LIGHTNING: Library as fourth place

Session description

Since the publication of Ray Oldenburg’s The Great Good Place in 1999, librarians have embraced the possibility that libraries are a third place – a place for our social and community lives. However, my doctoral research indicates that libraries are instead a fourth place – a place for our creative and intellectual lives. This session will describe the ways libraries are fourth places.


Catherine Kerrigan

Catherine Kerrigan is a doctoral student at the University of South Australia, researching independent libraries. She is also the librarian at Adelaide Central School of Art.

LIGHTNING: Making the most of mentoring: collaborating with peers to build knowledge

Session description

Whether you are new to the industry or thinking about a mid-career change, peer mentoring can be a valuable tool to guide you through developing your goals and taking steps in your new career direction. In this lightning talk you will hear 5 tips for making the most of your time as a mentee.


Michael Barry

Michael Barry is a primary school library technician based in Melbourne. He volunteers as the secretary of the ALIAVic group, recently participated in the ALIA Mentoring Scheme, and is currently working towards his Certified Professional certificate in the ALIA PD Scheme. His interests include martial arts, linguistics, and Broadway musicals.

LIGHTNING: The power of humanity: Centenary of ANZAC collaborative projects at the State Library of South Australia

Session description

The State Library of South Australia honoured the memory of those who served at the front lines of WW1 and on the home front through a series of collaborative projects. One outcome was the award-winning South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau website which was a collaborative effort utilising volunteers; collaborating with other GLAM organisations and public libraries led the direction for how SLSA will deliver data and content to users. The success of the website (and our Centenary of ANZAC projects) developed further collaborations with the arts sector including State Theatre Company and the Word Adelaide Festival. The site itself was described by Professor Melanie Oppenheimer (Flinders University) as “one of the highlights of the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations. I would put it up there with the building of the Interpretive Centre at Villers Bretonneux as one of the most important outcomes of the Centenary for Australians”.


Andrew Piper

Andrew Piper is the Manager, Online Services and is responsible for the development and delivery of the Library’s online services to customers as well as to the rest of the organisation. He has also been responsible for the Collections and Preservation of the collections of the State Library of South Australia. His current and previous roles have enabled him to lead or contribute to a range of local and national collaborative projects in the GLAM sector.

LIGHTNING: Teacher librarians in 21st century schools

Session description

This presentation will examine the continuing importance of teacher librarians at all levels of schooling. Wherever possible, we need to utilise collaborations with classroom/subject teachers and use innovative teaching strategies to show that as information management professionals we have the skills to help underpin learning across traditional, information and digital literacies. It will look at strategies to ensure that collaborations with classroom teachers are successful and ways in which we as dual- qualified librarians and educators need to deviate from tradition to ensure that students are equipped to navigate the information-filled digital landscape they live in.


Megan Mahon

Megan Mahon always wanted to be a librarian, but got sidetracked and spent the next 17 years as a teacher in Special and mainstream schools. Eventually, she decided to do a Graduate Diploma of Library and Information Management with the intent of becoming a teacher librarian. When she became a single parent, she went back into retail sales to have a steady source of income as she completed her Masters. After many years of telling anyone who’d listen that teacher librarians are even more important than ever, she finally wrote a thesis explaining why.

The great library DEBATE: Are libraries better when they expand and diversify their programs?

Session description

Libraries have risen to the challenge of unprecedented change over the last 30 years and we continue to subsist despite the perplexity of non-library users. As libraries continue to evolve and reinvent themselves, we still find ourselves struggling against a misapprehension of what we do and the programs we offer, despite the fact that millions of Australians use their local library.

Libraries are moving forward in our modern society and are doing our best to serve our communities comprehensively. By doing so, have we bitten off more than we can chew? Or is it our responsibility to be whatever our communities need in the moment?


James: British, bow-ties, from Brisbane. ALIA Queensland State Manager.

Leela: No feelings. None. Whatsoever. Client service Librarian at a State Library.

Michael: MB the MC. Primary school library wizard.

Rob: A man in a kilt. ALIA NSW State Manager.

Sarah: Buys and describes academic library resources #LibrariesChangeLives

In conversation with library leaders: a Q&A session

Session description

Join this panel of library leaders for the opportunity to hear them discuss their experiences building successful careers, and how we can all positively influence our changing profession. There will be the chance for audience questions as part of this moderated session.


Geoff Strempel, Director, State Library of SA @SLSA

Geoff is driven by a desire to ensure that people have access to the information they need to fulfil their potential, and this is not just passive access – i.e the doors to the library are open. Access necessitates ensuring literacy (in all its forms) as well as preserving the past, so that it can inform our present and our future.

Geoff has spent most of his career working in, or providing support to libraries. Prior to being appointed Director of the State Library he led Public Library Services (a division of the Libraries Board of South Australia) for 10 years. During this time he was led significant changes in the South Australian public library network, including the establishment of a statewide public library consortium – colloquially known as the One Card Network. 

Teresa Chitty, University Librarian, University of Adelaide

Teresa undertook her library training in London and after graduation moved to New Zealand where she spent several years working in university libraries and public libraries before coming to Australia in 2009 to take up a position as Associate Director at the University of Western Australia. She has since held senior roles at the University of Newcastle (NSW) and the University of Melbourne and was appointed as University Librarian at the University of Adelaide in November 2016.

Viv Barton, Vice President (President-elect) of ALIA, and President of Public Libraries Western Australia

A passionate advocate for libraries and innovation, professional development and lifelong learning, and supporting colleagues (especially aspiring students and new graduates), Viv has always been actively involved in the library and information sector throughout her professional career working on a variety of state-wide and national matters.  

In her day job, Viv leads over 90 dedicated employees in the strategic development, management and implementation of the City of Stirling Library and Local History Services across six public libraries, the Stirling History Collection and the Mount Flora Regional Museum. 

In her spare time, Viv is an avid traveller, music and arts lover, and amateur astronomer. Her goal is to one day find time to do an Arts/Archaeology degree, and sail the River Nile whilst exploring the Egyptian pyramids.  

Leanne Griffiths, Senior Manager, Information Outreach, CSIRO Library Services

Leanne has worked in the Special Library Sector including libraries in CSIRO, Health and Defence. She worked as an Information Specialist in CSIRO prior to moving to her role as Senior Manager Information Outreach in 2008. Leanne leads a team of 13 Outreach and Data Librarians. In CSIRO Leanne has introduced Jira Service Desk to manage the Ask a Librarian Service and was part of the team that led the migration to a virtual library service. Leanne has recently led the successful ORCID@CSIRO project to enable connectivity between CSIRO systems and ORCID. Currently Leanne is investigating the use of ORCID for Facilities in CSIRO and is involved in the refresh of the CSIRO Research Publications Repository.

Leanne has a growing interest in research data management and her team has successfully achieved certification as a trustworthy repository for the CSIRO Data Access Portal with the CoreTrustSeal. Leanne is passionate about improving the User Experience and finding innovative ways to engage with clients in a virtual environment.